6 places to take free and affordable classes online — on everything from programming to photography

6 places to take free and affordable classes online — on everything from programming to photography

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  • Learning new skills online is often far more convenient and inexpensive than in-person enrollment.
  • You get to take your time, pay a lower fee, and in some cases, you get to keep the information for life.
  • Below are six of the best and most popular options for online learning, including UdemyCoursera, and MasterClass.

There’s a reason people are turning to online learning en masse. Students can learn on their own schedule, save money on commuting, boarding, and a host of other expenses, and can often download course lectures for convenient offline reading. What’s more, some options let you can keep classes forever once you’ve paid for them. Some are free, and some sites let you take as many courses as you want for one manageable fee. You can pick up professional certifications online, skills that help you get hired in a quickly changing market, and even masters degrees.

Whether to advance your career or to pick up new hobbies that help you enjoy everyday life, online courses are one of the best perks of the 21st century, and one way the internet is democratizing information — even in the form of free Ivy League courses. All you need is internet access.

Below find 6 of the most popular online learning communities:


Browse Udemy classes here >>

Udemy has probably the largest selection of online courses, with over 100,000 video courses and new additions published every month. At sale prices of $11.99 per course, it’s often one of the most affordable options as well. Currently, there are over 30 million students using the service, and courses available in over 50 languages.

Topics range from business to IT & software to music and more.

How to get started: Sign up with an email address to browse courses.

Popular classes to consider:


Browse Coursera classes here >>

Coursera has thousands of classes taught by top instructors from some of the world’s best universities and educational institutions, including Stanford, Penn, Johns Hopkins, Duke, Columbia, and Yale. You can even earn degrees and certifications through the site.

Topics range from data science to personal development to linguistics to social sciences and more.

Each course is like an interactive textbook with pre-recorded videos, quizzes, and projects. You can connect with thousands of other students to debate ideas, discuss course material, or get help in mastering the concepts. You can earn certificates for your work, and share your achievements with friends, colleagues, and employers.

How to get started: Sign up with an email address. On average, individual courses range from $29-$99 each though there are free courses you can audit.

Popular classes to consider:

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