4 Completely Affordable or Free Professional Certifications That Will Improve Your Resume


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College life can be filled with challenges, from finding the perfect off-campus apartment to figuring out the best way to stay focused during those sometimes snooze-worthy online courses. The truth of the matter is that college is tricky, and finding your place amongst countless major options and career paths can be even more difficult. You might also be feeling pressure from loved ones, eager to push you into career paths that they feel would suit you – like you needed the extra stress!  

While some of your friends may already have their majors decided and entire futures outlined, you might still be trying to fit all of the puzzle pieces together—and hey, there’s no shame in that! Figuring out what you want to do with your life is no small feat. No wonder so many students turn to part-time jobs, internships, and certifications to help their resume shine, as they navigate the world of potential post-grad job opportunities.  

Certifications offer students a way to amplify their current resume with various skillsets and industry knowledge, while also helping them stand out from their competition during a job search. Remember: just because you’re a college student doesn’t mean you’ll gain all of the know-how you need in the classroom setting! As it turns out, your pals at uCribs have tackled our fair share of certifications. Our experiences have inspired us to share our top 4 recommendations with you— and get this: they are all completely affordable, or 100 percent free!  

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Pluralsight’s Coding or Data Science Certifications  

If you have dreams of becoming a computer programmer or data scientist and are looking to practice beyond the classroom environment, then you should consider signing up for a coding certification, stat. Just think of how impressed future employment prospects would be with your degree and certification in hand! Enroll with Pluralsight, an online platform boasting technology-minded courses, and you can receive virtual training in HTML/CSS, SQL, Java, Python, and many more programming languages. You can also dip your toes into many other topics, like cyber security and cloud computing. Though Pluralsight isn’t completely free, they offer a 10-day trial to new users. Complete your course within this timeframe, and you can earn a certificate without paying a dime. 

Google Analytics Certification 

Google Analytics is essential to businesses of all sizes. According to Search Engine JournalGoogle Analytics is the most widely used analytic software on the market to assess and improve marketing strategies for businesses. In other words, your future employer will most likely want to use the platform to track online growth objectives, such as website visits, on-page activity, and bounce rates – and who’s to say that you won’t be that star employee helping them make sense of all the data? No matter how solid your marketing or communications program is, this certificate speaks volumes on your dedication to the field – all you have to do is complete the courses and pass the final exam.  

HubSpot‘s Inbound Marketing Certification  

Calling all business majors! HubSpot has a free certification course perfect for sharpening your marketing skillset. That’s right— HubSpot‘s Inbound Marketing Certification teaches inbound marketing techniques, from content creation and social media promotion to lead conversion and customer retention. This course will make you more appealing to tech startups and marketing firms looking for a team player who knows the ins and outs of inbound marketing and can help grow their business. Looking for more instantaneous gratification? Put your new skills to work as a part-time social media strategist or something related, and you’ll build IRL job experience before you even graduate.  

Oxford Home Study’s Customer Service Certification 

No matter what field you ultimately pursue a career in, odds are that you’ll have to deal with clients or customers at some point. So, it only makes sense that you brush up on your interpersonal skills while you’ve got a little bit of downtime. One free way to do so is by signing up for Oxford Home Study’s Customer Service certification. The course will teach you how to identify customer needs, manage feedback, and build long-term customer relationships. After completing the short, five-part course, you will receive a certification and become a bona fide customer service pro!  

Take it from us: you can never have enough certifications on your resume. Not only do certifications indicate your tenacity to future employers, but they also demonstrate that you’re well-versed in your area of study and take your resume seriously – both of which will help you rise to the top of your given field. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the world of online certifications, we encourage you to try your hand at one of these 4 selections first. Who knows – you might fall in love with a particular area of study that you hadn’t even broached before!   

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Amelia Woolard is a graduate of Millsaps College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications Studies and an Art History minor. A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Amelia moved to New Orleans in 2014 to begin her career in marketing and design. She is particularly interested in the intersection of art and language, and enjoys projects that merge the two fields. Amelia is an avid yet critical pop culture consumer and a loving mother to her cat Faulkner.

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