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Free Online Courses and Certificates

I'm a freelance writer who has experience trying various online courses.

In a world that's constantly changing, it can be easy to be left behind. Here are some online courses you can take for free online to help you stay up to date in the workplace.

In a world that's constantly changing, it can be easy to be left behind. Here are some online courses you can take for free online to help you stay up to date in the workplace.

Courses and Certificates Available Online and for Free

If there's one thing we need these days, it's more education. The world is changing so fast that it's easy to get left behind. Maybe you work long hours, or perhaps you're geographically unable to participate in courses. Whatever the reason, it's frustrating for you not to be able to learn new skills easily or to undertake professional training or certification.

The internet can help you participate in online classes, online courses, self-paced learning and even certification in some subjects.

Below is a selection of some great courses that you can do for free, online courses and certification that you can do in your own time, wherever you are, and without cost.

Some of these courses will hopefully be able to help you do any of the following.

  • Get back into the modern workplace
  • Build confidence
  • Get IT certifications
  • Take that next step up the career ladder
  • Change career entirely
  • Provide evidence to potential employers of your commitment to lifetime-learning
  • Pursue your interests, or explore new areas
  • Help you to start a new business or generate a second income

. . . in short, to be more fulfilled, more able and more employable!


Who the heck is Alison? Well, ALISON is the world's leading provider of free online courses with certificates for basic and essential workplace skills.

Alison is a training organisation dedicated to bringing free learning and free education to people worldwide. The courses are high quality and can provide you with that all important certification, or as I call them "magic bits of paper" that get your resume read by employers.

Having an active and recent list of subjects you've studied will demonstrate to an employer that you're actively improving your skillset—and by taking courses relevant to the industry you wish to work, or progress, in you can stand head and shoulders above those who just never bothered.

The free online courses you can take with the Alison online learning system include:

  • Digital Literacy and IT Skills: Enabling you to use computers and technology efficiently. Courses from complete beginners to advanced certification. Full Microsoft Office training, touch typing, using Gmail—you choose from a huge range of free online courses.
  • Diploma Courses: Professional level diplomas in a range of subjects including multimedia development, web development, business and entrepreneurial studies.
  • Business and Enterprise Skills: Free project management courses and free business management courses. Ideal for that 'step up' the career ladder.
  • Financial and Economic Literacy: From economics to accountancy, these free financial and economic literacy courses and certifications could help get you noticed for applications to enter the financial industry.
  • Health and Safety Compliance: Occupational health and safety courses, office safety, fire safety, manual handling, Workstation Ergonomics (DSE) and managing health and safety in schools. The world of health and safety is immense (and a growing industry), offering great future job potential.
  • Health Literacy: From basic biology courses to HIV/AIDS awareness. An ideal entry point if you're considering working in the healthcare industry.
  • English Language Skills: English language training, business English, FCE Certification coming shortly.
  • Personal Development and Soft Skills: Psychometric tests, basic study skills, touch typing, US Citizenship test preparation—and more.
  • Schools Curriculum: Subjects covering the school curricula, ideal for current students or returners to education. Biology, mathematics, science and more.

Get a Certificate: All courses offer you the choice of receiving a printed certificate at the end. they are great to take to job interviews.

National Computer Science Academy

Free IT Certification courses are available online from the National Computer Science Academy. Choose from a range of popular subjects, within the areas of:

  • Microsoft Windows
  • Computer Hardware
  • Microsoft Office
  • Visual C++ Programming
  • Javascript
  • . . . and many more

Whether you're looking to work in IT as a hardware engineer or a web programmer, there's a free certification exam that'd be suitable to impress a potential employer with, or to help you change careers.

If you're not currently working, these courses will get you noticed as employers will see from your resume that you're interested and motivated.

The NCSA also develops relationships with large companies, inviting them to access their pool of certified professionals for any vacancies they might have. The NCSA also provides exam testing of candidates to these large employers, so there's a strong relationship there which you might benefit from.

Free IT Courses from Staff Kit

Staff Kit provides professional IT courses and IT certification programs, at very affordable rates—but they also have some free courses. A free course is great for a beginner, or for those working on a budget, but they're also a great way to test out companies to see if their learning style suits you and your needs.

The free online courses on offer are:

  • Microsoft Access 2002
  • Microsoft Excel 2002
  • CompTIA A+ Certification, for PC engineers
  • Microsoft MCSE Exam 70-215 - Installing, Configuring and Administering Microsoft Windows Server
  • Photoshop
  • Flash
  • HTML
  • DHTML (Dynamic HTML)
  • Dreamweaver
  • Project Management

This is a great opportunity to try either the subjects or the company providing the training!

More Free Courses

As I find more free online courses and certification programs, I'll keep the list above updated and growing.

Please tell your friends about this list, we need to support these free training providers!

Thanks for reading, and good luck with your course.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


Me on May 25, 2020:

Weak those are all outdated and not usual either anymore old school

Sadiku on April 12, 2020:

Please tell me how I work here

Sandra Moses on June 08, 2018:

I want accreditation for Preprimary Teachers Training Institute

Marie on February 05, 2018:

I would like to learn IT very well, I will be very grateful.

Arabinda Kumar Mukhopadhyay on July 20, 2017:

Want to take the course of Digital Literacy And IT Skills . I am a retiree and wish to have modern internet knowledge.

Hub4care on January 12, 2016:

Thanks for the course information, I've used Alison for myself and for students and it's a great resource to boost your skills and CV.

Dedicated Content Curator (author) from United Kingdom on January 23, 2014:

Thank you nicomp - it's a good list of free online courses and certificates which can help people discover if they're really interested in a subject, or to get them up to speed for job interviews and advancement.

nicomp really from Ohio, USA on January 20, 2014:

This may be the greatest hub of all time.

Evan Smiley on January 16, 2014:

THIS IS FANTASTIC! Thank you so much for the hub! Definitely will be sharing!

Dedicated Content Curator (author) from United Kingdom on July 04, 2013:

Well done Shirley, you'd done a lot of online courses with certification there!

You'd have to enquire at each University that you'd want to apply to; each University and country would have different criteria. They would know the value of all courses and be able to tell you if it's enough/more than enough.

All the best.

Shirley22225 on July 04, 2013:

I have done Diploma in web design,

Diploma in C programming,

Certificate in Introduction to Computer science, and

Certificate in Introduction to Python

From Alison But i do not know if those certificate can help me apply for bachelor Degree in a university in either Canada or Australia. Basically a university not in my country for a Computer Science Degree

How about Applying for Scholarships using my Alison Marks?

Can someone please advise me

JanMaklak from Canada on February 09, 2013:

I've used Allison for some French courses and for some website courses. Great information here. I'm going to be revisiting to let you know how the other sites work for me.

Joseph on September 25, 2012:

Thanks Mate

Dedicated Content Curator (author) from United Kingdom on August 31, 2012:

Hi Beverly

I am glad you found a great course. Introduction to Banking sounds really useful. Although the banking sector has received bad press in recent years, the industry's still recruiting and paying good wages. Now is a good time to get a job in banking, so I hope you achieve your dreams!

All the best.

Beverly from Lakewood,WA on August 21, 2012:

Thanks to your awesome hub, I am now signed up and currently starting "Introduction to Banking". There are many places in my area that are looking for people in this particular service and I plan to land one of those jobs. It i going to be a really big step up fo me. Thanks again, and I will be looking out for more helpful hubs from you.

marketingbloke on July 04, 2012:

With the internet its amazing what you can learn online nowadays.

James Robertson from Texas on July 04, 2012:

Great article. I've also found Udacity and MITx to be great sites for free online classes. You can pay extra to get a certificate but the entire class is free.

merry88 on July 04, 2012:

thanks, great hub

Corey from Northfield, MA on July 03, 2012:

Useful, I voted up! I love free especially when I includes learning something new. Thanks for this hub!

choosylicious on July 02, 2012:

Super Like! Nowadays, certification is essential in building credibility.

jenp123 on July 02, 2012:

Thank you for the hub! I'm always looking for free courses, especially for computer technologies. I was wondering, does the National Computer Science Academy have Dreamweaver courses? I need to brush up on that.

Chen Suen from Arcadia, California on July 02, 2012:

Great informative hub especially in a slow economy where money is tight. Thank you.

roxygurl464 from New Jersey on July 02, 2012:

Wow, great article! I was recently thinking of taking some online courses at my local college. I'll definitely check out these suggestions first though! Thanks!

Stephanie Bradberry from New Jersey on July 02, 2012:

This is really amazing information. I know there are many companies and schools trying to make headway with offering free courses and certificates, but this company has a lot more offerings than any I have ever seen. Thank you for sharing this detailed information.

Brian Leekley from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA on July 02, 2012:

Up, Useful, Interesting, and shared with followers and on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Thank you for this useful information.

George Wanambisi on July 02, 2012:

I have been taking courses at Alison for some time now and I like it. However I went for greener pastures and landed myself at Three more exciting Institutions. Ethica is a good isntitution although they charge for their studies. Those who wish to take Islamic finance can do so at Ethica since its a certified and accredited institutiton in the world. Its the leading Islamic Finance institutions in the world and the have discounts of over 75% for selected services.I love their courses which are easy to grasp and last a period of 4 months and in the end, you are awarded with a CIFE cetificate that is Handcrafted rather than printed.

Another great institution that offers the cheapest or almost "Free" Courses is Global Courses. This institution is a great one and it only costs as little as $18 to take a Diploma or $40 to take a Barchelors Degree. Unbelievable but very much true. The exciting part is that you can even take MBA for as little as $80. Undeniably brilliant for distance laearning since you don't have to travel over there "Ireland" to study. You should probably take a look at their site for more details. University of the People is another great institution for learning. Altough the University is not Accredited, its worth it for those who wish to take BA's and Diplomas in computer Sciences. I liked the University although I never joined. What's interesting is that the University is recognised by UN thus making it better than most free online programs. You can join them for a fee not exceeding $100 and get your career going. For those who require more information about free online learning they can find me on Facebook "Sulayman Loop". I will be glad to help

Jenn from Pennsylvania on June 30, 2012:

Very helpful! Thanks for this information.

ronny2005 from HubPages on June 30, 2012:

Superb hub and great information! Voted up and bookmarked.

kingmaxler from Olympia, Washington USA on June 30, 2012:

This is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you.

Curiad on June 30, 2012:

Thank you for sharing this valuable information!

Theresa D from England, UK on June 30, 2012:

Great and very useful hub. I wasn't aware that there are many online free courses that one can take. Thanks for tips.

DaveSimps from Guildford, Surrey, UK on May 19, 2012:

Thanks for the info

Snigdha Shahi from India,mumbai on May 14, 2012:

This is very useful information.Commendable work.Bookmarked this hub.Thanks for sharing

Vicky C. from New England on May 03, 2012:

Thanks for the info. Definitely going to check out the National Computer Science Academy. I have done some classes with Alison. They are good.

Amethystraven from California on May 02, 2012:

I appreciate you taking the time to share. A lot of people, because of the economy cannot afford to pay for school. You took the effort to lead some horses to water, now it's their turn to drink. Thank you for this insight. I for one am going to look into both of them. I need to brush up on my computer skills. Take care.

Jordanwalker39 from NC on April 20, 2012:

Great hub! very useful information here. I will let people know about this nugget

frantisek78 on April 20, 2012:

good info, thanks!

am301986 from New Delhi on April 20, 2012:

Great Information.....some thing I dn't alison. Great post... cheers!

Abhaque Supanjang from Kumango - Batusangkar - Sumatera Barat - Indonesia on April 19, 2012:

You have shared a very useful information to the world, Earnes. In addition..... Is there any information of scholarship provided by certain Open University for their students ? that the students may get their diploma from the distance learning ? Thank you for your answer...!

procreate-light from Charlotte NC on April 19, 2012:

Wow, great Hub! Thanks.

mcaneny23 on April 19, 2012:

Thanks for the info! I didn't realize there were such tools out there.

Tiffany Delite from Wichita, KS on April 19, 2012:

one of my strengths is learning so i always like to learn about new opportunities to learn!! i voted this hub up and useful! blessings...

Anastasia Kingsley from Croatia, Europe on April 18, 2012:

Thanks. Excellent information. The computer programming and writing courses really caught my eye. Voted up, awesome and sharing :))

Sandra Mireles from Texas on April 18, 2012:

Excellent list of free online courses. You certainly did your homework. Great job. Voted up.

Jhudah on April 18, 2012:

wow! i think this is great. thanks.

JP Carlos from Quezon CIty, Phlippines on April 18, 2012:

Thisis such an infromative hub. I believe that continuous learning is important to know the latest trends.

Anoop Aravind A from Nilambur, Kerala, India on April 17, 2012:

Thanks Earner.Informative hub

Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on April 17, 2012:

Thanks for the information and great hub! I really do need to get my IT skills improved, and if I can get this done online for free, that's great!

Madison on April 16, 2012:

I had done a short course on Alison. The course material is good and the exam helps to evaluate what you have learned. Thanks for sharing this great info.

ALBERTA on April 13, 2012:


SA on April 08, 2012:


Fotinoula Gypsyy from NYC BABY on March 11, 2012:

Awesome! thank you for all this info, this is a great hub.

Senovia on January 23, 2012:

Thanks so much ! I am going to learn computer !

blogallaboutit on January 18, 2012:

Great information I am definitely going to put this information to use.I am currently in School now for my BSBA, and almost done certificates like this will set me apart from therest of the grads. Nice job

Samad Aslam Khan on January 18, 2012:

I need or don't but the fact is that great stuff shared here. I may think to benefit from such online free courses or I may recommend someone. Keep sharing things like these to spread free knowledge to build a good career.

Rael Casalme from Dubai, United Arab Emirates on January 18, 2012:

I've checked ALISON and it was brilliant. I'll definitely, one of these days, get a certification from there. Thank you for sharing. This is so valuable.

mikeydcarroll67 on January 18, 2012:

Yes there are definitely a lot of things that you can learn online!

Mel Flagg COA OSC from Rural Central Florida on January 17, 2012:

This is absolutely fantastic information! I've been dying to get back into school but we live paycheck to paycheck and it's just not an option right now! Thank you so much for giving me an alternative!

livelovelaugh5 on January 17, 2012:

Thanks for this great list! I will definitely check this out. Voted up!

Susan Britton from Ontario, Canada on January 17, 2012:

What a good informative hub. I will go to the writing ones for sure thanks a lot.

Sarah Carlsley from Minnesota on January 17, 2012:

Very interesting! Thanks for sharing your info!

jonta from Bangkok on January 17, 2012:

There is more and more to learn.. and more and more about everything, our brains most getting bigger and bigger..actually do they?

Cassandra Smith from Richmond, VA on January 16, 2012:

Great information!

Joyette Helen Fabien from Dominica on January 16, 2012:

This is a wonderful bit of sharing for the multitudes out there who wish to advance themselves , yet lack the resources to do so. It is an excellent hub, both in style and content. You are doing a great job!

DRidge from Gulf Coast, MS on January 16, 2012:

NCA actually not free... $25 for on demand learning/month. Still a great deal from the looks of it.

DRidge from Gulf Coast, MS on January 16, 2012:

I love this! I found Alison last week and now here you are telling me about it! I signed up for the UK one and now I find out they have a US one, too.

I think Alison is awesome! I love the info on the other computer courses, too. I'm trying to learn coding and Adobe Dreamweaver. It's nice to know there are resources out there!

MelissaVsWorld from Here, There, and Everywhere. USA on January 15, 2012:

Very good information. I will be looking into some of these free online courses and certifications for myself and my husband. Thank you for this Hub. Voted Up, +Useful +Interesting. Shared.

David Steitz from Nevada on January 15, 2012:

Very useful information, thank you for sharing this. Not often that I bookmark a hub so quickly. I'm sure I'll be looking back to this hub many times as I look into all the options you graciously shared.

Keith Schroeder from Wisconsin on January 15, 2012:

Our education never stops. Many jobs require continuing education to remain in our job. And, of course, free is always nice, too.

Tricia from Scotland on January 15, 2012:

Good info here. Thanks.

Devout Maven on January 14, 2012:

Excellent! Voted Up.

Diane Ziomek from Alberta, Canada on January 12, 2012:

Thank you for such an informative Hub! I was unaware there were so many courses available at no cost. I am mainly interested in improving my writing, so I will be visiting the Hub you wrote on that as well. Thanks again!

Voted up and useful!

Ravi Singh from India on January 12, 2012:

As I work for It company, its very useful.thanks for this hub.

Dorothee-Gy from near Frankfurt/M., Germany on January 12, 2012:

Extremely interesting and great ressource, bookmarked for more in depth-study later! Thanks for your work!

Chad Young from Corona, CA on January 11, 2012:

I'm signing up right now because you can always learn something new. great hub.

chelseacharleston on January 11, 2012:

This is such vital info! SO many people will benefit from it! Awesome!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on January 11, 2012:

thank you for sharing this...i am newly retired and am interested in finding out about things i did not really have the time to pursue when i was teaching...i will definitely be looking into some of these classes.

erikasreview from Lancaster, CA on January 11, 2012:

Great information I will definitely be passing this information on.

shannajs from Bear Lake, Utah on December 03, 2011:

Very good information. Thank you!

Anil Kumar Bage from Kolkata,India on November 02, 2011:

I am also very keen to do some online courses for free.You provided some very helpful informations for me and others also.Thanks.

ThomasRydder on November 02, 2011:

Earner-good morning. Superbly written article, both well-written and containing crucial info. I'd not heard of any of these online choices, and plan on passing them onto a friend of mine who is in a category you mentioned. WELL DONE :)TR

Maren Elizabeth Morgan from Pennsylvania on November 02, 2011:

Wow - I just found this. VU.

Charles Webb-it from Edmonds,WA on October 31, 2011:

Man this was really good stuff i bookmarked the free exam site thanks

suejanet on October 31, 2011:

Thanks, I am always trying to improve myself and love free courses.

dagny roth from Neverland on October 31, 2011:

Terrific Resource! Thanks for the info and the research.

clintonb from Adelaide, Australia on October 31, 2011:

All this was very informative!! God hub.

Daniel Christian from Los Angeles, CA on October 31, 2011:

Online courses and online education are more popular than ever these days.

Joel Durant from Canada on October 30, 2011:

A very informative hub. Thanks!

raf669 on October 27, 2011:

i have taken 22 diferent courses love it thankyou very much

ajayshah2005 from Mid Asia on October 15, 2011:

i got this from google search.thanks for great hub and useful information.

Kalux from Canada on October 07, 2011:

I had a look through the Alison site and am excited to sign up to learn a few things.


Melanie Palen from Midwest, USA on October 07, 2011:

Wow! This is an incredibly helpful hub! Thanks for not only highlighting free online courses, but free certifications as well. I'll have to look into some of these. I love learning new things and I think that stocking up on certs could help me get a nicer job! Thanks for sharing!

lender3212000 from Beverly Hills, CA on October 06, 2011:

This is a very good resource for anyone wanting to learn a little something new. Great hub!

nikkiraeink from So. Cal. on October 05, 2011:

Great hub. I love free knowledge. Another great site that sounds a little like Alison is Check it out.

rzch25 on October 05, 2011:

Very nice and helpful hub.

istanbul34 from istanbul on October 05, 2011:

thank hub...

nasake on October 05, 2011:

Wow! this is amazing information. And its so timely for me as well. It's almost fate that this was at the top of the hub pages for me on the very day that I am regretting my decision to stay on for A-level.

If these courses are free i will do all of them :) I love learning and I am going to enjoy taking part in these courses. Thankyou very much.

Eddie Carrara from New Hampshire on October 04, 2011:

Hey Earner, great hub! Very informative, this is exactly what I need right now, thank you very much :) voted up and awesome!

ewelz51 from Somewhere in the South... on October 04, 2011:

This is great information! Thanks so much!

Facebook Apps Developer on October 04, 2011:

I was looking exactly for one like this. Thanks and regards for the post. Working from home would be easier with that.