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Online Classes: How to Find the Best Free Online Education Program for Your Career Goals

Updated on October 1, 2014

Top 500 Free Online Classes

Free Online Classes to Expand Your Career Options or Knowledge and Skills

If you are someone who has never gotten a degree, or someone who has already attended college but wants to take online classes to expand your knowledge in various fields or increase your career options, here is an idea for you.

There are plenty of paid learning opportunities with major colleges which offer online classes in a particular career area. But how about free courses?

Have you ever looked into the wide variety of online classes which are available for anyone to take with an online college?

We have compiled a list of some of the best free online education programs below, so that you can browse each of them and see which online college might be best for you.

Before you do though, check out this video above to see hear about a site that offers information on 500 online classes you can take to further your career or for personal development. Keep in mind that taking these courses may not result in a DEGREE, so that's the rub. But, if what you want to do is to increase your knowledge and skills, and perhaps apply some of them to a paid online degree, it's a great option.

Free Ivy League Course Information

Is This for Real?

This video explores the options in taking free online classes from prestigious universities in specific career areas, which allows people to obtain skills from well-known universities at no cost.

There are free online classes in computer science, liberal arts, and more which can increase your knowledge base in a wide variety of disciplines and open up doors for you in your career which you might not have access to normally.

Taking free online classes from an online college are a great way to expand your knowledge base while having fun learning too!

Teacher, Teacher, Can You Teach Me?

Why should you take free online classes? Are free online classes the way to increase income?

The world is changing. As a technology business owner and former educator, I plan to be right in the middle of this transition, by offering some of my own online classes and educational programs for kids and adults alike in the future on such topics as: Technology, Education, English and Writing, Saving Money, Working at Home, Entrepreneurship, Media, and Video Marketing, to name a few.

I am also working on a variety of informational products which people will be able to download and purchase in several forms, such as video, audio, mobile apps, ebooks, and more.

But if you want to check out learning online and sign up for free online classes right now, start with these popular online college sites which offer a FREE education in various topics:

Khan Academy

Khan Academy has become wildly popular lately due to its various totally free online classes they offer in high level disciplines, such as Math, Science, including Physics, and many more. You can work on skills at your own pace, with no pressure, on your own time, and at no cost.


Coursera is another free online college program which allows you to pick and choose the online classes and courses you want to take all for FREE! Learn from over 762 free online classes in such topics as: App Creation for Mobile Devices, Comic Books and Graphic Novels, and English Composition, to name a few.


Harvard University even offers some specific free online classes which are free to take! Imagine telling an employer in an interview, "I took a couple of courses at Harvard this summer!"

The online courses you can take at Harvard online tend to be more specific to certain disciplines, such as English Literature or Computer Science, but if you look regularly, they update these online courses periodically.

Stanford University

Stanford University is another online college which also has some online classes you may take at your leisure and add this "Ivy League" school to your resume. Their courses tend to be oriented with more science and math than other areas, but here are some of the current course offerings:

  • Quantum Mechanics for Scientists and Engineers
  • Mastering Language for College and Career Readiness
  • Audio Signal Processing for Music Applications
  • Computer Science 101

Which Courses Should You Take?

When you are trying to decide which online school or courses you should take in order to benefit from the experience, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Think about how you will use the course information you learn in your online classes. Read the online course catalog on the online classes you wish to take and the school carefully, especially paying attention to the objections of the course. What do you want to gain from taking the class? Remember, in one way, you have nothing to lose since it's free. But it does cost you your TIME, so you want to use that time as wisely as possible for the most ROI on your time investment.
  2. Think about whether this course would be appreciated by potential employers in your field. For example, do you work in a bank and would like an opportunity to work up the chain of command or be a financial executive? Some bank executives might consider taking even one course from Harvard Business School as a high mark of achievement to move up, while others might want an M.B.A. before considering granting a raise or promotion. Do your homework ahead of time and find out what your place of employment values, if you hope to gain recognition for it at work.
  3. If you are an entrepreneur or business owner, think about how you could use the knowledge you learn in such online classes to further your business or market yourself better to the world. If you own a technology company, consider taking online classes from Stanford Online in Computer Science. This may go a long way with customers and you may be able to gain new respect from these credentials, even if all you get is a certificate of completion at the end.
  4. Consider the time element. You are not spending your money on online classes if they are free, but you are spending your time. So make sure you have some time to spare to devote to it, so that you can learn what you need to and obtain the level of expertise you need for your goals.
  5. Finally, have fun with it. These online classes and courses are free, after all, so have fun learning. It's at your own pace in most cases so there's no rush!

Remember, when you further your education with free online courses...the sky's the limit!

Go to School- at Home

Many people have returned to school to get a degree or to further their education, in order to increase their chances of obtaining a new job or career opportunity.

Online classes from an online college are a great way to get your education without having to rearrange your schedule and your life and spend money commuting in order to get the education you need to progress with your goals. But some of these can be expensive and may not guarantee you a job once you are finished with the requirements.

Taking free online classes is a perfect way to "wade out" into the world of online education, with some well-known respected universities and institutions, free of charge. Then, if you have success with this, you may want to continue your online education in a specific area with other schools or online learning programs.

All you need to take free online classes is access to a computer and internet, and a willingness to learn something new. Who knows, you might not even need a degree to get ahead once you have some of these skills behind you. You could start your own business based on information you learn in one of these online classes!

Online classes are also a good option for employers to use as a training method for employees in specific skill areas. The possibilities are endless.

Try some of our links or do a search yourself for online classes and programs and remember that getting your education is one of the single best things you can do for yourself which can increase your chances for success!

Copyright Notice

© 2014 Deborah L. Killion

Deb Killion is a well-known blogger, tech biz owner, and media content producer. All of her work including blog entries and posts are protected by copyright law. None of her work may be copied or reproduced in whole or in part without express written permission.


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