5 Free Online Courses for Upskilling

Rolling Plans Pvt. Ltd. Mar 20, 2021 9711 0

In this digital world, most of the things that required physical interaction can be done online. And learning new skills or getting a degree is no exception.


From taking online university courses to counseling services, all can be done via the internet in the comfort of your own home. Nevertheless, these courses mostly come with a price like physical sessions.


However, various courses are free and you can learn to upskill and grow your strengths. 


Benefits of learning skills online

  • Flexible timing; you can learn from anywhere at any time. 

  • Most online courses are cheaper in comparison to physical classes.

  • Less time consuming; as the time used to commute and socialize is drastically reduced.

  • You will be more focused on learning online as there will be fewer distractions. 

  • Since you will have more time to spare, you can focus on other important tasks or take additional classes as well. 

  • You won't miss key information even if you don't feel like learning some days. 

  • You can connect with people internationally. 

  • You will gain diverse and broad knowledge due to cultural differences. 

  • Your technical skills will improve. 

  • More flexibility and establishment of self-discipline.


Platforms to upskill online


Note: All the platforms mentioned below despite having free online courses do not provide certificates for free. You will have full access to study materials such as video transcripts, however, to have one on one interactions with the tutors, getting access to the contact information and assignments as well as getting the certificate of completion will cost you according to the course and the platform you will be using. 

  • Khan Academy 


Khan Academy is a website that was established with the mission to provide a great world-class education for anyone, anywhere. This is one of the most commonly used websites by students worldwide to upskill their academic game.


You can find numerous lectures, study materials, and other upskilling tools. This platform is highly beneficial to students in schools in particular as well. This platform is most used by students for their SAT exam preparations.


Khan Academy provides study materials in various domains like Science, Computing, Arts and Humanities, Economics, Reading and Language Arts, and life skills. 

  • Coursera 


Coursera is a free global learning platform offering courses in any domain imaginable. From helping you upskill your academics through innovative and effective courses with certifications to providing materials for a better business, this platform is a go-to for millions of seekers worldwide.


Quoting the vision “We envision a world where anyone, anywhere has the power to transform their lives through learning.”, this website has many courses, the majority of which are designed with over 200 partner universities that are internationally renowned like Stanford University, Yale University and more.


Not all courses are free on the website, however, you can find a few which might help you upskill. You can also use the Coursera app for ease. 

  • edX


edX is an online learning platform that was founded by MIT professors with the vision of having a platform that would offer their courses online to anyone and anywhere for free.


This website has hundreds of free courses which are designed with the reference and help of reputed and renowned universities worldwide like Harvard, Berkeley, MIT, Boston University, Australian National University, and more.


There are more than 3000 courses with over 100 million enrollments and over 160 member universities. You can create an account, sign up and start upskilling. They also have an ex app for ease. 

  • Udemy


Udemy is another global marketplace for learning online. This website connects students to instructors and helps students upskill.


The website provides numerous courses in 13 domains:

  1. Development

  2. Business

  3. Finance & Accounting

  4. IT & Software

  5. Office Productivity

  6. Personal Development

  7. Design

  8. Marketing

  9. Lifestyle

  10. Photography & Video

  11. Health & Fitness

  12. Music

  13. Teaching & Academics


Udemy has over 155000 courses and 70000 instructors with over 40 million learners. 

  • YouTube 


YouTube is probably one of the most used media platforms online. There are thousands of YouTubers and billions of viewers on this app.


Even though this app is popular for entertainment purposes, you can find courses from professionals for free through video series.


Any area in your life you want to upskill, you will most often not find videos about it if you press the search button. 


5 Free online courses for upskilling

  • Fundamentals of digital marketing 


Platform: Google Digital Garage 

University: Advertising Bureau Europe and The Open University 


Fundamentals of digital marketing” is a free course designed to help you learn the basics of digital marketing that in turn help your business and career.


The course consists of 26 modules and takes 40 hours to complete. The course is accredited by Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe and The Open University and is carefully designed by Google trainers.


You will need to take a 40 question final exam and pass to get the certificate for the course. 

  • Excel for Everyone: Data Management


Platform: edX

University: The University of British Columbia 


"Excel for Everyone: Data Management" course by The University Of British Columbia is a 6-week long free program with the required effort of 2-4 hours per week. The course is self-paced and provides an intermediate level of proficiency.


The course will accelerate your Excel skills so that you will be able to manage larger datasets and be able to perform complex data wrangling, management, and modeling.


This course is designed for people who do have a basic knowledge of operating Excel and wish to take their skills and efficiency to a higher level with the knowledge of managing data analysis using Pivot Tables and Pivot Charts and much more. 

  • Marketing Fundamentals: Who Is Your Customer?


Platform: edX

University: Babson College 


"Marketing Fundamentals: Who is your customer?" course by Babson College is designed to help you learn marketing concepts and strategies that you will be able to implement to bring in the right customers to grow your business.


The total length of this free course is 4 weeks and you will require the effort of 4-6 hours per week to complete the course. This is a beginner-friendly highly beneficial course if you are a seeker of business and management.


You will get an overview of segmentation, targeting methods, and position and get to learn about consumer behavior as well. 

  • Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking


Platform: edX

University: Harvard University 


The art of communication is undoubtedly one of the most important skills one must master to be successful. This free course (Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking) is designed to help you gain critical communication skills while writing as well as speaking in public.


The total course length of this free course is up to 8 weeks and requires an effort of 2-3 hours per week.


You will be learning about when and how to employ several rhetorical devices in writing and speaking, identify logical fallacies in arguments, and much more. 

  • Becoming an Effective Leader


Platform: edX

University: The University of Queensland 


Becoming an effective leader” is a course designed to take your leadership skills to the next level and increase your effectiveness. This is a 10 week long free course which requires an effort of 8-10 hours per week.


After completing this course, you will learn about what true leadership means, various styles and types of leadership, how leadership is linked with power, and the ability to influence others.


By the end of the free course, you will also learn about the importance of followership and what it takes to be a good leader with resources and materials to become one yourself.

Additional skills you might want to consider learning online

  • Confidence 


Learning how to be more confident might not seem like your first option when it comes to learning skills online. However, one can never deny that having confidence can help you massively in any and every area of life.


You can learn how to be a confident person through many coaches and professionals online or through youtube videos as well. Just make sure that the coach you learn from is qualified enough; to find this out, simply google and research on that particular person.


One such course is also provided by Matthew Hussey, who is a life coach, author, and international personality at getcorexonfidence.com

  • Effective Communications


We communicate every day with everyone and everyone around us; verbally or nonverbally. But most of us lack effective communication skills leading to communications, arguments, and hurt feelings.


Think for a moment, have you ever been in a situation where you said something with a certain intent but the other person got a wrong idea leading to an unwanted result? If yes, upskilling your communication skills might be something you'd want to consider.


Communication skills have the power to transform your personal, professional, and social life. 

  • Business/Formal writing 


Everyone has to write a formal email, a proposal, cover letters, or build a resume at some point in their career or even since the beginning of it.


Whether you're looking for a job or are an entrepreneur, having learned how to communicate formally to convey the right message, impress the client or the other party, and getting your desired outcome will take you places and make you stand out from everyone else. 

  • Culinary Skills


We are humans and we eat. Even though home delivery services and taking takeaway meals to enjoy at home without having to cook may sound appealing, it can be costly and make you dependent and lazy.


Learning how to cook can help save you some extra cash, help you build a new skill, and during unpredictable times like during the lockdown due to the coronavirus, you won't have to worry about getting food and enjoy a home-cooked meal.


You can find plenty of cooking videos and tutorials online; especially on YouTube. 

  • Music


It is no secret that music does wonders to your mood, brain, and creativity. It can add a kick to your personality and make you more expressive as well.


In this digital age, learning music is not limited to going to music classes in groups or hiring a private tutor.


You can find dozens of videos online which are beginner-friendly to get started on your new hobby anytime and anywhere for free; with a musical instrument of course. 


It is a blessing that today, we have the opportunity to learn at the comfort of our own home at our schedule with internationally recognized instructors and universities we could only dream of being a part of a few decades ago; and that too for free.


While acknowledging the value of the assets that we have today in the form of the internet and online platforms as such, we must make good use out of them and upskill! 

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Head/Editor : Pravash Rai
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