For a long time, many people have argued that the future of education is online.

More people jumped on the bandwagon with every passing day.

However, the current global pandemic that we find ourselves in the middle of has only pushed the agenda further.

Like most people spending more time at home than they are used to, you are looking for something to fill up the extra free time you now have.

There aren’t many things that can compete with some bit of self-development among all the options you have.

Many options offer resources for free online courses with certificates.

We will highlight a few here for you. We will also tell you why they stand out from the rest. Here goes in no particular order.

MIT Open CourseWare – Since releasing their first set of courses in 2002, MIT-OCW has published its entire curriculum on this interactive website.

MIT Open CourseWare hosts lecture notes, videos, homework assignments, and exams from the famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

If you are looking for free online courses with a certificate in computer science, engineering, and science, you can not do much better than MIT’s online data bank.

edX – edX itself is the brainchild of MIT and Harvard University, with other universities contributing materials to one of the largest databases of free online courses with certificates.

You get access to qualified teachers and learning materials on every course you register to take.

Even though most of the courses you will find here are free, some of them require you to part with $49 to get your certificate if you need to show it to an employer.

At that point, we are sure you will already be convinced that it is an investment worth making.

Advanced Learning Interactive Systems Online (ALISON) – Access to learning material on ALISON is absolutely free for all that seek it.

Once you register on ALISON website, you gain full access to free online courses with certification of some sort waiting for you at the end of the process.

You get a free learner record that shows that you successfully completed the course and scored at least 80% at the end.

If you decide to splurge and invest a little in your education, you can access tutors and a certificate that you can add to your CV.

Education on ALISON is also at your pace. So, no pressure. You only need a passing grade of 80%.

Open Culture– Open Culture has a catalog of over 1500 free online courses from schools like Harvard, Oxford, Yale, Stanford, and many others.

Their free courses do not come with any form of certification. They have connections to affiliate websites such as edX and Coursera.

Hence, some of the classes that you take from these websites are actually sourced from Open Culture.

They charge a little extra to give certification for the free courses that you take on Open Culture.

Their impressive library covers subjects like tech, music, science, engineering, and so much more.

Coursera– About every list similar to this one you will find on the internet has this name on it.

Coursera has a reputation for hosting one of the most impressive catalogs of massive open online courses (MOOCs).

They collaborate with universities, colleges, companies, and affiliate websites to improve their already stocked library.

Most of their courses are available for free, while some come with a certification that you can pay to get.

Udemy– Udemy is about the strongest competition to Coursera on this list when you think of resources for free online courses.

This is because they have a similar framework that involves sourcing top-quality learning material from some of the best universities and companies.

The most apparent distinction between Udemy and Coursera is that the former allows students to create personalized courses from lessons.

iTunesU– As you can already imply, this is a free learning platform available to only Apple users.

You can install the app on your iPod, iPhone, iPod touch, Apple PC, or any other compatible Apple device running on iOS 12.4 or later. The app is available for free in the app store.

Like anything else from Apple, you can expect quality delivery on the iTunesU app.

Finding courses in the store is easy because of the attention to detail in classification.

Lessons are a blend of free podcasts, videos, lecture notes, assignments, and paid content.

Stanford Online– If you had the desire to study at an Ivy League school but could not achieve those lofty dreams because of some reason, like most people, this could be the one for you.

Stanford Online does not boast the impressive database that some of the websites on this list offer.

However, every course you will find on the site is from Stanford University, so you know the quality of education you are receiving is premium.

Some of the classes here are available on sites like Coursera and Udemy, but they don’t have the same depth of Stanford material as Stanford Online does.

If it is Stanford or nothing for you, do go ahead and give it a shot.

University of the People– University of the People is a revolutionary idea that aims to bring free higher education to everyone with access to the internet.

Founded in 2009 and accredited in early 2014, UoPeople reportedly has over 57,000 students from more than 200 territories worldwide.

An impressive board heads the school, boasting members from globally prestigious universities.

The school runs on charity, volunteer staff, and generous donations from people and foundations such as the Gates, HP, Ford Foundations, and more.

Small fees are required intermittently, but they rarely become burdensome. There is also provision for students that cannot afford these small fees.

Academic Earth– Academic Earth has an impressive database of free courses that employ about the same system as Udemy and Coursera to compile the best resources for students.

They also have a decluttered and well-organized homepage that makes it easy to find courses by subject or school.

Many websites could have easily made this list but missed out by very tiny margins. So, here are some of the honorable mentions:

  • Open Yale Courses
  • Webcasts of UC Berkeley
  • Google Code Uni
  • Khan Academy
  • Code Academy
  • Udacity
  • Ted-Ed
  • LinkedIn Learning
  • Harvard Extension
  • Google Analytics Academy
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