For the majority, attending college or university is a costly affair. That is why the majority of people struggle for years to clear their college debts (Kenyans say hello to HELB loans repayment!) That is why most people never go back to school after getting their first degree or diploma.
However, if you are looking to expand your knowledge and keep up-to-date with your industry. The obvious thing to do is to go back to school, but when you think of the expense higher education school has become. You easily do away with that idea, but what if I tell you there is another way?
Free Online College Courses
You can get the college courses you want online and for free. That way, you get the knowledge and stay up-to-date with your industry, without putting another financial burden on yourself and/or your family.
Though the majority of these courses do not have credit or certificates. But who cares, if you can put them into good use and actually improves your work at your place of employment or on your business! At the end of the day, certificates and credits are just papers if not applied, right?
That said, here is a list of college courses you can take online for free today:
EdX is one of the most established and biggest open online course platform in the world. It is reported to have at least 14 million learners from across the globe accessing its free courses provided by some of the top universities from around the world.
It was originally established by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Currently, it includes a boatload of other universities including Boston University, Caltech, and other dozens of prestigious universities from around the world.
At EdX, you can take courses on a wide range of fields including science, medicine, history, education, and computer programming. This site offers free courses, but to get a verified certificate and degree, you will have to pay some fees or tuition. Though it is still far more affordable than attending the universities in person.
Here is some interesting information about the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) you might not know. MIT was a pioneer in offering online learning. The MIT OpenCourseWare gives you the ability to download and follow achieved courses.
The platform offers the actual courses the university has been offering its students over the years, and the collection is huge. Though you may require to purchase some few textbooks in order to fully follow through with the curriculums.
You will not, however, get accreditation or certification since the courses are archived courses. But they are very useful if you are looking to expand your knowledge on certain subjects.
This site is another online learning platform through which many universities (and companies) offer their open courses. Though for accreditation or certification you will have to part ways with some money.
Nonetheless, Coursera is a rich platform for online learning. With universities such as Columbia and Duke offering their courses there for free. Tech companies such as Google, Intel, and Amazon have also listed some of their educational materials there as well.
The Carnegie Mellon OpenLearning takes a different crack at online learning by not only offering free access to courses for learners. It also offers free materials to instructors who want a rich source of teaching materials.
Some of the courses being offered include computer science, psychology, and biology among others. The biggest let down with this platform is that the courses are quite limited compared to most of the other platforms on this list.
Stanford University offers its online courses through the Stanford Online learning portal. The open learning courses are available to everyone at no cost, but you will have to pay a tuition fee to complete a certificate or degree.
The platform includes courses from different schools at the university such as the Stanford Business School and the Stanford School of Medicine. The courses have been reported to be particularly useful for medical professionals looking for Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits. They can earn that by completing certain courses online without having to spend a dime.
This platform offers courses from The Open University, which pledges to be open and free to learners from anywhere in the world at no cost. Though the university does have physical classrooms in the UK, but all of its learning contents are available to anyone across the world through the OpenLearn website. This platform has praised for laying down its courses so well starting from the beginners level to experts.
When you complete a course, you are given a statement of participation, which you can then include in your resume for potential employers. Though it does not count as accreditation towards any university credit, it does, however, provide evidence you successfully finished a course at The Open University.
FutureLearn also hosts numerous courses from various universities and organizations. The courses are also free, but for certification, one needs to pay a fee.
The platform has an impressive range of courses including ones that help the learner improve on their life skills. For instance, it has courses on budgeting skills, critical thinking, job interview, and online research skills.
If you are looking to expand both on your academic knowledge and everyday life skills, then FutureLearn is the platform for you.
Harvard University has also listed some of their courses onto an online portal. Though some courses are paid, dozens are available for free. Some of the free courses include data science, app development, game development, and religious studies.
There are tons of other websites we did not include in our list, so don’t be limited with just the above. Though they are certainly among the best of the best options out there. There are also tens of mobile apps that offer online courses, meaning you don’t have to be limited to websites and tied down on your computer. You can take the courses with you while you’re on the move using your smartphone.