The Top 10 Educational Websites for Taking Online Courses

Look to the Web for Learning New Skills and Gaining Fresh Knowledge

Back in the day, if you wanted to learn something new, you'd go to school for it. Today, not only are educational institutions offering their full programs and individual courses online, but experts in almost every field imaginable are creating their own programs and courses online to share their knowledge with their worldwide audiences.

Both educational institutions and individual experts who want to offer their courses online need somewhere to host it and get it out to people who want to learn, which is why there are now so many platforms that are completely dedicated to offering online courses. Some focus on tighter niches like technology while others include courses in a wide variety of fields.

Whatever you're interested in learning, chances are you can almost certainly find a course about it from the educational course sites listed below. From beginner all the way to advanced, there's bound to be something for everybody.

Also recommended: 10 of the Most Popular Science & Education YouTube Channels

1
Udemy

woman taking class online
bonninstudio/Stocksy United

Udemy is the online education site that tops this list for being such an incredibly popular and valuable resource. You can search through over 40,000 courses in all sorts of different topics and download the Udemy app to take your learning mobile for quick lessons and study sessions when you're on the go.

Udemy courses aren't free, but they start as low as $12. If you're an expert looking to create and launch a course of your own, you can also become an instructor with Udemy and take advantage of their massive user base to attract students.

2
Coursera

Stanford Visitor Center
Photo © Andriy Prokopenko / Getty Images

If you're looking to take courses from over 140 of the country's top universities and organizations, then Coursera is for you. Coursera has partnered up with the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, the University of Michigan and others to offer universal access to the world's best education.

Recommended: 7 of the Best Goal Setting Apps

You can find both paid and unpaid courses in fields related to computer science, business, social sciences and more. Coursera also has mobile apps available so you can learn at your own pace.

3
Lynda

Flow Chart
Photo © spxChrome / Getty Images

Owned by LinkedIn, Lynda is a popular educational hub for professionals looking to learn new skills related to business, creativity and technology. Courses fall under categories like animation, audio/music, business, design, development, marketing, photography, video and more.

When you sign up with Lynda, you get a 10-day free trial and then you'll be charged either $20 a month for a basic membership or $30 for a premium membership. If you ever want to deactivate your membership and then come back at a later time, Lynda has a "reactivate" feature that restores all your account information including all your course history and progress.

4
Open Culture

Studying
Photo © Hero Images / Getty Images

If you're on a budget but still looking for top quality education content, check out Open Culture's library of 12,000 courses with over 30,000 hours of audio and video lectures that are totally free. You'll have to spend a bit of time scrolling down through the single page that includes all 12,000 course links, but at least they're all organized by category in alphabetical order.

Many of the courses available on Open Culture are from leading institutions from around the world including Yale, Stanford, MIT, Harvard, Berkley and others. Audiobooks, ebooks and certificate courses are also available.

5
edX

University Campus
Photo © Michael Kiedyszko / Getty Images

Similarly to Coursera, edX offers access to higher education from over 90 of the world's leading educational institutions including Harvard, MIT, Berkley, the University of Maryland, the University of Queensland and others. Founded and governed by colleges and universities, edX is the only open source and nonprofit MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) leader.

Find courses in computer science, language, psychology, engineering, biology, marketing or any other field you're interested in. Use it for high school level eduction or to earn a credit for university. You'll receive an official credential from the institution signed by the instructor to verify your achievement.

6
Tuts+

Computer Code
Photo © Degui Adil / EyeEm / Getty Images

Envato's Tuts+ is for those who work and play in creative technology. In addition to its vast library of how-to tutorials, courses are available in design, illustration, code, web design, photography, video, business, music, audio, 3D animation and motion graphics. 

Recommended: 10 Cloud Apps for Creating To-Do Lists

Tuts+ has more than 22,000 tutorials and over 870 video courses totalling over 902 hours of content, with new courses being added every single week. You get a 10-day free trial before you'll be asked to stay for $15 a month.

7
Udacity

Studying
Photo Hoxton / Tom Merton / Getty Images

Dedicated to bringing higher education to the world in the accessible, affordable and effective ways possible, Udacity offers both online courses and credentials that teach students the skills that are currently in demand by industry employers. They claim to offer their education at a fraction of the cost of traditional schooling.

This is an excellent platform to look into if you're planning on working in technology. With courses and credentials in Android, iOS, data science, software engineering and web development, you can be sure to get access to the most up to date education in these innovative areas that are relevant to today's tech companies and startups.

8
ALISON

Working
Photo © andresr / Getty Images

With seven million students from across the world, ALISON is an online learning resource that offers free, high-quality courses, education services and community support. Their resources are designed for absolutely anyone looking for a new job, promotion, college placement or business venture.

Recommended: 10 Common Online Tasks That Everyone Should Automate

Choose from a variety subjects to pick from over 750 courses designed to provide you with certificate and diploma level education. You'll also be required to take assessments and score at least 80% to pass, so you know you'll have the skills to move forward.

9
OpenLearn

Friends Studying
Photo Robert Daly / Getty Images

OpenLearn is designed to give users free access to educational materials from The Open University, which originally launched back in the 90s as a way to offer online learning in broadcast collaborations with the BBC. Today, OpenLearn offers both topical and interactive content in a variety of content formats, including courses.

Find all of OpenLearn's free courses here. You can filter these courses by activity, format (audio or video), subject and more options. All courses are listed with their level (introductory, intermediate, etc.) and time length to give you an idea of what you can expect.

10
FutureLearn

Student on Laptop
Photo © PeopleImages / Getty Images

Like OpenLearn, FutureLearn is part of The Open University and is another alternative on this list that offers course programs from leading education institutions and organization partners. Courses are delivered a step at a time and can be learned at your own pace while accessed from a desktop or mobile device.

Recommended: How to Use Trello for Online Teamwork and Personal Productivity

One of the real benefits of FutureLearn is its commitment to social learning, giving its students the opportunity to engage in discussions with others throughout the course. FutureLearn also offers full programs, which contain several courses in them for more extensive learning.

More From Us