What are the Best Free Online Courses?

Best Free Online Courses

The education sector hasn’t been proactive in adopting tech-driven transformation lately. Though powerful technologies like artificial intelligence and big data analytics are penetrating every industrial sector, educational institutions have stuck to the traditional means of teaching. Online education or eLearning platforms were introduced a few years ago but they had a very limited learner base until 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, changed the entire situation. Similar to other industrial sectors, the pandemic prompted more widespread changes to the education industry as well.

Amid the crisis, millions of learners had no option but to shift their learning to digital platforms. Schools and other educational institutes were also motivated to make learning more tech-savvy, sustainable, and inclusive. To deliver education during the lockdowns, they turned to digital school management software, collaborated with existing eLearning providers, and digital classrooms. Video conferencing tools like Zoom, Google Meet, and Cisco Webex helped schools in conducting virtual classes with ease along with improved accessibility of learning materials and quality of education.    

Startups in the edtech industry too introduced some unique learning solutions to maintain the continuity of learning and serve the needs of students. Not only for K-12 education, but the edtech industry also focused on working professionals by offering upskilling courses on various digital skills. Taking them helped professionals deal with the threat of job losses and survive in these unprecedented times. Platforms like Simplilearn, Coursera, and EdX took the initiative of offering free online courses for various in-demand fields. Whatever domain you are interested in, be it digital marketing, software development, machine learning, or cybersecurity, you’ll find reliable courses dedicated to all of them.

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If you too wish to leverage this opportunity and learn some new skills for free, then this article is for you. We have listed down some of the best online courses where you can enroll for free and start learning.

Top Free Online Courses    

You can learn the basic skills for free by enrolling in any of the courses mentioned below. However, if you are serious about starting a career in a specific field, we would recommend you upgrade your study plan to a paid subscription. Here are your top choices in different career fields.

Introduction to Information Security – CISSP by SkillUp initiative of Simplilearn

This course by Simplilearn is for professionals aspiring to step into the field of information security. It gives you an in-depth understanding of how to define IT architecture and design and maintain a secure business environment. The program covers 18 hours of self-paced video modules and one can access it for 90 days upon enrolling.

Top skills covered – Security and risk management, IP addresses, network security, software development security, and identity and access management.

Ideal For – information security aspirants, security managers, security auditors, and network architects.

Fundamentals of Digital Marketing by Google Digital Unlocked

Designed by the highly-qualified trainers at Google, this course helps you master the basics of digital marketing and grow your career. The program is accredited by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and covers 26 video modules for a total of 40 hours. After you complete all the modules, you can achieve certification if you pass the final associated exam of 40-questions.   

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Top skills covered – analytics and data insights, content marketing, display advertising, organic and paid search, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). 

Ideal For – beginners in digital marketing, SEO analysts, entrepreneurs.

Elements of AI by Helsinki University

This course is designed for professionals who wish to know the basics of AI, how AI is used, and how to create AI methods. Signed up by over 550,000 learners, this course is offered in collaboration with Reaktor, and its syllabus is divided into two parts – Introduction to AI and Building AI. The program combines theory with practical exercises and can be followed at your own pace.

Top skills covered –  AI problem solving, the Bayes rule, machine learning basics, neural networks, linear regression, and deep learning fundamentals.

Ideal for – Anyone who wishes to improve his AI-related vocabulary and skills, including non-programmers and people who can code in Python.

Introduction to Project Management by the University of Adelaide

This self-paced course is offered on the EdX platform and takes about 6 weeks to complete. It will help you learn practical ways to use project management skills whether your project is simple or complex. Further, you will gain the applied skills in project management, essential communication skills, and understand the reason for project complexity.

Top skills covered – understanding project goals; plan, scope, cost, and schedule of a project, and employing leadership skills.

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Ideal For –  Professionals who are about to undertake a project in the near future and are seeking to learn and apply essential project management knowledge and skills.

Data Analysis and Visualization by Georgia Tech

You’ll find this online course on the Udacity platform and would take around 16 weeks to complete. The learners can study state-of-the-art modeling, analysis, and visualization techniques through this course. Further, it will help you focus on challenges involving complex real-world data and hands-on work with the R programming language.

Top skills covered – Programming in R, data analysis, linear regression, regularization, and data visualization. 

Ideal for – Professionals who want to cover the state of the art in data modeling and visualization techniques using the R programming language.

If you are interested in fields that are not covered above, you can explore the platforms mentioned and find a free course as per your interests.

Next Step?

You wouldn’t find a better time to enroll in free courses and start learning. In pre-pandemic time, professionals would find it quite difficult to accommodate a training program in their busy schedule. But now, with the introduction of advanced eLearning platforms and more control over what to learn, professionals can comfortably learn new skills at their own pace. Scrutinize the list of staffing agencies to explore the potential job opportunities available. Moreover, the certification that one gets after completing the course can be shared on professional networking sites like LinkedIn.This would enhance their credibility and grab the attention of hiring managers to land the desired job.