Online courses are now a big deal. At the comfort of your home (and anywhere, for that matter), you can take courses online for free on any subject or course of your choice. Another good thing about this is that you can take these lessons at your own pace; without worrying about deadlines.
What could be better than that!
This is just too interesting to ignore or overlook. Online courses are just as good as the ones taken in the classrooms; they are usually taken by the same lecturers that take the physical classes.
Another great thing about online courses is that you will find your courses of choice from your choice of institutions! Harvard, MIT, Oxford, University of Adelaide, you name it.
This is a great opportunity for people just starting their career as well as professionals. If you’re interested in pursuing a particular career different from your current discipline, field or course of study, here is a good place to start. Thanks to the Internet!
Online courses are massive, available in almost (if not all) disciplines and from almost all schools. It’s no surprise it is regarded as MOOC – Massive Online Open Courses.
And this is different from mere online tutorials; this is the exact curriculum used in traditional classrooms.
Relevance of Online Courses
People have become programmers just by taking free online lessons. People have improved their writing skills just by taking courses online. Many have become digital marketers, many have learnt business management. Many have amassed great amount of knowledge before going to study engineering. So can you, too.
You don’t have any excuses. You can take many of these courses at your own pace.
Now let’s talk about where you can get courses online for free.
Websites to Take Courses Online For Free
Created by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard in 2012, edX is a MOOC provider, which hosts online university-level courses in a wide range of disciplines. edX gives students the option of auditing a course for free (without any form of payment or taking credit card details) or obtaining a certificate at a cost, depending on the course.
As at the time of writing this post, edX has over 2,500. from 140 institutions.
Edx is available online at www.edx.org.
According to the information provided on their website, Coursera provides access to the world’s best education, partnering with top universities and organization to offer courses online.
Like edX, Coursera also provides the option of taking a course for free or paying for a certificate; the choice is all yours. Coursera has an entire page on their website highlighting the courses you can take for free, ranging from Business to Computer Science to Engineering and so on.
The website is www.coursera.org. You can check the free courses out here.
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Udacity says their mission is to democratize education through the offering of world-class higher education opportunities that are accessible, flexible, and economical.
Fair to say — although Udacity also offer free courses, is unlike the previous platforms earlier discussed. Udacity is for people who are ready to learn, not for someone who just likes the idea of taking an online class.
Once a class starts, you have a timeline and you just have to be by time. Important to say, Udacity free courses are mostly introductory to the actual courses, but with in-depth information more than your regular introductory lessons.
They are, however, always partnered with by various reputable companies and organization to provide scholarships. I once took a scholarship sponsored by Google and Andela on Udacity.
Take it from me, many acclaimed self-taught programmers and developers started from here.
“We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.”
On FutureLearn, you can choose to learn for free for a limited time or upgrade with a fee in order to obtain a certificate.
If you pay, you’d be granted lifetime access to the course content, tests and quizzes, which are not available if you take their courses for free. This is a pointer to the fact that you have to be ready to learn and not just frolicking! You can also get a free digital upgrade to have access to test and quizzes and get a certificate, you can get information about that here.
The FutureLearn official website is www.futurelearn.com.
Alison, like the rest of the platforms earlier discussed, provides learners the opportunity to take courses online for free, without the necessity of making any payment or providing credit card information.
Learning on Alison is absolutely free of charge, without any restrictions.
On Alison, you can even get a proof of achievement called “Learner Report” without paying a dime. All you have to do is register for free on the website, find your choice course and enroll.
Like the rest, you will be asked to pay for certification. An interesting thing about Alison is that, they can post your physical (paper) certificate to you on request.
This list is in no way exhaustive; there are many more websites where you can take courses online for free, but I assure you, these five (5) are all you need.
They offer free courses, they are self-paced, giving you the opportunity of running your own race, but for the sake of discipline gives a course time frame.
Visit any of these websites to find your choice of course and start learning. 90% of the time, you don’t need the certificates; just the knowledge. Many programmers/developers of today do not have certificates to their name and many of those who do have it in entirely different disciplines. So put on your gloves and get to work.
Go ahead and land the jobs you want and also build the lives you deserve.
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