Some great new skills to learn during the covid-19 lockdown

Some great new skills to learn during the covid-19 lockdown

Ever wanted to brush-up your digital marketing or SEO skills – maybe even learn a foreign language – but never had the time? Well the lockdown could be the opportunity you have been looking for.

Marketers are a resourceful bunch. If you have been furloughed or are just keeping things ticking over business-wise, you probably want to get through this time in a productive way. So we thought you should know that some of the best marketing training is now available virtually:

  • The world’s largest PR professional body, the PRCA, is offering a wide range of online courses, ranging from improving your presentation skills to learning about brand and brand storytelling.
  • Our sister site has some excellent virtual events during April and May, covering topics from the effect of communications on sales to the evolution of purpose.

But if you want to learn a new skill from scratch during the lockdown, you might be wondering: how long it will take?

Do you have the time?

Online training company The Knowledge Academy has calculated how long it takes to acquire some of the most valuable business skills.

They say you can become quite proficient in digital marketing in only three months, skilled in SEO in just 10 days and learn coding on your own in under five months. You could even learn to speak Spanish, German or Mandarin Chinese – any new language for that matter – in about two months.

The company consulted 431 HR consultants to develop the list of most valuable skills to acquire. Experts in each field were then asked to consider how long it would take to achieve basic proficiency by devoting an hour a day to study.

Is it achievable?

Now, we don’t want to over-egg this. The specialists were asked how long it would take to reach beginner’s level – not professional fluency – learning for just one hour a day. So you would not be able to change careers after this.

For example, an SEO specialist with over six years’ experience called ‘Oliver’, said: “There are so many great resources and guides out there on how to start improving the SEO of a website. The basic things like meta title optimisation, internal linking and initial page speed improvements can all be learnt within a reasonable amount of time. I would say if you are reading the right material, you could learn this in 10 days or so.

"To master SEO however will take considerably longer. Google's algorithms are constantly changing so you will have to keep on top of that and some things, like learning how to earn the most powerful links, will take considerable time, resources and creativity.”

Don’t be disheartened

We suggest that during the lockdown you might be able to devote an hour a day to learning your new skill or, if you are ambitious, you could double it by doing an hour in the morning and an hour at night. Who knows how skilled you would become then.

The virtual courses and events on offer are also great ways of upskilling and improving your knowledge.

Either way, you can treat it as the start of a lifelong learning process. With a firm foundation, you will have gained the basic skills to keep you improving when times return to normal.

Then again, there is also a lot to be said for treating this as an opportunity to step off the treadmill for a while. The Knowledge Academy also suggests you could learn cooking in three months, yoga in five months, photography in two weeks or pottery in just one day.

Now excuse us while we order our potter’s wheel and some clay.