Home » Career Advice » Professional Development » Top 12 Educational Websites Offering Free & Low-Cost Online Courses

Edu websites with free online courses

Top 12 Educational Websites Offering Free & Low-Cost Online Courses

Last Updated on April 17, 2024 by Career Reload

Having a specific skill is necessary for every job qualification. A certificate is often needed to prove your qualifying skills. Based on statista.com in 2020, 37.5% of Americans aged 25 and over had graduated from college, which is a large increase from 1960 when only 7.7% of Americans had graduated from higher education institutions.

2020 Unemployment graph
Image from Statista

The following graph shows in 2020, around 11.7% of people aged 25 and over without certification had difficulties obtaining a job and became unemployed.

Certifications are often used as a resume filter. Some certifications can make employers more confident that the employee can get the job done right. In the 21st century, there are many opportunities to get a quality education without spending a lot of money.

With the advances in technology, more and more educational resources are becoming available online, often for free and some with a little spending. In this article, we’ll take a look at 12 online education websites that offer free or low-cost education in a variety of subjects.

Don’t let anything hold you back from getting the job of your dreams.

1. Linkedin Learning

Linkedin is the world’s largest, most popular professional network on the internet allowing job seekers to post their CVs and employers to post jobs.

Linkedin Learning is a place where people can take courses about business, technology, and creative subjects. Linkedin offers 17,000+ courses taught by professionals and has a growing community made up of amazing discussions of over 750 million people.

LinkedIn Learning offers certificates of completion to subscribers who successfully complete the courses.

Programs and Prices

Linkedin learning free trial

Linked Learning offers a free, 1-month trial with access to all its 17,000+ content and resources.

Users can pay for individual courses with the options varying from $20 to $50 or alternatively sign up for a monthly subscription at $39.99 or an annual plan at $323.88 working out at $26.99 per month.

Consumer Reviews


Linkedin learning consumer review. Image from g2

Based on many user reviews, it seems that a lot of users are very satisfied with Linkedin’s learning features. The Learning Paths and Q&A features are a great way for students to learn about their area of study. Most students who leave reviews on LinkedIn claim that Linkedin Learning offers a good value for the money.

The Bottom Line

I think it is definitely worth the monthly fee. For a low monthly fee, you gain access to thousands of high-quality online courses that you can take anytime and anywhere. After you complete a course, you will be able to showcase your new skill on your LinkedIn profile.

2. Udemy

Udemy is a platform that produces courses for professional adults and students. It was founded by three people: Eren Bali, Oktay Caglar, and Gagan Biyani. They create courses in various fields like design and marketing.

To date, they’ve achieved over 295 million enrollments with 65000 online courses spread around the world. When you complete your enrolled Udemy course, you are eligible for a certificate. You can have that certificate for free.

Programs and Prices

Udemy free courses are limited to short video content of only 2 hours. There is no option to send the instructor a message.

Udemy's discounted courses
Udemy discount individual course.

Udemy’s Paid individual courses cost anywhere between $12.99 up to $199.99  per course. Sometimes it has courses at 10% of their original price.

Udemy Enterprise is for 21 or more users, Udemy Team is for 5-20 users, and $360. per user / annual (plus applicable taxes) is the price.

Udemy free subscribe plan
Udemy free trial offer.

They offer free trials. This is often used to determine if choosing a Udemy subscription plan will be beneficial for your learning goals. When the trial period ends, the price of the subscriptions are listed on your landing page on the site.

Consumer Reviews

Udemy Review
Udemy reviews.

Based on the review, Udemy is a great option for taking a new skill or practicing something. It is easy and affordable to do so.

The Bottom Line

If you want to learn something new or upgrade your skills, and get the qualifications you need, Udemy is worth your money.

Udemy has videos from all of the courses that you can preview with a free trial. After watching the intro videos and other lectures, you get a good idea whether the course would be useful to you or not.

Udemy reviews are proven to be accurate. They reinforce their review policy consistently over time. No instructor can manipulate their reviews.

3. Coursera

Coursera was started in 2012 by two Stanford professors. Since then, it has reached over 60 million learners with courses from over 200 universities. Coursera believes that everyone should be able to learn anytime and anywhere.

Courses include videos, problem sets, and group projects. In addition, Coursera offers job-ready certificates and degrees.

Programs and Prices

The free version of the course does not include a completion certificate, full access to assignments, or the ability to submit assignments and receive grades and feedback. Alternatively, students can upgrade to the paid version of the course for a fee of $29 to receive a completion certificate.

Guided Projects can be completed in less than 2 hours and are priced starting at $9.99.

The specialization and professional certificates give you hands-on experience with skills. They start at $39 a month and can take up to 6 months to complete.

MasterTrack Certificates are short-format professional development courses. They start at around $2,000 and last about one year, or less than the average length of a traditional master’s degree.

Online degrees would take between 3 and 4 years to complete and start at $9,000 for a bachelor’s degree and can be as expensive as $50,000 for a graduate degree.

Last, the Coursera Plus subscription is available for monthly installments of $59 or an annual fee of $399. It also offers unlimited certificates and less expensive courses if you plan to take multiple courses this year.

Coursera financial aid
Tuition and financial aid.

Most Coursera courses can be taken for free, but if you want a certificate and you can’t afford the class, there might be scholarships or financial aid options available.

Consumer Reviews

Reviews at Coursera
Coursera consumer review.

You can read reviews and ratings to get an idea of what the course offers and find out if it’s right for you.

The Bottom Line

If you’re considering a career change, going for a promotion, or if what you’re learning is in high demand, then consider getting a Coursera Certificate. Coursera offers certificates that may help you get the job.

The tutors are professors who are highly respected in their fields, and experts in the industry. Any prospective employers would be impressed with this investment.

4. EDX

Harvard and MIT collaborated to create the business of providing massive online open courses. Today, their partnerships include Georgetown University, Brown University and Dartmouth, among others.

They offer a variety of tutoring options, including a master’s degree or courses, as well as certificates from various programs.

EDX certificates are delivered online by edx.org. You will find a link to view your certificate on your dashboard once it is ready as well as in your profile and progress page in the course.

Programs and Prices

EDX courses are free, but people choose to pay for a verified certificate that shows they completed the course. The fees are anywhere from $50 to $300 per course.

EDX MicroBachelor price
EDX micro bachelor per credit price.

EDX MicroBachelors programs is an Undergraduate level course with transferable college credit where you can access a college course for only about $166 USD per credit.

EDX MicroMaster price
MicroMaster program price.

EDX MicroMasters program is an accelerated Graduate level Master’s degree that allows students to pursue their dream of a specific career without breaking the bank. Prices vary widely, but most cost around $600 – $1600. You can find information about the cost of a specific MicroMasters program by looking at the program, or you can view individual courses.

EDX Professional certificates are industry-leading educational programs, created by IBM and other top university institutions. They provide the foundations needed to enter a variety of new professional vocations. These programs vary in cost. They range from under $100 to close to $3,000. The cost will depend on your needs.

The EDX online degree program offers a chance to earn a Bachelor or Master’s degree from top-ranked universities. They also come with tuition in the range of $10,000 and some to $25,000. Even though the price is expensive, it’s still affordable for a full degree from a top-ranked university.

Consumer Reviews

EDX Consumer rating
EDX Consumer ratings. Image from g2

One of the things to look at when considering placing your education online is that edX provides individual courses and not a whole learning platform. While you can sign up for the classes and complete them, they do not offer a discussion forum or some kind of verification that you completed the class.

Many negative reviews on Trustpilot come from a user who took a course, but when they took it, the course was not archived. This made it difficult for users to receive verified certificates unless they retake part of the exam.

The Bottom Line

EDX certificates are worth it. Most courses on EDX can be taken for free, but earning an EDX certificate is a way to add credibility to your career or education while also helping prepare you for employment.

Although, a short course in a professional field doesn’t provide the same academic value as a degree. EDX certificates are still great when you can get them from high-profile institutions. They would make a great addition to your resumes and LinkedIn profiles.

5. Pluralsight

Pluralsight was founded in 2004 and it started with instructors going to training events. By 2007 the company evolved and it now offers online video courses. It has over 7000 unique courses that are taught by 1,500 expert instructors.

Pluralsight helps people discover and develop current technologies like programming, design, and tech skills. You can generate a certificate of completion simply by logging in to your account and browsing through the courses you have completed.

Programs and Prices

Pluralsight offers individual pricing plans for subscriptions. You can pay for either Monthly or Yearly. Members get to access all courses and receive certification after completing each course, depending on which plan you subscribed to.

Pluralsight individual plan price
Pluralsight individual plan pricing.

Standard plan: $24.92/month or $299/year

Premium plan: $37.42/month or $449/year

Pluralsight offers a free trial for individual subscriptions for 10 days or about 200 minutes of content.

Consumer Reviews

Pluralsight consumer rating
Pluralsight consumer reviews. Image from g2

The majority of reviews say Pluralsight is worth it when compared to other options. If you are on a budget, this could be the best choice for you. Try it out before buying so you can decide what is best for you. You can always cancel your subscription anytime if you’re not satisfied.

The Bottom Line

Experts say that building your knowledge is one of the best ways to advance your career and make you stand out from the crowd. Pluralsight is ideal for someone who needs tech industry-leading practice tests and access to projects in a real-world scenario.

With its Premium subscription, unlimited access to practice tests and to real-world scenarios, it is the perfect choice for someone who wants to advance their career.

Although Pluralsight provides certificates of completion at the end of a course, if a formal certificate is required, then Coursera or Edx are good choices.

6. Alison

Alison provides free lessons for teaching workplace skills. It is a social enterprise that was founded in Ireland by Mike Feerick on 21st April 2007. There are over 23 million learners from 196 countries registered with the social enterprise.

Alison has a lot of courses that cover a variety of topics, from university-level classes to certification courses. You can achieve your interests or skills with her courses for free or you choose to pay for the certificates or diplomas.

Programs and Prices

Alison plans and prices
Alison plan prices.

Alison is free to use, but you can pay €7.99 ($8.48) for a premium account that removes advertisements and provides access to CV tools. Alison’s certificates are not free. Prices depend on the type of certificate that you want, and the cost will vary from €21 ($22.29) for a digital certificate, €27 ($28.66) for a printed certificate, and €39 ($41.39) for a framed certificate.

Consumer Reviews

Alison Review
Alison consumer review. Image from Bitdegree

Overall, most users have had positive experiences with Alison online courses. However, depending on the course taken, different students have different expectations for each course. You might be surprised or disappointed by how well your course turned out.

It is best to read the reviews first before applying for any of the courses. You can access student’s reviews in the courses dashboard, prior to applying.

The Bottom Line

Alison is a good alternative to other MOOC platforms because they offer free courses and the pricing can be adjusted based on your needs. You can always start taking the courses to strengthen your skills and take your time to decide on purchasing the certificate. With many varieties of subjects, Alison does offer high-quality courses with an affordable price.

7. Udacity

Udacity is a company that provides online education that is secure, flexible, and affordable. It offers several different types of programs, including micro-credential programs and massive open online courses (MOOCs).

Udacity was launched in 2011, which was when online education platforms such as Coursera and edX were not around. Udacity became worth $1 billion just four years later regardless of how the company started its path.

The number of people who are enrolled in Udacity’s online course has been increasing. There are now 11.5 million people enrolling.

Free courses don’t offer a certificate once you complete the course. You have to upgrade your course plan to get the certificate after you complete all the courses, which is easy and fast once you know what to look for.

Programs and Prices

Udacity provides students with a range of their Nanodegree programs, each one has its own payment options and also is priced differently, however they’re all offered at $399 per month.

There are only a few exceptions when the program is just one month long and these are for both the Activation/Retention Strategy and Monetization Strategy courses. They cost $249 each for the month.

Udacity course prices
Udacity course price.

Depending on which course you decide to take, it can either cost $1017 for 3 months access with 5-10 working hours a week. Or, you can get the one month at $399 instead.

Consumer Reviews

Udacity consumer reviews
Udacity consumer reviews. Image from Bitdegree

Based on many user reviews, Udacity offers many of the same courses as Coursera or edX, but they are 100% legit. Students who enrolled feel they have gained relevant technical knowledge in respected niches. So if that is where your interests lie, Udacity will be rewarding for you.

It is best to check reviews written by the students who took the course, before you decide to enroll in any of the courses. You can access the review in the course dashboard.

The Bottom Line

Udacity offers multiple Career Services products that help students create compelling application materials. Udacity graduates are more likely to land a job at a major company afterwards, such as Facebook, Google, and more so sign up for that online class!

Many job seekers have found that they are much more successful at finding work after taking courses on Udacity. Udacity is one of the best ways to show that you have the ability to help a workplace by delivering knowledge to those who need it. Taking courses on Udacity will also help you leverage your network and work with career resolvers.

8. Google Career Certificate

Google created a professional certification program called Google Career, to help people without prior experience. The certificates were designed by Google to help people find work in the IT industry.

Google career is a series of courses that will help you build the skills to start your career. You can choose from six different certificates: Project Management, User Experience Design, Data Analytics, Computer Programming, Digital Marketing & eCommerce, and Web Development.

Programs and Prices

Google career certificate price
Google certificate total price per course. Image from Reliablesoft

Google offers a wide variety of courses through Coursera. Courses cost between $156 and $312, with certificates awarded upon completion. The average duration of each course is between 4 and 8 months.

Coursera charges $39 for each subscription per month. This means that you will have to pay them per month, no matter how long you plan on using their services.

If you are able to complete the certification within the estimated time, not only will you be able to save some money on the course, but you may also earn a certificate faster than expected.

Consumer Reviews

Google career consumer reviews
Google Career Certificate review. Image from Indeed

Based on the majority of user reviews, many people like Google Career Certificate because it is flexible in studying and the learning pace is adjustable. It is also affordable, which makes Google Career Certificate very demandable.

The Bottom Line

A Google Career certification is a great option for those who are looking to enter the workforce and start a career in industries where college experience is required. A Google Career certification does not replace a degree, it is a non-degree credential that can lead to entry-level positions with good pay.

Once you complete your certification, you’ll get access to a job platform which matches you with US employers who are hiring candidates with Google certificates. Some of the well-known companies that are willing to accept Career Certificate graduates for entry-level positions include Verizon, Google, Target, and Deloitte.

9. HubSpot Academy

HubSpot Academy provides students with top-quality training. It’s a global leader in free online content that helps people become better at their careers and businesses. HubSpot Academy also offers a variety of programs for professionals looking to grow their career and business.

HubSpot Academy provides free online training for the digital age. They offer short, practical courses, and advanced certifications.

Program and Price

The HubSpot Academy offers certification for nearly any skill in marketing, sales, or customer service which means you can choose any courses that are best for you.

As soon as you finish all of the course lessons, you can take the final certification exam to test what you’ve learned. If you pass (at least 75% correct), then you will earn badges to add to your LinkedIn profile.

Hubspot academy price
HubSpot academy sign up.

Although HubSpot Academy also offers some paid courses, most of the courses are offered for free. You just have to sign up and you can immediately start learning.

Consumer Reviews

Hubspot academy user reviews
HubSpot user reviews. Image from TrustRadius

Users’ reviews of HubSpot Academy are very positive. Users enjoy the experience and often feel like they got a lot from the classes, despite how demanding they can be. The hardest part is keeping up with the online instruction since it seems to be ongoing and there are a lot of pauses. It’s worth it though because users get a successful certification upon completion.

The Bottom Line

HubSpot Academy teaches small businesses how to do an effective inbound marketing strategy. The lessons teach valuable skills about how to provide helpful content to the target customer in a natural way. By learning these skills, you can start implementing a complete strategy to get your business in front of the right buyer personas and generate revenue.

So, is it worth it? Yes, the HubSpot Academy is an excellent resource for marketers at all levels. If you’re just getting started in marketing or want to develop your skills, those courses are worth checking out.

10. General Assembly

General Assembly was founded in 2011 and has since grown into an education organization with campuses all around the world teaching courses on topics like coding and web development, user experience and visual design, digital marketing, data science and analysis, and business management.

They offer immersive programs in software engineering, user experience design, data science, and digital marketing. They also offer part-time courses on a number of tech and business topics. Plus they offer one-off workshops and events.

You can do your studies in the physical campus or by 100% full-time online. But both options come with different prices.

Program and Price:


General Assembly price.

One of the drawbacks for students is that, by committing to one of the General Assembly’s full-time courses, you won’t have as much free time to work on your own projects. Although there are other much cheaper options, it has been proven that skills learned while progressing through one of these courses have a high return on investment.

Consumer Reviews


General Assembly consumer reviews. Image from Consumer Affairs

Based on user reviews, The General Assembly classes may help to achieve important skills needed to break into tech industries, or enrolling in career development. However, not everyone is able to afford these courses.

The Bottom Line

The General Assembly helps people get into tech careers. The various programs and courses are designed to help students prepare for their desired search and find the perfect job for them.

They offer many different ways to learn tech skills. The price is based on the level of training you want to do. There is a range of programs like on-demand programs, program certifications and more. General Assembly is a coding boot camp rather than a university, but still one of the most popular choices.

Although the General Assembly does not offer a job guarantee, graduates still have a high opportunity to find a job with a high-profile company. The numbers show that 86-92% of recent grads have succeeded in getting their first job.

11. GoSkills

A variety of topics are taught on the GoSkills online learning platform, the majority of which are focused on useful business skills. Over 200,000 students are now enrolled in the website’s 90+ courses.

Classes cover topics including using Microsoft Office, basic Python coding, starting up with Illustrator, and a lot more.

Additionally, GoSkills offers a wide selection of courses on basic business topics like project management, leadership development, money management, and even some science-based courses that teach experimental design and hypothesis testing.

Programs and Prices


Users can access all 80+ lessons during a generous free trial period from GoSkills that lasts for 7 days. However, in order to receive a certificate, you must join one of their premium programs.

The Bottom Line

GoSkills is unique in that its classes interact and build upon one another in a way that its rivals can only aspire to. Utilizing GoSkills entails receiving a comprehensive education in highly desirable talents. Check it out if you want to start enhancing your STEM, financial, and business skills.

You will earn a verified certificate of achievement for every course you complete. You can also earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or Professional Development Units (PDUs).

12. Skillcrush

A woman-owned, independent, online school for coding and design, Skillcrush was established in 2012. The self-paced Break Into Tech + Job Guarantee program, one of Skillcrush’s paid and free offerings, trains participants for entry-level jobs in front end development and design. With a focus on women and BIPOC, Skillcrush’s purpose is to equip career changers with the technical skills they need to move into more lucrative, satisfying, and flexible positions in technology.

The Front End Developer and Designer career tracks are available to students who enroll in the Break Into Tech program. The course material includes information on visual design fundamentals, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Git, and Github. After students finish the Break Into Tech’s technical skill development section (about 16-20 weeks),students get 180 days of practical assistance with their job hunt, including coaching one-on-one and in groups, as well as the chance to interview with Skillcrush employer partners.

Since Skillcrush is an open enrollment school, there is no application process. Over 20,000 students have received training from Skillcrush, which also has a placement success rate of over 90% and an average hiring duration of 8 to 10 weeks.

Programs and Prices

How much does Skillcrush cost? Convenient monthly installments or one-time payment options are offered as payment alternatives.

You can learn the basics of technology using Skillcrush’s free mini-class option called “Coding Camp.” In addition, there are a number of funding possibilities,

You can choose between a single payment of $1599 or 12 payments of $149 each for Break Into Tech. Additional classes in topics like advanced CSS or digital marketing are available for $199 to $249 each.

In order to enroll in a Specific Skill course, you must pay either a one-time fee of $549 or three payments of $199 each. One exception is the Front End Developer with ReactJS, which has a total price of $699 or four installments of $199 each.

The Bottom Line

You won’t pay extra for lessons or features you don’t use, which is one of the main advantages of taking classes on Skillcrush. You will only be charged for the classes you select, so it is very much an a la carte service.