Free online courses, lessons and apps that will make you smarter

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Free online courses, lessons and apps that will make you smarter
Image Credit: © Marek Uliasz | Dreamstime.com
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If you’re looking to learn more, challenge yourself or ‘get out of your comfort zone,’ there are plenty of resources out there that can help you do it!

So if you’re ready to get started, check out these great education tools that offer ways for you to learn on your own schedule — and the best part is, they’re totally free!

Read more: 6 free ways to learn how to code

Develop a new skill or expertise from the comfort of your couch! (or anywhere…)

Art

Drawing

  • Draw A Box
    • All content is free AND the lessons are ‘information dense’; there’s also a complementary YouTube channel if you prefer to watch instead of read.
  • Proko
    • Unlike Draw A Box, some of the content on Proko is only available to premium members – but the vast majority is free; similar to Draw A Box, Proko offers a YouTube channel with the same content you’ll find on the main website.

 Graphic Design

  • Graphic Design 101
    • If you’re unsure about whether Graphic Design is a subject you’d like to pursue, check out Udemy’s Graphic Design 101 course.
  • Ctrl+Paint
    • A self-described digital painting, school-style resource, Ctrl+Paint offers 19 unique courses designed to teach beginners about digital painting.
  • Vectr
    • Vectr, which is a free and open source alternative to Adobe Illustrator, offers handy tutorials in-app or via Udemy (link above).
      • Click here to learn more about Vectr

Art History

If you’d rather be a Jeopardy contestant instead of creating art yourself, The Khan Academy has one of the greatest collection of Art History lessons on earth. Instructors on Khan navigate you from prehistoric cave drawings to the middle ages and into the contemporary era.

Business

  • MIT Sloan College of Business
    • You probably know MIT for their tech, but they have a fantastic business school and they’ve generously published dozens of undergrad and grad level business courses. MIT’s open course program offers a wide range of topics including accounting, finance, marketing, managerial psychology and organizational theory.

Accounting

  • Accounting Coach
    • AC offers 33 professionally-developed lessons ranging from basic accounting to cost accounting.

Economics, Finance and Personal Financial Planning

  • Khan Academy
    • Khan Academy gets another mention (and probably one more down below) because they offer awesome courses for free – in topics that people care about.
  • Utah State University
    • Utah State’s department of Family, Consumer, & Human Development has provided it’s personal financial planning course online for free – they offer 14 lessons via PDF. They also include dozens of other external resources.
  • University of California Irvine
    • UC Irvine’s Distance Learning Center offers 22 high-level lessons on personal financial planning – it’s a great start if you want some easier reading for planning.

Marketing

  • Google’s Online Marketing Challenge Course
    • The GOMC is ‘A unique opportunity for students to experience and creat online marketing campaigns using Google AdWords.’ The challenge has been around for 9 years. Google also collaborates with several great companies to provide marketing courses for the modern world: search advertising, display advertising, mobile advertising.

Read more: Top 15 best jobs that don’t require a college degree

Computer Science

  • Free Code Camp
    • FCC offers 4 certificates: Front End Dev, Back End Dev, Data Viz and Full Stack Dev. Each of these certificate programs is free and filled with hands-on lessons. In each module you’ll get to create your own website, build web apps and learn how to connect backend databases to frontend sites. FCC focuses on Javascript, HTML5, CSS and JQuery.
  • Codeacademy
    • Codeacademy is very similar to FCC but expands within the coding world to include Python, PHP and Ruby.
  • Code Wars
    • Code Wars is an awesome platform for students that want to challenge their newly learned coding skills. I recommend using this web app once you’ve gotten a decent understanding of you desired language. NOTE: If you are pursuing a career change, many tech companies will use a very similar platform to test your skills and knowledge of coding.

Foreign Language

  • Duolingo
    • Duolingo offers 27 foreign language courses ranging from Spanish to Greek and even Klingon. Yup, you can take a foreign language course in Klingon – how freakin’ cool is that!

History

Math

  • Khan Academy – I promise you I work at Clark.com, not Khan.
    • These are by far the best online math classes available.

Music

  • Guitar
    • Justin Guitar
      • A super friendly British guy teaching you how to rock out or play some mellow tunes.
  • Muisc History
    • MIT Open Courseware
      • Similar to their business courses, MIT offers a staggering number of courses and lessons on music history.

Science and Engineering

  • Khan Academy
    • You really can’t go wrong with Khan.
  • MIT Open Courseware
    • Again, an amazing list of free and in-depth lessons and courses on all science and engineering topics.

Read more: Free online courses available at Ivy League schools

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone (not those of any companies, products or services mentioned) and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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