5 free online courses to start right now

Did you know you don't have to currently be attending a top university (or even be a student at all) in order to take their classes online? Universities including Harvard, UC Berkeley, Stanford, Yale, MIT, and more offer free MOOCS (Massive Open Online Courses), giving anyone with an internet connection and a few extra hours access to the same curriculum and content students at these prestigious schools have. Whether you're an entrepreneur, currently employed, or between jobs, there are endless reasons to improve your skill-set with online courses. Think you're too busy? Depending on your learning style, you have the option to choose between enrolling in a structured program or taking a self-guided class at your own pace which you can fit into your schedule. No excuses! 

If you want to learn a new skill, it's never too late to start no matter where you are in your career. And with thousands of courses available online now, there's really no reason not to start right now. Here are a few we recommend you check out and enroll in now:

1. Introduction to Computer Science - Harvard University

Interested in learning how to code but don't really know where to start? Whether you've been wanting to test the waters before committing to a bootcamp course or just want to learn for fun, give Harvard's self-paced online course a try. Watch videos, do problem sets in your own time, and before you know it, you'll have the necessary foundation to become a successful software engineer.

Sign up here.

2. Social Impact Strategy: Tools for Entrepreneurs and Innovators - UPenn

Interested in becoming a social entrepreneur, learning more about the social enterprise, or already running a mission-driven company? This course will give you insights into the ins-and-outs of social innovation and what it takes to make an impact-driven company succeed. With lesson plans covering design thinking, scaling startups, and selecting the right sector and business model for your organization, there's content available that's guaranteed to be helpful to all.

Enroll here.

3. Marketing Analytics: Competitive Analysis and Market Segmentation - UC Berkeley

This course is intended to help students better understand how to develop effective marketing strategies, and after they are complete, how to look at the data to measure their success. The valuable analytical skills you can gain from this course will go a long way, from helping you company improve its current marketing strategy to running a successful social media campaign for your startup.

More info on this course.

4. Artificial Intelligence: Principles and Techniques - Stanford University

From chatbots to self driving cars, Artificial Intelligence has been a major focus in the tech scene this past year, and the momentum doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Follow along with Stanford's introductory AI class, available to take for free online. With a goal of equipping students with "tools to tackle new AI problems you might encounter in life," this class covers topics such as machine learning, logic, search, and game playing.

Learn more here.

5. Solving Public Policy Problems - UC Berkeley

With a new administration in the White House this year, people have been paying a lot of attention to the intricacies of the U.S. government's processes and the implications of both adding new policies and repealing ones already on the books. This course, featuring Robert Reich, Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton, will give you the tools to better understand politics, analyze current public policy problems, and develop recommendations for addressing them based on your political beliefs.

Enroll here.


Taryn Anderson