The internet provides limitless opportunities to learn and grow, starting with this article on the 32 best online course websites.
In fact, a growing number of people are now turning to online courses as a way to advance their learning abilities. With researchers estimating e-learning to reach an astounding market value of $325 billion by 2025.
And for good reason. Online courses are relatively flexible and self-paced, and you can learn just about anything, be it a new topic or skill, or another degree or qualification.
Best of all, many are offered at a low cost (or for free), making learning accessible to anyone, no matter where you’re based in the world.
We’ve rounded up 32 of the best online course websites paving the way for virtual learning. From beginner-friendly courses to online degrees to specialized courses, you’re bound to find something that fits your learning path.
For Love Work at Home: Web Developers, Marketers, Engineers
Targeted at professionals, Lynda is an online learning community for learning new skills. Their courses cover a wide range of topics, from Business and Marketing to Video and Photography. For a single monthly subscription, you can gain full access to their extensive virtual library–but you don’t have to go all-in right away. Try Lynda free for 30 days to see whether it fits your personal learning goals.
Review: “I’ve been out of college for about two years, but LinkedIn Learning has changed my outlook on my career. Taking the foundational courses in marketing has helped me launch my career.” – Jenny
Course topics: Business, Social Sciences, Languages, Arts & Humanities
For Love Work at Home: Web Developers, Translators & Interpreters, Teachers & Tutors
Whether you’d like to learn new skills, explore a new career, or earn another degree, Coursera is likely to have a solution in place. Collaborating with over 190 leading universities and companies and 35 million students, the platform prides itself on delivering world-class content. And it doesn’t matter whether or not you’re experienced; Coursera caters to all learning levels from beginner to expert. Flexible learning is also encouraged with their mobile learning app, so you can tune into lessons while on the go.
Review: “I like that there is a large selection of specialties for every taste. I was particularly interested in photography courses, and there are a lot of them. If I have free time, I use it to view the course on this platform.” – Yvonne
Course topics: Personal Development, Business, Health & Fitness, Photography, IT + Software, Marketing, Language, Music, Lifestyle
For Love Work at Home: Developers, Accountants, Designers, Translators & Interpreters, Tutors, Marketers
Expert instructors, lifetime access, online community–these are just a few of many features that Udemy offers. A membership grants you access to over 100,000 courses, each self-paced to fit around even the busiest lives out there. Master in-demand skills like Social Media Marketing, or experience more happiness in life through learning topics like Mindfulness and Gratitude. Best of all, courses start from $25/mo, each backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Review: “I believe in lifelong learning and Udemy is a great place to learn from experts. I’ve learned a lot and recommend it to all my friends.” – Dipesh
Course topics: Data science, AI, Programming, Cloud Computing, Virtual Reality
For Love Work at Home: Data Entry, Developers, Engineers
An Artificial Intelligence (AI) focused online learning platform, Udacity is an excellent choice for those who want to pursue a career in tech or programming. They cover classes on almost everything tech, from Data to Cloud Development to even Robotic Software. Each class has its own difficulty level (beginner, intermediate, advanced) so it’s easy to navigate a course that meets your personal needs. Courses are free unless you want to pursue a “Nanodegree,” in which case prices start from $599.
Review: “I loved the way it is organized, especially, the way the course started by a project. Though it seemed very hard for someone who just started a course, it makes students do research on topics they don’t understand well. That is what happened to me. I read some concepts and used them to make my first project stand out.” – Tinsae Tadesse
Course topics: Math, Science & Engineering, Arts & Humanities
For Love Work at Home: Engineers, Teachers & Tutors
Who knew that one guy tutoring his cousin would turn into a worldwide non-profit organization? Today, Khan Academy (KA) delivers online education classes for students—without any cost. Students can practice free core subjects like Maths, Science, Engineering, Astrology and more. And with a focus primarily on young students, KA provides additional tools to help teachers and coaches recognize gaps in a students understanding of a topic. Language is no barrier to learning here as classes can be translated into 36 other languages, including French, Spanish and Portuguese.
Review: “Dear Khan Academy, I greatly appreciate your videos! Not only did I pass Calculus last year with a 96%, but I also discovered my love for the subject – something I had never experienced before truly understanding the mathematical content and the uses of it.” — Matt
Course topics: Web Development, Programming, Data Science, Design
For Love Work at Home: Designers, Web Developers
If you’re interested in coding, look no further than Codecademy. They have built a system for learning code that is fun, interactive, and actionable, no matter your experience level. Courses aren’t just theory based: you can ‘learn by doing’ with their Live Practice Window. Courses range from Analysing Data to Creating Apps and even Building Chatbots. Start for free with their basic membership, or take full advantage of their pro membership at $19.99/mo. Nevertheless, you can get started right away with their 7-day free trial.
Review: “All along the way, Codecademy keeps you motivated by awarding badges for various achievements. You can also see all the skills that you’ve mastered on your dashboard, as well as progress on your current classes. Each lesson includes clickable hints, in case you get stuck, and additional hints if you submit incorrect code.” — Molly
Course topics: Web Development, Design
For Love Work at Home: Web Developers, Designers, Computer Science, Data Entry
Unlike most online education platforms, Bloc is divided into two categories—Development and Design—which teach the core fundamentals and skills needed in your chosen area. Classes are taught live by top experts, making learning more interactive and accessible. They also provide an online community to encourage students to network, team up as study partners, and collaborate in real-life projects. It’s a great course with one goal in mind: to land you a job within six months of completion.
Review: “Without Bloc, it would have taken me longer to learn. Design is a bottomless pit of knowledge. It is easy to get lost in it. The curriculum of Bloc is well structured and gives you a right direction to learn the right skills for the job. Bloc has certainly helped me shape up my career and I am very excited for the new adventures I am going to face.” — Harsha
Course topics: Art studies, Computer Science, Engineering, Languages, Marketing, Sales, Psychology & Social Sciences
For Love Work at Home: Engineers, Teachers & Tutors, Marketers, Sales Reps, Translators & Interpreters
Launched 7 years ago and with 600,000+ users to date, Iversity provides online courses and lectures in higher education, particularly Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC). Courses here are free for anyone to learn, on topics like Science, Engineering, Languages, Marketing and more.
Review: “The [Iversity] experience was so refreshing, partly because the teaching was so creative, the videos and letters were a reflection of the hard work they put in, and there was a proximity, with the professors as well as within the community it created.” – Titouan Rosso
Course topics: Lifestyle, Photo & Film, Business, Writing
For Love Work at Home: Freelance Writers, Online Business Owners
Whether you want to improve a current skill you have, or explore a completely new topic, Skillshare has a course to fit almost anyone’s goal. They host more than 27,000 courses ranging from 10 minutes to multiple hours, which are all self-paced so you don’t feel left behind. Skillshare isn’t only a hub for learning new skills—you can also earn money through teaching what you know. Anyone can upload their own course. Start learning with their free classes or upgrade to their premium membership for $7/mo.
Review: “Fun community of really talented people. Love all the classes, short, long, easy and more challenging. I highly recommend Skillshare.” — Gabriella
Course topics: Development, Marketing, Design, Science
For Love Work at Home: Developers, Marketers, Designers
Business, Data and Design industries all require that you learn fundamental skills—and this is exactly what the General Assembly aims to equip you with. They offer full-time and part-time courses, both structured to guide you from student to new employee. On top of courses, you can also find extra support in the form of workshops, events and additional classes.
Review: “Enrolling in the SEI program at GA was the best decision I’ve ever made. The staff at GA are wonderful, and the instructors are super knowledgeable, and more importantly happy to help you with anything.” — Adam
Course topics: Art, History, Design, Computer Science, Psychology & Neuroscience
For Love Work at Home: Teachers, Writers, Data Entry
There’s an unlimited amount of free information on the internet. There’s only one problem: it’s all scattered! This is where Open Culture comes in. They’ve gathered in all of the internet’s high-quality educational media—and neatly organized it into one central resource. Here, anyone can gain access to over 1,500 free online university courses, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), audiobooks, ebooks and even educational movies. A great choice for people who enjoy learning from a mix of resources.
Review: “Open Culture is an excellent resource for generating topics and starting points for Conversation clubs, as very often facilitators search for new, interesting, and intelligent issues to discuss.” — Anna
Course topics: Accounting, Business, Engineering, Finance, Marketing, Maths
For Love Work at Home: Accountants, Engineers, Marketers, Teachers & Tutors
Academic Earth is a curated list of online college courses from the world’s top universities. Every course is free, and you can extend your knowledge by tuning into their own personal playlist—packed with videos that spark curiosity, ideas and inspiration around a chosen topic.
Review: “I like that this site is a main page for so many outlets. Its focus is on education opportunities. They supply so many resources like videos and courses to users for free. It gives multiple options for learning, like suggesting online learning and looking at where would be a good fit for you if you wanted to further your education online.” — Elizabeth
Course topics: Business, Data Analysis, Engineering, Science, Medicine, Social Science
For Love Work at Home: Data Analysers, Engineers
Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) teamed up to create one of the biggest non-profit MOOC resources. Linked with 140+ top universities, you’ll find over 2500 online courses available to get started with. It’s your choice how you want to approach learning, from online master degrees to a number of professional certificates, and more.
Review: “Most of the courses I have taken at edX are very thorough and have most of the primary information I’m looking for in the subjects I’m learning about. I like that edX has an unorthodox type of structure compared to taking a course in person at a school. The materials often have text, video and other resources that we can access any time, which is very convenient for us.” — Marco
Course topics: IT, Language, Science, Health, Business, Marketing, Lifestyle, Technology
For Love Work at Home: Web Developers, Translators & Interpreters, Marketers, Accountants & Financiers
Alison is home to over 1,000 courses, each taught by a subject expert. There’s a wide scope of topics to learn from, from Marketing Management and Entrepreneurship to Photography and even Yoga. You also get to choose your own learning experience, whether that involves taking a small Certificate course (2-3 hours) or an extensive Learning Path (18-20 hours). Plus, 90% of the courses here are free, except for diploma courses.
Review: “Anyone can learn here easily and [gain a lot of] knowledge from here. There are all types of courses available from the certificate to diploma courses. I learned HTML from there, and my experience was great. There was no cost for learning, nothing to pay until you complete the learning.” — Anonymous
Course topics: Art & Humanities, Business, Marketing, Psychology
For Love Work at Home: Marketers, Online Business Owners, Therapists
Many of us love to download apps onto our phone. That’s why if you own an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, iTunes U might be just the learning resource you need. The little app provides a large collection of educational material, all of which has been vetted and approved by leading institutions, including Stanford, MIT and Yale to name a few. You can enjoy a combination of free books, lectures, videos and more to create a colorful learning experience. The app also allows you to integrate with private courses from other apps, where you can also submit work and receive 1:1 feedback from course instructors. There’s never been a more convenient place to access educational content on-demand.
Review: “iTunes U allows for an effective way of sharing files for educational purposes. It’s provided functionality of file management is also desirable and if done correctly can be a worthwhile resource to learn with.” — Felix
Course topics: Business, Law, Engineering, Design, Computer Science
For Love Work at Home: Engineers, Marketers, Designers
One of the world’s most prestigious universities, Stanford offers a range of online courses, advanced degrees, and other educational content. Everyone learns at their own pace, which is why their courses have been carefully structured to meet your personal learning goals. Some courses require that you invest 20 hours into learning, while other advanced courses require a longer commitment. You can find a range of free MOOCs to take, or choose to invest in Stanford’s private courses. Either way, learning from a world-class organization is only a website away.
Review: “The teachers are experts in their subjects and their excitement about the material creates challenging and engaging classes for students.” — Anonymous
Course topics: Accounting, Science, Languages, Writing, Media, Marketing, Management
For Love Work at Home: Accountants, Writers, Data Entry, Translators & Interpreters, Teachers & Tutors
Harvard Extension provides online courses for those who want to advance their career or seek new opportunities. Here you’ll find over 900 online courses taught by expert lecturers, on almost any topic you’ll find in their college. It’s not the most ideal for learning new skills, but a go-to resource for anyone who wants to further their success in their career.
Review: “The experience of this program has given me a far more in-depth understanding of the challenges of human rights in the United States and globally, and has helped me hone my strategies for future work to bring equality to women.” — Leanne
Course topics: Science, English, Economics, History, Psychology, Languages
For Love Work at Home: Translators & Interpreters, Writers, Teachers & Tutors
Open Yale Courses have grouped their top lectures in a range of topics—and turned it into an online course for anyone to access. Each course is completely free, and comes with additional readings, exams, downloadable videos and even audio lectures to broaden your learning experience. The only downside is there aren’t any course credits, certificates or degrees available to achieve.
Review: “A very clean site with negligible ad presence. If you are in the mood to enlighten yourself and learn, or fill in the gaps on a college course you are taking, this is a free site that can help you. Open Yale Courses are offered, not for college credit, but simply to learn. I took a 1 hour class on classical music that was very interesting and informational.” — Bob
Course topics: Humanities, Computer Science, Business, Social Science, Engineering, Personal Development
For Love Work at Home: Data Entry, Writers, Engineers
Rather than an individual learning platform, UC Berkeley Class Central works as a search engine for free online courses (MOOCs). With over 150,000 learners, their website has listed all of the top online courses, from leading institutions that include Google, MIT, Harvard and Coursera. And you don’t need to go in blind—you can learn from other people’s reviews before deciding whether it’s worth diving into. Learners can also enjoy receiving weekly updates on courses available in their subject area.
Review: “Classes here are organized well, and learning modules is self-placed, something which I find very handy because at times my weeks can get really busy.” — Darren
Course topics: Business, Engineering, Health & Medicine, Humanities, Science, Social Sciences
For Love Work at Home: Engineers, Accountants, Marketers
2,400+ courses is what you’ll find at MIT OpenCourseWare, an online platform that virtually delivers all of MIT’s educational content. How great is that!
Reviews: “Getting to learn something you love can sometimes be as satisfying as drinking a glass of water when thirsty. MIT OCW is the medium which is helping quench the thirst of many others like me.” — Prabhakar
Course topics: Arts & Humanities, Business, Data Science, Languages, Social Sciences, Technology & Design
For Love Work at Home: Translators & Interpreters, Designers, Teachers & Tutors
Independent learners who are into technological science may enjoy learning at the Open Learning Initiative. They offer low-cost and free courses on topics like Computer Science, Technology & Design, Physical Sciences & Engineering. And each course equips learners with targeted feedback and self-assessment. That way, anyone can easily analyse their strengths or weaknesses, and pinpoint areas that require improvement on a given topic.
Reviews: “What is great about OLI is the learning model (data driven) and the structured approach to teaching. OLI uses learning outcomes and associates activities and quizzes with learning outcomes. This allows instructors to understand what fundamental concepts are difficult for students to comprehend and take corrective action.” — Suhali
Course topics: Subjects within Computer Science
For Love Work at Home: Children who show interest in Computer Science
It’s not only us who get the benefit of online learning—children should too. That’s why if you have a kid who’s into gaming and computers, introducing them to Code might pave an early path for a career in tech. Their vision is to provide limitless opportunities to learn computer science—and with over 42 million learners and 1 million teachers—it’s clear Code’s educational resources have proven effective on a global scale. Learners can enjoy tackling complex topics in an easy-to-understand way with interactive classes, quizzes, puzzles and problem-solving. Best of all? All courses are available at no cost.
Review: “Learning coding is the best thing that a parent can do for his or her child. With the current rate of unemployment a good coder doesn’t need to be unemployed because it’s a job that is sought for by almost every company that wants an Internet presence.” — Leonard
Course topics: Business, Design, Health, Philosophy, Social Sciences, Technology & Design, Thinking & Learning
For Love Work at Home: Marketers, Designers, Coaches, Teachers & Tutors
If you’re anything like me, TEDx talks can be just the shot of inspiration needed to take action on an idea. That’s why it might be worth taking a look at TED-Ed: a library choked with curiosity-driven animated videos, on almost any topic you can think of. Videos are short (average: 5 min), giving you space to absorb several insightful topics, in as little as an hour’s commute to work. While not a proper solution to improving a skill or furthering your career, it serves to nurture creative ideas, and trigger new ideas or even a renewed sense of purpose.
Review: “These outstanding video lessons take complex topics and simplify them through engaging animations for students of all ages! In addition, teachers can import a favorite educational video and create a lesson within the online TED-Ed module.” — Jennifer
Course topics: Articles on topics such as Mental Health, Love & Relationships, Parenthood
For Love Work at Home: Counselors, Therapists
Lesson Paths is a fantastic resource to visit for daily inspiration throughout the day. The website posts inspirational and thought-provoking quotes, and informative articles, on topics from health to relationships to parenthood to DIY advice. It’s great for light learning and educating yourself in the core areas of life.
Review: “I love to scan through articles and find quotes that resonate with my personal journey. I think it’s a great resource for people who are into personal growth.” — Stacey
Course topics: Languages
For Love Work at Home: Translators & Interpreters, Teachers & Tutors
What if advancing your career requires that you learn a new language? If that’s the case, Memrises may help you pick up new languages quickly and effectively. This language learning app provides courses taught by expert linguists, and focuses on making learning fun and interactive. Their “anti-textbook” approach to language teaching includes a range of specific exercises, designed to stimulate language development in an exciting way. What’s even better is you can learn through your phone with their own app.
Reviews: “Always amazed by Memrise’s willingness to teach you how to speak like a local.” — Mario
Course topics: Design & Illustration, Code, Web Design, Photo & Video, Business, Music & Audio
For Love Work at Home: Web Developers, Designers, Marketers, Data Entry
It’s the creative skills you learn that can literally transform your life. That’s what TutsPlus believes in, a provider of how-to tutorials and video courses on topics like Code, Design & Illustration, Photography, Game Development and more. Ideal for those in the field of technology, the platform is home to over 1,000 courses, broken down by expert instructors in the form of small, digestible lessons. A subscription costs $16.50/mo, in which you can also gain free access to Envato Elements—a library packed with creative assets and resources you can use to prepare you for your next project.
Review: “One thing I really liked about TutsPlus is they always have courses available for the absolute beginner. When I need a quick overview of a subject, I turn to Tuts. I know the information will be accurate and reliable. If I need to delve further into a subject, I usually just stay with Tuts for more advanced courses, too.” — Anonymous
Course topics: Health, Development, Languages, Business, Science, Environment
For Love Work at Home: Accountants, Developers, Marketers, Translators & Interpreters, Teachers & Tutors
Inspired by the Open University, Open Learn is an online learning platform that provides free courses on numerous topics. Whether it’s a short video or a full course you’re after, Open Learn’s resources are sure to peak your best interests. You can explore a range of topics that cater to every skill level (introductory to advanced), with thousands of articles, quizzes and interactive games to help create a meaningful learning experience. This is ideal for people who want to supplement their learning on, or further explore, a given topic.
Review: “OpenLearn specifically has a huge range of material, much of which is taken from discontinued (and some current) Open University courses. These range from basic introductory courses on things like arithmetic or using calculators to 100 hour extracts from masters degree level modules.Definitely give it a try, but don’t expect to earn real qualifications.” — Urist
Course topics: Business, Creative Arts & Media, Computer Science, Language, Psychology, Sciences, Teaching
For Love Work at Home: Teachers & Tutors, Developers, Translators & Interpreters
FutureLearn offers a variety of courses from well-known universities and institutions. You can find almost any kind of course—short courses, degrees, programs—and still enjoy a learning experience that’s fun, easy-to-follow, yet challenging. They also offer advice on how to study, mindset tips, and other helpful techniques to sharpen your learning abilities. Plus, through video, audio, articles and quizzes, you can easily gain a better understanding of any topic at hand. Access to courses are free but only for a limited duration (course duration + 14 days). Or, you can upgrade to their paid subscription which offers lifelong access to each course.
Review: “FutureLearn provides a great way to expand my knowledge and I have already completed more than 5 courses here. All the courses are of high quality and it didn’t cost me anything to learn as it is free to use. All the videos are pretty straightforward and easy to understand with the use of helpful graphics.” — Ashkay
Course topics: I.T, Cyber Security, Project Management, Development
For Love Work at Home: Developers, Designers, Engineers, Computer Scientists, Project Managers
This is a fantastic learning resource for those who have jobs in the Engineering, Construction or I.T & Security Industry. Professionals can upskill themselves with specialized education and comprehensive training, tailored to help earn or renew certifications in their area of expertise. Courses start from a 1-year subscription of $199, which offers you complete access to over 100 courses.
Note: Learn Smart Systems is a brand of Vector Solutions, a platform that provides courses and training, for both individuals and companies.
Course topics: Software Development, IT Operations, Information & Cyber Security, Cloud Computing, Manufacturing & Design
For Love Work at Home: Developers, Engineers, Data Entry, Designers
Do you have an interest in Software or IT? If so, Pluralsight may be a choice to consider. They specialize in teaching technology skills, in fields like Software Development, Cyber Security and Artificial Intelligence. Learning here is not passive—you can use their “Skill IQ” feature to identify strengths and knowledge gaps, so you know exactly where you need to improve. Or use their “Role IQ” to grade your skill level against modern technology roles, so you know how to get to the next level in your career. Pricing starts at $29/month ($299 Annually), but you can get started for free with their 10-day trial.
Review: “I am working at a startup and implementing a new product after a lot of research, I found half a dozen videos for the product on Pluralsight. These have been awesome in providing not only the basics, but also how to avoid gotchas in implementation. A great purchase, worth every penny.” — Megan
Course topics: Design, Marketing & Commerce, Illustration, Editing
For Love Work at Home: Designers, Editors, Marketers
Regular users of Adobe products may find AdobeTV useful. Here you’ll find several video (and written) tutorials and resources about using Adobe’s tools and services. New to Photoshop? Grasp a better understanding with the beginner Photoshop course. Or if you’re a seasoned Adobe user, the “experienced” section has a number of tutorials for those smaller areas you need to develop. All tutorials are free of charge, and you don’t even need to register to get started.
Review: “Companies recognize the value of hiring an ETSU graduate who already has experience working with Adobe Experience Cloud and is ready to help them connect with customers using sophisticated digital strategies.” — Stephen
Course topics: Business, Graphics, Design, Digital Marketing, Writing, Music, Programme & Tech,
For Love Work at Home: Designers, Developers, Writers, Data Entry, Teachers & Tutors, Translators & Interpreters, Transcribers
Learn from Fivver offers high-quality courses on in-demand skills, including Writing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Digital Marketing, Design and more. Every course is led by industry experts, though the goal remains the same: to teach you in-demand skills that you can use to earn a living. Some courses are free, though the majority charge an affordable fee based on the skill you’re learning. This is an ideal starting point for those who want to transition from working as an employee to being a freelancer.
Review: “I like that you have an experienced and knowledgeable instructor. The chosen topics were covered clearly and accurately. It’s also helpful that each section is divided into smaller chunks. This can make the class feel more manageable, help you fit it into your busy schedule, and stay motivated along the way.” — Dale
Learning is a lifelong journey.
And with this extensive list of top online course providers, anyone has the chance to broaden their knowledge on a given topic.
Whether you want to learn new skills, explore a new topic, or advance your career, learning with an online course is a fantastic way to continue growing and learning.
Thank you for reading this article. Did you find it helpful? We’d be endlessly thankful if you would share it with others who might also benefit.
Footnote: Reviews are from the course provider websites or online forums.