Whether you want to top up your knowledge on a subject or learn a completely new skill, there is no shortage of online courses to help you on your way. In fact, there are so many choices, it can be difficult to figure out which platform suits you best!
If you want to help upgrade the skills of one of your freelancers or employees, it can be even more difficult to choose the best match for their learning style.
To help you navigate the rapidly expanding world of online education, here are 6 of the most popular options for upgrading your skills. Ready, set…learn!
edX is a massive open online course (MOOC) provider. It hosts online university-level courses in a wide range of disciplines to a worldwide student body, including some courses at no charge. It also conducts research into learning based on how people use its platform. EdX is a nonprofit organization and runs on the free Open edX open-source software platform.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University created edX in May 2012. More than 70 schools, nonprofit organizations, and corporations offer or plan to offer courses on the edX website.As of 29 December 2017, edX has around 14 million students taking more than 1,800 courses online.
Coursera has partnered with leading universities in the U.S. and around the world to provide online courses covering dozens of different subjects. Recently, they’ve introduced “specializations”—10 different course pathways that will lead to an official certification from an associated university.
Coursera has a wide diversity of subjects available to choose from; everything from data science to musical theory. As Coursera prides itself on being accessible to everyone, many of the courses are either free or very cheap to to take, with only the official certification at the end having a higher cost involved.
With an average of 800 new courses added to their repertoire every month, Udemy is a bit more expensive than its competitors. Costs vary broadly, ranging from $10 to $500 for different courses; the most popular Udemy courses in business and technology tend to be upwards of $100. However, you can read the reviews of former students before signing up to any of the courses, so you can make a more informed decision.
Udacity is a platform with a strong focus on technology, with a small but well-crafted selection of courses. If you’re looking to break into data science (called the “sexiest job of the 21st century“), Udacity’s data science program has an impressive roster of teachers from companies like Salesforce and Facebook.
Udacity’s pricing structure allows you to pay monthly for your courses; if you decide to drop a program before completing it, you pay for the course up to that point, rather than the whole thing.
5. Khan Academy
Khan Academy is a non-profit online platform providing a completely free library of educational “micro-lectures.” Focusing on more traditional academic subjects, Khan Academy provides a mix of video and text-based materials in math, science, economics, humanities, and a bit of computer programming. Since Khan Academy is free for anyone to use, it’s a great to way to get a taste for a subject before moving onto a more advanced course elsewhere.
Previously backed by the White House, Codecademy is dedicated to teaching people how to code—and it’s available for free. While other online coding courses are a “learn at your own pace” environment, Codecademy motivates learners to keep a fast pace using supportive groups and a gamified points system.
The school offers courses on a number of languages—including PHP, Phython and Ruby—and students are often already building and deploying projects by the time they finish their course.