Knowledge has never been so accessible. Today, you don´t need to sign up to a special course in the city or school to learn a skill. I am not promoting staying indoors and not socialising anymore. Please go out, take a course or a class if you have it available where you live and meet new people. But you might be in the same situation as me and there are zero courses or universities where you live or people that are interesting in the same things as you are. Maybe you are not able to travel to attempt a course or can´t afford it. There are many different situations and reasons why online courses enabled people around the world to get the knowledge (and even earn a certificate) that might get them a better job and open new doors. Thanks to the internet and rise of learning platforms, we can learn all we want to with a working computer and internet connection (which is also a privilege to have, don´t forget that).
Free online courses
So let me show you that they are not only affordable, but some of them are also free. Yay! So this is how and where you can get more free knowledge and courses a person can get through in a year. And also the courses I am taking and would like to take in the near future.
As you might already know, I am interested in environmentalism, climate change, humanitarian work, sustainability but also personal development, leadership,… And next to that I need a lot of creativeness in my life, so I love to jump into photography, design and other creative classes. So I hope they will be as interesting for you as they are for me.
Whether you want to develop as a professional or discover a new hobby, there’s an online course for that. Future Learn works with a list of universities. You can even take your learning further with online programs and degrees. Meet educators from top universities and cultural institutions, who’ll share their experience through videos, articles, quizzes and discussions. All short courses in in-depth programs are free. But to get a Certificate of Achievement you need to upgrade your course.
Some of the courses I find interesting: Fashion and Sustainability, Make Change Happen, Why We Post (social media), Who Made My Clothes?, Sustainability and development, Introduction to humanitarian aid,…
Founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012, edX is an online learning destination and MOOC provider, offering high-quality courses from the world’s best universities and institutions to learners everywhere. With more than 130 global partners, they are proud to count the world’s leading universities (Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyBerkeley, Brown, Boston, …), nonprofits, and institutions as their members.
Here are some of the interesting courses:
- Environmental studies
- Humanitarian response conflict disaster
- Human rights human wrongs challenging poverty vulnerability and social exclusion
- Sustainable tourism
Informea UN information portal
UN information portal is first of all free and it is working with best world organisation offers classes in different environmental fields:
- Biological diversity
- Chemicals and waste
- Climate, Atmosphere and land
- International environmental governance
- Oceans and freshwater
The most interesting courses, or at least where I would start is the International Environmental governance courses.
UN CC Learn
The One UN Climate Change Learning Partnership (UN CC:Learn) is a joint initiative of more than 30 multilateral organizations helping countries to achieve climate change action both through general climate literacy and applied skills development. UN CC:Learn provides strategic advice and quality learning resources to help people, governments and businesses to understand, adapt, and build resilience to climate change. UN CC:Learn is supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
The courses are free and self-paced. There are 14 courses on their page and all of them are worth taking.
Every course on Coursera is taught by top instructors from the world’s best universities and educational institutions. Courses include recorded video lectures, auto-graded and peer-reviewed assignments, and community discussion forums. When you complete a course, you’ll receive a shareable electronic Course Certificate.
If you want to master a specific career skill, consider joining a Specialisation. You’ll complete a series of rigorous courses, tackle hands-on projects based on real business challenges, and earn a Specialisation Certificate.
Some courses I find interesting are
- Climate Change Mitigation in Developing Countries (you can access the course for free or pay 43€ to get a certificate)
- Negotiation mediation conflict resolution (Specialisation is €43 per month)
- Sustainability (you can access the course for free or pay 43€ to get a certificate)
iversity.org offers excellent self-paced, online courses on topics which are important to every professional today (that would be us). They are all free and here are some of the courses I find interesting:
- rethinking us them integration and diversity in Europe
- climate change and health
- visual thinking for business make your point
Climate-Kic is a European knowledge and innovation community, working to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy. Their courses are designed to support any individuals and organizations that want to better understand the sustainability context and how to report on any of the GRI Aspects. Supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, they identify and support innovation that helps society mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Price per GRI Aspect course: 20 EUR (non-OECD) – 30 EUR (OECD) per year, but they also have some free courses like Introduction to Renewable Energy Innovation, The E-Waste Challenge, Ideating Climate Business course,…
For more creativeness
Skillshare is an online learning community for people who want to learn from educational videos. The courses, which are not accredited, are available through subscription. The majority of courses focus on interaction rather than lecturing, with the primary goal of learning by completing a project.
- Classes are divided into Creative,Business,Technology,Lifestyle
- My favourite so far were Photography courses by Chris Burkard, Jeff Johnson,Ami Vitale. Also the Leadership (Simon Sinek), Productivity, Marketing, Design, Entrepreneurship, …
Here is a link for 2 months of free Skillshare Premium. I will earn an extra month of Premium Membership for each friend that signs up with this link. So thanks a bunch! After that, the monthly subscription will be 11€/month or 96€/year.
In 2009, Chase Jarvis and Craig Swanson started kicking around the idea of making workshops to inspire and support people with the tools to develop their creative skills. The goal was to take a fresh approach to education – to give anyone interested access to visionaries, leaders, and professionals who are doing the work.
With Creator pass, you can stream 1500+ of our top classes all year, including new weekly classes and exclusive conferences for $299/year or 25$/month.
I haven´t taken these classes but they look very interesting and detailed. For instance, one photography class has 107 video lessons. I want to start a 7-day free trial when I know I will get the most out of them.
Check Creative Live for more.
Udemy is another great platform for teaching and learning with over 100k courses in different fields, from Creative to Business, personal development, Lifestyle…. Until the end of today (10th of January), you can grab their New Year’s Sale and buy courses for as low as €9.99 instead of €199,99.
Here is a list of free courses you can take.
There are many more online. But I wanted to show you which platforms I use and know now. If I have a bunch of new ones by the end of the year they I will definitely share them with you again.
Have fun learning, growing and putting new skills and knowledge into action.
Cheers from very snowy mountains,
I state this in every post because it is something we have to always take into consideration. And that is the privilege of a choice. There are a lot of people with disabilities, people living on a very tight budget, people with allergies, people in extremely poor communities or developing countries (where most of our waste ends up) that pay the cost of pollution, busy working parents that do not have time to make these changes. There are people that do not have the choice I have. I am speaking from the position of a privileged, white, European woman, living in safe Austrian mountains, with a budget, health and options big enough to be able to choose. Choosing to spend less and have less is different than being required to live on less.