16 Free Online Certification Courses To Improve Your Skills

Updated June 13, 2023

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.

Related: How To Decide If Professional Certificates Are Worth It

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.

Certification levels

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.

Related: 6 Online Certifications To Advance Your Career

16 free online certifications to consider

Here are some examples of free online courses and certifications in different industries to consider pursuing:

Marketing certifications

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:

  • Blogging

  • Content strategy

  • Conversion optimization strategy

  • Reporting

  • Search marketing optimization (SEO)

  • Social media promotion

Related: 26 Digital Marketing Certifications To Improve Your Resume

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:

  • Colors

  • Images

  • Spacing

  • Typography

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

  • Google Ads Display Certification

  • Google Ads Measurement Certification

  • Google Ads Search Certification

  • Google Ads Video 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

  • Business strategy

  • Content marketing

  • Display advertising

  • E-commerce

  • Email marketing

  • Local marketing

  • Mobile

  • Search engine marketing (SEM)

  • SEO

  • Social media

  • Video

  • Web optimization

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:

  • Google Analytics for Beginners

  • Advanced Google Analytics

  • Google Analytics for Power Users

  • 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.

Read more: What Is Google Analytics? Definition and Benefits

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:

  • CSS3

  • GitHub

  • HTML5

  • JavaScript

  • Python for Everybody Specialization

Related: 10 In-Demand Career Certifications (And How To Achieve Them)

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:

  • Data analysis

  • Data visualization

  • Machine learning algorithms

  • Open-source tools and libraries

  • Predictive modeling

  • SQL

Related: 12 Important Cybersecurity Certifications for Beginners

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:

  • Algorithms

  • C language

  • Computer science and programming

  • Concepts abstraction

  • CSS

  • Data structures

  • Encapsulation

  • HTML

  • JavaScript

  • Python

  • Software engineering

  • SQL

  • Web development

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.

Read more: 6 Google Certifications For Career Advancement (With FAQ)

Miscellaneous certifications

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

  • Computer science

  • Data science

  • Big data

  • Engineering

  • Languages

  • Humanities

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.

Related: Top 21 Online Business Courses and Certificates You Can Earn

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:

  • Childhood obesity

  • 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:

  1. Create a section for certifications after listing your education.

  2. Include the certification's title with the host organization after it.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

Explore more articles

  • How To Write an Email Asking for a Quote: 5 Simple Steps
  • 14 Strategies To Improve Employee Performance
  • How To Write a Concept Statement in 4 Steps (With Examples)
  • The 20 Most-Requested Certifications by Employers
  • 10 Types of Essays: Examples and Purposes of Each
  • How to Deal With Someone You Don't Like at Work
  • How To Find Slope in Excel in 5 Steps (With Tips)
  • How To Ask for a Severance Package (With FAQs)
  • 21 Different Types of Files and How to Use Them
  • 6 Certifications in Consulting (With Tips to Help You Choose One)
  • 26 Common Logical Fallacies To Avoid When Making an Argument
  • How To Speak More Concisely (With 6 Steps You Can Follow)