Ultimate Guide to Free Online Courses


While the thousands of free online courses available to the public won’t net you any college credits, alternative benefits exist. For example, are you thinking about applying for a different position? Gaining a unique skill from an online course could help you stand out among other applicants. Or perhaps you’re looking for a way to get noticed by your superiors. Why not take some online classes that will give you expertise in a field that no one else has? No matter what your interests – programming, conflict resolution, online marketing – there’s surely an online course that fits within the 40 high-quality resources in this guide.

General Free Online Course Resources

This general section offers links to tons of free online courses and a directory for Massive Open Online Courses. Think of this section as a catchall for everything that’s not in the other sections of this guide as well as some alternatives to the section resources.

Who’s Benefiting from MOOCs and Why

Find out which groups of people are taking Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and why in this insightful article from those involved in the industry.

Udemy: Free Online Courses

Check out this free section of the extensive global marketplace that houses over 45,000 online courses led by expert instructors.

Canvas Network

Anyone with an email address can register for and take the free online courses that are available on the Canvas Network. Follow the link to check out their course catalog.

Udacity Free Courses

If you’re interested in learning about topics in web design, tech entrepreneurship and more, make Udacity your go-to resource.


MOOC List serves as a directory of Massive Open Online Courses that offered by different providers across the Web.

Free Online Academic Courses

If finding a particular academic course – math, science, art history – that’s available online for free is your goal, you’ve found the right section. Browse course offerings from Harvard, MIT, Stanford and others.

Saylor Academy

Find free online academic courses, which are self-paced, in subjects such as art history, economics and sociology.

Harvard X

The only time you would need to pay for one of these online courses is if you desire a certificate. Auditing courses is completely free.

Math Courses

Brush up on your math skills or see how math-savvy you are via one of these free online math courses from leading math and science institutions.

Science Courses

Find science courses on astrophysics, genetics, anatomy, thermodynamics and much more.

Open Yale Courses

Take advantage of a complete set of class lectures via high-quality video as well as syllabi, lists of suggested readings, exams and additional resources.

Carnegie Mellon University: Open Learning Initiative

This unique learning platform offers targeted feedback as your work through the free online courses.

MIT Open Courseware

Every MIT department and degree program is represented via thousands of courses in the MIT Open Courseware resources. Each course contains a syllabus, lectures notes or reading lists and assignments or exams.

Stanford Online Courses

Check out these course offerings by following the link and clicking on the course name you are interested in taking. All courses are live, online courses that were created by Stanford faculty and instructors.

Free Online Software Courses

While these aren’t the only free online software courses out there, they are some of the most utilized. Follow the links to check them out.

Learn HTML5 Programming from Scratch    

This free course teaches you to create HTML5 websites with user-friendly features such as drag and drop.

Java Tutorial for Complete Beginners

If you have no previous experience with Java programming language, this course is for you.

Adobe Illustrator: Mastering the Fundamentals  

Learn Adobe Illustrator from scratch, but only the tools and techniques that you’ll actually utilize.

How to Create a Website with WordPress

This step-by-step tutorial for beginners will help you create a website using WordPress in about an hour.

SEO for WordPress

Familiarity with WordPress and a basic knowledge of SEO are prerequisites for this course. You will learn to do your own SEO, create authority backlinks, increase sales, increase visitors and get better rankings.

Photoshop for Web Design Beginners

Discover the perfect course for those who are new to web design and have a desire to learn how to create a clean and simple webpage design.

Excel Dashboards in an Hour

Learn how to create Excel Dashboards, which are helpful for summarizing and communicating complex Excel data. This course is for Excel 2010 and above users.

MS PowerPoint Training for Beginners

If you’ve never used PowerPoint or only used it sparingly, this course is for you. It teaches you how to create your own well-composed presentation in a short amount of time.

Oracle SQL Developer: Tips and Tricks

Go beyond the obvious default features of the Oracle SQL Developer tool by learning the invaluable tips and tricks offered in this course.

Free Online Photography Courses

Whether you’ve just recently started working with a camera or you’re interested in taking your photos to the next level, the following resources are a great starting point.

Free Photography Course for Beginners

From the basics of how a camera works to the correct techniques for framing up great photos, this course covers it.

Your Road to Better Photography

From Corey Reese, celebrity photographer and cinematographer, comes this free course that details how to use the essential three elements of photography to get better photos.

Enhancing Photos for Complete Beginners

Learn photo-enhancement techniques that you can apply to almost any of the available photo editing software programs on the market.

Photoshop and Lightroom for Photographers

Discover more than 55 free lessons to help you improve photo image quality via post-processing skills. The course is divided between Photoshop and Lightroom tutorials.

Free Online Self-Improvement Courses

Learn how to build your self-confidence, manage your time, lose weight or become more assertive by taking one the following self-improvement courses.

How to Make a Great First Impression

Discover the four keys to creating a great first impression in this free, 30-minute video course.

Self Confidence: 40-Minute Confidence and Self-Esteem Guide

Via this short but powerful course, you can learn how to increase confidence and self-esteem, crush fears of rejection and exhibit powerful body language.

Effective Time Management: Get 10X More Done in Less Time

If you feel like you never have enough time, check out this course which teaches you how to get a 10X greater return within every hour of work you complete.

Weight Loss Made Simple

This course teaches you how to integrate simple and effective habits into your daily life to lose 10 to 100 pounds or more.

Assertiveness Basics: The 30-Minute Communication Guide

Learn how to communicate with strength and confidence via methods taught by a medical doctor with over 20+ years of experience in the self-improvement arena.

Free Online Business Courses

Working from home or launching your own small business is becoming more and more popular. Browse the list of offerings below to find a course that will help you get started.

Work From Home: The Amazon FBA MasterPlan

Discover how to create and build a lucrative online business selling simple products on Amazon.

How to Start a Business on eBay 2.0

Learn how to start and run a profitable eBay business with no prior experience or knowledge.

Work from Home Ideas for Retired Seniors

Find out how to create your own profitable home business ideas with these 16 tutorials and a free home business manual from home business guru Dave Roman.

Growth Hacking: Free Tools for Small Business Owners

Discover excellent growth-hacking resources for building your small business without needed technical experience or extra cash.

Selling Ideas: How to Influence Others and Get Your Message to Catch On

This class from Wharton University of Pennsylvania teaches you how to use social media and word of mouth to grow your business.

Free Online Educator Courses

Teachers are always tasked with acquiring new knowledge to keep themselves informed as they work with students. Browse the following courses to find one that can help you learn something new or simply fulfill a continuing education credit requirement.

Designing and Teaching for Impact in Online Courses

If your goal is to develop or teach an online course, this self-paced resource can help you accomplish it.

Teacher Certification Exam Preparation

This online course is designed to assist aspiring teachers in preparing to take a teacher certification or licensing exam.

K-12: Beginning to Blend

Learn about blended and personalized learning in this course that offers you methods you can immediately start implementing in your own classroom.

Copyright for Educators

Understanding copyright as an educator is essential to legal and ethical actions. Take this short course to learn the basics of copyright and gain access to free teaching materials to educate students.