5 Free Classes to Complement Your Creative Curriculum

by Taylor Slattery | July 30, 2020


Creative disciplines are incredibly dense in content. With long-spanning histories, complex theory, and time-demanding technical training, it can be hard to boil them down into concise enough topics for a curriculum of any length. Schools prepare us to work by arming us with the essentials, but it’s up to us to carry on our studies afterward to further our growth.

The way we work is constantly evolving. More and more creatives are finding ways to merge their talents and interests to carve out new careers online. Regardless of your discipline, an understanding of things like branding and marketing is becoming more essential than optional. For those aiming to work for themselves, some business acumen wouldn’t hurt either. The more diverse a skill set you possess, the more doors that are open to you.

If you’ve got some time on your hands, why not make the most of it by taking some free classes. Here are some 5 classes from Coursera that would nicely complement any creative curriculum.

The Strategy of Content Marketing

Creating great work is only half the battle. Visibility is everything. Whether marketing yourself to prospective employers or your products to prospective buyers, a basic understanding of marketing will help you to make the most of your time and effort. The Strategy of Content Marketing course will help you to develop a strategy, implement it, measure its success, and adjust accordingly. The way we present ourselves online can have a big impact on the types of clients and offers we receive. Developing a strategy from the get-go can help you to steer your career in the right direction. You can find the course here.

Introduction to Personal Branding

You know who you are, right? Sure, but do others? If you aren’t sharing yourself with them, how can you expect them to understand you? Our online presence is a powerful tool. The things we share online can act as a homing beacon for others who share our values. Whatever your goals are, this can lead to higher quality networking and work you feel more connected to. Introduction to Personal Branding can help you to translate your thoughts and feelings into the online space more effectively, helping you to better communicate and land more meaningful work. You can find the course here.

Creative Problem Solving

It’s easy to fall into a creative rut. We all have our preferred way of doing things and sometimes a challenge comes along for which our approach is ill-suited. Thinking out of the box is easier said than done. Fortunately, there’s actually a methodology for doing so. Creative Problem Solving teaches you about the fundamental nature of creative thinking, how to identify patterns, and subvert the norm. You can find the course here.

Social Psychology

Why do people do the things they do? Is there a pattern to their behavior and if so, how can such knowledge be used to help us as creatives? Understanding things like motivations and prejudice can help us to be not only better communicators, but better designers as well. Social Psychology teaches about decision making, persuasion, and attraction, among many other topics within the social sphere. You can find the course here.

Mindshift: Break Through Obstacles and Discover Your Hidden Potential

Our continued success as creatives is dependent on our ability to adapt. The creative journey is one that never ends. We must continue to learn new skills to meet the needs of an ever-changing landscape. Once you really dive head-first into a subject and gain your bearings you begin to understand how to apply the process to other pursuits. Learning new skills becomes easier. If you’re not quite there yet, why not learn from someone who is? Mindshift: Break Through Obstacles and Discover Your Hidden Potential is one of the more popular courses on Coursera. Unlike other courses that target specific subjects, this class is about the act of learning itself. You can learn skills and techniques that are applicable to the acquisition of any new skill. You can find the course here.

Even if your newfound knowledge doesn’t seem immediately applicable, opportunities for their use are bound to reveal themselves in the future. If you’ve suddenly found yourself with more time than you know what to do with, consider trying out some of these courses. The worst that could happen is that you end up a little bit smarter.


Taylor is the Managing Editor of Notes on Design. Taylor is a graphic designer, illustrator, and Design Lead at Weirdsleep.


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