60 Free Online Courses to Sharpen Your Skill Set (2024)

Learn something new without paying a dime!

Reviewed by Chris Leitch

Free online courses to further career

DISCLAIMER: This article contains affiliate links. If you use these links to purchase something, we may earn a commission.

Whether you’re an avid learner, curious about everything and anything under the sun, or a driven professional looking to take their career to the next level, online courses are a powerful tool and a great source of knowledge available at your fingertips.

From finance to social media and mental health to art history, there are countless topics out there that you can explore and learn more about through online programs, workshops and classes. The best part? A majority of them are free and available to everyone.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the best free online courses out there for every interest and skill level. Let’s dive in!

Business and management

Free Business Management course

1. Brand Management: Aligning Business, Brand and Behavior

Do you want to learn more about corporate branding? This brand management course by the London School of Business will give you insight into the development of brand identity and the process of managing a brand with purpose.

You can enroll in this course for free on Coursera, but if you would like to attain a shareable certificate, you’ll need to pay an additional fee.

2. The Manager’s Toolkit: A Practical Guide to Managing People at Work

Whether you’re an experienced leader or a newly appointed team supervisor, this course is designed to help you excel in your role and equip you with the necessary skills to succeed as a manager.

Taught by Dr Chris Dewberry, lecturer and Course Director at the University of London, this is another free course offered on Coursera.

3. How to Manage a Remote Team

Managing a remote team is a challenging task. Through this course, you’ll be introduced to the best practices for remote work and will gain the skills to develop an effective work-from-home policy that is tailored to your company’s objectives and your team’s needs.

You can access this free management course by GitLab on Coursera.

4. Project Management Foundations

Effective project management is essential for the success of every business.

In this brief course by Bonnie Biafore on LinkedIn Learning, you’ll be guided through the various techniques you can employ across a range of projects, from small business initiatives to complex, enterprise-wide undertakings.

5. How to Start a Dropshipping Business

Dropshipping has become increasingly popular in recent years; if you’re on the fence about starting your own eCommerce business, this could be the perfect way to take your first steps as an aspiring entrepreneur and business owner.

In this free course by Shopify, you’ll learn the essentials about finding products and suppliers, as well as how to set up your online store.

6. Excel Skills for Business Specialization

Every business owner and team manager can attest to the vital role that spreadsheet software holds in organizations.

Through this specialized course by Macquarie University, you’ll attain knowledge about using Excel for business purposes and develop advanced skills in data validation, dataset management and information extraction.

7. The Fundamentals of Business

If you’re looking to gain a broad understanding of business concepts, from finance to economics to statistics, Smartly’s free course is the perfect place to start.

The program is divided into three parts, each of which includes an exam that allows you to test your skills. Upon completion, you’ll also attain a diploma by Smartly’s School of Professional Education.

8. How to Build a Start-Up

Do you have an innovative business idea, but have no clue on how to set everything in motion? This free course delivered by Steve Blank will equip you with the fundamentals to build a successful start-up.

Along with receiving expert advice, you’ll also be able to complete interactive quizzes and exercises that will solidify your knowledge.

9. How to Use ChatGPT in Business

ChatGPT has taken the world by storm. People are using it for just about anything these days, from generating poetry for laughs to practicing for job interviews.

Of course, the generative AI tool is also being harnessed by employees and leaders alike in the workplace, as it can speed a lot of processes up. With this course, you’ll find out how to harness ChatGPT’s endless capabilities to transform your business operations through a hands-on learning experience.

10. Business Communication - Fundamentals of Business Writing

Learning the ins and outs of business writing is essential when you’re looking to expand your business. Business writing, however, isn’t something that comes naturally to most.

In this Alison course, you’ll develop your written communication skills, learn what the fundamental elements of a business document are, and practice using powerful, persuasive language that inspires action.

Digital art and design

Online Digital Art and Design course

11. Basic Animation in After Effects

Would you like to try your hand at digital animation? This introductory course will teach you about basic animation, motion graphics and video special effects in Adobe After Effects.

While this is a free course, you also have the option to upgrade by paying a fee, which will grant you access to a Q&A regarding the course, a certificate of completion, and direct contact with the instructor.

12. Art Fundamentals – Building Blocks of Digital Painting

If you’re looking to learn about digital art, this program is a suitable option. Along with learning about the core concepts and terminology of visual art, you’ll also have the chance to create your first digital painting.

13. Professional Logo Design in Adobe Illustrator

This is an ideal course for anyone who wants to learn how to design, create and fine-tune logos.

Through this step-by-step tutorial, you’ll be introduced to new design techniques and components behind the most successful logos. Basic knowledge in Adobe Illustrator is a prerequisite.

14. InDesign CC Essentials for Beginners – Basics & Tricks

Do you want to learn how to create cool brochures, portfolios, magazines, books and other editorial designs? Through this course, you’ll be able to sharpen your graphic design skills and learn how to utilize Adobe InDesign to bring your ideas to life.

15. Modern Web Design

Aquent Gymnasium’s web design course is ideal for anyone interested in learning about front-end development. You’ll acquire basic knowledge about HTML, CSS and JavaScript, and will also learn how to create functional websites for different devices.

16. Google UX Design Professional Certificate

If you’re hoping to get your foot through the door as a UX designer, this professional certificate by Google will help you gain in-demand skills that will help you succeed in your role.

This program is highly interactive and includes practice-based activities and instruction by industry experts.

17. Photoshop Fundamentals

In this highly rated free course, you’ll learn the basics about using Adobe Photoshop and go through the software’s core functions and tools.

As with any Udemy free course, you will have complete access to all lessons and materials but will need to upgrade to attain a certificate of completion.

18. Graphic Design Course: Learn the Fundamentals of Graphic Design

Are you an aspiring graphic designer? HubSpot Academy’s free graphic design course will walk you through the fundamental components of graphic design and teach you how to create simple graphics and brand styles guides for a business.

19. Adobe Illustrator for Beginners

There are so many things you can do with Adobe Illustrator, from creating small icons for websites to putting together stunning posters and even elements for animations.

Regardless of your personal interests or motivators, this free course will introduce you to the graphics editor’s fundamental tools, including brushes, shapes and text.

Finance and accounting

Finance and accounting course

20. Financial Markets

Is your goal to learn more about financial markets? This course by Yale University on Coursera will help you develop financial-savvy leadership skills and attain a better understanding of risk management and behavioral finance principles.

You can enroll for free or pay an additional fee to receive a certificate of completion.

21. Python and Statistics for Financial Analysis

With coding languages such as Python becoming increasingly common within financial industries, it’s important to familiarize yourself with it and develop an understanding of how it can be utilized to analyze financial data.

In this course by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, you’ll have the opportunity to grasp fundamental concepts of Python and statistics in financial contexts.

22. Principles of Sustainable Finance

Are you interested both in finance and sustainability?

This course by Erasmus University Rotterdam considers how finance can become a tool for sustainability transition through sustainable banking and asset engagement, while taking into account the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

23. Financial Accounting

In this free MIT course, you’ll learn the basic principles of corporate financial accounting and reporting.

You’ll be able to access the course syllabus, readings, lecture notes, exams and assignments, as well as all course materials that MIT students receive whilst attending this program.

24. Managerial Accounting: Cost Behaviors, Systems, and Analysis

Offered by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign via Coursera, this free Managerial Accounting course will teach you about costing systems and cost-volume-profit (CVP) analysis.

By the end, thanks to the in-depth, real-world examples you’ll be looking at, you’ll know how to apply the knowledge to improve your decision making in the office.

IT and computer science

Free IT and Computer Science course

25. Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python)

Through this Python introductory course, you’ll cover the basics of program creation and familiarize yourself with core programming tools. No previous programming experience or knowledge are required, so if you’re a beginner, this is an ideal choice.

26. Machine Learning

Offered by Stanford University, this course will help you develop your knowledge of machine learning, data mining and statistical pattern recognition. From theory to practical applications to case studies, you’ll have the opportunity to engage with this topic in multiple ways.

27. Introduction to Programming in C++

If you want to add another programming language to your arsenal, then this free C++ course by the University of New York is the perfect place to get started.

There is an optional upgrade available through edX, which will provide you with unlimited access to the course, as well as a certification and the opportunity to complete assignments and exams.

28. The Complete Swift iOS Developer – Create Real Apps in Swift

Do you want to try your hand in app development? In this course, you’ll learn how to develop compelling and functional iOS applications using Swift through simple step-by-step training. This is ideal for beginners who are not familiar with Swift programming.

29. Google IT Support Professional Certificate

A great way to make yourself a more appealing candidate for any IT role is by obtaining this recognized Google certificate.

Not only will you learn how to perform essential IT support tasks, but you will also be introduced to systems like Linux, Domain Name Systems, Command-Line Interface and Binary Code.

30. Introduction to Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has become a critical component for every organization. In this introductory course by IBM, you’ll learn about the core aspects of cloud computing, including its key characteristics, history and business applications.

31. Learn Java

Interested in learning Java? Codeacademy’s course will walk you through the most fundamental programming concept of this language and guide you through your first Java projects. Access is free, but you can also earn a certificate by updating to Pro.

32. Mobile App Development with Kotlin

Often used by the majority of app developers, Kotlin is an important programming language for professionals in this field. In this free course, you’ll learn Kotlin basics, including variables, data types, strings and arrays.

While all courses on Alison are free, you can also obtain a certification at an additional fee.

33. Data Science: Inference and Modeling

This is a self-paced course that can be audited for free on edX.

Led by Rafael Irizarry, professor of biostatistics at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, the course is designed to teach learners the basics of Bayesian statistics and predictive modelling, how to compile data from different sources, and how to define estimates and margins of error.

34. Data Visualization Using Python

In basic terms, data visualization is the process of turning (often complex) information and data into graphical representations. This makes it more interesting to look at, meaning you’re engaged for longer as you’re processing the information, as well as more memorable and easier to understand.

In this data visualization course, you’ll learn to do just that using Python!

35. Introduction to Generative AI

Generative AI is quickly transforming our lives, particularly our professional lives. This course, created by the Google Cloud Training team, will explain to you what Gen AI is, what its uses are, and how it differs to traditional machine learning methods.

Upon completion, you’ll access a shareable certificate which can be added to your LinkedIn profile.

Marketing and digital media

Digital Media course

36. The Strategy of Content Marketing

As a content marketer, it’s important to be aware of key strategies that can help you obtain and retain customers.

In this course, you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about developing and implementing effective content marketing strategies, writing compelling copy, and building your own brand as a professional.

37. Cold Email Masterclass

Cold emails can yield incredible results — when done right.

Mailshake’s free masterclass will help teach you about the steps involved in cold emailing, from writing a good subject line to building a quality check process to sending follow-up emails.

38. Google Ads

Do you want to become a Google Ads expert? Google offers free certification courses in Search, Display, Video, Shopping Ads, Apps and Measurement. If you’re hoping to reach more potential customers, this training is a must.

39. Fundamentals of Inclusive Marketing for Agencies

In this brief course offered by Google’s Skillshop, you’ll have the chance to learn more about Google’s inclusive marketing principles. Overall, this course acts as a guide on building inclusive teams and how you can make your projects more inclusive.

40. Advanced Google Analytics

Want to advance your existing knowledge in Google Analytics? Then check out this free course by Google aimed at helping you grow your business through smart data collection and analysis.

41. Google SEO Fundamentals

If your goal is to sharpen your search engine optimization knowledge, this course by UC Davis is a great place to get started. You’ll learn about creating an effective SEO strategy and analyze results in order to optimize results and performance.

42. Video Storytelling for Social Media

In this five-day storytelling challenge by Social Creators, you’ll learn how to use any mobile device to produce compelling, unscripted video content to captivate your audience online.

43. How to Create an Instagram Content Plan

In this insightful workshop by Puno, founder of ilovecreatives and Peoplemap.co, you’ll acquire the necessary building blocks to create a personalized Instagram brand, create a seamless content strategy and identify your potential audience.

This one is perfect for all aspiring social media managers out there.

44. How to Use Instagram Stories for Small Business: 6 Tips from the Pros

As a collaboration between HubSpot and Later, this course is aimed at small business owners who are working towards growing their brand on Instagram.

This free course consists of six videos, all which encompass insightful tips that will help you make the most out of Instagram Stories.

45. Digital & Social

Delivered by Twitter Flight School, this course is ideal for professionals in digital and social media.

Through the course material, you’ll learn how Twitter can be used as an advertising platform and get a better understanding of how you can create and manage online campaigns.

46. Inbound Marketing

This free certification course by HubSpot Academy focuses on inbound marketing techniques and core tactics. The course includes informative videos and quizzes which will help you solidify your knowledge and optimize marketing processes for your company.

47. Email Marketing for eCommerce: Tips and Tools to Increase Sales

If you want to take your email marketing to the next level, this course by MailChimp will walk you through three main concepts that will boost your business: automation, optimization and personalization.

48. Product Photography for eCommerce

Whether you’re getting into photography as a career or a small business owner handling the content production for your online shop, this course will help you build a memorable brand identity and sell your products more effectively.

Personal development

Online Personal Development course

49. The Science of Well-Being

Do you want to build healthier habits? In this free course by Yale University, you will learn about common misconceptions about happiness, how to put new strategies in place and identify what can improve your happiness.

50. Mental Health and Nutrition

This informative course by the University of Canterbury focuses on the foods and nutrients that are essential for your mental wellbeing.

Whether you’re a health professional or just interested in improving your mental and physical health, you’ll obtain insightful knowledge that you can apply in your day-to-day life.

51. The Science of Happiness

In this free course by the University of Berkley, you’ll gain science-backed strategies and advice that can help you increase your happiness and improve your social connections through positive psychology.

52. Learning How to Learn: Powerful Mental Tools to Help You Master Tough Subjects

If you want to optimize your learning capacity and learn useful techniques that will allow you to tackle complex subjects, this course is for you.

The course addresses concepts such as procrastination and memory, and discusses the best methods to approach different disciplines.

53. Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills

Regardless of the industry you work in and how long you’ve been working, negotiation will always come in handy. Mastering this soft skill will allow you to enhance your relationships in the workplace, boost your career satisfaction and growth, and potentially earn better pay or benefits.

If you feel that you need some guidance on negotiating successfully, this University of Michigan course will be just what you require!

54. Building Personal Resilience: Managing Anxiety and Mental Health

We live in a stressed-out society. And for many adults, work is a big factor in whether someone experiences mental health difficulties.

To really thrive in the workplace and build a meaningful career, and not just barely scrape by each day, we must build our resilience, as that makes navigating challenges easier. This free course on edX offers guidance on achieving just that!


Free online Languages course

55. English for Career Development

If you’re a non-native English speaker currently looking for career opportunities in English-speaking countries, then this course by the University of Pennsylvania will equip you with the knowledge and skills to explore a global career path, build your vocabulary, and enhance your language skills.

56. Chinese for Beginners

Whether you’re an avid traveler interested in Chinese culture and language, or want to leverage your career by acquiring new language skills, this beginner’s course will give you the foundations of Chinese Mandarin and help you get to a conversational level of proficiency.

57. Basic Spanish 1: Getting Started

As the second most widely spoken language globally, learning Spanish would be a smart addition to your professional skill set. In this seven-week course by Universitat Politècnica de València, you’ll learn conversation Spanish at A1 proficiency level.

58. American Deaf Culture

While this is not an American sign language course, it’s a great opportunity to attain historical knowledge about the American Deaf community and look at deafness from a different perspective, learning more about the culture and the sociological perspectives within the community.

59. Getting started with French 1

Parlez-vous Français? If not, then this short course will help you develop your reading, speaking, writing and listening skills, and equip you with the necessary knowledge to take your first steps as a beginner French learner.

60. First Step Korean

If you’ve been paying even a moderate amount of attention recently, you’ll know we’re in the midst of the Korean Wave — that is: witnessing a global increase in popularity of South Korean pop culture.

Anyone interested in learning the basics of the language, including the alphabet, greetings and expressions, should check out this free course on Coursera.

Final thoughts

As you can see, the world is your oyster when it comes to online learning.

So, whether you want to enhance your business management abilities, boost your social media knowledge or refine your language skills, all you have to do is browse this vast catalog of courses and find the one that meets your needs.

Which of these courses caught your attention? Let us know in the comments section below!

Originally published on March 22, 2022. Updated by Electra Michaelidou.