If you are not ready or willing to spend thousands on a degree from an institution but would still like to learn new skills to advance your career, you should consider free online career education resources. Going back to school and pursuing a degree is time consuming, whether you are attending classes on campus or signed up for an online degree program.
No matter the method that you prefer to get an education, you will have to spend a lot of time taking core classes just to reach the classes you are interested in. Depending on your schedule, you may not have that much time to spare. You may also simply want to learn a new skill without paying a lot of money. There are many resources online that can teach you different skills for free, although it may offer certain certificates for a fee, depending on the course. It is becoming more common for accredited colleges and universities to offer free classes online so that individuals can fulfill core prerequisites as well. If you would like to know more about the different types of resources that you can take advantage of for free and how you can benefit from them, refer to the sections below.
Free Programming Resources
Harvard University offers a free resource online known as edX, which is an introduction to computer science course. This course will benefit you by teaching you valuable programing skills and concepts. You can familiarize yourself with coding languages such as CSS, HTML and PHP. The course is designed to help you solve programming problems effectively and think algorithmically. You do not need any prior understanding of programming to take this course and it only has 9 sessions. If you work on these sessions daily, you can complete the program in less than two weeks.
Another beginner friendly programming resource is University of Michigan’s Programming for Everybody course that focuses on coding. It is designed to be your first interaction with coding, so it requires no prior experience at all. You should not shy away from this program if you do not consider math a strong suit, because it only incorporates basic mathematics. This is an ideal course for you if you want to learn the basics of coding and wish to further your understanding in the future. This course has 10 lessons and can be completed in 20 to 40 hours.
For programming at an intermediate level, you should consider MIT’s Introduction to Programming in Java course. This course will teach you how to develop high-quality software that can solve everyday problems. The program also teaches the fundamentals of Java and the programming language. You do need some programming experience for the best results, but it is also open to beginners. The duration of the course is 16 hours with seven lectures and seven labs.
MIT also offers another course for programming beginners called Introduction to C and C++ languages. The course can be completed in four weeks but is fast-paced. You can expect to learn required background knowledge for programming, like memory management and object-oriented programming. This course lasts for 16 hours with eight lectures and eight labs.
Free Resources for Design
If you are interested in learning some design basics like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and other graphic design essentials, there are free programs that can assist you.
You can learn how to make impressive graphics by visiting Udemy, a website that teaches you Adobe Illustrator. You will first learn Illustrator basic techniques and then move on to more advanced things. The advanced techniques include types and panels, colors and patterns and perspective and automation. This program is for anyone willing to learn, from beginners to advanced. This program has 41 free lessons.
If you have ever been drawn to appealing logos and are interested in creating them yourself, you should consider another course offered by Udemy. The Introduction to Graphic Design course teaches you theories that can help you create attention-grabbing visuals. By the end of the course, you will understand the basic principles and elements that go into graphic design. This is a course for beginners, with 12 lessons.
Adobe Photoshop CS6 Essential Tools program by ALISON allows you to master the art of manipulation through photographic retouching. The program uses the Photoshop interface to guide you through the steps. In this class, you will learn the basic techniques to edit and enhance your pictures. This course is also set at a beginner level and has eight lessons for free.
Another Adobe course that can help you is Adobe KnowHow’s Adobe InDesign for Beginners. This course will teach you to use tools and techniques in InDesign so that you can create layouts. When this course finishes, you will have the proper skills to work with graphics and tables, as well as add color and effects to your layouts. This free online resource has 21 lessons.
Free Online Marketing
Marketing is imperative to all fields of business. If you have a hard time keeping up with new social media platforms or need a refresher on social media in the digital world, you can use free resources that are all beginner friendly.
The University of Illinois created a free online resource called Marketing in a Digital World. This course explores how tools like smartphones, the internet and 3d printing are changing the world of marketing. In this course, you will learn how to use these tools to get customers to buy and distribute your products. You can learn these techniques in 24 lessons.
Another approach to learning more about marketing is to take Internet Marketing for Smart People by Copyblogger. This course is through email and shows you simple ways to implement online marketing tools. By simply registering, you get instant access to 14 e-books on content marketing, copywriting and more. This course is ideal for you if you are at an intermediate level of understanding marketing.
The last free resource that can be used to your benefit is Social Media 101 from Buffer. This course is ideal if you are a beginner who wants to understand the basics of social media and only has a limited amount of time to do so. You will receive an email with a week’s worth of information related to social media. There are seven lessons that can teach you basic marketing techniques to help you build and improve your brand.