The 21 Best Free Online Certificate Programs 2021

The 21 Best Free Online Certificate Programs 2021

The world is rapidly changing, and online courses and certifications are becoming the quickest and most affordable way to boost your resume and work portfolio. Getting certified in a particular domain can also qualify you for a well-deserved raise in your field or prepare you to enter a brand new one.

Completing a degree or trade can be very time-consuming and expensive, but there are tons of online certificate programs that can help you reach your career goals in a timely manner — and some are even free when you sign up for a free trial. Make sure you keep an eye on the trial deadline, though, since a majority of “free” online certificate programs out there are really only free for a limited time.

Choosing a Free Online Certificate Program

Completing an online program and acquiring a certificate is a surefire way to further your career. But when it comes to free online certificate programs, there are a few things you should know before taking the plunge.

Is the Program Truly Free?

Every course on our list is free to attend, but some are only free for a limited period of time or will require you to pay for a certificate upon completion. Many course providers aim to draw students to their platforms by offering them free trials. Signing up for these free trials allows you to view courses and complete them, but more often than not, you’ll need to pay for a certificate of completion.

It’s also important to note that free trials can be anywhere between 7 to 30 days long, but the program you choose to complete may exceed that time-frame, forcing you to cough up some dough to receive your hard-earned certificate. Other courses are free to attend, but won’t give you a certificate until you pay their fee.

As we recommend online certificate programs to you, we’ll let you know which ones are truly free from start to finish and which require you to pay at the end, while also pointing out the ones that have hidden fees.

Additional Costs

Depending on the type of program you wish to complete, you may need to purchase software programs and additional materials. We’ll let you know if additional purchases are necessary, or if all you need is a notebook and some pencils

Prerequisites

Before signing up to complete an online certificate program, be sure to keep the required prerequisites in mind. These will let you know if you qualify to take the course, seeing as some programs require university degrees or previous experience in a given field.

Knowledge Level

Depending on your skills and knowledge base, some of the courses on our list may not be challenging enough for your level of expertise. We’ll let you know whether each course is aimed at beginners, experts, or anywhere in between.

Length

There are tons of different certificate programs to choose from, and some can be completed in a day while others may take a few months. We’ll highlight the time it takes to complete each course. Keep in mind that some classes have live teachers and are only held once or twice a week, meaning that it can take you a few weeks or months to complete a course—which can be especially important if you’re taking the course on a timed trial. Other classes, however, may contain pre-recorded videos or reading material, allowing you to move at your own pace.

Curriculum

Before signing up for an online certificate course, take a look at its curriculum to see if it’s truly what you’re looking for. You may find that some of the topics covered in the class won’t benefit you. Or, you may realize that you’re already knowledgeable in such topics, prompting you to select a course that offers a deeper dive into the subject.

Ease of Communication

Many online certificate classes are pre-recorded, allowing students to learn at their own pace. However, there may be times when you have questions that need answering, which is why it’s important for platforms to offer a means of communication, like a message board. Some live classes will have direct messaging available, and others will require you to send your instructor an email and wait for a response. Ideally, you want your online course to have a clear line of communication.

Canceling Subscriptions & Free Trials

Many of the certificate programs on our list are only free under the guise of a free trial. To have access to these courses, you’ll need to input your credit card information. To prevent your card from being charged on the cut-off date, we would recommend canceling your subscription a few days before your free trial’s end date if you’re not interested in paying for the certificate. Doing so will ensure that the provider has enough time to process your request, preventing them from charging your credit card.

The type of course you choose, and how far it’ll get you, all depends on how much time you have to dedicate towards your career. Below we’ve listed a wide range of free online certificate courses, all of which may help you get your foot in the door of a brand new industry.

Top 21 Best Free Online Certificate Programs 2021


1. Time Management: Working From Home

  • 1h 25m Free (30-day trial) Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Level: All
  • Certificate: Free during 30-day trial
  • Additional Costs: None

Why we like it

The Time Management: Working from Home course is short and sweet yet loaded with useful information. Anyone who works from home can benefit from taking this certificate course. It teaches you to conquer time management, helping you to kick procrastination to the curb.

Today, many freelancers and professionals are choosing to work from home. At first, working from home can seem like a dream come true, but soon enough you may notice that your motivation is taking a hit. That’s why taking a class like Time Management: Working from Home can be so beneficial.

Dave Crenshaw, who teaches the course, is a keynote speaker & author who focuses on productive leadership. He’ll walk you through the fundamentals of establishing a home base, crafting your perfect schedule, communicating with your coworkers, and setting up boundaries between your professional and personal life. This course is especially useful for parents and caretakers, who often get distracted during work hours due to their other responsibilities.

The course itself follows a lecture format and does not contain any quizzes or tests. However, the lectures are very comprehensible and easy to follow. Time Management: Working from Home has been showcased in Forbes, Fortune, and Entrepreneur — so it may very well help you score the stay-at-home job you’re searching for.

If you’re thinking of working from home, completing this course and linking the certificate to your LinkedIn Profile (or printing it out and attaching it to your resume) is a great way to show future clients and employers just how dedicated you are. It may also help you get a start on your creative side projects.

Pros

  • Teaches time management
  • Featured in Forbes, Fortune, and Entrepreneur
  • Short, easy, and loaded with useful tips

Cons

  • Doesn’t contain any quizzes or tests


2. Excel Essential Training (Office 365/Microsoft 365)

  • 2h 17m Free (30-day trial) Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Level: Beginner and intermediate
  • Certificate: Free during 30-day trial
  • Additional Costs: May need to purchase software

Why we like it

The Excel Essential Training (Office 365/Microsoft 365) course trains you in the art of Excel, helping you become proficient in the most commonly-used spreadsheet program across the world. In just a few hours, you’ll learn skills that you can utilize in both your personal and professional life.

The Excel Essential Training (Office 365/Microsoft 365) course is taught by Dennis Taylor, an author and speaker with more than 25 years of experience in Excel. Dennis’ course is loaded with useful information that can help you get a job in an office setting, such as a receptionist or a data scientist. In fact, Microsoft Excel is the most used spreadsheet software today, and learning to master it can open up many doors for you.

Besides Microsoft Excel, the course will also cover how to use Office 365. You’ll learn how to input data, use formulas and functions, and get acquainted with data management features.

The course itself doesn’t contain any quizzes or tests, so you’ll need to test your knowledge on your own. It’s also important to note that the program contains exercise files, some of which you need to pay for to access. However, the files are free when you sign up for a 30-day free trial.

Pros

  • Led by a knowledgeable teacher
  • Easy to follow
  • Teaches you how to use Excel in under 3 hours

Cons

  • Exercise files may need to be purchased
  • No quizzes or tests


3. Become an SEO Expert

  • 10h Free (30-day trial) Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Level: Beginner
  • Certificate: Free during 30-day trial
  • Additional Costs: None

Why we like it

LinkedIn Learning’s Become an SEO Expert course teaches you the fundamentals of search engine optimization (SEO). Once completed, you can enter the workforce or use your new talents to optimize and analyze your websites.

The Become an SEO Expert course is taught by four instructors, all of whom are leaders in content marketing, data, and SEO. Although their teaching styles may be different, they each excel in different domains, making the course rich and diverse.

Becoming an SEO Expert can help you better understand your websites and the traffic they attract. It can also help you enter a brand new field of work, one where you can help businesses boost their web traffic, attracting new customers in the process.

Throughout the course, you’ll discover how to build links and use keywords appropriately. You’ll also learn the difference between local SEO and international SEO, which can help broaden your knowledge for clients around the world.

This course is easy to follow and the content is digestible. The pre-recorded videos allow you to learn at your own pace. Unfortunately, the course itself doesn’t use quizzes and exams to test your newfound knowledge.

Pros

  • Es easy to follow and digestible
  • Pre-recorded videos allow you to learn at your own pace
  • Covers both local and international SEO

Cons

  • The course doesn’t contain any quizzes or tests


4. Become a Python Developer

  • 21h Free (30-day trial) Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Certificate: Free during 30-day trial
  • Additional Costs: None

Why we like it

LinkedIn Learning’s Become a Python Developer course takes students with an intermediate level of knowledge in Python Programming and prepares them to enter the workforce.

Becoming proficient in the Python software programming language can help you find a rewarding and high-paying job. Throughout the Become a Python Developer course, you’ll get acquainted with nine different teachers who have varied backgrounds in engineering and software development. While this lets you hear a number of different approaches and perspectives, it also requires you to adapt to different teaching styles.

This program includes eleven different courses that you can complete in just 21 hours. You’ll learn everything from design patterns and effective serialization to secure coding and unit testing. This program and certificate are completely free when you sign up for a 30-day trial and complete it within that time-frame.

The pre-recorded videos are easy to follow as long as you have a base in Python programming. However, having to jump from teacher to teacher and their different teaching styles is something to keep in mind. The great thing about this comprehensible program is that it takes the time to prep you for interviews too, helping to strengthen your chances of entering the workforce.

Pros

  • Prepares you to enter the workforce with Python interview prep
  • Easy to follow
  • Numerous instructors provide a variety of information

Cons

  • Requires you to adapt to many teachers


5. English for Career Development

  • 40h Free Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Level: Beginner
  • Certificate: $49
  • Additional Costs: None

Why we like it

English for Career Development helps non-native English speakers build their vocabulary and achieve their professional goals in their home country and/or the United States. You’ll learn to craft a professional resume and cover letter.

The English for Career Development program is brought to you by the University of Pennsylvania. It’s taught by language specialists Brian McManus and Robyn Turner, who use very basic English to help non-native speakers master the art of landing a job in the United States.

This course can boost your chances of earning a job by teaching you all about the application and interview processes in America. You’ll also learn how to search for jobs that match your talents. By the end of the program, non-native English speakers will have had the chance to up their vocabulary and improve their language skills.

The English for Career Development program is a great course for anyone looking to improve their English skills while also learning to create a professional resume and cover letter. The course utilizes quizzes, games, video recordings, and exams to reach students who are interested in developing their English skills. However, anyone with basic English skills may find this program to be a little too simple.

Pros

  • Uses quizzes, games, video recordings, and exams to advance learning
  • Teaches students to write resumes and cover letters
  • Prepares students for interviews

Cons

  • May be too basic for English speakers


6. JavaScript Essential Training

  • 5h 32m Free (30-day trial) Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Level: Beginner
  • Certificate: Free during 30-day trial
  • Additional Costs: None

Why we like it

The JavaScript Essential Training course teaches beginners the core principles of JavaScript. It’s perfect for anyone considering a job in programming.

The JavaScript Essential Training course is taught by Morten Rand-Henriksen, a published author, web designer, and developer. Throughout this short course you’ll learn about JavaScript, a programming language that has been a major part of the internet for nearly 25 years.

The course is available on LinkedIn Learning via pre-recorded videos. However, there are also plenty of well-thought-out examples to see you through, as well as mini-projects to reinforce learning. The course begins by introducing the basics of JavaScript, like how to work with data, functions, and objects, and wraps things up by covering troubleshooting, validating, and minifying.

Completing this course can help you understand the world of programming, but, you’ll need to further your education by taking other JavaScript courses on LinkedIn Learning to become a web developer.

Pros

  • Uses quizzes, games, video recordings, and exams to advance learning
  • Teaches students to write resumes and cover letters
  • Prepares students for interviews

Cons

  • May be too basic for English speakers


7. Become an Asset Artist for Games

  • 24h Free (30-day trial) Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Level: Beginner and intermediate
  • Certificate: Free during 30-day trial
  • Additional Costs: You may need to purchase software

Why we like it

LinkedIn Learning’s Become an Asset Artist for Games helps those with a passion for art and gaming combine their talents and level up. You’ll learn to create 2D to 3D models that come to life with color, texture, and depth.

The gaming industry is constantly looking for talented artists who can create the visual elements for video games. If this interests you, the Become an Asset Artist for Games course can help you learn the ins and outs of computer graphics, helping you to create everything from realistic characters and vehicles to props and clothing.

Become an Asset Artist for Games is taught by four different instructors who currently work as video game designers. The course will help you navigate through software like 3ds Max, Substance Designer, and Unreal, helping you to create the lifelike animations found in today’s video games.

The instructors have a plethora of tips and shortcuts that can help you design 2D and 3D models in a time-efficient manner. The course itself only takes 24 hours to complete, but every lesson is jam-packed with useful information. You can pause the videos as you go, taking the time to master techniques at your own pace.

Become an Asset Artist for Games is an informative course designed to help both beginner and intermediate students. However, the program doesn't contain any quizzes or exams, so you'll need to test your knowledge on your own time.

Pros

  • Teachers are well-spoken and knowledgeable
  • Plenty of tips and shortcuts
  • You can pause videos and learn at your own pace

Cons

  • Exercise files and software may need to be purchased separately
  • No quizzes or exams to test your knowledge


8. Become a Data Analyst

  • 24h Free (30-day trial) Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Level: Beginner
  • Certificate: Free during 30-day trial
  • Additional Costs: None

Why we like it

LinkedIn Learning’s Become a Data Analyst course teaches you the technical skills required to become a data analyst. You’ll learn to use popular analysis tools while perfecting your communication and problem-solving skills.

The Become a Data Analyst course was designed for students who have little to no experience in the world of data. Throughout its seven modules, you’ll get acquainted with seven different instructors who will teach you to use analyst software like Tableau 2020 and Power BI.

What’s great about this course is that it teaches you how to use the statistical side of Microsoft Excel. However, if you do not know how to use Excel, you may want to complete the Excel Essential Training (Office 365/Microsoft 365) course before you try your hand with this one.

You’ll also want to have basic math, communication, and statistical skills, as having these will make it easier to follow the lectures. These skills are needed to become an accomplished data analyst.

The Become a Data Analyst course kicks things off by teaching you the basics of data analytics. Once complete, you’ll move on to the data fluency chapter, where you’ll learn to explore and describe data. The rest of the modules will focus on how to use popular analyst software, helping you to fully understand them so that you can enter the workforce with the utmost confidence.

Pros

  • Covers the basics of data analysis and reporting
  • Teaches software like Tableau 2020 and Power BI
  • Each module taught by an expert in the field

Cons

  • Requires basic Microsoft Excel knowledge
  • Basic math, communication, and statistic skills are required


9. Become a Project Manager

  • 12h Free Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Level: Beginner and intermediate
  • Certificate: Free during 30-day trial
  • Additional Costs: None

Why we like it

LinkedIn Learning’s Become a Project Manager course teaches you how to manage a project from A to Z using Microsoft Project.

If you have good leadership, task management, and communication skills, you might be thinking about becoming a project manager. But to do this job properly, you need to know how to take on a project and ensure that all of its deadlines and budgets are respected. The Become a Project Manager course is designed to teach you how to manage a project, keep it on track, on budget, and in scope.

It’ll take you about 12 hours to finish the entire course, and by then you’ll know how to plan both simple and complex projects using Microsoft Project with best practices. You’ll learn the business and ethics side of project management, along with how to manage risks, handle stakeholders, work in teams, and much more.

The course is taught by five experienced instructors who have complementary teaching styles. The information they offer is valuable and easy to follow. However, you may need to put yourself to the test since the course does not provide you with quizzes or exams to test your knowledge.

Those who have little to no experience in project management are encouraged to take this enlightening course. However, anyone with vast knowledge in this field may feel like the provided information is too basic for their level of expertise.

When you sign up for LinkedIn Learning’s 30-day free trial, you can access the Become a Project Manager course and receive a free badge of completion as long as you complete the course within that time-frame.

Pros

  • Teaches Microsoft Project
  • Learn how to manage both simple and complex projects
  • Accessible for beginners

Cons

  • A little too basic for experienced project managers
  • Doesn’t contain any quizzes, exams, or projects


10. Photoshop 2021 Essential Training: The Basics

  • 6h 29m Free (30-day trial) Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Level: Beginner
  • Certificate: Free during 30-day trial
  • Additional Costs: You may need to purchase Adobe Photoshop

Why we like it

The Photoshop 2021 Essential Training: The Basics course focuses on what you need to know to create and edit high-quality pictures. This course concentrates on the essentials, helping you to navigate Adobe Photoshop quickly and efficiently.

LinkedIn Learning’s Photoshop 2021 Essential Training: The Basics course teaches you the basics of Photoshop so that you can create high-quality photos. If you want to learn how to craft thumbnails, create engaging online photography, or start a professional service, this course can help you achieve your goals by teaching you the basics of Photoshop.

The course is led by Julieanne Kost, a Photoshop expert with over 25 years of experience. Throughout the program, she teaches you everything from how to customize the Photoshop interface and work with layers to how to edit pixels and blend mode essentials. At the end of the course, she also instructs you on how to continue learning Photoshop and develop your projects.

The Photoshop 2021 Essential Training: The Basics course is pre-recorded, allowing you to learn at your own pace. Unfortunately, this course is not very hands-on and doesn’t contain any quizzes, exams, or projects. But you can choose to purchase Adobe Photoshop and edit your pictures alongside Julieanne for an enhanced learning experience.

If you aren’t sure if Photoshop is for you, you can watch the course for free and take notes before purchasing the application. The Photoshop 2021 Essential Training: The Basics course and certificate are free as long as you complete the curriculum within the 30-day free trial.

Pros

  • Teaches you the basics of Adobe Photoshop
  • Learn to create and edit images
  • Hands-on learning

Cons

  • Doesn’t contain any quizzes, exams, or projects
  • You may need to purchase Adobe Photoshop


11. Become an IT Support Technician

  • 30h Free (30-day trial) Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Level: Beginner
  • Certificate: Free during 30-day trial
  • Additional Costs: None

Why we like it

LinkedIn Learning’s Become an IT Support Technician is loaded with useful information and examples that prepare you for a job in IT. You’ll learn how to install hardware and software while building the technical skills needed to resolve and identify IT issues.

If you’re interested in becoming an IT support technician, LinkedIn Learning’s course on the subject can prepare you to enter the workforce. The program is taught by eight instructors who combine their expertise into 30 hours of digestible content. Each lecturer will give you a handful of tips and tricks that will prove to be very valuable in professional settings.

Throughout the course, you’ll learn about computer components and peripherals, helping you to fully understand PC maintenance and performance. The Become an IT Support Technician course is designed to get you comfortable in Windows 10 and macOS Sierra. The last module of this course serves to connect students with different career paths, from a service desk analyst to a service desk manager.

However, keep in mind that the Become an IT Support Technician program does not utilize quizzes and exams, so you’ll need to test out your skills on your own time.

Pros

  • Teaches IT support for both Windows and Mac
  • Prepares you to enter the workforce
  • Supplies you with plenty of tips and tricks

Cons

  • There are no quizzes or exams to test your knowledge


12. Brand Management: Aligning Business, Brand and Behaviour

  • 17h Free Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Level: Beginner
  • Certificate: $49
  • Additional Costs: None

Why we like it

Offered by the University of London Business School, the Aligning Business, Brand and Behaviour course gives beginners the inside scoop on everything from building brands in multi-brand companies to how to measure brand health both internally and externally.

The Aligning Business, Brand and Behaviour course is taught by Nader Tavassoli, who is a professor of marketing at the London Business School. This course is for beginners who are curious about brand development and want to dip their toes in the pool of marketing.

If you already have a background in marketing, this course can be a little repetitive, especially during modules 4 & 5. Nevertheless, it does offer a lot of value, and nearly half of those who complete it are successful in starting a new career.

Professor Tavassoli’s course is comprehensive and easy to follow. You’ll need to complete an assignment after each module. However, the deadlines are flexible, so you can complete them at your own pace. The best part of this course is delving into huge brands like Pampers and Disney and having access to interviews with leaders in the industry.

Coursera offers a 7-day free trial, which allows you to remote view this course for free. However, doing so will not land you a certificate of completion. You’ll need to pay for that separately.

Pros

  • Offers a fresh look at brand management
  • Interesting interviews with leaders in the industry
  • Assignments have flexible deadlines to fit with your schedule

Cons

  • Very basic course
  • Modules 4 & 5 can be repetitive


13. Premiere Pro 2020 Essential Training

  • 7h 27m Free (30-day trial) Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Level: Beginner
  • Free during 30-day trial
  • Additional Costs: You may need to purchase Premiere Pro 2020

Why we like it

The Premiere Pro 2020 Essential Training course shows you how to create a short promo video, from start to finish, using Adobe Premiere Pro 2020.

LinkedIn Learning’s Premiere Pro 2020 Essential Training course helps those who are passionate about film turn their projects into a reality using Adobe Premiere Pro. You’ll learn the ins and outs of this application, allowing you to edit videos and audio recordings.

The course is taught by Ashley Kennedy, an experienced instructor and filmmaker. Throughout the course, Ashley creates a short promo video and shows you the entire post-production process. You’ll become adept in the Adobe Premiere Pro interface, garnering tips on how to set up and organize recorded media along the way.

You’ll learn everything from basic audio and video editing and working with stills, graphics, and effects to basic color correction and working with titles. At the end of the course, you’ll also be taught how to finish and export projects using Adobe Media Encoder.

You can choose to create a promo video alongside Ashley or choose to view her video-making process and take notes. This latter option stops you from having to download or purchase the application. However, you may want to do this if you prefer a hands-on approach considering that the course doesn't include any quizzes, exams, or projects to further your learning experience.

The Premiere Pro 2020 Essential Training course is pre-recorded, allowing you to pause the videos and learn at your own pace. This comes in handy if you plan on creating a video of your own.

This course is aimed at beginners who want to learn how to edit videos and piece raw footage together to create engaging and impactful stories. If you already know how to edit videos, you may find this course to be too rudimentary.

You can receive a free certificate of completion as long as you complete the course during the 30-day free trial.

Pros

  • Teaches you how to use Adobe Premiere Pro 2020
  • Contains video and audio editing as well as video post-production
  • Pre-recorded videos allow you to learn at your own pace

Cons

  • Doesn’t contain any quizzes, exams, or projects
  • May be too basic for those who are experienced in Adobe Premiere Pro


14. Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills

  • 16h Free Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Level: Beginner
  • Certificate: $49
  • Additional Costs: None

Why we like it

The Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills course is designed to advance your career by teaching you how to negotiate and develop strategic skills. The course provides you with interactive videos that you can complete at your own pace.

The University of Michigan’s Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills course is taught by George Siedel, a professor of Business Administration and Law. You can remotely attend this course when you sign up for a free trial, but you’ll need to pay for a certificate upon completion.

Professor Siedel is a well-spoken and enthusiastic teacher who provides his students with loads of examples. The course is easy to follow and understand. It also pairs you up with a negotiation partner, allowing you to put your skills to the test.

Although many choose to complete this program to further their careers, it offers many useful tips and tricks that you can use in your everyday life, too. You have the option to purchase the professor’s textbook, which is filled with useful terms that can help you pass the exam. But while purchasing the textbook isn't necessary, it can be a little difficult to pass the exam without it.

Pros

  • Useful examples are easy to follow and understand
  • Pairs you up with a negotiation partner to help strengthen your skills
  • Helps students master negotiation in both personal and professional endeavors
  • Well-spoken and enthusiastic teacher

Cons

  • The final exam is difficult to pass without purchasing the textbook


15. Viral Marketing and How to Craft Contagious Content

  • 4h Free Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Level: Beginner and intermediate
  • Certificate: $95
  • Additional Costs: None

Why we like it

The Viral Marketing and How to Craft Contagious Content course is designed to help those in business, marketing, and sales develop a better understanding of viral content and how to create it.

The Viral Marketing and How to Craft Contagious Content course is offered by the University of Pennsylvania and taught by Jonah Berger, a marketing professor and bestselling author. Professor Berger uses plenty of examples and links to showcase the importance of creating sticky and engaging content. Nearly half of his students have gone on to start a new career after completing the course.

You’ll learn about the psychology of consumers and how to use your organization’s social media influence to broadcast products and services. You’ll also learn to read social media patterns and how to effectively launch online campaigns that generate views and revenue. The course itself feels more like a seminar, and despite its valuable information you may find that the class lacks practical exercises and student discussion.

Pros

  • Examples and links are provided to support every claim
  • Interesting course led by a fun and enthusiastic teacher
  • Deadlines are flexible, so you can learn at your own pace

Cons

  • Lacks practical exercises and discussion opportunities


16. Become an Economist

  • 9h Free Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Certificate: Free during 30-day trial
  • Additional Costs: None

Why we like it

LinkedIn Learning’s Become an Economist teaches you how to evaluate economic conditions by collecting financial data. You’ll learn how to help businesses make informed decisions by analyzing economic environments.

The Become an Economist course teaches you how to study economies and determine which factors are influencing them. It also trains you on how to analyze financial data and evaluate economic models, helping you to figure out how they affect businesses, organizations, and societies.

Throughout this course, you’ll learn how to use data to make good business decisions, solve business problems by exploring economic theories, how to use data to predict economic trends, and how to perform regression analysis using Microsoft Excel. You’ll also dip your toes into banking and finance, learning the principles of stock-trading and loan approvals.

The course is taught by 4 knowledgeable and experienced instructors. However, keep in mind that the videos are pre-recorded. This may allow you to pause the videos and learn at your own pace, but it also stops you from asking questions or completing exercises, quizzes, and projects.

You’ll be able to follow this course as long as you have a basic understanding of the world of finance and economics. But to become an economist, you’ll need to have a background in finance or economics or relevant experience in a similar field.

The Become an Economist course takes about 9 hours to complete. You can earn your badge of completion for free as long as you complete the course during LinkedIn Learning’s 30-day free trial.

Pros

  • Pre-recorded videos allow you to learn at your own pace
  • Course covers economics, banking, and finance
  • Teaches you how to perform regression analysis using Microsoft Excel

Cons

  • The course doesn’t contain any quizzes, exams, or projects
  • Doesn’t fully prepare you for a career as an economist


17. English for Journalism

  • 42h Free Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Level: Beginner
  • Certificate: $49
  • Additional Costs: None

Why we like it

Coursera’s English for Journalism course helps non-native English speakers learn the ins and outs of journalism while enhancing their writing skills.

The English for Journalism course was created by the University of Pennsylvania and designed to help non-native English speakers enter the world of journalism. About 23% of the students who have completed this course have gone on to start a new career in journalism.

It takes 42 hours to complete the course's 4 modules. Each module finishes with a series of quizzes and assignments that help put your newfound knowledge to the test. But their deadlines are flexible, allowing you to complete each module at your own pace.

English for Journalism is taught by John Cotton and Eve Litt, two passionate teachers who use uncomplicated language to get through to their students. This allows non-native English speakers to follow their teachings without difficulty. However, those of you who have a modest background in English may find their teaching styles to be too elementary.

The course begins by delving into the history of journalism and its many principles before covering how to research, pitch ideas, and conduct interviews. You will also learn how to create engaging copy such as news articles and news report scripts.

If you don’t have a strong background in English and have zero experience in journalism, this course is for you. If you do have journalism experience, you may find this course to be too simple and somewhat repetitive.

Pros

  • Helps non-native English speakers enter the world of journalism
  • Flexible deadlines
  • Contains quizzes and small assignments to reinforce learning

Cons

  • May be too elementary for anyone with a background in English or journalism
  • Some of the information is repetitive


18. Supply Chain Excellence

  • 13h Free Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Certificate: $49
  • Additional Costs: None

Why we like it

Coursera’s Supply Chain Excellence course teaches you about the three distinct flows that are needed to advance your career in supply chain management.

The Supply Chain Excellence is offered by Rutgers University and taught by Rudolf Leuschner, an associate professor who is a part of the University’s Supply Chain Management faculty.

Rudolph is an experienced professor who gets straight to the point and provides his students with valuable content in a very digestible way. If you take his free course and decide to pay for a certificate of completion, you will be able to receive graded feedback on your quizzes and projects. You will also be able to take part in live sessions and discussions with some of Rudolph’s peers.

There are 3 modules in the Supply Chain Excellence course: Managing Product Flow, Managing Information Flow, and Managing Financial Flow. Each of these modules takes roughly 4 hours to complete. However, students are free to complete the modules at their own pace as the deadlines are flexible. To take this course and understand its jargon, you’ll need to have some previous experience in supply chain excellence.

Pros

  • The course contains quizzes and discussions to reinforce learning
  • The program offers graded feedback
  • The information is straight to the point and digestible

Cons

  • You need to have supply chain experience to take the course


19. Cloud Security Basics

  • 14h Free Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Level: Beginner
  • Certificate: $49
  • Additional Costs: None

Why we like it

The Cloud Security Basics teaches beginners how to design and protect cloud services. Once completed, you’ll know how to apply basic network security techniques, associate user roles, and assess levels of risk to cloud services.

Coursera’s Cloud Security Basics course is offered by the University of Minnesota and taught by Rick Smith, a professor who has a background in computer science and engineering. To reinforce learning, Rick gives plenty of fun and concise examples, helping his students understand everything from internet server security to common cloud security challenges.

The Cloud Security Basics has a total of 4 modules that each take about 4 hours to complete. At the end of each module, you’ll have plenty of quizzes and lectures to go through. But, keep in mind that the deadlines are flexible, allowing you to create your own schedule.

You can access and view this course for free. However, you will need to purchase the certificate to take advantage of peer reviews and assignments. The peer reviews do provide you with tons of value, but it can take some time for them to be assigned.

You don’t need to have any previous cloud knowledge to take the Cloud Security Basics course. It is a very basic course that introduces concepts in a comprehensible way. Once complete, you’ll have the skills needed to take on network cryptography, network security, cloud computing security, and more. These skills are needed to take your cloud knowledge to the next level.

Pros

  • The teacher is comprehensible and uses plenty of examples
  • Zero cloud experience is required
  • Each module contains quizzes and lectures to reinforce learning

Cons

  • There may be a delay in peer reviews


20. Management of Fashion and Luxury Companies

  • 12h Free Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Level: Beginner
  • Certificate: $49
  • Additional Costs: None

Why we like it

The Management of Fashion and Luxury Companies course takes a deep dive into the world of fashion and luxury. You’ll learn the ins and outs of strategic brand management and how the influence of fashion icons are used throughout the product development process.

The Management of Fashion and Luxury Companies course is offered by the University of Bocconi. The course is led by Italian fashion experts Erica Corbellini and Stefania Saviolo. Their accents can be difficult to follow at times, which is why English subtitles have been made available.

The Management of Fashion and Luxury Companies course is perfect for beginners who have little to no knowledge in the world of fashion but it won’t provide much value to anyone with prior experience. The course starts by explaining the competitive systems and business logics of fashion and luxury, ending with image identity and communication.

Many amazing case studies and videos will be provided throughout the course. And once completed, Professors Corbellini and Saviolo will supply you with extra reading materials so you can further your knowledge.

This course’s deadlines are flexible, allowing you to learn at your own pace. It’ll be important to study before taking the quizzes since they can be quite challenging. The final exam is a little difficult to pass, too, which is why taking your time to complete and understand each module is a must. Once you finish the course, you can pay for a certificate of completion. This course is highly valuable and has helped close to half of its students start a new career in the fashion industry.

Pros

  • Extra reading materials are provided at the end of the course
  • Helpful videos and case studies
  • Taught by industry experts

Cons

  • Quizzes and final exam are difficult to pass
  • Teachers have an accent that may be hard to understand


21. Food & Beverage Management

  • 13h Free Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Level: Beginner
  • Certificate: $49
  • Additional Costs: None

Why we like it

Coursera’s Food & Beverage Management course teaches you how to manage a company that is in the food and beverage industry. The class focuses on the challenges F&B managers face and how to beat your competition while providing customers with excellent service.

The Food & Beverage Management course is offered by the University of Bocconi and taught by Gabriele Troilo, an associate professor. Over 45% of the students who have completed and passed this course have gone on to start a new career in the food and beverage industry.

The Food & Beverage Management course consists of 4 modules, each ending with a quiz as well as an interview. These interviews are led by guest speakers and are super interesting and informative.

The Food & Beverage Management course focuses on how to identify your markets and how to choose quality products that will keep your customers coming back for more. It also teaches you how to utilize traditional foods and beverages while also incorporating new creations into your menu. There is also a great section on how to gain a competitive edge in the F&B industry.

If you have previous training in the F&B industry or management in general, you may find this course to be too repetitive and basic. It does spend a lot of time on the management side of things, and so the title of the course can be a little misleading. If you don’t have any experience in these fields, however, this course will provide you with tons of value.

You need to pass every single quiz as well as the final exam to receive your certificate of completion, which you will need to purchase separately.

Pros

  • Contains interesting interviews with guest speakers
  • A well-structured course that contains plenty of examples
  • Perfect for individuals who do not have a sales & marketing background

Cons

  • The course focuses more on management than the food & beverage industry
  • Some of the information can get a little repetitive


Frequently Asked Questions

Coursera is one of the best online education platforms because it partners with reputable world-class universities like Stanford University, Princeton University, the University of Toronto, and many others. As a result, their online certificates have more pull in the corporate world. Although you can access courses for free when you sign up for a free trial, you will need to pay for your certificate upon completion.

LinkedIn Learning is one of the few online education platforms that will reward you with a free certificate when you complete an online course. However, to receive a free certificate, you must first sign up for a 30-day free trial and complete the course within that time frame.

Adding a few online certificates to your resume or LinkedIn Profile shows future employers that you are a dedicated and proactive self-learner. Although online certificates aren’t as impressive as degrees, they can help you find a job as long as your skillset is aligned with an employer’s needs.

Some online courses, like LinkedIn Learning’s Become a Python Developer and Coursera’s English for Career Development will even prep you for interviews to help you land jobs in the future.

Today, more and more people are choosing to work from home. As a result, well-paying online jobs are becoming few and far between. An easy way to make your resume stand out is by completing LinkedIn Learning’s Time Management: Working from Home course. It takes around one hour to receive your certification, making it one of the quickest and easiest courses on the internet. Completing this course shows future employers that you’re motivated and ready to jumpstart your remote career.

Yes. Online certifications are taken seriously by employers as long as the certificate matches the line of work you are trying to enter. The more relevant your online certifications are, the more eye-catching your resume will be.

If you’re interested in moving up in your existing company, but lack some of the skills and experience required to get promoted, you can take an online certificate course to boost your resume. Speak to your boss to see if they are willing to pay for your online course and promote you once you complete your training. Earning an online certificate can help you increase your salary as you will become more knowledgeable in your field.



Course Breakdown

Final Words

Man graduates from online certificate program

There are tons of online certificate programs that can help you make your dream job a reality — all you need to do is put in the time and effort. As long as you apply yourself and take action, you’ll be able to strengthen your skills and bring your career to new heights.

Online certificate programs were created for hard-working and independent students who are serious about continuing their education. They allow you to learn at your own pace and don’t require you to quit your day job to go back to school. We’re confident that you’ll be able to make the best out of your online education, helping you get the job and paycheck you deserve. We wish you the best of luck.