What do Shakespeare, Isaac Newton, Victor Hugo, and Edvard Munch all have in common? No, it’s not that they have inspired countless memes. It’s that they produced some of their best work while in quarantine.
Now, you may not personally aspire to write epic literature, make scientific breakthroughs, or paint great works of art. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the current situation by increasing your knowledge — which will not only make you smarter, but it could also boost your income. More brains and more money! What’s not to love about that?
To help you pursue your learning goals, here is a list of some of the best free online learning platforms that offer courses in everything from artificial intelligence to personal development:
Coursera offers over 1,000 courses that are completely free, from more than 150 notable universities like Stanford, Georgia Tech, Yale, Duke, and Michigan State. Some of the most popular IT-related courses cover topics like machine learning, algorithms, cryptography, cryptocurrency, software defined networking, and information security. Keep in mind that some Coursera courses are fee-based. However, you can still enroll at no cost if you audit them (i.e. you can go through all of the lessons, but you won’t have assignments graded or earn a certificate upon completion).
Khan Academy is a nonprofit organization that is on a mission to provide free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Classes are delivered in short videos. While many courses target K-12 students, several are suitable for adult learners — especially those who need an introduction to sophisticated subjects like computer programming, computer science, coding, and more. If you find the platform beneficial, then you can make a donation.
iTunes U features a large and growing curated collection of free education content from leading schools, universities, museums, and cultural institutions. There are courses on everything, including tons (and tons) of stuff on IT. Keep in mind, however, that currently iTunes U only works for iPad and iPhone. It can’t be accessed from a Mac, PC or Android device.
MIT Open Courseware
Have you ever dreamed of attending the famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology? Well, now you can channel your inner Matt Damon from “Good Will Hunting” by logging into MIT Open Courseware. There are more than 2,400 courses covering topics like game design, IT, engineering, social sciences, and humanities. How do you like them apples?
Sergey Brin attended Stanford University. So did Larry Page, Elon Musk, and Marissa Mayer. Guess what? Now you can, too, thanks to Stanford Online. Some popular free IT courses cover topics like algorithms, computer science, cryptography, AI, and data science. There are also plenty of non-IT related courses on topics like business management, health and medicine, and personal development.
edX offers more than 2,500 courses from 140 institutions, including Harvard, Boston University, Georgetown University, and many more in the U.S. and worldwide. Similar to Coursera, you can audit most edX courses for free. Some popular IT courses cover Python, front-end web development, full-stack development, and blockchain. Of course, there are many (and we mean many!) non-IT related courses in areas like literature, music, philosophy, business, finance, art, and culture.
Start Learning Something New Today
We hope that you’ve found the above recommendations useful. Yes, this is a difficult, stressful and scary time for all of us. But it provides us with the opportunity to learn something new that will enrich our lives — and maybe our finances, too.
If you have experience with any of these online learning platforms, or if you recommend other platforms that aren’t on our list, please comment below and share your views. Happy learning!