Nowadays there’s no denying of the opportunities you can take advantage of by just having an education. There is a lot of competition out there when the time comes to find a job or to create your own business, but your ability to persevere and thirst for knowledge are going to make you stand out from the crowd.
I completed a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and I’m currently working on my masters, but was lucky enough to do so because the costs for my college back then was super affordable in comparison to now.
I’m a firm believer that anyone should have the opportunity to sharpen their skills and expand their knowledge, and today’s technology is changing the way education is provided. Cases like the story of William Kamkwamba – a 14 yr old who invented an electric generating windmill to improve the quality of his family home. He accomplished this by studying books in the library. This is a perfect example of how access to knowledge can change a receptive mind’s world.
Here you can find free courses and low cost degrees and certifications that will give you the tools you might be needing to start something great!
Is a learning destination for online courses and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) provider. Was founded in 2012 by Harvard University and MIT. It has over 130 leading universities, non-profits and institutions as partners.
Providing anything from single courses (that are free), to programs and degrees (at low cost and recognized on the field). They have a wide variety of topics; from architecture, engineering, chemistry, design, law and plenty of more majors to choose from.
It was founded by two Stanford Computer Science professors in 2012 by putting their courses available online for anyone to take. Now they have over 150 universities as partners and over 2,700 courses.
They have over 600 free courses; from business, science, language, arts and humanities, math and many others. There are also courses that you can use towards a certificate or programs for a low cost and they have financial aid for those who might need it.
It was funded in Ireland in 2007 by a businessman that believes that making education and skills training more accessible will give people all over the world the tools to build a successful future. Courses are free but you can purchase certificates and diplomas if you choose to.
They offer courses in science, math, language, lifestyle, business, health, technology and also skills like electrical, carpentry, motor and many more. All you need is an email or social media account to register and have access to over 1,000 courses to enroll, absolutely free.
This non-profit, tuition free university was founded in 2009 and American accredited in 2014. They offers associates, bachelor and master degree programs. They have academic partnership with other institutions like NYU, UC Berkley and University of Edinburgh , where qualifying students can transfer to continue their studies if they want to.
There’s an admission application to enroll in the university and after the end of each course there’s an assessment fee of $100 if undergraduates and $200 for graduates. This will add up to $2k for an associate degree and $4k for a bachelor’s degree. An MBA is $2.4k and a M.Ed is $2.6k. They offer grants and scholarships to help cover fees.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology puts all their courses content and materials absolutely free for everyone to explore (yes, the entire MIT curriculum). There are no registration or fees, no start or end dates, so you can freely explore courses on your own pace.
They don’t offer credit, certificates or degrees through this resource but the knowledge you take from the courses are unmeasurable. OCW provides over 2,400 courses from engineering, science, architecture and planning, social sciences and arts, management and many others.
6. Khan Academy
This is one of the most inclusive learning resources, covering courses for Kindergarten students all the way to College students. They also provide test prep material for SAT, MCAT, NCLEX-RN and others.
Math, science, computing, economics, personal finance, entrepreneurship, career advice, history, arts and humanities are just a few topics covered. Their personalized experience can even identify strengths and learning gaps.
They partnered with NASA, MIT, The California Academy of Sciences and The Museum of Modern Art to create specialized content for their courses. They even provide apps for you and your kids, so you can learn on the go from any device.
7. iTunes U
If you own an iPhone, iPod or iPad, you can enjoy this free app with tons of free courses and videos from educational and cultural institutions around the world. Yale, Stanford, University of Tokyo, La Trobe University and Smithsonian libraries are just a few of the many institutions contributing on the content for this app; and they are constantly adding new material.
Here you can find a wide variety of topics from computer science, health and medicine, engineering, law and politics, science, arts, journalism among others and study on your own pace.
Want to learn a new language for free? Then this is what you need. Duolingo is completely free. Just create an account or sign in with your social media and start learning. You can download the app so you can learn from anywhere and anytime.
They have a fun and friendly user interface that makes learning easy and exiting, tracking your lesson scores and earning badges when completing the lessons. They currently have around 35 languages to choose from and they’re always working on expanding their database.
This is an online learning community with over 24,000 classes available. They have free classes you can take or you can get unlimited access to all courses for just $8.25/month. They cover topics in design, business, photography, film, writing, technology, entrepreneurship, lifestyle many more, from resources that keep up with fresh content.
The idea for this site emerged in 2009 by providing workshops available to expand creativity and develop skills. They provide access to visionaries, leaders and professionals on different areas to bring quality content for their viewers. They grew up to now having over 1,500 classes and over 650 world class instructors.
They offer topics in photo and video, money and life, art and design, crafts and maker, as well as music and audio. You can pay per class, which there’s a wide range in prices from as cheap as $10, all the way to a couple of hundreds.
You can also sign up for a Creator pass for $300/yr, but there are few classes that are not covered by this membership and they have a list of which ones are not included. They also have a freebie section called “On air now” , where you can access free classes each day 24/7 or sign up for free upcoming classes and they’ll also send you a reminder if you RSVP.
Founded by Eren Bali, after growing up with limited educational opportunities and experiencing how online learning communities changed his life, his goal became to make education accessible to be able to improve lives through learning.
They have over 80,000 courses from topics on business, design, marketing, health and fitness, development, IT, photography, lifestyle, etc. Most of the courses you have to pay for and they go as low as $9.99, but they have over 4,000 courses that are completely free.
How to get credit for your hard work?
There’s a way to get credit for learning new skills and verifying knowledge in a digital way, with resources that are known as badge platforms. You can earn badges for traditional academic achievements or for skills acquired in any learning environment.
The earned badges can be verified by employers or institutions so you can get credited for your hard work.
Here are just a few badge platforms resources that you should definitely check out:
Discover what new opportunities can knock on your door by just feeding your thirst for knowledge.
Wow, I never knew all this existed! Thanks. I love learning platforms.
I enjoy online learning and this is a great resource of information. Thank you for sharing!
Great post! I currently want to start using Duolingo to learn French and I’m looking for an excellent, free resource where I can learn Microsoft Office in full. Thanks a lot for the info!
Glad it was helpful. I personally use Duolingo and I love it!
I love Khan Academy and Duolingo! Got me through college haha!
I use Duolingo to learn Italian and I love how easy it is.