The Best Free Educational Platforms For Learning New Skills Online

Thanks to the wonderful world wide web, we no longer have to shuffle into a classroom to learn new skills. We can learn from anywhere, conveniently from our laptops. We also don’t need six-figure bank accounts. In an effort to make education more accessible and affordable to all, many top universities worldwide such as MIT, Harvard, University of Amsterdam, Stanford, UC Irvine, Vanderbilt, London U, are offering low cost or free courses. Cost of education has been a barrier for many. Student debt in America has become so burdensome that many graduating college students spend years working just to pay off their loans. It’s an unfair system that makes education difficult to obtain for the majority of middle-class students who don’t qualify for government aid, but are not wealthy enough to afford college without crippling loans. And what about working adults or who want to learn a new skill, but don’t have the time or resources to enroll in traditional courses?

Advanced online platforms have made learning new skills more accessible than ever. Gone are the days that you have to enroll in an expensive full course load or apply for financial aid to learn a new skill. These new classrooms allow anyone to enroll for little or no cost. If you’re looking to add a new skill set, here are 5 awesome sites you must check out now. As I like to say, “Obstacles are nothing but great opportunities to learn a new skill or gain knowledge. If you’re determined, there’s always a way.”

Coursera. org is an educational platform that offers a wide range of classes from universities and organizations from around the world. They offer hundreds of courses that range from how to change the world to calculus to computer programming and everything in between -all available to everyone for free. Yes, that’s EVERYONE. For FREE. Yep, amazing.

Their mission statement: “We envision a future where everyone has access to a world-class education. We aim to empower people with education that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in.”


edX is another incredible free online educational platform. They offer over 200 courses led by over 400 faculty members from top universities and organizations across the globe. Students can earn certificates and take courses in a wide range of subjects from technology to anthropology. Simply search for classes, enroll, and learn. Check out a demo course here for more details.


Ted-Ed is a free non-traditional, video-driven platform for learning and exchanging ideas. Geared toward expansive, progressive thought, Ted-Ed is especially inspiring for entrepreneurs and those interested in innovation. Here’s a breakdown of how Ted-Ed works:

“There are two types of TED-Ed lessons. The first, TED-Ed’s award-winning original lessons, represent collaborations between expert educators, screenwriters and animators. Each collaboration aims to capture and amplify great lesson ideas suggested by the TED community. The second type of TED-Ed lesson can be created by any website visitor, and involves adding questions, discussion topics, and other supplementary materials to any educational video on YouTube. Both types of TED-Ed lessons are used regularly — in classrooms and homes — to introduce new topics to learners in an exciting, curiosity-inspiring way.”


Skillshare is a low-cost monthly subscription service that offers a range of educational project-based classes. For just $9.95 a month, you have access to hundreds of courses from Business to Adobe Photoshop to Fashion Design. Skillshare is focused on real-world, useful skills for advancement. Best of all, your first month is free!


Web programming is one of the highest paid, in-demand careers right now. There is a major shortage of coders out there and Codecademy hopes to bridge that gap. Codecademy takes you from start to finish through interactive courses in HTML/CSS, Javascript, jQuery, Python, Ruby, PHP, and APIs. Courses are free, intensive and require laser focus, but if you’re ready to go into a lucrative career in computer programming, check out Codecademy.



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Mandy Ellis

Mandy Ellis is a certified nutritionist, journalist, traveler, and endless adventurer. Her work has appeared on Yahoo, AOL, Fox, and many others. When she’s not wanderlusting, she’s usually spending time with her French bull dog or hitting the yoga mat.

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