Back to school – learning for work or play

It’s that time of year…even though we left school a while back, September exerts a powerful pull on us to get learning (well, here in the Northern hemisphere at least). With that in mind I’ve got a download coming up for you: ‘20 ways to learn at work’ – make sure you’re on Zoomly’s email list to get your copy.

What about learning when you’re not in the office? I’ve also been checking out courses and resources for boosting your skills beyond working hours, whether that’s for career development, re-connecting with your creativity or a hobby, or simply staying in touch with what’s going on in the world. This list is by no means exhaustive, it aims to get whet your appetite; check out the resources at the end of this post for more info for courses beyond London.

Do you want to:

Focus on the big issues that matter?
The RSA hosts talks, debates and screenings at lunchtime and in the evening. I’ve seen and heard some great speakers and almost always take away ideas to apply. See what’s coming up here.

Take a look at the programme of lectures held at Gresham College, given by distinguished professors. Topics range from history to AI. You can check out past lectures in their video vault.

Learn at the weekend?
City Lit has one-day business and marketing courses such as Project Management.

The Camden College offers a wide range of courses, for example there’s Microsoft Excel for beginners, masses of music classes, a variety of creative tech courses, along with fashion, textiles and millinery.

Get creative?
If the idea of picking up a paintbrush fills you with yearning (or even horror!), I can highly recommend Mary Ward’s weekend courses – a friendly environment in the heart of London.

Central Saint Martins offers an extensive choice of day, evening, Saturday and weekend short courses, including beginners’ drawing and many creative tech applications.

Buff up your art knowledge?
The National Gallery offers talks every weekday, given by their own experts. The one hour sessions from Monday through Thursday are at lunchtime; Friday’s is early evening (if an hour’s too long, they also do 10-minute talks!).

As well as the creative craft courses you might expect from The V&A, you can join one of their conferences or study days.

Tread the boards?
The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama runs introductory evening courses.

Join the circus?
You can do an experience day with The National Centre for Circus Arts.

Whether it’s salsa or ballet, there’s no shortage of places to learn.

Get help with fees?
If you’re in the UK and want to study to increase your skills and/or qualifications for work, check if you’re eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan (your course will need to meet accreditation criteria).

Not in London, or not found what you’re looking for? Search Floodlight or Hot Courses for what’s available near you in the UK.

You may find this post useful: ’10 self-development resources’

Dawn is the author of ‘The Feedback Book’ and ‘How to be Zoomly at work’.



Image credits: Back to school vector illustration
@ orson/DepositPhotos

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