Do you want to learn a new skill but don’t think you have the time? Do you wish to return to school but need to first complete certain prerequisites or background courses? Or are you considering a job change? We have the solution to all of these issues: online classes.
They’re often shorter than a college term, self-regulated, and cover just about every skill, topic, or hobby you can think of.
This luxury, however, comes with a great deal of responsibility—most notably, the chore of finding a site that works best for you. Don’t worry; we’ve done all the legwork for you and produced the definitive list of online providers that offer high-quality classes for a low—or no—cost. All you have to do now is register!
Alison offers a wide range of free, in-depth classes on topics such as technology, languages, science, financial literacy, personal and soft skills, entrepreneurship, and more. It is aimed at a wide range of learners, including professionals, managers, teachers, and freelancers. You can also look for courses based on the type of job you have or want to have to locate the most relevant ones.
For the budget-conscious learner, Udemy has a lot to offer, from fully free courses taught by experts, professors, entrepreneurs, and professionals to frequent discounts and promotions on paid classes. You can take classes on productivity, health, hobbies, lifestyle, and the arts, in addition to IT, business, design, and marketing.
Coursera is the best place to go if you want to take college-level courses without the hefty cost of college tuition. This website has fantastic classes in a wide range of subjects, including professional development and work skills, as well as psychology, history, and literature. And they’re all designed and taught by academics from prestigious universities around the country and world, including Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Stanford, and many others. Coursera allows you to audit thousands of classes for free, or pay $29 to take the whole class and receive a degree. For less than $50 per month, you can earn one of their “specializations” or “professional certificates.”
EdX allows anybody, anywhere to attend university classes in a variety of fields and get certification. Auditing most classes is free, just like on Coursera, but earning a certificate and completing tasks will set you back $50 to $300. Harvard, Berkeley, Dartmouth, Georgetown, and the University of Chicago are among edX’s major partners.
Udacity specializes in software development, with free courses in programming, data science, web development, and other tech fields such as product management, marketing, and cybersecurity. For those who wish to master a skill set or seek a full-time career in computing, the website also offers a nanodegree program, though at a greater cost.
If you join LinkedIn Learning, you’ll get access to hundreds of courses in business, design, art, education, and technology, as well as professional and personal development, if you join. Completed certifications can be shown on your LinkedIn profile, giving you insight into what others in your network are learning. Additionally, LinkedIn Learning offers a free one-month trial, so you may try it out.
General Assembly is a coding bootcamp and technical education provider that provides full-time and part-time classes, as well as online and in-person choices. These solutions, though, are a little costly. General Assembly earned a spot on this list thanks to its free workshops—which introduce you to topics like digital marketing, software engineering, data science and analytics, and design—and Dash, a free basic coding class, which can all help you get a taste of new skills before committing to a longer course.
Skillshare offers “bite-sized” classes, allowing you to learn something new in as little as 15 minutes every day. There are over 27,000 free and premium classes on themes like film, writing, technology, visual arts, productivity, and business to select from. Skillshare gives you a free seven-day trial, which is enough time to finish several short classes. After that, it costs about $14 a month.
You can take classes in software, 3D development, VFX, design, game design, web design, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and CAD software after signing up for Pluralsight (or trying it out for free!).
Do you have questions about how to use Photoshop or InDesign? Don’t worry, Adobe’s complimentary Creative Cloud tutorials will lead you through the programs.
In a similar spirit, Google Skillshop offers free certificates for a variety of occupations, including cybersecurity, marketing, design, teaching, and data analysis, using Google’s many online, software, and hardware tools—including YouTube, Android, and Waze. There are also free courses available on digital skills and business growth.
FutureLearn offers a completely free tier for all of its classes. Courses in subjects such as business and management, creative arts and media, law, literature, IT and computer science, healthcare and medicine, science, engineering, and math, politics and society, psychology and mental health, study skills, and teaching are available from universities and special organizations.
And if you’re only seeking intellectual classes, this website is ideal. It offers free online courses in the arts, science, humanities, economics, computer science, and more.
Still unsure of where to begin? Try Class Central, which allows you to focus your search on what you want to study and with whom. On this list, you’ll find results from Coursera, edX, and other sites, making the process of taking an online course simpler!