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What Online Courses can I do for Free?

What Online Courses Can I Do For Free?

The COVID-19 pandemic turned the tables for online education. Mostly, schools and universities operated offline and rarely leveraged technology in their teaching methods. The onset of the pandemic was when educational institutions had no option but to shut their campuses and embrace online learning overnight. E-learning has been in existence for quite some time now, but it was only in the year 2020 it was given a significant push. Today, whether you talk about K-12 education or professional courses, you will find online courses in a wide range of categories. Moreover, the demand for digital skills has never been higher, and such courses are preparing professionals to develop them and survive in the highly dynamic job market.

With the growing interest of students and professionals in pursuing online courses, many training providers started offering their courses for free. The first impression about free courses is usually disappointing, people think they wouldn’t be worth their time and effort. But what if we told you that free online courses are, in fact, being offered by tech giants like Google and IBM also. When such trusted names are involved in the free learning domain, then you would surely want to check out what’s in store for you. Whether you are interested in technical areas like artificial intelligence, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, blockchain, or non-technical fields like personality development, photography, nursing, or more, there are online courses for all of them. Apart from it, if you are looking for Six Sigma Certification, you can take help from definitely. 

Instead of mentioning a few online courses available for free, we are going to list some of the reliable training providers that offer free online courses and their top picks to enhance your learning.

Here goes the list.

SkillUp by Simplilearn

You may have known Simplilearn as one of the world’s leading certification training providers. Its SkillUp initiative is specifically designed for learners looking for free courses online. You will find introductory courses on Amazon Web Services (AWS), data science, blockchain technology, project management, quality management, and more. These courses are designed by industry experts and aim to impart to you the digital skills that are in high demand these days. Moreover, you also get a course completion certificate at the end that you can share on LinkedIn. Here are some of the best courses on the platform:

  • Data Science with Python
  • Ethical hacking for Beginners
  • Getting started with machine learning algorithms
  • PMP Basics
  • Getting started with NodeJS


Skillshare describes itself as an online learning community offering thousands of classes for creative and curious people. It helps members to get inspired, learn new skills, and make discoveries. Though the platform doesn’t offer free courses indefinitely, you can start a free trial of Skillshare to access various online classes and find what fascinates you. It includes courses on categories like animation, fine art, graphic design, creative writing, web development, marketing, business analytics, and more. Its popular courses include:

  • Excel for the real world: Gain the basic skills of Microsoft Excel
  • Stock Market Fundamentals
  • Social media marketing: Top tips for growing your followers and going viral
  • The beginner’s guide to Adobe After Effects
  • Responsive web design essentials – HTML5 CSS3 Bootstrap


Alison is one of the world’s largest free learning platforms for education and skills training. It aims to make it possible for anyone to study anything for free online at any time, at any subject level. Over 20 million learners have explored its courses ranging from IT, sales and marketing, management, to health, business, engineering and construction, and personal development. The platform is rigorous in delivering high-quality learning material and changing how the world learns and upskills. You can try some of its top courses like:

  • ISO 45001:2018 – principles of Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems
  • Diploma in retail management
  • Mechanical engineering – internal combustion engine basics
  • Legal studies – laws and the judicial system
  • Diploma in computer networking

LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn needs no introduction, and you must be using it to connect with people in your professional network. LinkedIn Learning offers subjects and courses for every step of your career and hires instructors with real-world experience. You can choose from over 17000 courses and learning paths, and dozens of new courses are added every week. The trending topics among learners include leadership skills, data analysis, motion graphics, visual effects, and business intelligence. Similar to Skillshare, LinkedIn Learning offers free courses under its ‘One-month free trial’ option. You would want to take one of these popular courses on the platform:

  • Transitioning from manager to leader
  • Excel: advanced formulas and functions
  • Motion Control 3D: Bringing Photos to Life in Three Dimensions with After Effects and Photoshop CC
  • Learning data analytics
  • SAP ERP essential training

Cognitive Class by IBM

If you are looking for free courses specifically in areas like artificial intelligence, data science, cloud computing, big data, and blockchain technology, then look no further than Cognitive Class by IBM. Apart from free access to video lectures, learners get a virtual lab environment that enables them to practice what they learn. You will first need to select a learning path, complete the courses involved, and earn badges at the end. Here are the learning paths you can explore:

  • Big data fundamentals
  • Data science fundamentals
  • Containers, K8s and Istio on IBM Cloud
  • Reactive architecture foundations
  • Blockchain for developers

With so many good options, which course are you going to enroll in?

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