If you’re like many Canadians right now, you’re probably at home wondering how to make the most of these uncertain times. Instead of bingeing Netflix, why not use this period of self-isolation to focus on your personal or professional goals? Thanks to the internet, there are countless online courses you can take that don’t cost a dime. From Ivy League university classes to training programs offered by some of the world’s top tech companies, we’ve rounded up the best free online courses so you can enhance your career skills from the comfort of your home.
Coursera Free Courses
Coursera is an online learning platform with hundreds of free courses ranging from computer programming and finance to marketing and law. Some courses even provide certificates upon completion, which can be added to your resume and LinkedIn profile. The platform also has an extensive selection of free courses related to personal development.
Some of the most popular ones include:
- Learning How to Learn: Powerful Mental Tools to Help You Master Tough Subjects: Discover valuable techniques that will enhance your ability to learn.
- Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills: Study negotiation tactics so you can land a raise or promotion at work.
- The Science of Well-Being: Unlock the secrets to increasing happiness and implementing productive habits.
- English for Career Development: Designed for non-native English speakers, this course shows you how to write a winning resume, network with professionals, and prepare for job interviews.
Also known as Lynda, LinkedIn Learning helps you build software, creative, and business skills with thousands of trainings and tutorials. While the website charges a monthly subscription, most public libraries in Canada give you free, unlimited access to Lynda if you have a library card. Many universities and workplaces also have subscriptions so students and employees can access courses at no cost.
Consider enrolling in these top-rated courses:
- Project Management Foundations: Get tips on how to create a project plan, manage resources, and make deadlines.
- Time Management Tips: Learn how to minimize interruptions so you can get more work done.
- Leading and Working in Teams: If you’re an aspiring leader, find out what it takes to put together a successful, high-performing team.
- Online Marketing Foundations: This course is for you if you want to dip your toes in the world of SEO, email marketing, and display advertising.
Thank to edX, you don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars to attend a class at Harvard, Yale, or MIT. The free online course provider has partnered with 140 institutions, including Ivy League universities, to give you more than 2,500 courses in humanities, engineering, data science, and much more.
These free online university courses can help you forge in-demand job skills:
- CS50's Introduction to Computer Science (Harvard University): This four-week class touches on concepts like software engineering, algorithms, and data structures while teaching you how to solve programming problems efficiently.
- The Analytics Edge (MIT): See how Netflix and Twitter used analytics to achieve business goals and study different analytics models.
- Artificial Intelligence (Columbia University): Dive into the history of artificial intelligence and practise building intelligent agents.
Google Digital Garage and Google Skillshop
Expand your digital knowledge with Google Digital Garage and Google Skillshop. The Garage has a collection of general courses related to digital marketing, career development, and data and tech, while the Skillshop is more technical with free training and certification on specific Google tools.
Get started with these introductory courses:
- Fundamentals of Digital Marketing: This 40-hour course is accredited by The Open University and Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe. It also comes with a free certificate.
- Understand Customer Needs and Online Behaviour: Find out how web analytics can help you get to know your customers better.
- Google Ads Search Certification: See what steps are involved when launching and optimizing Google Search campaigns, and then demonstrate your abilities to earn a recognized certification.
Office 365 Training Center and Microsoft Learn
Master the ins and outs of Microsoft products for $0. The Office 365 Training Center is filled with video tutorials on Office apps like Outlook, Word, and SharePoint. Microsoft Learn on the other hand, caters to developers and system administrators with courses on Azure Web Apps, Power BI, and more.
- Excel for Windows Training: Kick start your journey to Excel guru by making formulas and pivot tables.
- PowerPoint for Windows Training: Learn how to put together a polished presentation with audio, images, and animation.
- Microsoft 365 Fundamentals: Build a collaborative work environment by harnessing the power of Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security.
Skillshare Free Courses
Skillshare has teamed up with industry leaders to produce inspiring lessons for creatives, leaders, and business owners. The site is subscription-based, but it does have a bunch of free classes you can take advantage of including:
- Visual Storytelling: Creating More Persuasive Presentations: Prezi’s Content Marketing Manager gives you the low-down on how to construct compelling presentations that strike a chord with your audience.
- How to Get a Job: A Step-by-Step Guide: Scott Dobroski from Glassdoor dishes out his best advice for acing cover letters, online applications, and job interviews.
- Going Freelance: Building and Branding Your Own Success: From creating an eye-catching portfolio to pitching clients, this two-hour class teaches you how to launch a profitable freelancing business.
Check out these programs if you want to pursue a career in tech:
- Web Development: Become a junior web developer by learning how to build interactive websites from the front and back end.
- Data Science: Figure out how to analyze data with Python and SQL and form Machine Learning algorithms.
- Computer Science: Grasp fundamentals such as data structures and algorithms and learn how to write efficient code.
HubSpot Academy’s free online courses teach you everything you need to know about marketing and sales. Most of the courses take just a few hours to complete. Globally recognized certifications also ensure you have something to show your future clients or employer.
You can hone your business skills with the following certification courses:
- Inbound Marketing: Ten lessons shed light on content strategy, blog creation, social media, lead nurturing, and more.
- Content Marketing: Gain valuable insight on how to produce engaging content that ranks high on search engines.
- Social Media: Get the tools you need to develop a successful social media strategy that attracts new customers and strengthens brand loyalty.
Business courses and live workshops with industry experts cover a variety of topics such as:
- Turning Your Hobby into a Business: From sourcing suppliers to generating traffic to your website, the family behind Jaswant’s Kitchen shares their best tips on how to get your product to market.
- Goalsetting: Shark Tank investor Daymond John teaches you how to set the right goals for long-term success.
- How to Design Your Online Store (with Zero Design Experience): At the end of this course, you’ll know how to craft a stunning, user-friendly e-commerce website.
- Product Photography for E-commerce: Get helpful advice on how to capture high-quality product images with your smartphone or DSLR.
With these free online courses, it’s never been easier to invest in yourself. Take some time in the coming weeks to learn sought-after skills, get certified, and grow your career.
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