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.

Read more:  Did You Lose Your Job Because Of COVID-19? Here’s What To Do Next...

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:

LinkedIn Learning

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:

edX

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:

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. 

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:

Codeacademy 

More than 45 million people have learned to code for free on Codeacademy. The education company delivers an interactive learning experience with hands-on exercises and instant feedback. Courses cover the most common coding languages like HTML & CSS, JavaScript, Python, SQL, and Bash/Shell.

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

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.

Shopify Academy 

Thinking about turning your side hustle into a business? Shopify Academy offers free e-commerce training so you can become the entrepreneur you’ve always dreamed of. 

Business courses and live workshops with industry experts cover a variety of topics such as:

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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