A lot of websites are offering free (or partly free) lessons and courses to help improve your skills. Some, are even offering legit bachelor and master degrees. If you want to get a degree but don’t have the fortune of time and convenience, you can now enroll and apply online without much hassle.
We’ve listed here the best educational sites available on the web. They range from those ones that offer online classes to giving free learning resources. Whether you’re a budding artist or an aspiring IT professional, you are bound to find something here. Let’s start!
Free Educational Sites to Improve Your Skill Set
We divided this into two parts, the ones that offer free online education courses or lessons and those that have paid options. We’ve listed below some of the top free online education providers that won’t ask you to pay even a cent. Ranging from free tutorials to full-fledged courses, the internet is a vast sea of information and knowledge ready for you to use.
On the top of our list is Khan Academy, a non-profit organization that offers “free, world-class education” for everyone. Like many online learning platforms, Khan Academy lets its students learn according to their own pace. In other words, you can take classes anytime you want, anywhere you are.
Khan Academy isn’t just for individual learners wanting to improve their academic skills. It also encourages instructors and teachers to get students to learn with them. According to the website, they aim to deliver top-quality education to learners everywhere.
Most of their courses are directed towards grade school, high school, and college students. Subjects range from Math, Science, to Humanities. Aside from those, Khan Academy also offers lessons in Economics, Computer Programming, and Personal Finance.
If you’ve always dreamed about going back to school but don’t want the hassle that comes with it, why not try to take lessons here? It’s free and convenient.
Academic Earth is another excellent place online to learn new stuff. Everything from accounting to business to psychology can be learned here.
Say, you’re planning to take an architecture degree or just plainly interested in the subject. They have a great collection of lectures which you can watch and listen to for free. Not only that, but they also provide free resources for students who are still deciding what degree to take in college.
Academic Earth doesn’t only offer a vast library of resources for students. They also help refer learners to various, top-ranking universities such as Yale and Princeton. For people who are interested in getting a degree or just want to listen to a lecture in a specific field they’re interested in, Academic Earth offers a lot for you.
A non-profit educational website, Cosmo Learning aims to improve the lives of students and instructors by providing educational content for free. It offers a vast array of topics, including engineering, sciences, arts, humanities, and languages. It also has videos available on the topic of journalism, finance, and law.
Great for individual learning, this place has a lot of video lessons in any subject you can think of. Professionals who want to enhance their skills can do so on this site without paying money. It takes time to explore the site, though, and you might need to sort out hundreds of videos before you can find the one you need. Still, the lectures are legit and worth the time.
Open Culture Online Courses
Open Culture Online Courses offers many courses to students and learners everywhere. It is a repository of more than a thousand Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) of various topics ranging from archaeology to psychology and neuroscience. Besides that, they also have Online Certificate Programs and Online Degree and Mini-Degree Programs.
The lectures you will find in Open Culture are generally from top universities such as Harvard, MIT, and Yale. They also partner with other educational platforms such as Coursera and EdX.
Open Culture is also a library of thousands of books, videos, and audiobooks you can download for free. If you have the time to spare, the site has many things to offer that you can explore further.
Open Yale Courses
Offered by Yale University itself, Open Yale Courses provides a great array of courses to students around the world, free of charge. The instructors are Yale professors and scholars, and the lectures are recorded in the school itself. Courses range from psychology, history, to physics.
You aren’t required to set up an account. You can simply head to their website and start taking the course right away. Besides video lessons, they also provide course materials such as suggested readings, syllabi, and exams. Not only is it free, but it’s convenient, too.
Another fantastic site for self-learners to visit is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology OpenCourseWare. They published all of their educational materials online and anyone can access them wherever they are. Although a student can’t receive a certificate or credit from the site, it still has a wealth of knowledge and lectures you can’t get from anywhere else.
Topics range from business, social sciences, to teaching and education. You can download all the course materials for free. This site is best for independent learners who want to expand their knowledge and instructors looking for course materials they can use in their class.
University of Oxford Podcasts
The site of the University of Oxford Podcasts provides thousands of episodes of public lectures and interviews available for free. It features leading Oxford academics contributors. Episodes are grouped into series so that users can easily access the lessons that interest them. From computer science to history, you can find here everything that University of Oxford Podcasts has to offer.
Content is downloadable. If you’re ever interested in going back to college but don’t have the luxury of time to do so, you can download their podcasts for free anywhere you are.
Stanford Engineering Everywhere
For those who are keenly interested in engineering, AI, and computer science, Stanford Engineering Everywhere (SEE) might be the best place for you. The site offers video lectures and course materials to everyone, at no charge. You can gain full access to homework, exams, and syllabi.
Some of the courses they offer are Programming Methodology, Introduction to Linear Dynamical Systems, and Introduction to Robotics. You don’t need to have an account to access the courses.
If you’re into computer science, coding, and all that kinds of stuff, Code might be a good place to start for you. It’s open to all ages, whether you’re elementary trying to learn the basics of computer science or a skilled professional who wants a career change to programming. The introduction video even features big names in tech such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jack Dorsey. They even have celebrities and sports stars such as will.i.am and Chris Bosh.
You need to create an account to access all the cool features of the site. You can even create projects while learning how to code. It’s a fun and interactive website, open to everyone who’s interested in computers and programming.
GFC Global is a learning platform that offers free online courses. You can choose from their wide array of topics, including computer programming, mathematics, and language. If you want to enhance your MS Office skills or even communication skills, GFC Global has it. Its lessons are arranged per topic, and once you select a specific course, you will be redirected to its YouTube channel.
It’s not necessary to create an account for this platform. However, if you’re someone who wants to track your progress as you learn, it’s recommended to set up an account. It’s easy and hassle-free.
TED-Ed is home to thousands of video lectures that people can watch anytime, without cost. They aim to inspire and encourage learners by providing a wealth of information and ideas across multiple disciplines and topics. Besides general knowledge, TED-Ed also has lessons on personal development and language.
TED-Ed’s speakers come from various ethnicities and backgrounds. The lessons are not only informative, but they are also engaging, taught by an expert in that particular field. They also have video animations in which they explain important topics such as using a semicolon and many others.
Learning data science, AI, and blockchain is now more accessible thanks to Cognitive Class. It offers high-quality courses online for free, for anyone, anywhere they are in the world. Students can pick various learning paths which have courses they can take any time they want to.
Cognitive Class isn’t an accredited institution—meaning, you cannot take up an online degree here and get a diploma. However, learners can earn certificates or badges which can strengthen up employee resumes and portfolios. Besides the profound knowledge and in-demand skills, you can also get certification from this IBM-backed site and show it off on your website.
Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative
Another free online learning platform worthy to be mentioned is Carnegie Mellon University’s Open Learning Initiative. By signing up, you will gain access to a wide array of college-level courses and programs from arts, languages, to computer science.
Although many of oPEN courses are free, they are also offering paid programs for academic and independent learners. OLI’s Open and Free courses require no start or end dates and no fees. You can take the class anytime you need, wherever you are in the world.
Of course, we can’t complete this list without the biggest video sharing and social media platform that is YouTube. This might not be strictly an online education site, but still, there are many content creators who set up channels here dedicated to learning. Everything from cooking, to sewing, to handyman jobs, even languages, and history can be found here.
YouTube is free, but it has a paid version where users can watch videos without ads. There are also many channels providing video tutorials for every topic and niche available. Truth to be told, it might take time for you to sort out through the heap of videos, but there’s a handful of fantastic channels to be found here.
Another excellent site to scour for free lessons on almost everything is Spotify. It’s mainly an audio streaming service, but with its podcast feature, you can have access to hundreds of shows online. Everything from personal development to finance, Spotify has content for it.
Like YouTube, though, you may have to search the site thoroughly to find one that fits your needs. It also has a paid version where you can listen to the shows without ads. Plus, it has an app that allows its users to listen anywhere, whatever device they are using.
The sites under this section require their users to pay a certain amount of fee. Whether it’s a subscription fee to access the site or to pay for a single course, you might actually need to prepare some bucks to learn here. Some of the sites, however, have free trials and others have selected courses that you can take without a fee.
But if the skill you want to learn is available here, it might be worth trying them out.
Masterclass has gained a lot of traction because their instructors are considered to be at the top of their field, and can even be called celebrities. Gordon Ramsay teaches cooking, Martin Scorsese teaches filmmaking, and Howard Schulz teaches business leadership. Aren’t those some skills that are fascinating to learn? Masterclass has the big names of the industry teach their skills and ‘secrets’ to learners all around the globe.
Payment starts at $15/month, billed annually. They offer a seven-day trial, though. Once you’ve subscribed to their site, you will have unlimited access to all their courses. If you want to learn writing today and photography the next, you can take them all here.
EdX is another online learning platform that offers many courses from top institutions worldwide. It’s actually free to sign up and take up some of the courses they offer. To get a certification or credit, however, you need to pursue the Verified Track which can cost several bucks. The paid version has a lot of features, though, including unlimited access to the course and graded assignments. Plus, you are allowed to put this up in your resume or portfolio.
If you are just interested in learning the skill without the certification, you can audit this course. You still have access for a limited time, including course materials and discussions.
Like EdX, Coursera allows its users to enroll in a wide variety of courses and programs from the world’s leading universities such as Yale, Stanford, as well as big companies like Google. They even offer a bachelor’s and master’s degree in fields like data science, business, and engineering. In other words, Coursera is more focused on academic courses rather than hobbies and interests.
A lot of Coursera’s online courses and specializations can be taken up for free. To get professional certificates, however, you need to pay a certain amount of fee. Coursera is one of the biggest and most popular online learning platforms to date. If you’re looking for professional training or to gain more skills to advance your career, Coursera might be your best pick.
Kadenze is another online learning site that offers video lectures and lessons to students anywhere they are in the world. Although some of the courses in Kadenze are free, the paid version allows its students to gain more privileges and access to its full features.
Some of the courses you can take here are web development, sound design, and python programming. They also offer micro-courses that are mostly aimed at creative professionals.
Udemy is another site that offers online education. Most of the courses here are paid, so you have to prepare some bucks to enroll in one that you are interested in. For newbies, Udemy is offering free courses in personal development and even computer programming. But if you are serious about your hobby or want to excel in your field, this platform is definitely a worthy investment.
The instructors at Udemy are experts in their field. If there’s a specific skill you want to improve, it will be great for you to check this site out. If you think you don’t really need certifications, you can audit the course, at no cost to you.
If you’re looking to advance your career by gaining new skills, Alison might be a great choice for you. They offer many free courses which you can learn online, wherever you are, whenever you want. You can choose from IT, sales and marketing, to business.
We’ve included Alison in the paid section because although most of their online lessons are free to learn, you need to pay for the certificate. In other words, if you’re looking to strengthen your resume or portfolio, you have to buy your diploma or certificate in their shop. Depending on your purpose, you can take Alison courses for free and buy a certificate later on.
Udacity is another popular Massive Open Online Course (MOOCs) platform that mainly focuses on STEM topics. Everything from artificial intelligence to data science, Udacity offers a program for it. They have what are called ‘Nanodegrees’, which are online programs that help you gain skills in fields related to Computer Science.
Udacity has free courses, but most of their Nanodegrees are paid. You might want to start with the free ones to know if it’s right for you. But if you’re serious about pursuing a career in Computer Science, Udacity offers one of the best programs out there.
Skillshare mainly focuses on creative professionals, such as musicians, graphic designers, photographers, UI/UX designers, and animators. If you belong in this field and want to improve your skills in this area or learn new ones, then Skillshare is perfect for you. Besides that, they also have lessons for personal development and productivity.
Once the user pays the subscription fee, they will gain access to thousands of online lessons across multiple fields. You don’t have to buy each course individually. Skillshare, however, does not offer certificates to those who have finished their programs.
Formerly Lynda.com, LinkedIn Learning is created by LinkedIn itself with the aim to help everyone, regardless of where they are, advance their career. Subjects and courses vary from article writing, web development, to video editing. They also have lessons on career management and leadership skills.
Whether you want to take up a new hobby or pursue a different career, LinkedIn Learning has a lot of courses and lessons to offer. LinkedIn Learning’s instructors are industry experts, and they give certificates, too. They have a one-month free trial available for anyone interested.
Iversity is another online education site that offers courses and lessons for anyone around the world. Although some of its programs are free, its PRO-courses (Professional Development Courses) are paid. Besides English, some of their classes are also conducted in German.
The platform also offers certificates that you can use to strengthen your resume or portfolio. Whether you want to take up the courses for fun or you need it for personal advancement, iversity has a lot of programs to choose from. Their topics range from artificial intelligence, design, to management.
What to Look for in an Educational Site
As you can see, there are a lot of online educational sites to choose from. You may be wondering now which one is the best for you. Of course, you don’t have all the time in the world to spend on each of these websites. So, how do you consider or what should you look for in an educational site?
Before you decide, you need to think about three things: your purpose, budget, and time.
Other stuff to consider is the website’s accessibility and features. But those three that we’ve mentioned are the three important factors you must think about first before choosing a platform.
Another important thing to consider is what kind of skill you want to learn. Some platforms specialize in the tech field, while others are catered towards creative professionals. Also, research the platform beforehand and make sure that the site is secure and reliable. You don’t want your info to be leaked without you knowing, do you?
The best way to know if that website’s online classes are right for you is to take their free classes or try the free trial. If you find yourself engaged in the lessons and it meets (or exceeds) your expectations, then, by all means, sign up for the platform. It all boils down to your preferences, needs, and goals.