Looking to pick up a new skill, but don’t have the time to do so? Do you want to go back to school but need to take some classes beforehand? Or, do you not want to go to school at all, but are looking to change careers? We’ve got the answer for all those problems: online classes.
They’re shorter than a college semester, they’re typically self-regulated, and they cover just about every skill, topic, or hobby you can possibly imagine.
But with this luxury comes great responsibility—mainly, the task of finding a site that works best for you. Have no fear, we’ve done all the hard work for you and compiled the ultimate list of resources that offer free, cheap, and quality classes right here on the internet.
Now all you have to do is sign up for one!
ALISON has a large range of free, comprehensive classes on financial literacy, personal and soft skills, digital skills, entrepreneurship and then some. It targets all kinds of learners, from professionals and managers to teachers and freelancers.
Udemy has plenty to offer for the learner on a budget, from completely free courses taught by experts, professors, entrepreneurs, and professionals, to frequent discounts and class specials. In addition to classes in tech, business, and marketing, you can also explore options in productivity, health, hobbies, and lifestyle.
If you want to receive a college education without the high cost of tuition, Coursera is the best stop. This website offers amazing courses in all kinds of fields, from professional development to psychology, history, and literature—all created and taught by professors at top institutions nationally and across the globe. Their universities include Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Stanford, and plenty more.
Just like Coursera, edX offers anyone, anywhere the chance to take university classes in various departments—and get certified. Some of their big partners include Harvard, Berkeley, Dartmouth, Georgetown, and the University of Chicago (and that’s not all!).
Udacity focuses on software development, offering free courses in programming, data science, and web development. The website also offers a nanodegree program for individuals who want to master a skillset or pursue a full-time career in tech.
By subscribing to Lynda, you’ll have access to thousands of courses in business, design, art, education, and tech. And it offers a free 10-day trial so you can test the waters!
Skillshare provides “bite-sized” classes to learners who only have 15 minutes a day. It has over 500 free classes and several thousand premium classes to choose from in topics such as film, writing, tech, lifestyle, and more.
LearnSmart’s orientated toward career development, which is why it’s a great place to learn about IT and security, project management, Office, HR, and business.
After subscribing to Pluralsight (or using its free trial!), you’ll be able to explore classes in software, 3D development, VFX, design, game design, web design, and CAD software.
12. Adobe TV
Not sure how to use Photoshop or InDesign? Don’t worry, Adobe TV will walk you through all its programs with tutorials, manuals, and more.
FutureLearn’s completely free, with classes taught by universities and special organizations. Its big topics are business and management, creative arts, law, health, politics, science, digital skills, sports and leisure, and teaching.
14. Academic Earth
And if you’re looking solely for academic classes, this website is perfect for you. It has courses in the arts, science, humanities, economics, computer science, and more, all for free.
Still don’t know where to start? Try Class Central—it personalizes your class search by asking you from the get-go what you’re interested in learning and from whom. Then, it pairs you with options from Coursera, edX, and other forums to find what best suits your needs, making the process even easier!
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Previously an editor for The Muse, Alyse is proud to prove that yes, English majors can change the world. She’s written almost 500 articles for The Muse on anything from productivity tips to cover letters to bad bosses to cool career changers, many of which have been featured in Fast Company, Forbes, Inc., CNBC's Make It, USA Today College, Lifehacker, Mashable, and more. She calls many places home, including Illinois where she grew up and the small town of Hamilton where she attended Colgate University, but she was born to be a New Yorker. In addition to being an avid writer and reader, Alyse loves to dance, both professionally and while waiting for the subway.More from this Author