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Exploring free online courses with certificates of completion can open up a whole new world of educational and career opportunities. After all, expanding your skills and broadening your knowledge base will always serve you well. You can punch up your resume to make yourself more attractive to employers or develop new skills that will help you be more effective in your job; if you don't have to spend any money doing it, there's not much of a downside.
MOOCs massive open online courses are college-level courses that are published online and are accessible to anyone in the world for free; many come with a certificate of completion that you can put on your resume or share on social media. MOOCs offer a unique opportunity to learn from industry experts without spending a cent. And they are a growing trend in online education: In , 58 million people around the world signed up for at least one MOOC, up from 35 million in In some cases, you have to pay the fee in order to complete exams or access the full course materials.
But there are still plenty of online courses available that come with a certificate of completion and don't cost you a dime. We've compiled a list of examples below, along with some tips on how to make the most of free online training and how free online certifications can boost your career prospects. Getting free certifications online can enhance your productivity and make you a more valuable employee, but just because they're free doesn't mean they don't require any effort.
Here are a few tips on how to maximize the benefits of free online training:. Do some research to make sure you actually want to learn whatever the course is teaching. Dropping out of a free course is easy and many do: Find a course that suits you on a topic you want to know more about. Some of the most useful courses offer project-based work that will give you something concrete besides your certificate that you can show an employer to demonstrate your competence.
Boost your chances of success by only taking one course at a time. You don't want to exhaust your mental resources. You need to be realistic about what you can fit into your lifestyle: A self-paced course might be a better fit than one with a set schedule, for instance.
Make sure to plan out when you can do the work—maybe you could watch videos during your morning bus ride or read course materials just after dinner. Watch that you don't overschedule yourself. It takes serious mental discipline to keep going with a course even when your interest wanes or your lifestyle gets hectic. If you find your motivation sagging, try to refocus on what skills you hope to acquire and why you wanted to take the course in the first place.
Practicing good time-management skills can go a long way toward reducing your stress and keeping your enthusiasm level high. It's easy to find companies that provide free online courses; it's a bit trickier to find those that will also provide a free certificate of completion.
Here are some that fit that description:. Business topics are a popular focus for online courses. You can learn how to run a business, manage employees and processes, and design marketing campaigns, all without spending a dime.
Here are some examples of free online courses with certificates of completion in business and management:. Learn how to manage the logistics of getting a product from manufacturers to delivery services to stores and ultimately to consumers. You'll focus on the mechanics of a working supply chain and the process of sourcing operations.
This course takes 80 hours to complete, can be started at any time, and can be done from anywhere in the world at your own pace. Weddings, festivals, and corporate parties all rely on the expertise of an event manager to handle the details and make sure things go off without a hitch.
This free course teaches the fundamentals of event creation along with strategies for effective event marketing. The course is designed to be 80 hours long, and no prior experience is required.
Explore the key elements that are essential to the success of an entrepreneur. Topics include ethics, leadership characteristics, funding strategies, business plans, and managing both family and non-family employees. This course requires two to four hours of study which includes watching videos and taking assessments per week for four weeks.
Discover the different roles within the sports and recreation industry, develop leadership skills, and learn how to plan and deliver a sport, fitness, or recreation session focused on your clients' needs. This course runs for four weeks and includes about three hours of videos; you should expect to spend anywhere from two to four hours a week reviewing course material.
Explore the laws and ethical standards that businesses must abide by. This comprehensive course takes about hours to complete and covers topics like dispute resolution, torts, contracts, property law, and business ethics.
Through it, you'll develop a solid understanding of the legal framework that protects both consumers and businesses. Get a detailed introduction to the art and science of selling a product.
This course will teach you how to position a product, conduct marketing research, consider the impact of competition, and make good promotional decisions. You'll also learn how to launch a marketing campaign. The entire course takes about 95 hours to complete. Free online courses are available on a wide range of computer-related topics, from web design and cyber security to computer architecture and video game development.
The following are just a few examples of free online courses with certificates of completion in computer science:. Learn the basic concepts of computers and computing.
A beginner class specifically designed for students with no programming experience, this course provides an introduction to software development , object-oriented programming, the fundamentals of Java, user-defined methods, and arrays. Completing all course units requires about 95 hours. Learn what goes into making content look great across different devices. Designed for front-end developers as well as web designers with coding experience, this course covers topics like designing with flexible grids, creating layouts that incorporate typography and fluid media, and using CSS media queries.
By the end of the course, you will have built a responsive website from scratch. Get an overview of the principles of user experience for the online world. Learn the importance of knowing your users, discover how to make websites accessible, and explore usability evaluation techniques like walkthroughs, usability testing, and competitor analysis. This self-paced course can be started at any time. This course uses exercises and coding examples to teach students best practices for adding or changing interactive elements on a website.
Some programming experience is helpful, but not required. Those who work with the written or spoken word can easily train online. Online courses cover topics like writing for the web and speaking in front of a crowd. Check out this list of free online courses with certificates of completion in communication:.
Use data from tools like Google Analytics and Google Keyword Planner to help you write compelling content that your customers want to read. This course will show you how to craft effective content for email messages, blog posts, and more. A Google Analytics or Google Drive account is recommended, but not technically required. Examine the elements and factors that go into an effective speech.
This course looks at audience analysis techniques, the importance of listening, and how you can train yourself to speak confidently. You will identify effective speaking techniques and learn how to construct informative and persuasive speeches. The 15 units should take about 92 hours in total to complete. Do you understand the differences between public relations , advertising , and publicity? This course will teach you about the role of public opinion in business success and the importance of reputation management.
You'll learn about various PR tools and get a broad overview of public relations in general. No experience is required, and you can start at any time. A huge range of free online courses are available to those with a thirst for scientific knowledge. Want to learn about life in the ocean depths? Explore the workings of the human body?
Discover how robots move? Here are some examples of free online courses with certificates of completion in science:. If you're fascinated by life under the sea, check out this course. You will learn about key features of our oceans, explore humans' impact on marine systems, and discuss how marine ecosystems can be monitored and managed. This four-week course is self-paced and includes five hours of videos; plan to spend about two to four hours a week on coursework.
Explore the impacts of climate change. This course looks at how the changing climate is affecting our species, ecosystems, coastlines, food supply, economy, and more. Find out why the timing of solutions is critical, and learn what kind of impact different emission reduction solutions have had. This course runs for four weeks; expect to spend at least a couple hours a week reviewing course materials. Learn how diseases like high blood pressure, heartburn, diabetes, and the common cold affect the human body.
This course will explain the functioning of the major body systems, including the cardiovascular system, the gastrointestinal tract, and the respiratory tract. You will learn how disease affects body function and what you can do to best manage your health. Get a detailed introduction to the structure and function of biological macromolecules and cellular components. This course will teach you about proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids; you will also learn about mitosis and meiosis, genetics, and cellular metabolism.
There are 10 units in this course; completing them all takes about 80 hours in total.