55 Best Free Online Courses For Whatever You Want to Learn

Whether you want that job promotion or to sidestep into a new field, you’ll need to commit to learning new skills. One of the best ways you can do that is by taking free online courses.

Blog posts and podcasts are great starting points for exploring a particular topic.

But, I believe that online business courses will provide you with the time and space you need to explore a topic in-depth and truly master a new skill.

Plus, most courses are made up of on-demand videos and exercises that you can progress through at your own pace.

Access all of HubSpot's free tools and training to grow your business, and  your career.

Below, I‘ve gathered the best free online business courses. Having taken some of these courses myself, I must admit that these are some of the most detailed and valuable free online courses you’ll find.

These cover the main business skills you‘ll need to advance in today’s rapidly changing workplace — from digital marketing and coding to selling, managing conflicts, and more.

Keep reading to become an expert in whatever subject you feel can best help you succeed. Or if you’d prefer, click on one of the following topics to jump straight to courses regarding that topic in particular:

Best Free Online Courses Overall

Learning new skills can be both time-consuming and challenging.

In fact, according to Josh Kaufman, international bestselling author of The Personal MBA, it takes 20 hours to go from knowing nothing about a particular subject to being pretty good at it.

Of course, if you want to become an expert, that takes even longer.

Online courses allow you to get a head-start on the fundamental skills you need to grow in your career or switch to a new field. Here are some of my top picks.

Ready to start developing your skills? Let’s take a look at the best courses below.

Free Fundamental Marketing Courses

1. Inbound Marketing Certification by HubSpot Academy

Length: 5 Hours

From attracting leads to engaging prospects and delighting customers, this course covers the fundamentals of what inbound marketing is all about.

In my opinion, this course is ideal for new graduates who’d like to go into marketing or for any experienced professional who’s considering shifting into a marketing career.

It will give you the foundational knowledge you need to move into any marketing job.

Recommended for:

  • New marketing professionals.
  • Experienced non-marketing professionals who are shifting into marketing.

2. Get a Business Online by Google Skillshop

free online courses, skillshop


Length: 3 Hours

I would highly recommend this course if you’re looking to start a successful business online. You can learn the basics of building a digital presence, plan your online business strategy, and more.

This course is a helpful introduction to making your business visible online and also getting noticed locally without delving too deeply into the specifics.

Recommended for:

  • Small business owners.
  • New marketing professionals at small businesses.

3. Get Started Using Google Analytics by Google Skillshop

free online courses, google skillshop

Length: 1 Hour

This course shows new Google Analytics users how to create an account, implement a tracking code, and set up data filters.

You’ll learn how to navigate the Google Analytics interface and reports, and set up dashboards and shortcuts.

I would suggest this course for both beginner and advanced marketers who need a refresher on Google Analytics or need more advanced instruction.

Recommended for:

  • Marketing professionals at every level.

Free Content Marketing Courses

4. Content Marketing Certification by HubSpot Academy

Length: 8-9 Hours

I strongly encourage taking this course if you want to power your business with remarkable content.

This course will teach you how storytelling, content creation, repurposing, and promotion come together to build a content marketing machine that grows your business and your career.

While every professional will benefit from taking the content marketing certification course, I believe it’s especially recommended for new content writers and content managers.

Recommended for:

  • New content marketers, content writers, and content managers.
  • Experienced non-marketing professionals moving into a content marketing role.

5. Viral Marketing and How to Create Contagious Content by Coursera

free online courses, coursera

Length: 4-5 Hours

Ever wondered why some things become popular, while other things don’t?

This course explains how things catch on and can help you apply those ideas to become a more effective marketer.

This is a good course to take if you feel your marketing efforts aren’t yielding the results you want or aren’t becoming as widespread as you’d like.

While individual contributors would benefit from taking this course, marketing managers who have a hand in ideation and strategy would most benefit from the knowledge they gain.

Recommended for:

  • Mid- and senior-level marketers with a hand in strategy and ideation.
  • Brand managers of all levels.

6. Online Video Marketing Course by HubSpot Academy

free online courses, hubspot academy

Length: 3-4 Hours

This online video marketing training will teach you how to get started with online video marketing to better attract, engage, and delight your audience.

I strongly recommend this course for individual contributors with a hand in video creation and content creation.

Managers would also benefit from taking the first course, “How to Create a Successful Video Marketing Strategy,” if they’ve not yet established a video marketing strategy.

Recommended for:

  • Video and content marketers getting started with video marketing.
  • Marketing managers who want to start a video marketing strategy.

Free Social Media Marketing Courses

7. Social Media Marketing Course by HubSpot Academy

Length: 5-6 Hours

This course provides you with everything you need to build a social media strategy — including tools to help you attract new customers, build loyalty, and shape a positive conversation around your business.

In my opinion, it’s a great fit for marketers of all levels who need a strong foundation in social media marketing.

Recommended for:

  • Marketers of all levels who are delving into social media marketing.
  • Business owners who want to create a social media marketing strategy.

Once you’ve completed this overarching social media marketing course, I highly recommend you check out the following channel-specific courses:

  • Facebook Marketing (~1 Hour). Facebook is a huge platform, ripe with marketing opportunities. Learn how to develop an effective marketing strategy using Facebook that covers all the bases.
  • LinkedIn for Business Marketing (~1.5 Hours). You know LinkedIn beyond the basics, and now it‘s time to bump it up a notch. In this course, you’ll learn advanced techniques for building and launching a successful LinkedIn marketing strategy.
  • Instagram Marketing (~2.5 Hours). An Instagram marketing and advertising strategy is one of the most powerful ways to connect with customers and drive marketing impact. This course takes you from the beginning to the end of planning an Instagram marketing strategy.
  • YouTube Marketing (~2 Hours). HubSpot’s course in YouTube Marketing is an in-depth, expansive set of tools and lessons that offer successful strategies to grow a monetized, optimized YouTube channel. It’s ideal for social media managers and anyone who would be creating videos for your company’s YouTube channel.

8. Introduction to Social Media Strategy by Skillshare

free online courses, skillshare

Length: 30-60 Minutes

Whether you’re looking to foster brand awareness, increase website traffic, or drive sales, this course can teach you how to craft a social media strategy to achieve your goals on Facebook and X.

From finding your voice to buying paid advertising, this course describes a proven process for creating custom social strategies. I think it’s ideal for new marketers who need a quick refresher or overview.

Note: Skillshare offers community members free access to its courses for 14 days — you’ll need to sign up as a member to access the class for free.

Recommended for:

  • Marketers of all levels who want to delve into social media marketing.
  • Business owners who want to create a social media marketing strategy.

9. Video Storytelling for Social Media by Social Creators

free online courses, social creators

Length: 5 Days

This crash course is set up like a challenge. The goal? To help you make high-quality videos with your iPhone or Android device so you can start vlogging and share engaging videos on your social media accounts.

It’s ideal if you’re planning to market your brand or business over video-based channels such as Instagram or TikTok. In my opinion, it’s a great fit if you don’t want to spend money on expensive video gear.

Recommended for:

  • Video marketers and content creators who want to create storytelling videos.
  • Freelance bloggers and content creators who are looking to create more videos.

10. How to Create an Instagram Content Plan & Strategy by Later

free online courses, later

Length: 1-1.5 Hours

This video series is a great introduction to the Instagram world.

You‘ll learn how to gain more followers, build a community, and create content that drives true engagement.

I highly encourage taking this course if you’re interested in finding influencer partners on Instagram and building a visual identity.

Recommended for:

  • Marketers at small businesses without an Instagram strategy.
  • Freelance bloggers and online content creators.

11. Meta Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate by Meta

free online courses, meta

Length: Varies

This is a series of six social media marketing courses offered by Meta. These courses are in-depth and offer valuable knowledge to establish your online presence on various social media platforms.

Additionally, these courses offer extensive insights into creating Facebook and Instagram ad campaigns in Meta Ads Manager that drive results.

Recommended for:

  • New social media marketing managers.
  • Marketers who are interested in specializing in social media marketing and Meta ads.

12. X Ads Academy by X

free online courses, x ads

Length: Varies

X Ads Academy isn’t so much a course as it is a school for both advanced and beginner X marketers.

Whether you’re a social media coordinator or the director of social media marketing at an enterprise firm, X Ads Academy’s courses will help you build the knowledge and skills you need to scale and improve your X marketing strategy.

The courses have been designed to help you level up your expertise with advertising on X so you can succeed.

I think this is a must-take course for marketers who have been extensively using Twitter marketing and want to understand what changes have been made since Twitter changed to X.

Recommended for:

  • New and experienced social media professionals who are planning to use X extensively.
  • Any marketer or professional who wants to specialize in X marketing.

Free Email Marketing Courses

13. Cold Email Masterclass by Mailshake

Length: Self-Paced

Whether you use cold emails to connect with influencers, build your personal brand, find mentors, or grow your network, there’s no underestimating their power.

Sujan Patel offers eight lessons that will reveal how to turn theory into practice, tapping into existing cold email best practices and deploying them in a way that’s both efficient and effective.

What I love most about this course is that the learning is not just applicable to cold emails. You can also learn email writing best practices that will serve you as you market to leads and prospects who’ve subscribed to your email list.

Recommended for:

  • Any marketer or professional who’s planning to email leads or other professionals in their network.
  • Any professional who wants to improve their cold emailing skills.

14. Email Marketing Certification by HubSpot Academy

free online courses, hubspot academy

Length: 3-4 Hours

Email marketing is a necessity to learn. By completing HubSpot‘s course, you’ll walk away with expansive knowledge in all things email marketing, from templates to testing, as well as a certification to add to your resume.

I think this is an excellent follow-up to the Cold Email Masterclass. It allows you to specialize in email marketing, learn to segment your user base, and optimize email deliverability rates.

Recommended for:

  • Marketers of all levels who are planning to do email marketing.

15. Email marketing masterclass by Mailmodo

free online courses, mailmodo

Length: ~1.5 hours

If you’re starting as an email marketer or want to know the basics of it, this email marketing masterclass by Mailmodo is the perfect course for you. The USP of this course is that it teaches you so much in such a short amount of time.

The entire course is divided into seven chapters, with an assessment at the end of each chapter. The topics include email list segmentation, deliverability, email design, and AMP emails.

I love that, in the end, you get an assignment to practice what you’ve learned on their platform completely free of cost. You also receive a certificate of completion.

Recommended for:

  • New and aspiring email marketers.
  • People who would like to understand how email marketing works.

Free SEM Courses

16. Google Ads by Google Skillshop

Length: Varies

If you don‘t know where to start with Google’s ad products, Google’s Skillshop for Google Ads may be for you.

You’ll figure out where to get started in mini, bite-sized lessons or jump straight into the certification process.

Topics include programmatic ads, AI-powered ads, search ads, discovery ads, video ads, and more.

In my opinion, if you already have experience with Google Ads, you can forgo taking the courses and instead apply your existing knowledge using a series of exercises.

Recommended for:

  • Marketers of all levels who want to further their knowledge or practice their existing Google Ads knowledge.
  • Business owners who want to learn how to set up Google Ads.

17. SEO Certification Course by HubSpot Academy

free online courses, hubspot academy

Length: 3-4 Hours

Interested in building traffic but unsure about a successful strategy? Our SEO crash course eliminates the pains of navigating a concrete SEO strategy and provides you with the tools to implement a winning one.

This course starts from a basic starting point, so I recommend it for beginner marketers only. If you’ve been in a digital marketing role for a few years, chances are you’re familiar with most of this information.

Recommended for:

  • New marketers who want to learn the basics of SEO and improve their SEO skills.
  • Experienced non-marketing professionals who want to learn SEO.

Free Sales Courses

18. Inbound Sales Training by HubSpot Academy

Length: 3-3.5 Hours

In this certification course, you’ll learn how to grow your sales pipeline, close more leads, and grow your career.

I recommend this course for new sales professionals or experienced salespeople who need a refresher or formal training in core sales skills.

Recommended for:

  • New and aspiring salespeople.
  • Experienced sales professionals who need a refresher in sales fundamentals.

Once you complete this initial certification, I strongly encourage you to dive into more specific topics, such as sales enablement and management training.

  • Sales Enablement Training (Length: 7.5 Hours). In this self-paced online course and exam, you’ll learn how to align marketing and sales for optimal efficiency. You’ll learn to bridge the gap between marketing and sales teams with strategies and tactics from sales leaders.
  • Sales Management Training (Length: 4.5 Hours). Learn how to define your target market, create a scalable sales process, and build training, coaching, hiring, and on-boarding programs to help your sales team grow.

19. Introduction to Negotiation: A Strategic Playbook for Becoming a Principled and Persuasive Negotiator by Yale University

free online courses, yale

Length: 3 weeks

If you want to become good at sales, first, you must become good at negotiation.

This course will help you do just that. I highly recommend this course as it is designed to analyze and shape your negotiations.

Additionally, you’ll be offered opportunities to negotiate with other students using case studies based on real-life business challenges.

Recommended for:

  • Sales managers who want to improve the performance of their sales team.
  • Experienced salespeople who are looking to level up their skills in negotiation.

20. The SMART Sales System by SalesScripter

free online courses, salesscripter

Length: 10-12 Hours

This program is designed to give you a strategy-backed process. It covers building a value proposition, asking the right questions, closing more effectively, and more. You’ll sell more, and even better — selling will become more fun.

After you’ve watched all of the videos in the training course, you’ll have an overview of the most important topics in sales.

Recommended for:

  • New sales professionals who are trying to get a high-level overview of the most important sales topics.
  • Sales managers who want to level up their team.

Free Ecommerce Courses

21. Dropshipping 101: Build Your First Online Store by Shopify Academy

Length: 2 Hours

Dropshipping is a business model where you don’t keep any products in stock at your own warehouses but rather ship them directly from the manufacturers’ or suppliers’ warehouses.

It’s one of the best ways to start an ecommerce business with low overhead and startup costs.

In this course, you’ll learn to find winning dropshipping products, pick trustworthy suppliers, and build an ecommerce brand step-by-step.

Recommended for:

  • Anyone who’d like to start an ecommerce business with a dropshipping model.

22. Launch Your Online Business by The State University of New York

free online courses, suny

Length: 3 weeks

I highly suggest taking this course if you are looking to start your own online business.

At the end of the course, you will have a better understanding of different online business models, customer personas, building brand identity, and more.

You will also gain knowledge about copywriting, photography, and video production. These are some of the most important skills you need to acquire if you plan to start your online business.

Recommended for:

  • Anyone looking to start an online business.

23. Ecommerce Marketing Training by HubSpot Academy

free online courses, hubspot academy

Length: 30-60 Minutes

If you work for an ecommerce business and want to implement an inbound marketing strategy, this is a good course for you.

In this short crash course, you’ll learn the basics of selling more online and how that fits into an inbound strategy. I recommend taking this course once you’ve got the basics down, such as how to run a dropshipping business.

Recommended for:

  • Ecommerce sellers who want to grow their business.

24. Email Marketing for Ecommerce by MailChimp

free online courses, skillshare

Length: ~30 Minutes

Learn how to use automation, optimization, and personalization to boost your business through email. Once you’ve got the leads from your ecommerce website, it’s time to nurture them through email marketing.

This course will run through the entire process. Due to its inclusion of advanced marketing topics such as A/B testing and segmentation, I recommend it for experienced marketers at an ecommerce retailer.

Recommended for:

  • Experienced marketers working at ecommerce businesses.
  • Freelance marketers with ecommerce clients.

Free Coding & Developer Courses

25. Intro to HTML and CSS by Udacity

Length: ~3 Weeks

In this course, you’ll learn the fundamentals of HTML and CSS, two core web development languages, along with best practices and professional problem-solving techniques using Developer Tools.

I appreciate how the coding lessons are designed, offering easy-to-follow instructions, interactive quizzes, and a tested curriculum that can help anyone learn how to code.

Recommended for:

  • Marketers, salespeople, and freelancers wanting to learn HTML and CSS.

Udacity offers a variety of other courses that can teach you to code. Once you’ve covered HTML and CSS, you can then dive into:

  • Intro to JavaScript (Length: ~2 Weeks). After HTML and CSS, JavaScript is an essential language to learn if you’re planning to create high-performing websites. Udacity’s Intro to JavaScript course will cover all the basics you need to know.
  • Intro to Python Programming (Length: ~14 hours). Come to grips with key computer science concepts in this introductory Python course. You’ll learn by doing and will build your own search engine and social network.
  • Self-Driving Fundamentals: Featuring Apollo (Length: ~4 Weeks). Through this course, you‘ll be able to identify key parts of self-driving cars and get to know Apollo architecture. You’ll be able to use Apollo HD Map, localization, perception, prediction, planning, and control, and start the learning path of building a self-driving car. I recommend taking this course for fun.

26. Learn Java by Codecademy

Length: 25 Hours

Codecademy offers an excellent repository of coding courses.

If you didn’t like Udemy’s HTML and CSS class, I recommend learning it from Codeacademy instead.

One of the languages you can learn is Java, which can be used to create web applications, software-as-a-service products, and mobile apps.

Because it’s a more advanced programming topic, I only recommend it if you’re planning to start a computer science career or develop your own web app or SaaS.

Recommended for:

  • Any professional who’s interested in shifting into a developer role or coding their own app.

27. Introduction to iOS App Development, Xcode, and Interface Builder by Devslopes

Length: 3-4 Hours

This iPhone app development course will give you all you need to create your very own iOS app from the ground up.

You’ll specifically learn how to create an app using XCode, Apple’s iOS app builder, and Interface Builder, which is a feature within Xcode.

With clear video tutorials that are easy to follow, this course will get you up-to-date with the latest iPhone app development trends.

Recommended for:

  • Any professional who’s interested in coding their own iOS app.

28. Algorithms, Part I by Princeton University

free online courses, princeton

Length: ~53 Hours

This course by Princeton University covers the essential information that every serious programmer needs to know about algorithms and data structures, with emphasis on applications and scientific performance analysis of Java implementations.

Because algorithms are a more advanced coding topic, I only recommend it if you’re planning to shift into a programming career. If that doesn’t sound like you, start with Udemy’s HTML and CSS course instead.

Recommended for:

  • Any professional who’s interested in shifting into a programming career.

29. Machine Learning Specialization by Stanford University

free online courses, stanford

Length: ~33 Hours

I highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to learn the fundamentals of AI and machine learning. This is a course by AI visionary Andrew Ng that teaches you to construct machine learning models in Python.

In addition, you will learn how to apply this knowledge to practical complex problems. Whether you’re stepping into the world of AI or want to build a career in machine learning, this is the perfect place to start.

Recommended for:

  • Programmers who want to get a foundational knowledge of AI and machine learning.

Free Personal & Professional Development Courses

30. Conquering the Fear of Public Speaking by Udemy

free online courses, udemy

Length: 30-60 Minutes

We all fear public speaking — or, at the very least, feel a measure of anxiety whenever we have to give a speech or a presentation.

This course will teach you techniques to overcome the fear of public speaking, as well as how to avoid feeling nervous before speaking publicly. It’s a short course, too.

Recommended for:

  • Anyone who wants to overcome the fear of public speaking.

31. Learning How to Learn: Powerful Mental Tools to Help You Master Tough Subjects by Deep Teaching Solutions

free online courses, deep teaching

Length: ~15 Hours

Whether you’re a student or a young professional, I believe learning how to digest and access information is a key skill to succeed at both school and work.

This delightfully “meta” course teaches you how to learn new subjects and retain information.

Recommended for:

  • Students of all levels who want to get better at retaining information.
  • Professionals of all levels who want to learn how to retain information.

32. Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills by University of Michigan

free online courses, university of michigan

Length: ~17 Hours

In this course created by the University of Michigan, you’ll learn about and practice four key steps to a successful negotiation.

While negotiation may be most often used at work and specifically during a sales call or prior to signing an employment contract, these skills can also be used in your day-to-day and personal interactions.

Recommended for:

  • Professionals of all levels.
  • Sales personnel who want to improve their negotiation skills.

33. The Manager’s Toolkit: A Practical Guide to Managing People at Work by University of London

free online courses, university of london

Length: ~28 Hours

This course gives you a practical guide to managing people at work. It doesn’t matter whether you are a first-time manager in a shop or a middle manager in an office environment — the same skills apply to every workplace.

Recommended for:

  • Mid- to senior-level professionals moving into a managerial role.

34. Career Success Specialization by University of California, Irvine

free online courses, uc irvine

Length: ~10 Hours / Week (2 Months)

This course will teach you project management skills, communication skills, time management skills, and financial skills — all of which are needed to succeed in today’s workforce. You’ll also learn business writing and negotiation skills.

I recommend it for new graduates or anyone who’s still in college.

Recommended for:

  • Recent college grads or current college students.

35. The Science of Happiness by University of California, Berkeley

free online courses, uc berkeley

Length: 4-5 Hours / Week (11 Weeks)

This course by UC Berkeley will walk you through the concept of happiness from a scientific and psychological standpoint and give you practical tips for boosting happiness when you’re feeling blue.

Recommended for:

  • Anyone who’d like to improve their happiness in work and life.

36. The Science of Wellbeing by Yale University

free online courses, yale

Length: ~19 Hours

The purpose of this course is to not only learn what psychological research says about what makes us happy but also to put those strategies into practice. It’s an excellent follow-up to UC Berkeley’s course above.

I believe it’ll help you rewire the way you think about happiness and well-being.

Recommended for:

  • Anyone who’d like to improve their happiness in work and life.

Free Design Courses

37. Graphic Design Course by HubSpot Academy

Length: 30-60 Minutes

Need to become a graphic designer in less than an hour?

This course by HubSpot Academy offers basic concepts in graphic design to create designs that accurately represent your brand.

You can then translate these concepts to any tool of your choosing, including Adobe Illustrator, Canva, and even PowerPoint.

Recommended for:

  • Non-design professionals who need to learn the basics of graphic design.

38. Learn Adobe Illustrator From Scratch by EduOnix

free online courses, EduOnix

Length: 10-11 Hours

Adobe Illustrator is one of the best tools you can use for your graphic design projects. In this course by EduOnix, you’ll learn how to master Adobe Illustrator with real-world examples.

I only recommend it if you have an active Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.

Recommended for:

  • Designers who need to learn how to use Adobe Illustrator quickly.

Free Business & Finance Courses

39. Introduction to Business Ownership by Udemy

Length: 54 Minutes

This course will provide you with the vital information that you need before starting a business. It‘ll teach you the basics of business financing, taxes, licenses, and permits that you need. You’ll also learn how to market your business.

Recommended for:

  • Anyone who wants to start a business.

40. Stock Market Investing for Beginners by Udemy

free online courses, udemy

Length: 1.5-2 Hours

Learn the basics of the stock market through comprehensive, interesting, and fun lectures. This is an essential course for anyone who’d like to invest and diversify their portfolio.

Recommended for:

  • Anyone who wants to start investing.

41. Corporate Finance by New York University

free online courses, nyu

Length: Self-Paced

New York University’s Corporate Finance course is a big-picture class. It looks at the financial principles that govern how businesses raise funds, invest those funds in assets and projects, and return those funds to investors.

This would be a helpful course for both entrepreneurs and professionals considering starting a career in corporate finance.

Recommended for:

  • Entrepreneurs.
  • Professionals moving into executive roles.
  • Professionals interested in shifting into corporate finance.

Free Writing Online Courses

42. Good with Words: Writing and Editing by University of Michigan

free online courses, university of michigan

Length: 18-20 Hours

Good with Words: Writing and Editing prepares you to write strong prose from a grammatical, technical, and syntactical standpoint.

This is an excellent option for anyone who’d like to strengthen their writing skills without necessarily diving into additional topics such as marketing or essay writing. It’s a great foundational course for any type of writing discipline, including fiction writing.

To take this course for free, click the “Enroll for Free” button. In the pop-up, click “Audit the course.” This will give you the option to view the course materials without paying for the certificate.

Recommended for:

  • Any professional who writes emails, social posts, articles, and web pages in their role.

43. Blogging Course by HubSpot Academy

free online courses, hubspot academy

Length: 2 Hours

Business blogging is more than just writing and publishing content in the hopes you‘ll attract customers.

In this course, you’ll learn how to craft a blogging strategy that drives business growth, create quality blog content that customers love, and build a guest blogging strategy that’s powered by SEO.

Recommended for:

  • Mid- to senior-level marketers who have a hand in their company’s marketing strategy.
  • Individuals who want to improve their blogging skills.

Free Communication Courses

44. Effective Communications Skills for Business by Udemy

free online courses, udemy

Length: 38 Minutes

This course will introduce you to essential communication skills that aid persuasion and show you how to use strong communication in business. I assure you that you’ll be a better communicator at the end of the course.

Recommended for:

  • Anyone who’d like to improve their communication skills.

45. Conflict Management Specialization by University of California, Irvine

free online courses, uc irvine

Length: 4 Months

With this series of courses by the University of California Irvine, you’ll learn listening skills, verbal and non-verbal communication skills, and how to assemble a conflict management plan likely to yield positive resolutions.

While anyone would benefit from taking this course, I especially recommend it for professionals in people-management roles.

Recommended for:

  • Mid- to senior-level professionals who manage teams or other people.
  • Anyone who’d like to improve their conflict management skills.

Free Entrepreneurship Online Courses

46. How to Build a Startup by Udacity

Length: ~1 Month

In this course, Steve Blank and Kathleen Mullaney provide insight into the key steps needed to build a successful start-up.

You’ll learn the various types of business models, the parts of a value proposition, the concept of customer segmentation, and more.

In my opinion, this is a top-to-bottom course that will give you the foundations you need to start a business.

Recommended for:

  • First-time entrepreneurs.

47. Business Strategy Specialization by University of Virginia

Length: ~1 Months (10 Hours/week)

Develop your ability to think strategically, analyze your competition, recommend a positioning strategy, and create value.

In this course, you’ll explore the underlying theory and foundation of a successful business strategy and gain the tools you need to understand that strategy.

Recommended for:

  • Entrepreneurs with an existing business they’d like to grow.

48. Marketing Fundamentals: Who Is Your Customer? by Babson College

free online courses, babson

Length: 3-4 Weeks

This course will help you discover how to acquire the right customers and grow your startup business.

While it’s branded as a marketing course, I think it’s designed for entrepreneurs who don’t know how to begin marketing their new product or service and who want to understand their target market.

That said, it’s also a great course to take if you’re interested in going into marketing.

Recommended for:

  • Entrepreneurs without a marketing background.
  • Professionals with an interest in marketing.

Free Humanities Online Courses

49. Introduction to Digital Humanities by Harvard University

free online courses, harvard

Length: ~7 Weeks

The term “humanities” encompasses a wide variety of disciplines and fields.

Regardless of your favorite humanities subject, learning how to carry out research and visualize the subject using digital tools is essential if you’d like to progress in your career.

Recommended for:

  • Any professional who carries out research in the humanities.

50. Modern Masterpieces of World Literature by Harvard University

free online courses, harvard

Length: ~8 Weeks

Explore some of the world’s most salient literary masterpieces in Harvard’s Modern Masterpieces of World Literature course. You’ll get a taste not only of the English literary tradition but of others around the globe, too.

Recommended for:

  • Any professional who’s interested in global literature.

51. Modern and Contemporary Art and Design Specialization by MoMA

free online courses, moma

Length: 2 Months (10 Hours/week)

Want to explore modern art? Here is a series of three courses that offer a unique glimpse into the world of modern art.

In this course, you‘ll explore the Museum’s behind-the-scenes operations, step inside the studios of creative professionals, and see into the minds of artists, designers, architects, and other innovative creators.

Recommended for:

  • Any professional who’s interested in modern art.

52. Gender and Sexuality: Applications in Society by the University of British Columbia

free online courses, ubc

Length: ~6 Weeks

If you’re interested in studying gender from a theoretical and epistemological standpoint, Gender and Sexuality: Applications in Society is the course you need to take.

It will give you an overarching overview of gender and sexuality through a variety of perspectives and lenses.

Recommended for:

  • Any professional who’s interested in gender and sexuality.

Free Language Online Courses

53. Basic Spanish 1: Getting Started by the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia

Length: ~7 Weeks

Learning a new language is always a worthwhile investment, especially if you’re a global marketer or salesperson. This basic Spanish course by the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia will help you establish a foundation for the language.

Recommended for:

  • Any professional who’s planning to use Spanish at work or for leisure.

54. Mandarin Chinese Level 1 by MandarinX

free online courses, mandarinx

Length: ~6 Weeks

If you’re planning to expand your business into the Asian market, then learning Mandarin is key, given that Mandarin is the most spoken language in Asia.

It’s also a popular language for business. Mandarin Chinese Level 1 will give you the foundation you need to take more advanced Mandarin courses.

Recommended for:

  • Any professional who’s planning to use Mandarin at work or for leisure.

55. Getting Started with French 1 by The Open University

free online courses, the open university

Length: ~6 Hours

Have you been wanting to learn French? Getting Started with French 1 will teach you the basic phrases you need to interact with others in a French-speaking environment.

I highly recommend taking all of the courses in this series as a precursor for more advanced language study.

Recommended for:

  • Any professional who’s planning to use French at work or for leisure.

How to Choose an Online Course

Deciding on which online course to select from such a wide range of options can be a complex process. To simplify this, I’ve listed the process I personally follow whenever I have to select a course.

Define your learning objectives.

First and foremost, before diving into searching from thousands of online courses, I make sure I have identified what my learning goals are. I ask myself questions like:

Having clarity on what I want to achieve helps me to cut down options that are not relevant and find courses that send me in the direction of achieving my objective.

Research course providers.

Once I have an understanding of what I want to learn, I start researching who provides these courses.

I look for courses on well-known platforms such as HubSpot, Coursera, and EdX, as well as search websites that offer niche courses.

I also look for courses provided by prestigious universities. They usually have well-structured study programs and universally recognized certifications.

Some of the top course providers to select from:

If you’re looking for one single place to learn how to take your career to the next level and/or grow your business, check out HubSpot Academy.

It contains tons of free certified courses on everything from inbound and content marketing to social media and sales.

Read course descriptions and syllabi.

When I come across a course that appeals to my interest, I make sure to review the course description and syllabus.

I look for information about the course content, learning outcomes, and time commitment required.

This allows me to figure out if the course covers the subjects that I am interested in and if it is suitable or not for my current skill level and schedule.

Check the instructor’s credentials.

I always check the instructor’s background and level of expertise in the domain before selecting a course.

I look for instructors who are experts in their field, have relevant industry experience, and have a track record of teaching successful courses.

Look for interactive elements and practical assignments.

I have noticed that courses with engaging activities and relevant assignments are more useful and fun for me during my learning process.

I look for courses that include quizzes, discussions, projects, and hands-on exercises. These elements help me apply what I’ve learned, strengthen my understanding, and develop practical skills that I can use in real-world situations.

Read reviews and ratings.

Before I finally make up my mind, I always take a look at testimonials and ratings posted by former students. I look for feedback about the subject matter, the way the course is taught, and the learning experience in general.

This helps me gauge the quality of the course and make an informed decision.

Free Online Courses FAQ

Have questions about taking an online course? I’ve got you covered.

What courses are available free online?

All the courses listed on this page are available for free online, including:

Simply sign up on each platform and begin learning! I recommend you check out each provider’s full catalog to learn which courses are available for free.

What online courses are in demand?

Coding and AI online courses are overall in high demand, which is attributable to the exponential growth rate of technical fields.

The AI market is expected to grow by 36.8% from 2023 to 2030 at CAGR, and around 97 million people are expected to work in AI by 2025.

Therefore, learning and upskilling yourself to use AI in your day-to-day work is more important than ever.

However, I believe that in-demand courses vary by field. For instance, if you’re looking to jumpstart a marketing career, then an SEO course is the best choice, as it’s one of the most in-demand skills in marketing.

Which certificate course is best?

According to me, the best certificate course ultimately depends on what you want to do. I recommend starting with a general certification course and then narrowing it down after you find out what you’d like to specialize in.

For instance, if you’re looking to get into social media marketing, my advice would be for you to pursue a digital marketing certification course, so that you understand the basics of digital marketing.

Once you’ve mastered it, you can then get social media certified.

What is the best free online course platform?

For career-focused courses, I personally recommend HubSpot Academy or Coursera. For theoretical university-based courses, I recommend EdX. For employee-related training courses, I recommend ProProfs Courses.

Where can I get free courses with a free certificate?

You can access free courses with a free certificate on HubSpot Academy and Google Skillshop. Most online course providers, such as Coursera and EdX, charge for a certificate, but it varies by individual course.

Is an online certificate worth anything?

Yes! An online certificate is highly worthwhile. It will not only help your resume stand out, but it will ensure you’re adequately prepared to complete tasks in your desired role.

Not only that but getting an online certificate takes effort and consistency — two key attributes that will make you desirable to any employer.

Can you get a job with an online course?

You can get a job with an online course, but it’s important that you obtain a certification at the end of the course, build a portfolio of work, and showcase your newly learned skills with personal projects.

Over the years, I have seen more and more employers opening their hiring doors to candidates from non-traditional backgrounds — indeed, for most roles, a bachelor’s degree isn’t essential.

If you leverage the wealth of online courses at your disposal, you can build a breadth of knowledge that would rival that of any other candidate.

Learning is an investment that continues to pay.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”

That’s never been truer than it is today. With new technologies emerging at breakneck speeds, there’s a palpable pressure to continuously upskill.

I hope you found the online business courses you need for the next step in your career — whether you’re looking for a promotion or a sidestep into an entirely new field.

Whatever your reason, I believe that learning new skills will give you a competitive advantage in today‘s rapidly changing workplace. Plus, the more you invest in your learning, the better you’ll grow.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in January 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

HubSpot Academy - Grow your business, and your career.

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