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Whether you're preparing for a big career change or just want to learn something new, free online courses can help jump-start your career.
What is itThe value of free online courses? Well, they don't replace traditional education programs, but these courses still offer a number of benefits. Our guide explores a selection of the best free online course providers to help you choose a new educational experience (without breaking the bank). Let's begin.
What are the benefits of free online courses?
One of the best parts about free online courses is that they are free. Trying a new theme is less risky if you don't have to weigh the cost. You can relax, enjoy and explore.
Relive the joy of learning with free online courses. They can also help you take concrete steps to achieve your career or educational goals. Students can use free online courses to try a new career field, develop skills for advancement, or refresh their knowledge before returning to school.
Many free online courses are known as massive open online courses (MOOCs). MOOCs allow hundreds or thousands of students to follow a course, often for free or at a low cost. With affordable prices and no formal enrollment requirements, MOOCs offer an affordable, low-risk way to learn.
Who Should Consider Taking Free Online Courses?
- career changer.Free online courses can help you learn about new industries and potentially land entry-level positions. These courses cannot replace a traditional degree, but they can help you stand out in the job market.
- working professionals.Free online training makes it easy for you to stay on top of industry trends. You can also use free online courses to demonstrate your desire and commitment when applying for new positions.
- student.Students can use the free courses to prepare for exams, review difficult concepts and combat learning loss during school hours. Users can find learning resources from undergraduate to graduate level through MOOCs.
- lifelong learner.If you want to learn about world events, take up a new hobby, or research a topic that interests you, there are many free online learning opportunities.
An online platform that offers free courses
A pioneer of the MOOC model, edX started in 2012 with 155,000 registrants. It now has more than 42 million users.
This collection site offers free and paid courses as well as microcredits, degrees and professional certifications. Founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), edX operated as a non-profit organization until it was acquired by education technology company 2U in 2021.
edX offers diverse course content from more than 160 partners, including Ivy League schools like Cornell University, international institutions like Oxford University, prominent companies like Google, and nonprofit organizations like the Smithsonian.
Students can take courses in the arts, sciences, social sciences and humanities. They can also study fields such as law, technology and healthcare. edX microloans and degrees are focused on business, technology and social services.
Students can attend most classes for free, but if they want to grade assignments and complete tests, they must pay $50 to $300 per class. class. Financial aid is available to eligible students.
As the world's largest provider of MOOCs, Coursera offers courses to more than 100 million students worldwide. Stanford computer science professors Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng founded the company in 2012.
Like many MOOC platforms, Coursera offers content from multiple educational partners. Users can access courses from universities like Yale and companies like Microsoft. Learning pathways on Coursera include self-paced courses, diplomas, short mentoring programs and micro-credentials.
Course topics cover arts and humanities, health, mathematics, business, science and technology. Students can learn multiple languages and delve into personal development topics such as mindfulness. Coursera is particularly strong with technology-related MOOCs, with courses in areas such as web development, data science, and cybersecurity.
Participants can attend most courses for free. Certificates of Completion cost $49 to $79 per class, or students can purchase annual or monthly memberships. Coursera also awards scholarships and partners with organizations to provide educational opportunities to underprivileged populations.
Based in London, FutureLearn emphasizes social learning. Users can create profiles to interact with other students. The classes often include opportunities for feedback and discussion.
The academic partners of this MOOC center are several American universities, but mostly international institutions, especially from the UK, Europe and Australia. Course content is also sourced from private and non-profit organizations.
FutureLearn students can explore STEM fields such as computer science, engineering and mathematics. Individuals can improve business skills and explore literature, law, politics and history. Creative arts courses study areas such as fashion and film, and language courses include less common subjects such as Irish and Norwegian.
Participants can join most FutureLearn courses for free. They can also upgrade to receive a certificate of completion and extended access to course materials. There is a fee for ExpertTracks, micro-credentials and online degrees.
Canvas is a learning management system (LMS) that is widely used in primary and higher education. With over 30 million users as of 2019, many students and parents are likely already familiar with Canvas. The company also offers free online courses and professional development resources specifically for education professionals.
Educators can learn strategies for helping at-risk students, distance learning, dealing with copyright issues, and using the Canvas LMS, among other things. Depending on the program, classes are offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese.
Most courses on the Canvas Network are free and at your own pace. The site only offers short courses and does not offer certificates of completion. Some individual teachers may include this option.
Khan Academy is a non-profit organization that focuses on primary and secondary education - unlike many other MOOC platforms. The platform, with a mission to increase educational outcomes worldwide, has over 61 million registered users in more than 190 countries.
Khan Academy offers courses in subjects such as language arts, science, economics, life skills and art history. Depending on the subject, the levels range from pre-school to high school. Students can also complete SAT, LSAT, Praxis Core, and MCAT preparation courses.
The courses are completely free, and the website offers resources to help teachers and parents support student success.
Unlike aggregator sites, Udacity, a technical education institution, publishes its own courses. The for-profit site develops courses in collaboration with industry leaders such as GitHub and Amazon.
Udacity divides its programs into eight schools, each focusing on technical disciplines such as artificial intelligence, programming and development, or data science. Students can participate in short courses or a longer nanodiploma program. The free option belongs to the category of short courses, which last from 2 to 16 weeks.
The Nanodegree program requires paid participation, including academic and career support, forums, and program reviews. There is no free certificate option, but students seeking a certificate can save money with Udacity discounts and scholarships.
Many MOOC centers only offer selected content from partner organizations. However, Udemy allows anyone to create, upload and teach courses. For this reason, Udemy users may need to research potential courses more carefully than students on some other MOOC sites. However, Udemy courses include many highly qualified instructors who teach a wide range of subjects.
Udemy organizes its courses into 12 broad categories, including IT & Software, Business, Lifestyle and Design. Special topics include TikTok marketing, tarot reading, day trading, and aerial photography.
Most of Udemy's 204,000+ courses require payment, but the platform also offers more than 500 free options. Course prices range from $19.99 to $199.99, and the site often runs promotions. Course fees include lifetime access and a certificate of completion. Udemy also offers subscription options.
Cognitive Class offers one-on-one lessons that typically last from 3 to 20 hours and 10 learning paths in areas such as data science fundamentals and deep learning. These three- to five-course sequences allow students to explore topics in depth. Participants can refine their course search using factors such as subject, experience level, target skills, and preferred language (English or Chinese).
To earn the badge, students must complete review questions and pass a one-hour exam. For many courses, Cognitive Class allows unlimited checks before participants attempt to earn a badge.
This training service provider is focused on high-performance in-demand skills training. General Assembly courses are suitable for both beginners starting a new career and professionals looking to improve their CV. The offering includes career preparation camps, available online and at more than 30 campuses worldwide.
Since 2001, MIT has provided free online access to university courses through OpenCourseWare. OpenCourseWare materials are released under a Creative Commons license and are free to download, use, share, and adapt. Since launching as a pilot site with 50 courses, OpenCourseWare has grown to encompass the entire MIT catalog.
OpenCourseWare does not award credits or certificates, but students can follow their own paths through a wide range of subjects, including natural sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities and arts. Students can search for courses by subject, department and level. Users can also filter courses based on whether they offer features such as exams, online textbooks, or lecture videos.
Founded in 1969, the Open University is a pioneer in using technological innovation to expand educational opportunities. Originally reaching students through television and radio, the Open University began online courses in the 1990s. Today, the UK-based public university offers degrees, diplomas, certificates as well as individual modules and courses.
Launched in 2006, OpenLearn, the open university's free learning platform, offers more than 1,000 courses ranging from 1 to 100 hours of study. Users can also access videos, games, quizzes and articles. More than 6 million people use OpenLearn every year.
Course topics are grouped into eight categories covering different academic subjects. Some courses allow participants to earn digital badges or certificates of participation. Students cannot contact their tutors, but can communicate with their peers through the comments section of each course.
Featured Online Schools
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Use educational videos: Websites like YouTube and TED-Ed have a wealth of educational videos on a variety of subjects. Use educational podcasts: Podcasts are a great way to learn on the go. Many educational podcasts are available for free on platforms like Spotify and Apple Podcasts.What course should I take free? ›
- Fundamental Marketing: Inbound Marketing Certification by HubSpot Academy.
- Content Marketing: Content Marketing Certification by HubSpot Academy.
- Social Media Marketing: Social Media Marketing Course by HubSpot Academy.
- Email Marketing: Cold Email Masterclass by Mailshake.
- Udemy. 3321+ Courses.
- Edx. 1986+ Courses.
- Coursera. 1647+ Courses.
- Swayam. 1511+ Courses.
- Futurelearn. 1074+ Courses.
- Mindmajix Technologies. 677+ Courses.
- Vskills. 539+ Courses.
- Emeritus. 293+ Courses.
Coursera offers free courses across a wide range of subjects, including computer science, data science, business, humanities, and more.How can I self educate myself without college? ›
- Stay Current News. A great way to self-educate is to keep up to date on current news, events, and affairs around the world. ...
- Sign-up For Online Courses. ...
- Don't Dismiss The Arts. ...
- Find a Mentor. ...
- Attend Courses Through Your Current Employer.
- Associate yourself with educated people, groups, discussions.
- Join a course or college to get a degree or few certificates at least.
- Audit college level subjects. That means, no exams, just all pure learning. ...
- Attend conferences, seminars, talks, etc.
- Creative Writing. ...
- Physical Education. ...
- Psychology. ...
- Public Speaking. ...
- Anthropology. ...
- Art History. ...
- Acting. ...
- Coursera. Coursera.org is one of the leading providers of MOOCs – massive open online courses. ...
- edX. Another great option for free online education is edX. ...
- Khan Academy. ...
- Udemy. ...
- iTunesU Free Courses. ...
- MIT OpenCourseWare. ...
- Computer science. ...
- Biology. ...
- Communications. ...
- Political science. ...
- Accounting. ...
- Chemical engineering. ...
- Electrical engineering. ...
On the one hand, free certifications may be seen as less valuable because they usually don't require the same investment of time and money as paid certifications. On the other hand, free certifications demonstrate a strong commitment to your professional development and a desire to stay current in your field.
Do employers accept online degrees? In general, employers should treat an online degree the same as they would a campus-based degree. Most employers care far more about the quality of the school than the delivery format of the degree.What certifications can I get online to make more money? ›
- Information Security/Cybersecurity.
- Computer Science.
- Project Management.
- Information Technology.
- Human Resources.
- Business Administration.
- Bookkeeper/Accounting Technology.
- Website Design.
How much is Coursera? Coursera Courses can be accessed for free, Guided Projects start at $9.99 and Specializations and Professional Certificates from $39.99 a month.Is it worth getting a certificate from Coursera? ›
Are Coursera Certificates worth it? On the whole, yes. If you're seeking promotion, looking for a career change, or the skills you are learning are highly sought after, then a Coursera Certificate does have value and is definitely worth the investment. Coursera partners and course providers are world class.How much does Coursera certificate cost? ›
How much does an online certificate program on Coursera cost? Professional Certificate program costs range from $39-$99 USD per month. You can start with a 7 day free trial.What can I study without going to college? ›
- Medical Records Technician.
- Wind Turbine Technician.
- Community Health Worker.
- Landscaper and Groundskeeper.
- Home Health Aide.
- Personal Care Aide.
- Delivery Truck Driver.
Scholarships and grants are two ways that you can pay for college without working. Both options give you money for college that you don't have to pay back.Can a person be educated without going to school? ›
Autodidacticism (also autodidactism) or self-education (also self-learning and self-teaching) is education without the guidance of masters (such as teachers and professors) or institutions (such as schools).What is self learning called? ›
autodidact. / (ˈɔːtəʊˌdaɪdækt) / noun. a person who is self-taught.Is self education better than college? ›
There's an abundance of information to be sourced outside of university and an abundance of career paths to be taken that don't stem from a Formal Education. It's frankly not needed. Self education will 1) set you up for greatness, 2) let you learn what you're interested truly in and 3) save you money.
self-ed·u·cate ˌself-ˈe-jə-ˌkāt. self-educated; self-educating; self-educates. transitive verb. : to educate oneself. Libraries of all types, at their very roots, seek to provide people with the opportunity to explore knowledge and to self-educate throughout their lives.What is the quickest degree to get? ›
Associate degrees are one of the fastest degrees that pay well, requiring only 60 credit hours—half the time required for bachelor's degrees—and professional certifications can take only anywhere between three and six months depending on the program you choose.What is the quickest and easiest degree to get? ›
- Business Administration.
- Creative Writing.
- Criminal Justice.
- Health Sciences.
- Psychology. Psychology – the science of brain and behavior – is a common major and can lead to a career in multiple fields. ...
- Anthropology. ...
- Media and Communications. ...
- Photography. ...
- Creative Writing. ...
- Liberal Arts. ...
- Sports Studies. ...
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are free online courses available for anyone to enroll. MOOCs provide an affordable and flexible way to learn new skills, advance your career and deliver quality educational experiences at scale.How can I get free courses on Google? ›
- 1) Google Professional Workspace Administrator (Coursera)
- 2) Google IT Support Professional Certificate (Coursera)
- 3) Google IT Automation with Python Professional Certificate (Coursera)
- 4) Reliable Google Cloud Infrastructure: Design and Process (Coursera)
- 5) Preparing for Google Cloud Certification (Coursera)
- Computer Science and Engineering.
- Mechanical Engineering.
- Electrical Engineering.
- Solar Engineering.
- Wind Energy Engineering.
- Environmental Engineering.
- Marine Engineering.
Math and Computer Sciences
STEM constitutes 30% of the total number of international students studying in the USA, making STEM the top courses and highest paying jobs in USA. Again, names like MIT, Stanford and Harvard are prominent as the top US universities for both Mathematics and Computer Science.
It is the most challenging and technical course in the world, where students are required to have tactical skills, analytical skills, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities. To pursue engineering, a student must begin by opting science stream during the the11th and 12th standards.
Do MOOC's Count Toward Academic Credit? It's not common to earn academic credit through free online courses, but there are occasional exceptions. For example, if you are already attending the school presenting the MOOC, they may award some credit upon completion of the paid certification program.
The simple answer: Yes. These certificates are a great way to boost your resume and give you the tangible skills required for entry-level positions in these competitive fields. Google Certificates are a great choice to add skills to your resume, as: They are designed for beginners.Is Harvard free online certificate worth it? ›
Yes, online courses at Harvard are worth it if you are looking to earn a reputable certificate from a world-famous Ivy League university. Harvard University offers tons of courses in the areas of data science, computer science, education, and business, and having an additional certification is helpful for your career.Do employers actually care about Coursera certificates? ›
While a Coursera certificate can look good on your resume, it's important to keep in mind that these certificates are not accredited. That means they likely won't be accepted as credit towards a degree or other formal education program. 5. Coursera Certificates May Not Be Recognized by Your Employer.Is an online certificate worth anything? ›
If you already have a job, online certificates can boost productivity and growth, which increases your value to your employer. To get the most from listing these certifications in your CV, ensure that they align with the job position you are currently in or aspiring to get.Do employers care about online courses? ›
According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 92 percent of employers view online degrees from brick-and-mortar schools as favorable, while only 42 percent would consider a candidate with an online degree from a university that operates solely online, despite any accreditation.What is the highest paying skill online? ›
- Coding. ...
- Project management. ...
- Copywriting. ...
- User experience (UX) ...
- Artificial intelligence. ...
- Cyber security. ...
- Social media management. ...
- Graphic design. Graphic design is a valuable skill that can build upon your existing interest in software and design.
- Marketing Automation Specialist. Salary range: $54,500-$82,000 per year. ...
- Contract Graphic Designer. Salary range: $56,500-$79,500 per year. ...
- SEO Consultant. Salary range: $42,000-$78,000 per year. ...
- Film Editor. ...
- Freelance Writer. ...
- Virtual Recruiter. ...
- Web Designer. ...
- Email Marketer.
Coursera is not free. However, the first chapter of each course is free. This serves as a demonstration for prospective students. This allows them to try out a course before committing to a monthly or annual subscription.How much does the Google IT certification cost? ›
How Much Does Google IT Support Professional Certificate Cost? The total cost to get the Google IT Support certificate is $294. The course is offered by Coursera through the Coursera Plus subscription which costs $49 per month. On average it takes 6 months for students to complete the course and get certified.Which is better Udemy or Coursera? ›
Udemy is best if you want a wide range of affordable courses and Coursera is ideal if you are looking for a structured course or program taught by top professors from a prestigious University or Organization.
You can list Coursera courses on your resume even if you don't have a certificate for them, but don't put them in a “Certifications” section or claim to have an official certificate if you don't. Instead, list the course in your education section or in an “Additional Information” section.Do certificates from Coursera mean anything? ›
Coursera certificates will be acknowledged by colleges, universities, and workplaces. They are just as valuable as on-the-job experience or college degrees. If you get a Coursera certificate, you can put it on your resume to show off your skills.Do Coursera certificates expire? ›
A Course Certificate itself does not expire. Maybe you mean your payment expired. If you paid for a course and more than 180 days have passed, you need to pay again or apply for Financial Aid.Can Coursera get you a job? ›
Many employers value Coursera certifications because they demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning and a willingness to acquire new skills. In fact, many Coursera learners have reported that they were able to advance their careers or land new jobs after earning a Coursera certification.Do you pay for each course on Coursera? ›
When you subscribe to a Coursera course or Specialization, you'll be charged every month until you complete the Specialization by earning a Certificate in every course in that Specialization or cancel your subscription. Coursera Plus lets you pay an annual subscription to access the majority of the courses on Coursera.Do universities accept Coursera certificates? ›
many subjects are missing. any hope? No, universities do not accept Coursera because Coursera certificates are not on a college transcript. If you are missing courses, you have two options: take the courses as an NDO (non degree option) or in a Graduate Certificate at the university you want to do your master's.Is education com really free? ›
Our Basic (free) membership gives you access to three free content downloads each month. You can select from worksheets, games, activities, lesson plans and science projects. If you'd like to have access to unlimited content, you'll need to upgrade to our Premium plan.What is self study course? ›
Self-study is a method of learning where students take charge of their own studying outside of the classroom, without direct supervision. This allows the student to take control of how, what, when, and where they learn.Which is the most effective method for encouraging self-learning? ›
Thus, the most effective method of encouraging self-learning is the Observation method.What are some examples of self directed learning? ›
Without taking a formal course, you have a variety of options: read a book, download a recipe, or ask someone. And within hours or a few weeks, you have figured it out — pretty much all on your own. These are all examples of self-learning. Whatever it was, you had an intrinsic motivation driving your learning process.
Teachers can sign up to Education Galaxy for free and start using it right away. Paid options are available, but for the basics it's easy to begin.Is IXL any good? ›
IXL is the best for easy to find practice for math standards. Freckle has more in depth features and integrates with other Renaissance products well, but can be hard to learn or use. Prodigy is a fun math game platform that works well for extra student practice or learning, but isn't as targeted as IXL.Can you join study com for free? ›
Discover new resources for in-class and remote learning environments by signing up for a free trial with Study.com. Study.com helps you eliminate stress and provide students with learning materials that can be accessed from anywhere so that every learner has the resources they need to succeed.