Five Free Online Resources to Boost Your Professional Skills

August 23, 2022 | Mike

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A woman is using photo editing software on a library computer.

Are you looking for a job, trying to get ahead in your career, or thinking about changing industries? Maybe you are looking for a way to give your resume an extra boost or prepare for a big interview. Or you could be a small business owner trying to figure out how to take your business to the next level.

Whatever your situation, the library has a wide variety of options for you to upgrade your skills and give your career a boost. All of these resources are available online and accessible at any time of the day. Most important, they are also free to access with your Toronto Public Library card!

LinkedIn Learning

With over 16,000 courses, it is hard to summarize everything you could learn from LinkedIn Learning! There are four main subject areas in LinkedIn Learning that breakdown into more specific topics. The Business subject area includes courses on marketing, accounting, sales and human resources, plus courses on being an entrepreneur and running a small business.

The Creative section covers topics like graphic design, animation, web design and photography, as well as different software applications like Photoshop and AutoCAD. In the Technology area, you will find courses on cloud computing, IT security, and mobile, software or web development. 

The Certifications section helps with preparation for over 30 professional certification exams, such as Adobe, AWS, Google, Linux and Microsoft.

O'Reilly Learning

Tired of using that outdated book on Python you got from a friend? O'Reilly Learning has the latest books, videos, courses and audiobooks from major business and technology publishers. Like LinkedIn Learning, O'Reilly covers too many topics to name all of them here but leans towards coding, software development, data systems, and networking.

The best thing is that all titles are available to stream at any time with no waitlists! If space in O'Reilly isn't unavailable when you try to sign in, try again in 15-30 minutes and a seat will probably have opened up.


HSTalks focuses on two subject areas broken into different collections - the Biomedical & Life Science Collection and the Business & Management Collections. Each collection contains video lectures, case studies and interviews from leading experts from around the world with new content added on a regular basis. The lectures and case studies are often geared towards people who already have some understanding of the topic, so they are ideal for someone looking to stay up to date with the latest research and trends in either subject area. 

Gale Courses

Gale Courses offers unlimited access to instructor-led online courses for anyone looking for a more traditional learning experience. There is a broader range of courses than the other resources already mentioned. Subjects include business, legal systems, arts, writing, teaching and more! Courses start monthly and run for six weeks with two lessons released every week.

SAGE Video

Content from SAGE Video covers four topics: business and management, counseling and psychotherapy, leadership, and nursing. The videos are aimed at university and college students, instructors, and researchers. The videos are a mix of case studies, documentaries, lectures, interviews and more. They also have premade playlists for anyone looking to quickly jump into a topic.