3 Best Kept Secrets for Free Online Courses

Online Courses: Try them for Free

Are you an adult that wants to get additional training or education? Are you thinking about a certification, enhancing your skills or looking for a new career? You are in luck because the Internet has changed how you can get your training and the great thing about the courses are basically free.

free online courses

I recently took classes to train for a different role in my technology career and after combining the training with my existing experience I was able to land a new job with a 40% salary increase. Below I give you details on 3 of my favorite free or almost free methods to gain new technology skills.

1. edX

free online courses

My top choice for free training is edX. You can audit classes or pay for a certificate if you want an official grade. The classes are video based with online instructions, and forums for communicating with your instructor and class members. There are online tests, labs and deadlines. You also get access to tools that you would normally have to pay to purchase, but through the class you can use them for free. I have taken 3 classes through edX with a verified certificate and was very pleased with the quality of the class. My classes were in the area of Data Science and Big Data. I have also audited several classes.

If you want to get a certificate for the class you will need to pay a small fee starting at $49.00. You can also link your certificate on your Linked In account. They have a variety of classes just as you would expect from an online university.  You can attend classes taught by international and top institutions such as Harvard, MIT and Berkley.  One of the best things about edX, you can manage your classes around your schedule. You can visit them at www.edX.org.


2. ACM or IEEE 





My second choice for almost free technology training is joining a professional association.  Two of them that I have used throughout my career is the Association of Computing Machinery(ACM) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Many of the professional associations offer as part of their membership access to free online training for continuing education. The classes help members with retraining and learning new skills. Some of the classes are also designed to help you prepare for certifications. The certifications can include PMP, Business Analysis, System certifications or Programming certifications to name a few.

You can create a learning plan that you save and use to track towards your goal. The cost to become a professional member can start at $99.00 but in exchange, you get access to the life long training that some online training sites charge thousand of dollars to provide.   You can visit the ACM at www.acm.org or IEEE at www.ieee.org.


3. YouTube




My third option for getting free training is YouTube. You will be amazed at the quality of the video training you can find on YouTube. Many people posting YouTube videos will create compelling content because they can generate ad revenue if they get thousands of people to watch. I have learned to do so many things on YouTube : from science projects, health research, investigating new careers and professional training.

The great thing about YouTube training is you can determine in seconds whether the video is going to provide you with the information you need and you can also fast forward the video. You can easily search by topic.


These are three avenues for training that I recommend that I have personally used. There are many others available on the Internet and your path to a new career, or just learning something new is just a Google search away. So don’t hesistate after that lay off or if you just want a career change. All  it will require is an internet connection and a desire to learn, grow and explore.

Have fun and let us know other avenues to free training that you find.

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