We made the choice for my husband to be the primary breadwinner and I struggled with that initially; honestly, I still do. I felt like I was losing all the skills I had acquired in the military and was scared that if I ever wanted or needed to re-enter the workforce, I wasn’t going to be able to make nearly as much money as I would want.
I decided to finish school and start a business that I can work on my own time, but business ownership isn’t always a desired or feasible option. It takes a lot of start-up money for some and a HUGE time commitment with no end in sight. And higher education is expensive with the average cost of a 4-year degree now around $35,000. It isn’t always an option to just go back to school.
The good news is that the market is shifting and putting more weight into acquired skills. Employers are using practical testing to hire and are less impressed with how long you’ve spent in school. There are many free courses available online that can help you stay up-to-date and competitive in today’s job market! Either learn a new skill, enter a new industry or brush up on essentials.
Here are 10 of the best sites to take free courses:
- Google’s Education platform has a great education program centered around all things tech. You can learn to code, enter into project management or even become part of user design. The courses issue certificates upon completion too. The courses are done through Coursera, which does have a monthly fee of around $30/month, but financial aid is available.
- EDx is a collaboration website that brings some of the top universities together to offer courses, certificates, and micro degrees across multiple disciplines. Some courses are listed as “affordable” while I also found 89 free courses available to start today.
- Skillup is an educational website that offers some of Amazon’s cloud computing courses as well as a whole library of free courses and they even list potential earnings for each one.
- Harvard’s online learning offers tons of free courses across tech, philosophy, math and science. The courses are a great way to get fundamentals in a new field or brush up on an existing sector.
- Microsoft has a huge list of free courses to take online. Lots of tech options as well as support roles for the tech and data industry.
- MIT offers ALL its course material online for free! Need I say more?
- If you’re serious about breaking into the tech industry and earning the big bucks, check out Udacity and their free course offerings.
- LinkedIn Learning Courses has free and paid courses with many of them focusing on business and management.
- Udemy is one of the largest online learning platforms. They offer thousands of classes in multiple industries and the last search turned up 10,000 free courses.
- And the last one is for moms who may want or need to work. More and more companies are offering educational benefits. Walmart is offering to pay 100% tuition and Books for Associates, Dolly Parton is doing the same, and here is a list of 36 companies offering similar tuition programs.