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Where to Find Free Online Training and Certification Opportunities

Updated on April 6, 2017
The free online training opportunities listed here can improve your knowledge as well as your resume without breaking the bank.
The free online training opportunities listed here can improve your knowledge as well as your resume without breaking the bank. | Source

Obtaining continuing education and training is something that will prove beneficial to all people currently employed or seeking a new job. From the unemployed construction worker to the top level business executive, maintaining your credentials and staying sharp has never been more important than now. If you are strapped for cash and are looking for ways to improve your skills, knowledge, and your resume, then these free training opportunities are for you.

Many of these free courses are endorsed by their parent organizations and offer continuing education credits and a certificate to prove you completed them. I have taken classes at every one of these sites and have found them more than helpful on many occasions. I hope that they can provide you with the same benefits that they have afforded me.

Emergency Management Institute (EMI)

The Emergency Management Institute offers literally hundreds of free online classes and training through their Independent Study Program. All of the courses offered through this program are completely free if you qualify. Even though these classes are geared towards emergency management professionals, many of them will prove beneficial in other fields (and even the general public).

Another great thing about this site is that some of the free classes can be converted to real college credits and used towards a degree program. For a small fee, the fully accredited Frederick Community College will convert your coursework into college credits. Then you could transfer those credits to another college if needed. All you need to take these courses is a computer and some free time.

Training Format: Text/Audio/Video (Some Courses are Interactive Presentations)

College Credit: Yes (for a small fee, not all classes will convert.

Continuing Education Credits or Professional Develop Hours: Yes

Time Commitment for Classes: 1 to 16 hours each (Self Paced)

Printable Certificates: Yes (Free)


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United States Institute of Peace

The United States Institute of Peace has several free training courses available to the general public. If you ever wanted to learn more about conflict analysis & resolution or how to negotiate, then this website is the place for you. Each course may take several hours to complete but you will be rewarded with some very useful knowledge and a free printable certificate.

Training Format: Text/Photographs

College Credit: No

Continuing Education Credits or Professional Develop Hours: Depends.

Time Commitment for Classes: 4 to 8 hours each (Self Paced)

Printable Certificates: Yes

Columbia Regional Learning Center

The Columbia Regional Learning Center offers a variety of free online courses to pretty much anyone with a computer. Most of the courses are geared towards emergency managers and public health care practitioners. However, there are also many great courses that teach you about leadership and management. In addition to these, there are also courses about the environment and natural disasters. One of the things that I really like about the free training offered at the Columbia Regional Learning Center is that the presentations are really we well put together.

Training Format: Text/Audio/Video (Some Courses are Interactive Presentations)

College Credit: No

Continuing Education Credits or Professional Develop Hours: Yes

Time Commitment for Classes: 1 to 16 hours each (Self Paced)

Printable Certificates: Yes (Free)


Source

Goodwill Community Foundation

There are literally hundreds of 100% free training courses available at the Goodwill Community Foundation's website. Courses are offered in a variety of subjects include business management, career development, computers, math, the Internet, and many of the software applications that most people use on a daily basis. In addition to learning from your desktop computer, there are many apps available that allow you to learn on the go.

Keep in mind that only some courses will give you a printable certificate and continuing education credits. These courses have a limited number of openings and tend to fill up quickly. The available courses in this category will also change with time.

Training Format: Text/Audio/Video

College Credit: No

Continuing Education Credits or Professional Develop Hours: Yes

Time Commitment for Classes: 1 to 4 hours each (Self Paced)

Printable Certificates: Yes (Free)


ZWeigWhite Continuing Education for Engineers & Contractors

ZWeigWhite offers these training classes free of charge. The courses are geared towards Civil, Structural, & Environmental Engineers as well as contractors and people involved in the construction industry. The great thing about these classes (other than the fact that they are free) is that many governing bodies and organizations will recognize them as providing Continuing Education Credits (CECs) or Professional Development Hours (PDHs).

Training Format: Text/Images/Webcasts

College Credit: No

Continuing Education Credits or Professional Develop Hours: Yes

Time Commitment for Classes: 1 to 4 hours (Self Paced)

Printable Certificates: Yes (Free)


Source

Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI)

ESRI has a large number of training opportunities available to help you increase your knowledge of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and their proprietary software, ArcGIS. You do have to pay for most of the training available at this site, but there are some free introductory level classes that you can take. Note that some of these classes require you to have the proper software to be able to perform the exercises. If you don’t want to buy the software, ESRI has made a trial version available for people to use. The trial version is good for 60 days, which is plenty of time to learn the basics of how it works and what it can do for you.

Training Format: Text/Video/Audio/Software Exercises (Some Courses are Interactive Presentations)

College Credit: No

Continuing Education Credits or Professional Develop Hours: No

Time Commitment for Classes: 2 to 16 hours each (Self Paced)

Printable Certificates: Yes (Free)

E-Learning Center

The E-Learning Center offers a few free courses in several computer applications, programming, and business management. If you need to brush up on your programming skills or learn more about business, this site can really help you out. So far, the free classes that I have taken have been great. The only downside to the free classes is that you don’t get a certificate or education credits for completing them. However, the knowledge that you will obtain should prove to be more valuable than any piece of paper.

Training Format: Interactive Presentation (Audio/Video)

College Credit: No

Continuing Education Credits or Professional Develop Hours: No (for free courses)/Yes (Paid Courses)

Time Commitment for Classes: 2 to 6 hours each (Self Paced)

Printable Certificates: No (for free courses)/Yes (Paid Courses)


Source

Free Training Power

If you are looking for free safety training, then Free Training Power is for you. There are 20 OSHA related safety courses available for anyone to take. People looking for jobs in the construction industry will benefit by taking to the time to finish all 20 courses. Employers will also look very highly upon someone who values safety. I took a few of these training courses and found that they were fun and engaging.

Training Format: Presentation/Audio/Video

College Credit: No

Continuing Education Credits or Professional Develop Hours: Premium (pay) courses only.

Time Commitment for Classes: 0.5 to 2 hours each (Self Paced)

Printable Certificates: Yes (Free)


Alison

Alison is a very large site that is dedicated to providing free training on a variety of subjects. All of the training courses are free, but you may have to pay a small fee to obtain the certificate and credits. The main training subjects are: English, Health Literacy, Health and Safety, Financial and Economic, Business and Enterprise Skills, and Information Technology. Want to learn about Google Webmaster tools? There is a training class for that. How about brushing up on your photoshop skills? There are trainings for that as well. With nearly 300 courses to choose from, you will never run out of things to learn.

Training Format: Text/Audio/Video (Some Courses are Interactive Presentations)

College Credit: No

Continuing Education Credits or Professional Develop Hours: Sometimes (check with each course)

Time Commitment for Classes: 1 to 8 hours each (Self Paced)

Printable Certificates: Yes (some are free, some charge a small fee - check the course catalog)

Additional Sources for Free Training

Discover more than 800 Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) from great universities here at Open Culture. This websites follows universities around the country and posts new free course when them become available online. A lot of these free course are similar to actual online college classes. They may take weeks to complete and will require a considerable amount of work on your part. Open Culture has many courses listed that can be completed in a few hours or less as well.

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    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Efficient Admin 

      5 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      Thanks for sharing....I will definitely check these out.

    • profile image

      rasheed Ahmad 

      5 years ago

      helpful

    • carozy profile image

      carozy 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      Very helpful hub.

    • profile image

      Opeyemi oshikoya 

      6 years ago

      I love this site & i want to continue wiith it.

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