While spending time at home can be safe and comfortable, it can also quickly become tedious. If you’re looking for something to stimulate your mind more than the next series in your Netflix queue, we’ve researched the best online courses you can take from home for free.
Finding the right online educational resources can be challenging, this list will help you find classes for every skill level and interest, so take a look, pick a course, and relax in your PJs while you learn a new skill that could unlock the door to your future success!
Canva Design School
Canva is a free tool that makes graphic design accessible to anyone with an internet connection. If you’re interested in learning how you can enhance the visual appeal of everything you post and print, Canva Design School is the best place to start. Canva offers a series of concise courses taught by design, marketing, and business experts that will help you begin building attractive designs in just a few minutes.
- Dive into the exciting world of graphic design for the first time with the Graphic Design Basics course.
- Canva in the classroom teaches teachers how to design engaging learning materials, environments, lesson plans, and presentations for their students while empowering them to develop their design skills.
- Presentations to impress will walk you through everything you need to consider to create captivating and impactful presentations on any topic.
- Learn about unlocking the power of design to build a successful brand with the Branding your business course.
- The Social media mastery course teaches you how to integrate proven design and marketing techniques to make your brand or company stand out as you create and engage your online community.
Canva Design School also offers tutorials on topics like branding, presentation and virtual classroom design, as well as using Canva Pro to take your design skills to the next level.
Harvard Open Courses
Ever wanted to study at an Ivy League school, but didn’t have the grades or money? Now anyone can learn from Harvard instructors through Harvard Open Courses. The online courses offered like Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science are more in-depth than those provided by Canva Design School, and therefore require more of a time commitment. Courses range from 1 to over 12 weeks long, and require a 2-9 hour time commitment each week.
You can take introductory, intermediate, and advanced level courses from 11 of Harvard’s faculties and schools, including the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the Harvard Law and Medical Schools, as well as the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
Free course offerings cover a wide range of topics, including:
- Game development
- Web programming and app development
- Theological studies
- Political science
- Health Science
- Data science
- History, music, and literature
- Art and design
In addition to free courses, Harvard also offers paid courses that range significantly in price from $30, to several thousand dollars. Many of the courses (even the free ones) will award you with a verified certificate upon completion.
If you’re looking for a one-stop solution for professional development courses, then the online learning platform Coursera might be for you. Coursera works with over 200 industry-leading companies and universities to provide members of their learning community with the education they need to jumpstart their careers with better jobs, promotions and higher paycheques.
If you want to expand your Ivy League education from Harvard Open Courses, Coursera hosts courses facilitated by universities like Yale, Princeton, Columbia, and the University of Pennsylvania. Coursera also develops programs with tech leaders like Google, IBM, Amazon and Cisco.
You can enroll for free in courses on a variety of personal and professional development topics.
- Study machine learning from Stanford University.
- Learn about the science of well-being from Yale University professor Laurie Santos.
- Learn programming fundamentals from the University of Toronto.
- You can even study Chinese and Korean for beginners from Peking University and Yonsei University.
- Coursera courses feature helpful reviews and learner outcomes that give you information about the percentage of learners who used each course to advance in their careers.
Coursera also offers fully accredited university degree programs that aren’t free, but are considerably more affordable than traditional on-campus university programs. Through Coursera, you can earn a degree from institutions around the world like the University of North Texas, University of London, and HEC Paris.
Additional Coursera features include a mobile app for learning on-the-go and the Coursera for Business program. Coursera for Business helps companies train their employees in skills like data science for business analysts and digital marketing.
Created by the United Kingdom-based Open University in 2012, Future Learn offers three different types of course structures: short courses, microcredentials and programs, and online degrees.
Short courses take 2-6 weeks to complete when you put in 2-6 study hours per week. Access to these courses is free for the duration of each course plus an additional 2 weeks. You can purchase a course Upgrade for between $39 and $99, which lets you access a course for as long as it’s on the Future Learn platform. For an annual price of $249.99, Future Learn’s Unlimited plan gives you Upgrade-level access to all short courses. For most Future Learn courses, only Upgrade and Unlimited Future Learn customers can receive a recognized certificate upon course completion. However, Future Learn currently offers 67 courses that come with free digital upgrade and credential certificates, including:
- Computer Programming for Everyone
- Creating a Great User Experience for Mobile Apps
- Essential Skills for Your Career Development
- Ideas for a Better World: Leading Change Through Policymaking
- How Can We Create the Most Effective Healthcare System?
- How To Teach Online: Providing Continuity for Students
Designed to help professionals advance their careers, Microcredentials and programs offer accredited professional and academic credentials from leading international universities. Future Learn currently offers 17 microcredentials that range in topics from cybersecurity and financial technology to sports coaching and digital photography. These microcredentials are offered on both the undergraduate and postgraduate level, can include 1-4 courses, and have a duration of 10 to 13 weeks. Microcredentials cost several hundred dollars to access, and range in price from under $600 to over $1,000.
Future Learn also hosts 9 programs with academic accreditation and 15 programs that offer professional accreditation. Most of Future Learn’s programs are free to join, but cost several hundred dollars if you want to receive the associated credential for your learning.
Future Learn offers more online degrees than Coursera. Their selection of universities are based in the United Kingdom and Australia versus Coursera’s mostly U.S.-based partner institutions. Like Coursera, earning an online bachelor’s, postgraduate, or master’s degree with Future Learn requires a significant financial investment, but online learning is generally cheaper than traditional university programs.
Future Learn’s catalogue of 100% free courses is more limited than the other learning platforms we’ve discussed; its pricing structure is also slightly more complicated. However, Future Learn is an excellent choice if you’re looking to audit or enroll in a program that’s accredited by a leading international university and abides by Europe’s Common Microcredential Framework. Future Learn users also appear impressed with the sense of community the platform facilitates within their learning networks.
HubSpot is an industry leader in inbound marketing, sales, and customer relationship management (CRM). HubSpot Academy is an excellent free resource for business and marketing professionals, entrepreneurs, or anyone interested in pursuing a career in these fields. HubSpot Academy also offers courses for developers who want to work with HubSpot’s application programming interfaces and web design tools to build products for HubSpot’s 56,500 customers.
HubSpot Academy offers all of the training courses you’ll need to master using the powerful marketing and CRM tools offered by the HubSpot platform.
- Email marketing
- Search engine optimization
- Social media Marketing
- Artificial intelligence in marketing
- Strategies for attracting and nurturing leads
- Working with your contact database
- Developing a content strategy
- Getting started with building a WordPress website
Many HubSpot Academy courses provide valuable industry information that’s not specific to HubSpot software, so you can benefit from this training platform no matter what tools you use for marketing your business.
In addition to marketing courses, other topics include sales, customer service, design, and web development. The majority of courses are tailored to beginner and intermediate students, but HubSpot Academy also offers tutorials geared towards advanced HubSpot users. Course duration can range from under 30 minutes to over 3 hours, while the majority of courses can be completed in under 2 hours.
Courses include video modules, additional reading, and quizzes. More in-depth courses may also include small tutorial exercises and a final practicum assignment. Many courses award you with a completion certificate and badge that you can display on LinkedIn or UpWork after passing a final exam, so you can show potential employers and clients your commitment to continuous learning.
These open online course providers contain a wealth of information for you to explore at your leisure. We hope you find a free course that will help expand your knowledge on subjects of interest and keep you entertained while you spend time at home. Broadening your education can help you develop exciting new capabilities, leading to opportunities that will enrich your career and, most importantly, your life!