Currently we are unable to get out of our homes in such a big Pandemic situation. And it is also right to stay indoors and practice social distancing so that we can #flattenthecurve. Due to the COVID-19 situation all the formal education institutes are being shut down till further notice. One thing we can do by sitting in our homes is that we can increase our skill set so that once this lock down is over we will have an edge over others who have done nothing in this time to improve themselves rather than tagging friends in worthless Instagram mentions or putting up a story of that #dalgona coffee in Snapchat.
Here after extensive research and trying out several programs by ourselves we have curated a list of free online courses (with and without certifications) as well as some honorable mentions which we liked so much.
1. Google Digital Garage (by Google)
There are two courses offered by Google’s Digital Garage platform which provides free certification once you complete the course and pass the exam. The exam is of moderate difficulty, passing which will give you a verified certificate by Google which one share in LinkedIn or attach the same in their CVs/Resume to attract potential employers.
The course itself is very informative for today’s techy world in which we are surrounded by digital marketing tools. Be it social media ads or Google ads in websites, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Data analytics, Keyword Research, etc. to improve your website rank in google search results or you want to improve your ad campaign, everything relevant for growing organic reach for your business or start-up, if you want to improve your skillset in these topics then this course is for you.
Link to the course: https://learndigital.withgoogle.com/digitalunlocked/course/digital-marketing
There are many free courses available in Coursera but to gain a certificate you may have to pay for that course. Coursera has a very wide range of courses offering free courses in the field of Science, Computer Science, Writing, Marketing, Fashion, Design, Psychology, Management and many more fields from which you can choose from, which you can think of as a career improvement and fascinates you.
But one main feature why I recommend Coursera is due to its Financial Aid feature if you can’t afford the course. If you get approved you can complete the certification for completely zero cost. Nearly every course has this option which you can find besides the enrollment option. But you have to wait for some days till your financial aid application gets approved till then you can audit the course for free. Auditing the course means you have full access to the course materials but can not submit quizzes and graded assignments which will be essential to complete the course. But still you can learn everything of that domain.
Note: Coursera provides a 7-day full access free trial for courses, if you are able to get certification in these 7 days of trial you’ll get the certificate for absolutely free. So this is a neat and legit trick to get that free certificate of yours to link it in your LinkedIn or CV.
Udemy is another good platform to gain knowledge for the field you are interested in as it is relatively cheap than other platforms and also provide free courses in this pandemic situation. Courses sometimes sell for as low as Rs.400 during sale. You can still opt for free courses but without certificate on completion.
One more drawback of Udemy which I personally think is its lack of accreditation in its certificates. Generally, courses from Coursera, Edx, Udacity and such other platforms all provide courses with backing of some reputed institutions or companies. In the case of Udemy anyone can become an educator by listing their courses and sometimes the courses are not up-to-the-mark or industry standards. The certificates are signed by the respective mentors.
Link for free courses: https://www.udemy.com/courses/free/
Now this is one of the best site which I have came across while researching for free courses including a valuable certificate. Courses are taught by industry experts and according to the site more than 40,000 freecodecamp.org learners have even landed jobs in top organisations such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Spotify.
There is one thing you need to know: freecodecamp.org has a learning structure in which during the learning process you have to work for some non-profit organization writing codes and building websites as a part of your work experience. It’s a win-win situation for both end as you’ll gain valuable knowledge with a credible certificate and some work experience.
5. Khan Academy
Now the earlier mentions in the post are either about professional courses or the courses at graduate level. But there is a world class learning platform for teenagers who are currently in primary or secondary school. Khan Academy provides video explanations about different topics with illustrative animations which help grasp the course content to the students very easily. It is the best platform for school goers to continue their study amidst this lockdown.
Due to the pandemic situation Khan Academy is facing some issues while handling the traffic. Please consider donating to them as they are a non-profit organization working for parents/students like you to grow stronger for the future.
Donation Link: https://www.khanacademy.org/donate
Unacademy is a an extremely good platform for learners in India. It has specifically catered content for Indian students.
Unacademy has very good pool of extremely talented instructor. Such as for the IIT-JEE course, top JEE rankers are available as instructors. Now it is generally a pay-to-learn subscription-based learning plan. You may think then why I have put unacademy in my list. Due to the fact some of the features are available for free. Speaking for JEE aspirants which most of science studying students aim for there is a free mock test series available on unacademy.
As a JEE aspirant would likely be very confused regarding the new exam dates as the exam was cancelled, one may take these mock tests which are taken by lakhs of students to have an idea of where they stand in this fierce competition.
Various other courses offered by unacademy catering to the Indian demand are:
UPSC CSE, NEET, SBI-PO, RAILWAYS, TET, NET, State PSC, Gate, ESE, IIT-JAM, Defence,etc.
Two MOOC platforms I came across which are incredibly built and are of very high quality are EdX and Udacity.
Edx contains courses from very reputed institutes such as Harvard University and to get a certification a course ranges from 149-199 USD (Rs. 11,365-15,380) for a single course or approx. 499 USD (Rs. 38,140) for a specialization. But the content is extremely good.
Note: Currently Harvard university has made some of their courses free to study. The link to the courses are given below:
In case of udacity, it provides learners with a nano-degree program which can be beneficial to those who are currently not enrolled in some formal education institute such as college or school. Gaining the knowledge from the nano-degree program and its certification will definitely help you to make a jump start in your career.
The nano-degree programs are currently priced at Rs. 22k per month.
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