16 Free Online Certification Courses To Improve Your Skills
Professional certifications are often beneficial to earn because it allows you to demonstrate your expertise with a particular skill, tool or subject area. Many programs you can enroll in to earn one of these credentials are free, which makes learning more accessible and creates career development options that are more affordable than others. Learning about the certifications that are available for free may help you find a credential that supports your professional development.
In this article, we discuss the reasons online certifications are important, some benefits of free online certifications, 16 certifications you can pursue and how to highlight them on your resume.
Why are online certifications important?
Online certifications are an important way to help you develop new career and life skills, improve your resume and help you enhance your job prospects at no extra cost. Many online certifications require you to complete a course, which might be an easy way to further develop a skill you have some experience with or build a new skill entirely. This also provides third-party validation of your knowledge, enhancing your resume.
By earning new certifications, you're able to improve your qualifications. This may provide you with a better resume that helps you make a better impression on hiring managers. Certification may also provide you with more job opportunities. For example, it may provide you with the necessary qualifications to apply for more jobs or help you successfully secure the job you desire.
Benefits of free online certifications
Here are some benefits of pursuing a free online certification:
Free online courses and certifications are easy to access and many allow their students to complete self-paced learning and quizzes. This empowers learners to earn their certification from anywhere and finish the assignments on a timeline that works well with their schedule.
A range of organizations offer professional development courses and certifications, but they can be expensive to obtain and maintain. Free online certifications eliminate cost as a factor, making it easier for all learners to pursue them.
Many organizations offer certifications for all skill levels to encourage individuals to continue their learning experience no matter their skill level. This allows students to pursue the certification that aligns with their experience, such as starting at a beginner's level or advancing to a higher level.
Earning an online certification is often an efficient and convenient process. Some may involve completing a self-paced course, allowing participants to develop the skills more quickly and on the timeline that works best with their schedules.
In free certificate courses, individuals have the chance to learn from instructors who are industry experts in their field. Generally, these industry experts can offer their unique viewpoints with helpful guidance and advice about how students can navigate their careers and improve their skill sets.
There are certifications available for all industries and several specialties within those industries. This enables learners to choose a qualification that aligns with their experience and is relevant to their career goals.
16 free online certifications to consider
Here are some examples of free online courses and certifications in different industries to consider pursuing:
A few examples of certifications in marketing to consider earning include:
1. HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification
The HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification course discusses the basics of digital marketing. Earning this certification may demonstrate your knowledge of inbound marketing strategies and your ability to apply them to help organizations grow and succeed. The lessons in this HubSpot Academy course help you learn about:
Conversion optimization strategy
Search marketing optimization (SEO)
Social media promotion
2. Web design by Udemy
Udemy is a popular platform for completing online courses. The Web Design for Web Developers: Build Beautiful Websites course is a free hour-long course about the fundamentals of basic website design and provides certificates of completion if you pay a fee. The course discusses topics like:
3. Google Ads Certification
Google offers a range of Google Ads Certifications through its Skillshop training platform. These certifications provide free study resources before you complete questions on a timed test. Some of the specific certifications available include:
Google Ads Apps Certification
Shopping Ads Certification
4. Google Fundamentals of Digital Marketing
Google offers the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing through its Google Digital Garage. This free program offers 26 modules in a self-paced learning format to complete before taking a final exam to receive a certification. It includes practical exercises and examples to help you apply your digital marketing knowledge. Topics discussed in this course include:
Analytics and data insights
Search engine marketing (SEM)
5. Google Analytics Academy Courses
Google offers a range of certifications through its Analytics Academy. Courses vary based on your skill level, and each includes lessons with videos explaining the topics, allowing you to enjoy self-paced learning. Each course also includes an assessment to pass and earn your certification. Certifications available through the Analytics Academy include:
Getting Started with Google Analytics 360
Google also offers two other courses through its Analytics Academy. The first is the Introduction to Data Studio, which helps beginners learn about connecting data and creating reports in Data Studio. The other is Google Tag Manager Fundamentals, which reviews how Google Tag Manager may help simplify the process of implementing and managing tags.
Technology and computer science certifications
Here are some examples of certifications in technology and computer science to consider earning:
6. freeCodeCamp certifications
freeCodeCamp offers many free certifications in different coding languages, helping you develop an in-demand technical skill. These free certification programs provide step-by-step learning opportunities and allow you to practice your skills by working on open-source projects for nonprofit organizations. freeCodeCamp offers beginner-level coding certifications in languages like:
Python for Everybody Specialization
7. AWS certification
Amazon offers free digital training and entry-level certification for Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS is Amazon's cloud computing program that many companies use across several industries. The program provides courses to learn about the fundamentals of the platform.
Read more: How To Get an AWS Certification
8. IBM Data Science Professional Certificate
Coursea offers a free course and certificate for the IBM Data Science Professional Certificate. This certificate focuses on developing skills, education and experience related to machine learning and data science, and it provides the opportunity to gain practical experience and use the latest tools. Topics discussed in this course include:
Machine learning algorithms
Open-source tools and libraries
9. CS50's Introduction to Computer Science
CS50's Introduction to Computer Science is an entry-level computer science course Harvard University provides. The self-paced course includes 12 weeks of learning that explore thinking algorithmically and solving problems efficiently. It discusses topics like:
Computer science and programming
10. Google IT Automation with Python Professional Certificate
The Google IT Automation with Python Professional Certificate is an entry-level course and certificate. This in-depth course requires approximately six to eight months to complete, and it includes six courses on Python, Git and GitHub to help you develop practical IT skills. Each course includes self-paced online learning and requires you to complete projects to earn your certification.
Here are some examples of certifications that may be beneficial to earn for a variety of industries:
11. Massive Open Online Courses
Many universities offer Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Enrolling in a MOOC allows you to develop skills related to your industry, and some courses may provide you with a formal credential if you pay a small fee. Some popular MOOC course areas include:
Business and management
12. Alison's certification in supervision skills
Alison is another popular platform for free training courses and certifications. Pursuing the certification in supervision skills may be beneficial if you're hoping to earn a promotion or recently became a manager. It discusses topics like conflict resolution strategies and techniques for improving your leadership skills.
13. FEMA certifications
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers a range of free online certifications and courses through its Emergency Management Institute (EMI). Each course includes a self-paced learning style. These certifications may help people with emergency-management responsibilities as part of their job or prepare people responsible for handling emergencies at work.
14. edX Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies program
edX partners with various institutions to provide courses related to professional certifications. The Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economics program is a free course with the option to pay a fee for a certificate upon finishing the course. This course includes six weeks of self-paced learning, and it focuses on identifying beneficial entrepreneurial opportunities and solving problems in societies with emerging economies.
15. The Science of Well-Being
The Science of Well-Being is a professional and personal development course about happiness. The course focuses on finding your inner happiness, developing healthier habits and improving your productivity. You receive a certificate at the end, and completing this program may help you improve your productivity, allowing you to feel less stressed and more satisfied in your career and personal life.
16. Child Nutrition and Cooking
Stanford University offers several online, self-paced courses to learners for free. There's a vast library of course topics you can browse. One course the Stanford School of Medicine offers for free, the Child Nutrition and Cooking class, can be helpful to parents, guardians and caregivers. If you're a parent or working with children as a nanny or babysitter, you may find this five-week course beneficial in learning how to appeal to children's appetites while providing them with their required nutrition.
You can learn about helpful topics and life skills, such as:
Healthy diets for children and adults
Ways to prepare simple and tasty meals at home
Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
How to list your certifications on your resumes
Here are a few steps you can follow to highlight your certificates on a resume for employers to review:
Create a section for certifications after listing your education.
Include the certification's title with the host organization after it.
Add the date you earned it or when it expires if you completed the course, or the date you're scheduled to obtain it if you're in the middle of the class.
List the skills and knowledge you gained from the course if you have enough space at the end of your resume.
Here's an example of how the section may look on a resume:
IBM Data Science Professional Certificate, IBM - Earned in 2023
Relevant skills: SQL and machine learning algorithms
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