Looking for the best places to learn new skills in 2021? Look no further! We break down the best free and paid sources where you can learn online today and have new skills tomorrow.
When running any business online or selling your services it is important to be on the cutting edge and staying ahead of your competition or in some cases catching up FAST!
Fortunately, the internet is amassed with websites that can help you learn pretty much anything and learning online is becoming a very common way to increase your chances of finding new job, opportunities or clients.
Over the next couple of decades, universities and colleges are going to have some seriously strong competition from these forward-thinking educational platforms.
It doesn’t matter what you want to learn these days, there’s pretty much an online course for everything these days.
We will take a look at some of the best free avenues and then take a look at some of the best premium websites.
Free Places to Learn Online
The internet is a goldmine of free ways to learn online so let’s start by covering some of the best places to try that won’t cost you a penny.
One of the best organic communities where you can learn just about anything is Reddit. On this forum of forums, each SubReddit is focused on a different topic. There are subreddits for designers, Marketers, Programmers, Bloggers, you name it there’s a SubReddit and the userbase of Reddit probably has the highest collective IQ of any of the social networks and web 2.0 sites around.
- Subscribe to your favorite SubReddit Topics
- Ask Questions
- Engage in conversations
- Network with others
Forums are by no means new however they have stood the test of time on the internet and still provide many fantastic utilities. One of these is being able to learn and network with others. I recommend searching for forums in your own specific niche however some forums that are great for marketers include:
- DigitalPoint – One of the best forums online for internet marketers, bloggers and other people working online looking to find new ideas.
- WarriorsForum – A great forum for marketers and growth hackers who want to see what other people are sharing and discussing.
- WickedFire – Another forum for internet marketers and affiliate marketing with lots of smart folks to learn from.
- WordPress.org Forum – Ideal for if you are having trouble with WordPress and want to learn more and ask questions.
YouTube & Other Free Video Streaming Services
Sometimes I feel that this one goes without saying but then I am reminded when people ask me questions that can easily be answered with a quick search on YouTube. Learning by watching is far easier for some than simply reading a tutorial and with the sheer number of videos on YouTube you can learn just about anything.
The only con with YouTube and other video sites like Vimeo is that this approach to learning things is very modular and lacks a set curriculum and path to follow. So you have to put together the lessons ad hoc as you progress and find new things you are struggling with.
Other Free Websites for Online Learning
There are also numerous websites that offer a heap of free educational content.
TedTalks – If you haven’t heard of TedTalks then you must be a Flinstone! Simply put some of the best lectures from the worlds most brilliant minds. In addition to the main TedTalks website be sure to check out TedEd, a website full of individual “lessons worth learning”.
MIT Open Courseware – Want to distance learn with courses from MIT? Now you can!
Project Gutenberg – Access more than 4000 free ebooks at Project Gutenberg, an excellent source for public domain books from throughout history as well as contemporary free ebooks.
iTunes U – An educational app from Apple including lots of educational courses.
Premium Learning Sites
Ultimately there are going to be topics and courses that come at a cost but it’s important to make sure you are buying quality since there are so many low-quality courses on the internet.
The best way to do that is to stick to an online learning portal that comes recommended and has a good track record. Here are a few such sites.
Probably the website that defines online learning for me as it has been around since 1995. Lynda was founded by Lynda Weinman originally as a website to teach digital creative arts though over the years has grown into a mammoth of content and features courses on a wide range of subjects including business and marketing skills.
Lynda has over 80,000 videos and is often described as the Netflix of online education. With a reasonable subscription service of around $25 per month Lynda is a great service to ensure you stay at the cutting edge of your field.
Get started with Lynda.
Udemy is another big player in the online course space with hundreds of new courses added each month and as of 2019, there are more than 65,000 courses available.
The course costs vary depending on the course and educator but range from $10 up to $600.
Udemy has courses on pretty much every subject you can think of, internet marketing, design, cryptocurrencies and more.
You can browse through courses and evaluate them based on public reviews before you purchase.
check out Udemy here.
Coursera is a newer service that has come to my attention but from reports of colleagues and friends they offer high-quality courses and could be compared to Udemy though their typical course prices tend to range between $29 and $99.
Coursera partners with universities and other authoritative organizations such as Museums around the world to bring high-quality course material.
I have been aware of Udemy a lot longer than Coursera but it has quickly shot on the scene as one of the premier places to learn online.
A great option if you are looking for high-quality in-depth courses and you even earn a certificate at the end to stick on your wall! Visit Coursera to learn more.
TeamTreehouse is one of the best premium sites for learning how to code, build websites, apps, and various other digital skills. They even have a course on digital literacy which is a great course for beginners getting into the world of internet business.
Whether you want to learn how to create your own WordPress theme, build an Android or iOS App or brush up on some digital business skills Treehouse is a great place to start.
Used by Automatic, Mailchimp and Vox Media to train their staff in new digital skills you can’t go wrong with a trial of TeamTreehouse with an affordable $25 per month subscription thereafter for access to all of their courses.
Treehouse seems to always be offering the most interesting and state of the art digital skills and now even offer courses in fields like Virtual Reality, Game Development, and Big Data.
CodeAcademy is of course dedicated to teaching coding and has gained a strong reputation over the years helping lots of people access high-quality material on learning various programming languages from HTML and CSS to Java and Python, if you are looking to get into programming then this is one of the best places to start.
Programming is a very in-demand skill and picking up even the basics can be extremely helpful even for bloggers and marketers as it gives you a better understanding of the technology you are working on top of and puts you in a position to gain more control over the design and other aspects of your website.
CodeAcademy’s user interface is easy to use and each course tracks your progress as you work your way through the lessons.
Want to learn to code? Start here.
The latest and possibly greatest to come on the online education scene might just be Masterclass.
Masterclass is unique because they have sought out some of the most renowned experts in their fields to produce extremely high quality and intimate video courses.
While some of these courses may be more focusses on the arts or specialist subjects you might not instantly associate with a realistic career for most you might find that some of these courses provide a lot of crossover skills.
If you want to become a better copywriter, learning how to tell a story from a renowned book writer could be the tool that gives you an edge.
If you are a YouTuber and want to up your game, learning filmmaking from the likes of Martin Scorsese or Spike Lee or learning comedy with Judd Apatow or Steve Martin is like having the greats as your mentor.
This is the beauty of distance learning and learning management systems because they can connect you with the best educators on the planet and sometimes you can even learn from your heroes.
Want to get started? Visit Masterclass.
Did we miss any? Maybe you have found a site we haven’t mentioned? Let us know in the comments or by getting in touch.