Lifestyle

7 Free Online Courses That Can Take Your Self Learning To A Whole New Level

Ever wanted to learn to code? Or maybe you’ve always wanted to learn a new language. If you’ve got a thirst for knowledge, read on for a list of 7 free online courses that may interest you.

Singapore is set to exit from the Circuit Breaker which saw life slow down as many across the island stayed home. As Singaporeans tried to keep themselves busy, we have seen a couple of trends the past 2 months: Zoom hangouts, Dalgona coffee, fitspo workout videos, home baking… As we enter Phase 1, most of us would still be working from home. If you’re looking for something to occupy your time, apart from what you’ve already tried and done (there’s only so much Dalgona coffee you can make before you get sick of it!), why not try out some free online courses?

Yes, you’ve read it right.  Free online courses! Founded by Harvard University and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), EdX is a non-profit organisation that hosts a huge range of University level courses. Computer Science, Humanities, Languages and Business – these are just some of the many disciplines offered by edX.

Best of all, these courses are all online so they can be easily accessed from the comfort of your room, anytime. Moreover, some courses are also accessible at absolutely no cost. You just need an Internet connection, a mind hungry for knowledge and sustained attention!

Ready to sign up for some free online courses? Read on to find out what’s available!

1. Free Online Courses for Computer Science

If you’re thinking of enrolling in some free online courses but are not sure what to try out, why not try out some Computer Science courses? Computer Science is pretty much the buzz word recently. Testament to the growing relevance of Computer Science, even primary school kids are exposed to the field in the form of compulsory coding enrichment classes.

CS50 Introduction to Computer Science

If you’re a complete novice, this course would be perfect for you. Harvard University’s largest course, CS50 is undeniably, one of the more famous free online courses for Computer Science. In this course, you would be able to learn various languages like C, Python, SQL, JavaScript and HTML.

Feeling overwhelmed? As mentioned earlier, this course is structured in a way that’s meant to be easily understood by students of all levels. So, even if you’re a complete beginner, the information is presented in a way that’s easy to understand and digest. It’s no wonder then that CS50 is one of the free online courses that enjoys huge popularity. Indeed, to date, over 2 million people have enrolled in the course!

Spanning over 12 weeks, with an expected workload of 6-18 hours per week, you can expect to be mentally stimulated by CS50. And I mean, really stimulated. On top of weekly lectures, students are expected to submit assignments as well. These assignments are meant to reiterate what you’ve learnt in the lectures and provide an opportunity for hands-on practice. Overall, CS50 promises a really enriching and meaningful learning journey.

Sign up for this course if you’re interested in stretching yourself!

2. Free Data Analysis and Statistics Courses Online

Looking for free online courses to boost your employability? In this data-driven world, an understanding of how to make sense of data accurately and effectively is crucial. If you’re keen on free online courses that have some practical use in future work, why not give data analysis and statistics courses a shot?

Analysing and Visualizing Data with Excel

Hosted by big-name (and I mean big!), Microsoft, their course aims to help you be more proficient in Excel. Some of the skills you’ll take away include learning how to import, analyse and visualise data. These skills are really valuable if you’re working with or intend to work with data.

The competition in the job market is really stiff. Don’t get left behind – brush up on your Excel skills to brush off your rivals!

Juggling other commitments? Not to worry, the workload for this course is pretty manageable. Students are expected to invest 2-4 hours per week, for 6 weeks. So, this course does seem pretty doable, even if you have other things on your plate!

3. Free Online Courses to Learn More About the Science of The Mind

Are you intrigued by human behaviour? Do you have a fascination over how the brain works? Want to know more about what makes us tick?

If you’ve eagerly answered “yes” to all the 3 questions, free online courses for Psychology may interest you.

AP® Psychology – Course 1: What is Psychology?

Hosted by The University of British Columbia, this introductory course exposes you to the field of Psychology. You’ll learn more about what Psychology is, and also what Psychology is not (not mindreading!). If you’re thirsty for more knowledge about Psychology, this course is just the first of a free six-course series!

Although you will not become a Psychologist upon completion of the course, you will walk away with a better appreciation of the human mind.

Commitment-wise, this course appears to be one of the more manageable free online courses for those short on time. Spanning just 3 weeks, this course is suitable for people who are unable to commit to anything too long-term.

4. Want to Become the Next Coco Chanel? Free Online Classes for Budding Fashion Designers

Designing and Creating Trousers

Hosted by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, this course prepares you for a career in the fashion industry. As the course suggests, you will learn how to design and create trousers. At first glance, this may sound trivial, but this task entails a whole gamut of skills. From learning to record key body measurements, to learning how to create a unique pattern, students can expect to take away a diverse range of valuable skills.

Ready to make your first pair of trousers? Click here for more information.

5. Pick Up a New Language Using Free Online Classes

Japanese

With the current coronavirus situation, global travel has frozen. If you’ve missed or are going to miss your vacation to Japan, why not take this time to learn some Japanese instead? Who knows, maybe when you finally get to travel to Japan, you’d be able to converse (somewhat) fluently with the locals!

This course by Waseda University aims to teach students basic conversational Japanese. By the end of the course, you should be able to greet others, introduce yourself and order food in Japanese. All in all, pretty useful conversational skills to know when you’re in Japan next time!

Ready to learn? Enrol here!

Spanish

If you’ve got Netflix, you’ve probably heard of Money Heist. The fast-paced Spanish drama follows a group of robbers as they attempt a bold heist. Highly gripping, the show was hugely popular in Singapore.

Well, ok. But what’s that got to do with free online courses? That’s a good question, and I’m glad you asked. If you’ve enjoyed Money Heist, you’d probably have been intrigued by the elegance of the Spanish language. You might even have picked up a few phrases here and there as you followed the show.

If you’ve developed some interest in learning Spanish, why not try out some free online courses?

The free online course hosted by the University of Texas at Austin is a great resource. Segmented into 4 levels (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Superior), the curriculum is clear and well thought-out. Each chapter come with a podcast and videos, as well as a set of grammar, vocab and phrases to learn.

Interested to learn some Spanish? If your response is a resounding “Si”, click here for more information!

Sign Language

Sign language, although non-verbal, comes with its own set of grammar and lexicon. American Sign Language (ASL) is one of the more well-known and widely used sign languages. Learning Sign Language may be challenging, as with all languages, but it is ultimately also really rewarding.

If you’re interested in picking up ASL, you are able to learn here. Through a series of educational videos, you’ll be able to learn how to express words for colours, food, animals and more!

6. It’s Lit! Free Online Courses for Financial Literacy

“What is financial literacy and why do I need it?” Plainly speaking, financial literacy empowers you to make better decisions with your money. If you want to build on your current wealth for long term stability, you need financial literacy. Wealth requires more than just money. Financial literacy helps you understand financial concepts so that you can make the best decisions.

Especially in light of the global pandemic, many countries have been thrust into a recession. More than ever, we are increasingly acutely aware of the importance of good financial planning. This is where financial literacy comes into play.

From personal spending habits to a bigger picture understanding of huge conglomerates’ financial activities, enrolling in a course for financial literacy is a great way to gain some knowledge on financial matters. 

How to Save Money: Making Smart Financial Decisions

Kiasu Singaporeans – this course is for you. Learn how to maximise your money by making smarter decisions. This includes what credit cards to get, whether you should get insurance, and how to plan for retirement. You’ll also learn how to balance spending and saving, as well as get tips on how to invest smartly.

Additionally, with a workload of just 2 to 3 hours per week, this course is easily digestible as well.

7. So, You Think You Can be an Entrepreneur – Free Online Courses for the Budding Entrepreneur

Ever wanted to start your own business? Dream of being the boss of your own company? Don’t let your dreams be just dreams. Take the first step towards your ultimate goal by learning more about entrepreneurship through the free online courses available.

Becoming an Entrepreneur

Launched by the prestigious MIT, this course aims to help you learn everything you need to know about becoming an entrepreneur. How do I develop a business idea? What is market research and how can I conduct it properly? How do I pitch and sell to my customers? The course addresses all these burning questions and more.

In addition, the course explicitly states that no business or entrepreneurship experience is needed. Enrol in the course with an open mind and be surprised at how much you can take away!

Ready to embark on your start-up journey? Learn more here.

Conclusion

The Internet is a treasure trove of free online courses. Life at home doesn’t have to be repetitive and dull. Treat your brain to some exciting new knowledge. Here’s to an exciting month of learning!

Also, here are some additional lifestyle tips and articles in Singapore for better everyday living.

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