20 Best Free Online Certifications & Courses for 2021

Digital Defynd
15 min readMay 11, 2020

Our team of global e-learning experts has done in-depth research to come up with this compilation of 20 Best Free Online Certifications, Courses, and Training for 2021. We are sure it will help you find what you are looking for. Don’t forget to check Free Online Courses released by various e-learning platforms and universities.

20 Best Free Online Certifications, Courses, Tutorials, Classes & Training for 2021

1. Free Certification Courses (Stanford University)

What seems to still be a secret for many is the fact that almost all programs on global university training partner Coursera are now available for free, for a short duration that is. This includes courses from Stanford University among a host of other famous universities and colleges globally. What matters here is the part that you can simply choose a training program you seem to have a liking for, and then enroll to it at no cost, and evaluate the same by yourself. If after a few days you like it enough you can pay and continue further, otherwise, you can not pay and enjoy the free content while it lasts. Sounds like a sweet deal to us! On Coursera, you will find free business certifications, free online training courses, free it certifications, and much more. You may also want to check out the list of the Best Coursera Certifications.

Key USPs-

- The beginner-level programs do not need any prerequisite knowledge.

- Lessons are designed with increasing levels of difficulty.

- Understand the significance of the topics covered and their impact on the real world.

- Complete guidance is provided to configure and install the necessary tools.

- The flexible deadlines allow you to learn at your own pace.

Rating: 4.7 out of 5

You can Sign up Here

2. Free Online Courses (Harvard University)

If you dream about getting educated from one of the top universities then you should definitely check this series of programs. Learn from the experts and faculty who are always engaged in teaching and research to push the boundaries of human knowledge. You can choose to ‘audit the course’ for free or receive the verified certificate for a small fee. Take your pick from the likes of CS50, Neuroscience, Contract Law, Calculus, modern China’s foundations, humanitarian response to conflict and disaster, introduction to data-wise, and much more. You may also want to check out our compilation of Top 100 Ivy League Free Courses.

Key USPs-

- Cover your chosen topic in-depth with relevant case studies, interactive examples, and more.

- Get hands-on with the exercises and assignments.

- Explore possible career paths relevant to the program.

- Clarify your doubts by interacting with your peers and instructors.

- There is no prerequisite to enroll in beginner-level classes.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

You can Sign up Here

3. Free Online Courses (LinkedIn Learning)

One of the widest ranges of courses and classes can be found online for free on LinkedIn Learning (Lynda.com). You will get to learn the most in-demand tech, management, and creative skills from industry experts which will help you add value to your work while helping you grow in your career. A lot of people know LinkedIn Learning as the erstwhile Lynda.com, which had famously captured the mind and attention of e-learning lovers all over the world. After being taken over by LinkedIn, Lynda has now been rebranded as LinkedIn Learning.

Key USPs -

- Thousands of courses to choose from across diverse set of domains like business, technology, data science, marketing, and much more

- All courses are effectively free since the first month on the platform is a trial period. So you can enroll in and complete any course of your choice at zero cost

- Thousands of skilled instructors from prestigious organizations and universities have created these courses, so you get top-notch quality

- It comes with the backing and support of the LinkedIn Platform, so you can easily add skills to your profile, thus increasing your chances of finding a better job / better opportunity

- The option of ‘view offline’ allows you to attend classes without the internet and on the go.

Rating: 4.7 out of 5

You can Sign up Here

4. 100% Free Certification (Digital Defynd)

You can get rewarded with a free certificate, for completing any course, on any platform online. This can be across any subject category, any learning domain, and any duration. There are special certificates as you move up the ladder, the more you learn, the more you earn.

Key USPs -

- A completely free to earn an online certificate — no credit card, no payment

- Open to all learners, across geographies

- You could complete an online course, from any online platform and apply for the certificate

- Even if you just finish a course elsewhere and didn’t receive a certificate, we will give you one

- It is too good to be true, but it is true

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

You can Sign up Here

5. Free Online Courses (Udemy)

Udemy has got some of the best courses by some amazing trainers all over the world. These are people who have been working in a certain domain for over decades, people who have taught at some of the biggest colleges globally and have taught thousands of students online. The tutorials and courses created by them are highly rated, well-curated, and regularly updated. All that makes Udemy a favorite destination for students and professionals looking for affordable and free courses online. On completion of a course, you get a certificate of completion. You may also be interested in checking out our compilation of Best Udemy Courses.

Key USPs-

- 90,000+ Courses & Tutorials by Creators all across the world available on the platform.

- You will find specialization courses for domains you can’t even imagine

- Lectures range from 1 hour to 20 hours depending on what you want to learn

- Some instructors are just too darn funny! (and knowledgeable and interesting!)

- MANY courses are available for absolutely free, while others are available at prices you wouldn’t believe!

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

You can Sign up Here

6. Free University Courses (Coursera)

To help people during the Corona Lockdown, Coursera has joined hands with leading global universities and launched 100 Free Courses from leading colleges. These include courses on a variety of topics right from Health, Personal Development, Computer Science, Data Science, Business, Languages, and more. Some of the universities offering these courses include Yale, Duke University, Johns Hopkins, Indian School of Business, Imperial College London, Princeton, Yonsei among many others.

Key USPs -

  • Learn a variety of new skills, all at zero cost
  • Get a chance to learn from top colleges globally
  • Make use of all the extra time you have on your hands with these quick courses
  • Some of these courses have been specifically made free for the Corona lockdown

Rating: 4.8 out of 5

You can Sign up Here

7. Free UC Berkeley Courses (UC Berkeley)

Ever since being established in 1868, The University of California has been committed to innovation in teaching and learning. UC Berkeley marks this commitment by facilitating online education initiatives including online degree programs, credit and non-credit courses, and MOOC projects. Some of the courses offered by Berkeley online include Marketing Analytics, Journalism, English Literature, Quantum mechanics, and Statistics. Quality courses from UC Berkeley are now available for students to benefit from all over the world. Dive in to find an abundance of knowledge waiting for you on the other side.

Key USPs -

- High-quality education now available online

- Most programs are free to audit, you may pay if you want a certificate

- Available on leading e-learning platform edX

- Choose from a variety of subjects

Rating: 4.8 out of 5

You can Sign up Here

8. Free Creativity Classes Online (Skillshare)

Wow is the word! This website offers thousands of courses and online lessons across categories such as Design, Business, Technology, Photography, Film, Writing, Crafts and much more, all for, believe it or not, FREE! Yes, you heard that correct, this ‘netflix for education’ gives you access to all its online training for absolutely free for a certain period.

Key USPs-

- Work on the class project to create your portfolio and get feedback.

- Gain the best practices and tips from the instructor.

- Concise lessons that get straight to the point.

- Packed with exercises, prompts and tried and true techniques.

Rating : 4.6 out of 5

You can Sign up here

9. Free Online Learning (Alison)

If you want to gain critical knowledge of individual concepts within a field then these programs will help you with that. The certifications include an abundance of subjects such as languages, media studies, journalism, public relations, health and fitness, business studies, computer programming, networking, and much more! Use the search bar, career guide to find out the best choices for your chosen field.

Key USPs-

- Learn from over 1000 high-quality certifications available across 9 distinct categories all of which are absolutely free to complete.

- Designed by subject matter experts all the content is self-paced.

- Interactive and enriching learning experience.

- Filter down options based on categories, course type, level and feature, and learning area.

Rating: 4.4 out of 5

You can Sign up Here

10. Free Google Courses (Google)

Being certified in various Google courses can help you build a strong portfolio or start your own journey in multiple fields like Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Mobile App Development, etc. To help you initiate your journey as a Google Certified individual, we have created this list of best Google certification courses that are offered by some of the well-known e-learning platforms like Coursera, Google Digital Garage, Google Analytics Academy, etc. Enrolling in these lessons will help you build a strong understanding of various digital marketing techniques, cloud storage, BigQuery, application Development, and much more. Furthermore, after completing each course with the given assignment, you will receive a certificate of completion that can be shared with employers or LinkedIn profiles.

Key USPs –

- Get access to all the valuable Google Certification courses at one place that can help you build a valuable and robust career

- Learn how to make decisions regarding data storage for applications and how to integrate various sources, components, and services for creating solutions

- Learn about machine learning fundamentals, how to develop applications, the core infrastructure of GCP, and much more

- Avail downloadable resources, video lectures, quizzes, graded assignments, and practice exams to test your knowledge and skills

Duration: Self-paced

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

You can Sign up Here

11. Free Coding Courses

We have compiled a list of some of the best free-to-use coding classes available online. This is one of the best options if you want to build strong fundamentals of coding. It includes courses from Codecademy, edX, Coursera, Datacamp, and many other course providers that specialize in this field. The lessons do not only focus on the theory and syntax but practical learning as well. So get started with writing working code from the very first lectures which will give you confidence in the techniques and methods covered in the videos.

Key USPs-

- No prior experience is required for enrolment.

- Write code and get instant feedback so that you always know that you are on the right track.

- Apply your knowledge to real-world projects and test your knowledge with tailor-made quizzes.

- All courses are available free of cost

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

You can Sign up Here

12. Free Python Courses

There could be a variety of reasons why you may be interested in learning Python. Right from data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence to countless other applications, Python stands out as a high-level general-purpose programming language. To help you in your Python journey, we have put together a list of some of the best and freely available Python courses that can help you take your skill to the next level. You can learn from the top universities all over the world, leading instructors who teach online, or even pick up essential skills from engaging tutorials.

Key USPs -

- Handpicked courses to help you learn from the best

- Choose from multiple e-learning platforms like Udemy, Coursera, edX, Datacamp and many more

- Learn Python 2, Python 3

- Courses ranging from short term crash courses to certificate programs that carry on for a few months

- The list keeps getting updated so you get the best-updated courses

Rating: 4.7 out of 5

You can Sign up Here

13. Free IT Certifications (Udemy)

With over 3000 options, Udemy makes sure that you can learn the IT skill of your choice irrespective of your current experience level. The lessons are divided on the basis of difficulty level namely beginner, intermediate and advanced. AWS certified solutions architect, CCNA Bootcamp, CompTIA A+ certification, salesforce classic administrator, complete network fundamentals course are some of the most popular choices on the website. Filter on the basis of topics, level of difficulty, process, language, features, and ratings to get programs better aligned to your requirements.

Key USPs-

- Over 100 free tutorials and the rest are available at a nominal rate.

- Prepare for the various IT certifications with thorough guidance from the fundamentals to the last-minute tips.

- Setup your own business or get a promotion at your current job by showcasing your skills.

- Lectures + Downloadable resources + Articles + Full lifetime access

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

You can Sign up Here

14. Free University & College Certification Courses (edX)

One of the top e-learning websites in today’s world, edX is fully committed to making sure that learners get access to the best available content irrespective of their field of choice. With an impressive array of top colleges and universities such as MIT, Harvard, Berkeley on their panel, they are one impressive place to hone your skills online. Free online certification courses and training programs ranging from Project Management, Data Science, Computer Science to even TOEFL preparation courses among language courses like that around Mandarin are present. You will find some of the best business certifications, online certifications, free online it training, and much more. You may also want to check out the Best edX Courses available online.

Key USPs-

- Take your pick from professional certificates, individual programs, and micromasters degrees.

- The instructors help you to work with the foundational concepts with the help of practical examples.

- Plenty of opportunities to implement the skills covered in the lessons by attempting the hands-on assignments and case studies.

- The certification can be earned for a certain fee but the lessons and materials can be accessed for free.

Rating : 4.7 out of 5

You can Sign up Here

15. Free Online Courses and Nanodegrees (Udacity)

Udacity is a leader when it comes to online learning and it provides a tonne of resources to learn from for absolutely free. To earn the certification, enrolment in the programs require a certain price but if you are only interested in gaining access to the content and learning then Udacity can be very helpful in that aspect. Go ahead and take the course that suits you, to supplement your knowledge or just delve into a completely new topic.

Key USPs -

- Industry associations with the likes of Google

- Makes students job-ready for the market

- Offers both paid nano degree programs as well as free courses

- You can learn via their app

- Courses around a variety of topics including Dev Ops, self-driving car, digital marketing, web development, and so on

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

You can Sign up Here

16. Free Online Courses (Khan Academy)

The courses on this non-profit platform are primarily aimed to provide free world-class education to students. Get guidance to gain a better understanding of your coursework, complete your homework and prepare for your advanced placement examinations. There are lectures on an array of subjects such as mathematics, science, computing, arts and humanities, economics and finance, test prep.

Key USPs-

- The beginner-level programs do not need any prior experience.

- Personalized learning experience allows you to practice at your own pace.

- Fill in the gaps in your understanding and then accelerate your learning.

- Lectures cover math K-12 through early college, grammar, science, history, SAT and more.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

You can Sign up Here

17. Free Online Courses (Microsoft)

These edX lectures are taught by Microsoft experts and are perfect for hands-on learners. Broaden your experience with cutting-edge technologies in areas like cloud services, mobile development, and data sciences. The classes can be audited for free by anyone starting from students to seasoned technologists. Build innovative applications, services, and experiences that will let you make a meaningful impact in today’s interconnected world.

Key USPs-

- The introductory lectures tell you how to configure the necessary software and tools.

- Well-structured content with a gradual increase in difficulty makes it easy to follow along.

- Concepts are explained with interactive examples and demonstrations.

- Complete the graded assignments and assessments to measure your grasp on the topics covered.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

You can Sign up Here

18. IT Training Certifications (Microsoft Learn)

With hundreds of IT training programs, this academy makes it easy to find the apt course to elevate your career. The classes are divided based on your current experience level namely developers, IT pros, and data pros. You can get into database, web, cloud, game, or mobile development, virtualization, enterprise security, Azure, DevOps, business intelligence, advanced analytics, SQL server to name a few. There are classes designed specifically for beginners as well to help them get a solid start before focusing on a particular specialization.

Key USPs-

- Learn the latest technology on your terms, pick up where you left off across any device or download videos for offline viewing.

- Create and manage playlists that align with the technical skills you want to acquire.

- Test your knowledge with self-assessments, and earn certificates of completion for the courses you’ve mastered.

- Attend live events and participate in the live Q&A with instructors.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

You can Sign up Here

19. Lessons worth Sharing (TedEd Courses)

One hidden gem not many know about is TedEd. Yes, that’s the same famous TED, but in this case, it’s a collection of the best courses and lessons to help everybody learn. You will find interesting lessons on topics such as Business & Economics, Literature & Language, Mathematics, Philosophy & Religion, Social Studies, and even Teaching & Education.

Key USPs -

- Includes subjects like Business & Economics, Literature & Language, Philosophy & Religion among others

- Lot of crisp short term video tutorials to help you get a quick grasp on a subject

- Hundreds of contributors from all over the world have created courses on the platform

- Includes the TED-Ed Clubs program that helps students discover, explore and present big ideas in TED-style talks

Rating : 4.5 out of 5

You can Sign up Here

20. Free Online Programs (MIT Open Courseware)

This is the online hub of resources, materials, and videos on all various disciplines created by some of the world’s best academic and industrial experts. Explore topics as well as interdisciplinary subjects such as chemistry, calculus, entrepreneurship, energy, transportation, introduction to programming, and life science. By the end of your chosen class, you will be proficient in the concepts covered and be ready to apply them in industrial scenarios.

Key USPs-

- Choose from the collection of free classes, audio/video lectures and more.

- Use supplementary resources, and online textbooks to enhance the learning experience.

- Complete the graded assessments, assignments and pass the examinations to complete the certifications.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

You can Sign up Here

So that was our compilation of some of the best free websites where you can enhance and upgrade your skills with Free Online Certifications. Hope one or more them helped you find what you were looking for. As we come across more good sources, we will keep adding the same to this list. For now, we wish you happy learning and hope that you keep growing :) If you found this article nice and helpful, do spread word about it by sharing it in your network. We will keep updating this list with more courses that may help you.



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