Hit up the list below for free or cheap online courses that you can jump into right away.
With just an internet connection and a browser, you have access to free online courses to up your game on a variety of topics. Even if you find a course that costs money, they usually don’t cost you much more than your video streaming subscriptions. In the list below, I break down the platforms that I enjoy (with a few some tips) and then a few other platforms worth checking out.
At the very least, many of these platforms offer a free trial period so you can jump right in risk-free. When I mention costs, they’ll be in Canadian dollars.
Most of these platforms also have an app to take your learning on the go, however for a lot of courses, I recommend using a computer so you can pay closer attention. That being said, if you’re on the go, most of the platform apps let you download the courses so you can watch them without a connection and they’ll sync your progress when you hop back on your computer.
If you find yourself getting pumped on any of these platforms, be sure to do a quick Google search for any subscription deals, they’re always floating around, so why not save yourself some cash if you can.
Also worth noting, if you’ve got some solid skills that you’d love to teach, many of these platforms invite instructors to apply to teach their own courses. This is worth considering as you check out the list.
Contrary to how countdowns usually work, the list starts at what I use the most (Starting with Udemy at 6). Apologies for being confusing.
6Udemy.com (I use this one the most)
Business, design, arts, lifestyle to academic courses
Fee Structure: $0-200+ per course
If you’re looking to learn something specific, definitely check out Udemy. You can also wait for an aggressive sale and save up to 90% off. You can even skim through this subreddit for tips on free courses. Courses can be quick or in-depth so be sure to check out the course outline and reviews before purchasing. You can even use Rakuten to get some cash back when you purchase courses.
5Skillshare.com (Like the Netflix of e-courses)
Mostly Design, from photography, drawing to graphic design and UI/UX
Fee Structure: Monthly ($141 annually or $20 monthly)
If you plan on taking in as many design courses as possible, SkillShare is perfect for you. For a monthly fee, you can take in as many courses as you can handle. You can generally rip through SkillShare courses faster than Udemy courses and you can try it for 2 months for free.
4LinkedIn Learning (Also Lynda.com)
Lynda courses are now part of the LinkedIn Learning platform. I’m going to talk specifically about the Lynda style courses, which cover off more topics than LinkedIn Learning, which are business focused. These courses include design, arts, business & computer programming.
Fee Structure: $24.99/$34.99 monthly
Although I don’t use it often, I don’t pay for it, and you might not have to either. You may have access to 3500+ Lynda.com courses for free through your library. For example, if you are a Toronto Library cardholder, click here for more information.
Design, lifestyle, business and everything in between
Fee Structure: Free/per course or Subscription-Based ($149 annually or $39 monthly)
If you want to try something other than Udemy, check out CreativeLive. They’ve got a flexible payment structure and you are sure to find lots of free courses too. I’m not subscribed to CreativeLive, however, I have scored some free courses and I’ve enjoyed them.
Mostly academic, you know, stuff you’d take in college or university
Fee Structure: Free/paid per course. Some are free to “audit” or check out, however, to earn a degree or certification, it’ll cost you.
Okay, I don’t use Coursera, however, if you’re looking to get an actual degree in something, check it out. Coursera works with Institutions across the globe to bring structured education online. There are free courses available, you’ll just have to spend some time finding ones that you’ll like.
1A Few More Worth Noting
Another college/university platform similar to Coursera.
If you’re only looking for computer programming, they’ve got a decent hands-on method to get you going.
A not-for-profit/donation-based platform that delivers courses catering to the traditional school system with a few extras.
This platform delivers content on a wide variety of topics and discussions. It’s as if Ted Talks hooked up with Udemy, you get this platform.