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Sharpen Your Business Skills: Free or Low Cost Online Courses

11/10/2021 | Business

If you have a business and you are looking to improve your bottom line, or you have been thinking about getting one started, now is a great opportunity to sharpen your business skills. There are a wealth of courses, classes, workshops and webinars online which are absolutely free (or very low cost). Here is a list of some of the largest, most comprehensive collections of learning materials that you can access to learn new software, get better at ones you already use, learn the latest marketing techniques, and much more.

LinkedIn Learning
Learn relevant, professional skills on LinkedIn Learning. Your library card gives you free unlimited access to more than 16,000 courses in 7 different languages: English, French, German Japanese, Spanish, Mandarin, and Portuguese. Learn how here.

Class Central
Class Central is a listing of over 40,000 online courses. The courses are selected from many providers to make it easy to find the best programs on almost any subject, wherever they exist. The majority of courses are free, or free to audit. Whatever you are interested in learning, it is more than likely that this course catalog includes information that will meet your needs.

More specific online resources:
From Microsoft Office and email, to reading, math, and more— offers more than 200 topics, including more than 7,000 lessons, over 1,000 videos, and more than 50 interactive programs and games, all completely free.

Khan Academy
For both adults and kids. Created by experts, Khan Academy’s library of trusted, standards-aligned practice and lessons cover math K-12 through early college, grammar, science, history, AP, SAT, and more. It’s all free for both learners and teachers.

Open Culture
Find over 150 courses, many from leading universities that will deepen your professional education. Topics include finance, technology, entrepreneurship and much more.

Alison offers over 1000 free online courses across nine distinct categories including: IT, Health, Language, Business, Sales & Marketing, Personal Development, etc. The types of courses across the categories include Certificate Courses, Diploma Courses and Learning Paths.
Find free online courses, lectures, and videos from the best colleges in the country. Take online classes from schools like Yale, MIT, Stanford, Berkeley and Purdue.

Another site similar to AcademicEarth, it has access to 45,000 free courses from more than 8,000 universities and there are even 1,200 free certification courses.

Open Yale Courses
Provides free and open access to a selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University. The aim of the project is to expand access to educational materials for all who wish to learn. All lectures were recorded in the Yale College classroom and are available in video, audio, and text transcript formats.

MIT Open Courseware
MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available as a permanent MIT public resource. Through OCW, educators improve courses and curricula, making their schools more effective; students find additional resources to help them succeed; and independent learners enrich their lives and use the content to tackle some of our world’s most difficult challenges, including sustainable development, climate change, and cancer eradication. All coursework is free and there is no registration required.

Thousands of university classes and courses. Not all, but many are free. The majority of programs are STEM based (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

Similar to Coursera, a high level education at little or no cost. The site includes over 3,000 courses from 160 member universities including MIT, Harvard, U of Texas, Boston U., and many others.
For the more creative types, Skillshare offers hundreds of courses in Animation, Design, Illustration, Photo & Film, Business, and Writing. You can get full premium access for two months for free. If you want to then join, an annual membership with full access to everything is only $99/year, or you can go month to month for $12/month with no long-term commitment.
One of the most important and prevalent skills to have in the business world is a knowledge of Microsoft Excel. Whether you are looking for an introduction to the program or need to brush up on pivot tables, Excel-Easy is a great website to learn Excel at any level of expertise. Completely free with hundreds of lessons and examples available.


Additional resources can be accessed based on individual need. For more information on the library's business resources, contact the library at 317-275-4184, text 317-333-6877, or through Ask-a-Librarian.