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Improve Your Skill Set in 2020

With all the changes in the current and upcoming job markets, many people are looking to learn and enhance their job skills, especially in digital marketing. We are lucky that in today’s world, you can learn at home for free or for a minimal amount of money.

Online courses are one of the easiest ways to learn new skills and enhance your professional skill set. The thing is, there are a ton of websites offering free online courses or promising to help you master tough subjects. How do you know where to start? Which online courses are worth your time and money?

We did some research and created a hand-picked list of resources that offer some of the best online courses out there in marketing, tech, and design. We also have some learning options for other topics you might be interested in. So, let’s review all the categories we will cover, and then we will dig deeper into each of them.

So let’s get started!

Online Digital Marketing Courses

SEMrush Academy

If your main area of interest is digital marketing, then SEMrush Academy is definitely the right place for you. You will find more than 30 online courses covering all the main digital marketing disciplines, including SEO, PPC, content marketing, and social media.

SEMrush digital marketing course page.

You can also take online exams and obtain relevant certification in a range of digital marketing skills, which makes this a great resource if you are serious about developing your career.

As a bonus, you can learn from acclaimed digital marketing experts such as Greg Gifford, Neal Schaffer, Bastian Grimm, Ashley Segura, Joel Bondorowsky, and Jose Fachhin through video lectures. 

  • Cost: Forever free
  • Certification Provided: Yes

Google Digital Garage

Currently, Google has 126 online courses that are free. We like their fundamentals of digital marketing as it comes with a certificate (awesome!).

There are plenty of other subjects, including creating online content, social psychology, strategic innovation, machine learning, introduction to computer science, data science, the occasional developer course, and even courses about learning how to learn! We should add that not all certification is free, but it is totally worth taking the courses anyway. 

  • Cost: Free (with exceptions)
  • Certification Provided: Yes

Digital Marketing Courses on Udemy

When you do a search for Digital Marketing on Udemy, you will see over 2,000 courses offered, but you can filter those marketing class options by ratings, video duration, topics, level, free or paid, and more.

Digital Marketing Courses page at Udemy

You can choose from 25 different digital marketing topics, and 360 classes have a rating of 4.5 (out of 5) or higher. 

  • Cost: Some free and some paid
  • Certification Provided: Completion certificates

edX Digital Marketing Courses

edX offers online programs from top schools like Wharton and Curtin. There are multiple courses to choose from, and they are self-paced. 

  • Cost: Free 
  • Certification Provided: Available for $399

Online Digital Marketing College Programs

These are paid courses that require larger time commitments and hard work. The prices vary. 

Digital Marketing Graduate Certificate from Full Sail

digital marketing certificate page from Full Sail

Full Sail offers courses that provide an introductory exploration of digital marketing methodologies, analytics, marketing analysis, and new media. It is a 4-month program. You can see the course schedule here.

Digital Marketing Certificate Program at Wharton

Wharton offers a 6-week online course that covers omnichannel marketing, marketing analytics, social media strategy and analysis, and data-driven customer-centric approaches to customer retention. You can earn a Digital Marketing Certificate with a 3-5 hour commitment per week. 

Digital Marketing Specialization from the University of Illinois

Coursera is offering a beginner level course that is part of the University of Illinois Masters of Business Administration degree program, the iMBA. It explores digital marketing analytics, search engine optimization, social media marketing, and 3D Printing. The specialization will take about 8 months to complete, and you can work on your own schedule. Financial aid is available. Students do earn a certificate upon completion.

Digital Marketing Certificate: California State University, Fullerton

This certificate requires a greater commitment of time and effort. Students can earn a digital marketing certificate in 10 months. There are six required online courses, and you can earn 12.0 continuing education units (CEUs). However, take note of state and federal regulations for your state. 

Mini-MBA: Digital Marketing at Rutgers

Rutgers offers a 12-week self-paced program that features 10 modules and addresses the topics driving digital marketing success in our industry, including techniques for growing your search engine rankings, key measurements to mastering web analytics, digital marketing tactics, and more. See the full curriculum for more information.


Online Courses for Tech Skills

Great digital marketers often have tech skills than enhance their strategies. 

General Assembly

If you are looking for courses on data science, coding, product management, digital marketing, or web development, General Assembly is an amazing resource of online courses. Most of them are not free, but they do run regular free workshop events. 

They also have a free learn to code course that teaches you how to use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. So, if you are thinking about transitioning into a programming career, this could be a great opportunity to see if coding is for you. 

  • Cost: Paid (Some are free)
  • Certification Provided: yes

Udacity

Udacity is another provider that focuses on tech skills, which are segmented under specific job titles, making it easy to know which courses you need to take. Courses include data science, artificial intelligence, or machine learning, and a few business courses.

Right now, they are offering 30 days free access due to COVID-19, so if you are seriously motivated, you could whizz through an entire course (or even two!) for free.

  • Cost: Temporarily free (30 days after registration)
  • Certification Provided: No

Linux Foundation Training Program

Linux Foundation’s training program is the go-to place for free online courses and other resources, including webinars and tutorials, and generally all things Linux. You can also explore paid courses and training programs, as well as check out their certifications. 

  • Cost: Paid (Some are free)
  • Certification Provided: Yes

SkillShare

SkillShare allows you to explore your creative side with 637 free online classes. They also have over 9,000 paid online courses. If you find you are drawn to their premium content, then you will love the fact that new members get 2 months’ free premium membership! Courses include UX/UI design, web development, creative writing, animation, graphic design, music, photography, and many others.

They have even got a range of courses that look at business analytics, freelancing and entrepreneurship, and leadership and management. 

  • Cost: Paid (2 months’ free premium membership available)
  • Certification Provided: No

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) Platforms:

Udemy, Alison, Class Central, Coursera, edX, Future Learn

Each platform delivers courses that cover both theory and practice, including subjects such as app development, web development, project management, machine learning, data science, marketing, and more.

Udemy is currently offering big discounts on some of their courses. Alison is offering discounts on certification and on COVID-19 related courses, while Class Central, Coursera, and edX (from some of the top universities) are giving away discounts on certification as well as being packed with a ton of free content. But technical courses are not your only choice. Future Learn is great if you are looking for something in the humanities, arts, or creative courses.

  • Cost: Paid (Some are free)
  • Certification Provided: Yes

Online Courses for Design

Canva

The Canva Design School offers online courses covering social media, graphic design basics, branding, and tips on making outstanding presentations. The only downside is they only have 5 courses in total – but they are all highly rated, so worth checking out. 

Canva's online course page screenshot

  • Cost: Free
  • Certification Provided: No

Fundamentals of Graphic Design: California Institute of the Arts

This course by CALARTS breaks down the fundamental principles of graphic design, including image-making, typography, composition, working with color and shape, and more. Access to Adobe Creative Suite programs, such as Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign will help. 

  • Cost: Paid
  • Certification Provided: Unknown

Additional Graphic Design Courses: 


Additional Learning Opportunities Online

Sometimes you just want to learn about things not related to your job or your daily work. So below, we have broken down some learning opportunities related to education, personal health, and hobbies.

Ivy League University Courses

If you are looking for higher education online courses, then you might want to check out some of the top universities in the country. The reputation of these Ivy League institutions speaks for itself, but what most don’t know is that they provide a range of online courses you can take at home. 

Some are free, including classes in politics, data science, geography, and more; these courses are generally available on separate websites to the main university sites.

Harvard University

The venerable Harvard University is arguably the best educational institution in the world. Overall, it offers more than 200 online training courses on both technical and humanitarian subjects, and almost half of them are free. What’s more, you’ll have a chance to get a valuable certificate upon completion of a chosen course.

  • Cost: Paid (Some are free)
  • Certification Provided: Yes

Princeton University

Princeton University is a contender for the title of the world’s best university. It has established an open courses program, Princeton Online, which comprises 20+ free training classes.

Online courses page

 The courses vary in terms of topic, content, length, and level of difficulty.

  • Cost: Free
  • Certification Provided: No

Yale University

Yale University is the third-oldest institution of Higher Education in the United States. It is regarded as one of the most prestigious universities in the world because of its rich history, wealth, and academic achievements.

Yale has launched the Open Yale Courses program to grant everyone access to some of its learning classes devoted to finance, politics, history, psychology, literature, etc. 

  • Cost: Free (Within the OYC program)
  • Certification Provided: No

Training Programs for Body and Mind

One Peloton

Get your body moving and keep your mind healthy with One Peloton. If you have heard of Peloton, you probably think it is all about the bike and the cycling classes — which are amazingly interactive and super motivating — but there’s more to Peloton than first meets the eye.

They are offering a 30-day free trial that gives you access to a huge range of live and on-demand classes in cycling, running, yoga, and strength training. 

  • Cost: Paid (30-day free trial)
  • Certification Provided: No

Headspace

Find a way to be calm and learn powerful mental practices with Headspace’s well-known meditation platform. Right now, anyone can access their free audio meditations on relieving stress, working at home, and dealing with panic, and they have a free collection of content called ‘Weathering the Storm’ too.

If you are a K-12 teacher, school administrator, or support staff in the US, UK, Canada, or Australia, full access is offered free due to COVID-19!

  • Cost: Free (under certain conditions)
  • Certification Provided: No

 

Other Online Courses 

Line of Action

Line of Action isn’t technically an online course provider, but it does have a really cool and useful range of resources to help you develop your artistic skills. We particularly like the fact that you can ‘create’ your own drawing class to focus on animals, faces and expressions, hands and feet, and even scenes and environments. You even get to decide how long you want your class to last.

  • Cost: Paid membership
  • Certification Provided: No

Fender Play

Ever wanted to learn to play the guitar? Maybe you’ve felt inspired by people around the world putting on impromptu gigs in their streets, on their balconies, or even their rooftops! Dream no longer, as Fender Play is currently offering 3 months of free online guitar lessons.

Online course by Fender page

  • Cost: Paid (3 months of free online lessons)
  • Certification Provided: No 

Rosetta Stone

Want to learn another language? Rosetta Stone has online courses for learning English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese, Dutch, Persian, and Turkish. They are currently offering 3 months’ access for free to all students, and a 7-day free trial to anyone else.

  • Cost: Paid (3 months’ free full access to students)
  • Certification Provided: Yes

BarSmarts 

Sure, bars and restaurants aren’t open right now, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t learn how to be a professional bartender in your own home, right?

The BarSmarts education program provides a comprehensive and results-driven online education program. Registrants have 60 days to complete the program — learn to mix your own drinks at home. You do have to be over the age of 21 to access the site, though. 

  • Cost: Paid
  • Certification Provided: Yes

There Are So Many Online Courses to Choose From

The online education space is big and growing — with a vast variety of choices out there. Whether you are looking for digital marketing courses, web development training programs, physical education, or mental growth classes, you can find anything you want.

Even the world’s top universities go online with courses a variety of subjects which will help you broaden your horizons. Not all of the classes are free, but there are discounts and freebies to be found, and you can rest assured that some of the best offerings are listed in this article.


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