21 Best Free Online Courses For Adults

Of course, we know that in previous times there was no rampant use of the internet as it is today. Then education and knowledge were acquired through traditional means only, that is it must be in the form of a brick-and-mortar contact.

But over time we have seen that the internet has to come to stay. Through its wide use for different areas of things, we have its use in advertisement, communication, and all.

But in recent times the internet has not just been used for only these, its horizon has expanded even to its use as a medium of teaching though this time there will be no physical contact.

Multiple courses are hosted on different platforms, it is all about choice and your desire for you to plug into one and get your desired knowledge. A good thing about this is that most courses come free of charge.

In this article, you will see the free online courses for adults. If you are woman and you do not have much time for a course, you should read about the 12 best short-term courses for ladies.

Online Platforms That Offer Free Online Courses For Adults


The mission of edX is to promote access to high-quality education for all people, regardless of location or financial position.

This non-profit organization works towards its objectives by collecting courses from some of the world’s most prestigious universities and allowing students to audit them for free.

Because of its wealth of possibilities, established reputation as a pioneer in online education, and affiliations to major higher education institutions, edX is widely recognized as the greatest overall free online course provider.

edX has a large collection of free online courses for adults.


Coursera’s mission is to provide students all around the world with the best educational and job-training possibilities available. Coursera hosts over 2,000 free online courses for adults.

They collaborate with over 275 colleges and businesses to provide students with free and paid courses that assist them obtain new knowledge and skills for job progress.

Coursera earned a spot on the list because it offers classes in dozens of different languages as part of its commitment to making education accessible worldwide.


FutureLearn is a digital learning platform founded on the values of empowerment, change, experimentation, and shared purpose.

They provide individual courses, micro-credentials, and online degrees in a wide range of popular disciplines taught by industry leaders and teachers from world-class institutions.

We chose them as the best free online course provider for science, technology, engineering, and math courses because of the breadth and quality of their coursework in these disciplines.


Because Udemy’s programs are tailored to business people, we chose them as our free online business course recommendation.

Since its inception in 2010, Udemy has provided millions of students with life-changing educational opportunities in fields such as management, sales, human resources, marketing, and more.


Alison offers a wide variety of free, in-depth lessons in technology, languages, science, financial literacy, personal and soft skills, entrepreneurship, and more. It is aimed at all types of students, from professionals and managers to teachers and freelancers.

You can also search by the career you have or want to have to find the courses that are most relevant to you.

Alison is the largest host of free online courses for adults, all the courses on Alison are free. You will need to pay if you want a certificate when you complete any course.

Google Skillshop

Similarly, Google Skillshop provides free certificates on Google’s many web, software, and hardware technologies, such as YouTube, Android, and Waze.

Google Skillshop also has courses for a variety of occupations such as cybersecurity, marketing, design, teaching, and data analysis. There are also free courses on digital skills and business growth.

Google Skillshop has many free online courses for adults from Google and its subsidiary companies,

What Is The Best Website For Free Online Courses?

edX is our pick for the best overall free online course provider. Because of its large collection of free online courses, edX has established a reputation as a pioneer in online education and affiliations with major higher education institutions.

What You Can Learn Online For Free

There are many courses you can learn online as an adult:


Regardless of the role you have, coding is a skill that many employers respect. Basic coding abilities enable you to assist a team in launching an app, optimizing a website for search engines, and even creating or editing content.

Numerous online programs make it simple to begin learning code, as well as more complex ones for coders looking to improve their current skills.

Excel Skills

Spreadsheets are utilized to manage company data in practically every firm. While many people have basic spreadsheet skills, employees who understand how to use formulas and other tools in Microsoft Excel can help you organize and use data more effectively.

Language Skills

Learning a new language may increase your value in any firm, regardless of industry or job title. Language abilities can also qualify you for new or more advanced opportunities, especially if the language you are learning is in high demand.

Photographic Skills

You can use your photography skills to improve a company’s website or social media content.

These skills are particularly useful for businesses that sell things, as high-quality photography can have a significant impact on sales.

Numerous websites teach photography techniques, whether you’re just starting and need a beginner course or you are an accomplished photographer looking for more in-depth instruction.

Writing Skills

Writing is an essential ability that businesses look for in candidates. The ability to write properly is a valuable advantage in any field. Depending on your sector, you may wish to develop a range of various types of writing abilities.

For example, if you think that your job will require you to write proposals, manuals, or instructions, you might want to consider taking online technical writing courses.

21 Best Free Online Courses For Adults

  • The Architectural Imagination
  • Introduction to Marketing
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • English Composition
  • Mastering Data Analysis in Excel
  • Mastering the Selling Process Specialization
  • Machine Learning Foundations: A Case Study Approach
  • Content Marketing Certification
  • Initiating and Planning Projects
  • Free Social Media Analytics Course
  • Psychological First Aid
  • Google Analytics for Beginners
  • Introductory Human Physiology
  • Social Psychology
  • Inbound Marketing Certification
  • Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking by Harvard University
  • Child Nutrition and Cooking
  • Fundamentals of Graphic Design
  • Stanford Introduction to Food and Health
  • Marketing in a Digital World
  • Stepping into Team Leadership

Architectural Imagination

Among the best free online courses for adults. Architecture has captivated experts, apprentices, and ordinary onlookers for generations.

If you have always wanted to study architecture or want to pursue a career in the industry, you will be pleased to find that you can do so for free through edX.

Architectural Imagination is one of Harvard University’s most popular free undergraduate courses, with almost 470,000 students enrolled to date. The topics covered in the course include the following:

  • Architectural Reading: Column and Wall
  • Glass and Steel’s Dialectics
  • Typology and Aldo Rossi
  • Hegel and the History of Architecture

The course is self-paced, however, students should plan to study 3-5 hours per week. It will take about 10 weeks to complete the course if you study 3-5 hours per week.

For more information about the course, see The Architectural Imagination.

Introduction to Marketing

Introduction to Marketing on Coursera stands amongst the free online courses for adults that are part of a broader specialty. It is the first of six courses that comprise the Business Foundations specialization.

The course has already enrolled nearly 300,000 students, making it one of Coursera’s most popular free online college courses.

The instructors are part of the class’s attraction; the curriculum is taught by three of the university’s most distinguished faculty members from The Wharton School of Management.

Students enrolled in online education can expect to develop new skills and tackle topics such as:

  • Marketing Fundamentals of Brand Positioning
  • Customer Orientation
  • Communication and Brand Messaging.

For more information, see Introduction to Marketing.

Introduction to Psychology

Yale University offers many free online courses for adults, one of those courses is the Introduction to Psychology course.

Human psychology does not have to be studied as part of a social science degree program to engage you. Perhaps this is why Yale University’s Introduction to Psychology is one of the most popular free adult courses.

Almost 700,000 people have enrolled in this online program offered by Yale Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science Paul Bloom.

As the title suggests, the course delves into fundamental themes in psychology and industry trends. This beginner-level course is entirely online and takes approximately 15 hours to complete.

For more information about this course, see Introduction to Psychology.

English Composition by Duke University

English Composition I, a common general education requirement, is now one of the highest-rated free online courses for adults, thanks to Coursera and Duke University.

This introductory-level course contains a curriculum of around 25 hours of coursework, which includes classes on the following topics:

  • Enhancing Sentence Style Via Editing Methods for Critical Reading
  • The Difference Between Active and Passive Voice

The deadlines are movable, and the course is fully available online.

Mastering Data Analysis in Excel

Microsoft Excel is a powerful but frequently misunderstood tool; Mastering Data Analysis in Excel was created to assist newbie users in learning new abilities and mastering the intricacies of this data analysis software. The following topics are included in the course curriculum:

  • Excel Fundamentals for Beginners
  • The standard for Binary Classification Introduction Probability
  • The entropy of a Normal Probability Distribution in Excel

This online course may be finished in around 21 hours of study time. This is one of the most popular free college courses for adults on Coursera, with over 315,000 students enrolled to date. For more information, see Mastering Data Analysis in Excel.

Mastering the Selling Process Specialization

This training is intended to help you become more productive and efficient as you pursue your sales objectives. Learn how to stand out from the crowd, attract customers, and develop support for company projects.

Furthermore, knowing how to get a “yes” is the most crucial part of sales. This training explains this, as well as ways for increasing sales efficiency.

This being among the free online courses for adults is highly recommended for sales managers who desire to boost their sales team’s performance.

Skilled salesmen are eager to advance their careers.

For information about this course, see The Art of Sales: Mastering the Selling Process.

Machine Learning Foundations

Machine learning is a fascinating topic of interest for people who want to work in the industry as well as those who want to take free online programs for fun.

The course has already enrolled about 350,000 students, making it one of the most popular free online courses for adults accessible today.

The course, taught by Machine Learning Professors Emily Fox and Carlos Guestrin, the course includes the following topics:

  • Classification Challenges Using Linear Regression
  • Similarity and Clustering
  • Advanced Learning

The program’s curriculum calls for 18 hours of study, and all course material is 100% online. Students may apply their knowledge to the broader Machine Learning specialty after graduation.

For more information about the course, see Machine Learning Foundations: A Case Study Approach.

Content Marketing Certification Course

Amazing content may help your business. This course will show you how to develop a content marketing machine that increases your business and your career by combining narrative, content generation, repurposing, and promotion.

While attending the content marketing certification course will help all professionals, it is strongly advised for new content writers and content managers.

It is suggested for students in any of these two categories:

  • New content marketers, writers, and content managers
  • Skilled non-marketing professionals transitioning toward content marketing

See Content Marketing Certification Course for more information about the course.

Initiating and Planning Projects

This is one of the most versatile free college courses for adults in our ranking. Initiating and Planning Projects can be taken as a stand-alone course or applied to one of two available specializations.

The course is offered through the University of California-Irvine and taught by Continuing Education instructor Margaret Meloni. Topics addressed through the online education curriculum include:

  • Role of Stakeholders
  • Role of the Project Manager
  • Identifying the Project Scope
  • Authority Versus Influence

The course takes just seven hours to complete and is available entirely online. To date, over 350,000 students have enrolled in the class, and it has maintained a 98% approval rating.

For more information about this course, see Initiating and Planning Projects.

Free Social Media Analytics Course

This workshop will cover the fundamentals of social media analytics and will benefit both novices and marketers looking to refresh their expertise.

It is intended to assist anyone interested in social media analytics, whether they work for a company, an agency, or the media.

This training is highly recommended for novice social media marketing managers who are unsure how to measure analytics for their company’s social channels.

This free online course for adults is advised for new social media marketing managers who are not experienced with social media analytics.

Any marketer who wants to specialize in social media marketing

For more information, visit Free Social Media Analytics Course.

Psychological First Aid

Psychological First Aid is one of the free online courses for adults on the list. This course teaches students how to care for persons undergoing a psychiatric crisis.

The course specifically trains students on how to use the RAPID Model, which stands for the following terms:

  1. R — Recommend: This step involves the individual or team responsible for deciding and providing a recommendation or proposal for a course of action.
  2. A — Agree: In this step, stakeholders who the decision will impact are consulted and must agree with the recommendation.
  3. P — Perform: Once the recommendation has been agreed upon, the team responsible for implementation is identified and empowered to perform the necessary tasks.
  4. I — Input: This step involves gathering input and feedback from individuals who may be impacted by the decision or who have relevant expertise.
  5. D — Decide: In this step, the final decision is made by the individual or group responsible for making the decision, based on the input and feedback gathered throughout the process.

George Everly of the Bloomberg School of Public Health teaches the course. It is online and should take about six hours to finish. About 400,000 students have enrolled in the online education option.

Google Analytics for Beginners

This course teaches new Google Analytics users how to set up an account, add a tracking code, and configure data filters. This online course for adults is totally free.

You will learn how to use the Google Analytics interface and reports, as well as how to create dashboards and shortcuts.

This course is appropriate for beginner and advanced marketers needing a refresher on Google Analytics or more advanced training. It is suggested for all levels of marketing professionals.

To learn more about the course, see Google Analytics for Beginners.

Introductory Human Physiology

Beginning Human Physiology is a wonderful place to start if you are seeking free online programs for fun or want to lay the groundwork for a future in healthcare.

Duke University’s online course presents an overview of the human body and how it operates, covering subjects such as:

  • The Central Nervous System
  • The Circulatory System
  • Muscles
  • System of Respiration

This comprehensive online course may be finished in around 33 hours of study time. To learn more about this course, see Introductory Human Physiology.

Social Psychology

If you are interested in human behavior, Social Psychology is one of the free college courses you should look into.

This course is presented by Wesleyan University Professor of Psychology Scott Plous and teaches different areas of social psychology. The topics in the course include the following:

  • Misconceptions and Social Perceptions
  • Group Influence and Compliance
  • Social Perceptions and Judgment
  • Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Discrimination Psychology

This is a beginner-level course that takes roughly 38 hours to finish. About half a million students have enrolled in the course and it has a 96% approval rating.

Students who enroll in the certificate track will receive a free subscription to the Social Psychology Network, the biggest online social psychology community.

Inbound Marketing Certification Course

This course covers the principles of inbound marketing, from acquiring leads to engaging prospects and delighting customers.

It is great for recent graduates who want to work in marketing or for any established professional who wants to change careers.

It will provide you with the fundamental information required to advance in any marketing position.

This is one of the free online courses for adults who are new to marketing. Experienced non-marketing professionals making the transition into marketing.

To learn more about the course, see Inbound Marketing Certification Course.

The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking

Making a compelling argument (whether in writing or speech) is a useful ability to have regardless of your professional or personal goals. Perhaps this is why one of the most popular free online courses for adults is Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking.

This amazing online education course, available through edX and given by Harvard University, teaches students how to develop good arguments and examine the arguments of others. The curriculum addresses the following key topics:

  • Logical Fallacies in Rhetorical Structure and Style
  • Rhetorical Technique Utilizing Rhetorical Devices vs. Argument

This introductory humanities program will last about 8 weeks, and students should plan on spending two to three hours each week on course content and homework.

For more information, see Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking.

Child Nutrition and Cooking

Child Nutrition and Cooking is ideal for new parents or individuals looking for free online learning resources.

This course contains basic nutrition instruction as well as simple cooking lessons within the context of family health and wellness.

The course, taught by Stanford School of Medicine instructor Maya Adam and it covers the following topics:

  • Childhood Obesity in the United States
  • The Glycemic Index and Stocking a Kitchen Pantry
  • Eating for Sustainability

This introductory-level course is totally online and takes only 11 hours to finish. This course has about 430,000 students enrolled to date, making it one of our most popular free college courses for adults.

Stanford University offers some of the best free online courses for adults. For more information about the course, see Child Nutrition and Cooking.

Fundamentals of Graphic Design

Foundations of Graphic Design from California Institute of the Arts is one of the online college courses for adults you won’t want to miss if you are a creative type.

The course, which is offered by the California Institute of the Arts, needs 15 hours of study and can be taken separately or as part of the wider Graphic Design concentration.

Industry trends covered include the following:

  • Typography Basics Design Theory
  • Methods of Imagemaking
  • Form and Color Fundamentals

The course is taught by Michael Worthington who is a member of the School of Arts at California Institute.

For more information about this course, see Fundamentals of Graphic Design.

Stanford Introduction to Food and Health

Food and health are two issues that influence everyone, so it is no surprise that Stanford’s Introduction to Food and Health is one of the most popular free online courses for adults on Coursera.

In terms of content, this seven-hour course packs a lot of punch, covering topics such as:

  • Obesity’s History
  • Current Eating Trends Sensible Cooking Substitutions Reading Nutrition Labeling

The course is completely free for enrolled students but will need to pay $39 dollars to get a certificate at the completion of the course and other benefits.

For more information, see Stanford Introduction to Food and Health.

Marketing in a Digital World

Whether you work in marketing or are just seeking free online classes for fun, Coursera’s Marketing in a Digital World is one of the free online courses you should consider as an adult.

This online education class, offered by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign investigates how the Internet and social media are altering the discipline of marketing as we know it.

The following list contains some of the topics contained in the course:

  • The Sharing Economy of Internet Shopping
  • Doppelganger Brands from User-Generated Content

This course can be taken alone or in conjunction with other free online courses in the Digital Marketing Specialty. Marketing courses are among the popular free online courses for adults.

For more information, see Marketing in a Digital World.

Stepping into Team Leadership

Available in EdApp’s course catalog, Stepping into Team Leadership aims to help improve the skills and confidence of adults aspiring to become team leaders or managers.

This 4-part course illustrates the expectations of a team leader to prepare them for the role. It then demonstrates the relevance of scoping work and setting expectations.

It also includes best practices on team time management and communication with teams. By stepping into a new role with the right knowledge, you’re able to successfully set goals and perform your role as a driving force among your team and inspire them as a leader.

For more information, see Stepping into Team Leadership.

What is the Easiest Course to Learn Online?

Business is the easiest course to study online.

Online business degrees educate students in a variety of vocations. Accounting, marketing, and finance are some of the specializations available to degree candidates.

Numerous online colleges offer healthcare administration and entrepreneurial majors.

Analytical, leadership, and problem-solving abilities are emphasized in business degrees. Internships are frequently included in online programs to provide hands-on experience.

Can I get a Harvard Certificate for Free?

You can not get a standard Harvard certificate for free. There are many free online courses offered by Harvard University but without certificates.

On Harvard OpenCourseWare, there are some courses that include a free certificate of completion. The only difference is that the free certificate does not involve ID verification.

Also, courses offered by Harvard University online are free of charge. However, if you wish to get a verified certificate from the university, there is a small sum of money that must be paid for. The amount is mentioned in the course details for each course.

What is the Quickest Degree to Get?

Associate degrees are the quickest degrees that pay well, requiring only 60 credit hours — half the time necessary for bachelor’s degrees. Professional certifications might take anywhere from three to six months, depending on the program.

What is the Hardest Course in the World?

Bachelor of Science in Nursing or BSN is the toughest course in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records along with courses like MBBS, BCom, IAS, IPS, Engineering, etc.


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