A while ago I put together my first list of free online digital marketing and communication courses. Make sure you check it out! Now I’m back with three more ways to upskill and gain qualifications without spending a penny – all from the comfort of your own laptop.
Coursera provides free online courses led by industry experts in almost any subject you can imagine – including marketing, communications and all things digital. The courses are run by real-life universities and act like digital textbooks with videos, quizzes and projects. There are also forums where you can discuss topics with your classmates, and opportunities to mark each other’s work and learn from each other.
Is Coursera free?
A quick glance at the website shows things like ‘7-day free trial’ and the option to pay to see the full course content – so is Coursera really free?
You can ‘audit’ courses for free, which means you can watch the lectures and access the course material but you won’t be able to submit assignments or get a verified certificate with a final grade without paying.
It’s probably not worth paying for the certificate when all the knowledge (the important bit) is free. Future employers will just have to trust that you’ve taken the course without having a certificate to prove it – but this should be easy to do when you tell them all about it at interviews.
Google Digital Garage
In the last list of free online digital marketing courses I mentioned the Google Analytics Academy – a series of free online courses all about Google Analytics. But if you’re looking for something a bit broader then Google Digital Garage might be for you.
The garage contains short videos on everything you need to know about promoting a business online. The platform is colourful with opportunities to set goals and achieve badges for completing lessons. You can also gain a certificate to boost your CV or LinkedIn profile – and with most topics taking around half an hour to cover, you can easily learn in your lunch break.
edX is similar to Coursera in that it provides hundreds of universty-led courses for free online. You can also pay to get a verified certificate for completing a course, but as with Coursera this doesn’t seem necessary to me.
The courses offered by edX and Coursera differ, and may be running at different time, so check both to see which one has what you’re looking for. A quick search shows courses in digital marketing, marketing analytics, marketing management… The list goes on!
All this learning can be addictive, so make sure you don’t take on too much at once!
Can I take an edX or Coursera course at any time?
Note that some Coursera and edX courses are self-directed (you can take them at any time of the year) and some only run at certain times so that everyone in the class starts on more or less the same day. Don’t get caught out if the course you have our heart set on has a start date that isn’t good for you!
Have you taken any of the courses mentioned? Did I miss anything out? Let me know!