7 of the Best Online Courses to Build Your Skills
Many of us have made New Year’s resolutions to learn a new language, try our hand at coding, understand the intricacies of photography, grow into leadership positions, and otherwise develop our skills and talents. Now is a good time to decide which educational program is right for you. And there are a number of great options to choose from – including free ones.
A word of caution: before you commit, make sure you know what teaching style will work best for you. Some virtual offerings mimic regular “classes” riddled with teacher-student interactions, and others are lecture series with no feedback from educators or fellow students. Of course, not all virtual skill learning is of equal quality. Make sure you read the program and class reviews before you enroll.
7 of the Best Skill Learning Options
When you start looking for a way to learn new skills, you want to weigh the pros and cons of each program available. We’ve reviewed some of the most popular programs available to get you started quickly. However, pricing can be complicated, so make sure you understand whether you’re signing up for a micro-course, a one-time course, a multi-course program, or a monthly membership. Also note that many of these programs have free courses or free trials. Read our top 7 choices below. As always, the prices listed may fluctuate over time.
1st master class
Former President Bill Clinton, photographer Annie Leibovitz, and satirist David Sedaris are just a few well-known educators teaching virtually through masterclasses. The education group offers over 100 pre-recorded courses, including lecture series, audio-only, and a new format that allows students to work on projects and activities in a 30-day structured curriculum. In the new program, teaching assistants and other students provide feedback.
The majority of the classes have around 20 video lessons that are around 10 minutes long. You will also receive a detailed workbook for various courses. Worried you won’t have everything ready in 30 days? You can view the lesson at any time. Choose from three class programs: Standard, Plus and Premium. The main difference is the number of devices you can watch from and offline access.
One thing to note: although the classes are geared toward skill-building, there is plenty of inspirational and philosophical advice.
Buy at Masterclass from $15.
Do you want to learn creative skills like drawing floral shapes, making crafts, or painting with watercolors? Skillshare has become a popular learning platform for creatives. Teachers include some famous instructors, including writers Roxanne Gay and Mary Karr, and multidisciplinary artist Laci Jordan (Walt Disney Imagineering, ABC, Creative Artists Agency). What sets Skillshare apart: the instructors.
If someone meets their editorial standards, they can upload information and teach courses. Most classes are less than 60 minutes, with short lessons to fit any schedule. Skillshare is a subscription service where members have unlimited access to thousands of courses on its platform. Prices vary in different markets.
Try it for free on Skillshare.
Udemy offers more than 175,000 personal and professional self-paced video courses in a range of languages. You can find self-study, no-degree options on everything from management training to coding to photography and even yoga. Although the offer is extensive, Udemy is best known for Excel, web development and similar courses. In fact, Udemy offers a range of business training courses.
There are several ways to access courses. You can pay for individual courses or purchase a membership. Udemy also offers business memberships and programs powered by Volkswagen, Aflac, and other companies. Another offer is employee training. Both private and business customers can benefit from free offers.
Shop at Udemy from $24.99
When you enroll in Coursera, you have access to more than 5,000 credit and credit courses taught by educators from Yale University, Duke University, University of London, and other top schools. About 1,700 courses are free and you can upgrade them to earn a certificate. Students can even partner with their current university to take courses through the platform.
There are many educational offerings, including courses, facilitated projects, specialized lecture series, professional certificates, and online modules of master’s programs that can be credited towards a degree. You can even use bachelors or masters degrees from this platform.
Buy at Coursera from $9.99.
5. Code Academy
Not sure what skills you need? Codecademy offers a sorting quiz to help you determine which of the skills and 15 languages on offer suits you best. Codecademy has multiple memberships including Pro, Business, and Pro Student. If you’re ready to improve your technical skills, don’t miss the free courses either.
Try it for free at Codecademy.
When you think of building knowledge and skills related to creativity, you certainly don’t think of North Indian classical music or French fashion style and strategy. These are just a few of the advanced courses Kadenze offers.
Platform partners include Paris College of Art, California Institute of the Arts, and others. Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced student, you’ll find offerings in micro-courses, standard courses, and curated programs that Kadenze says will “transform your career.”
Shop at Kadenze from $20
7. Yale Online
If you’ve always wanted to learn from Ivy League faculty, Yale Online gives you the opportunity. Yale will likely offer an online course if you’re interested in exploring climate adaptation for human health or American contract law. They don’t offer hands-on courses on Use and Screw, but studies in financial economics and other social science topics are ideal for business leaders and executives.
Try it for free at Yale Online.
Newsweek may earn a commission from links on this site, but we only recommend products that we endorse. We participate in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we receive commissions on editorially selected products purchased through our links to retailer sites.