Free Virtual University Courses? Yes – Thousands of Them!



There has never been a better time to delve into a world of knowledge with only a computer and a curious mind.

Ever wanted to learn game development or web programming from the experts at Harvard? Or how to create web design from the California Institute of the Arts? Now you can, tuition-free, and without even leaving your home!

Some two hundred universities around the globe have created thousands of courses, which are absolutely free to the public and can be accessed online. These available courses are in addition to the already exiting ten thousand courses from more than 800 universities participating in what is called “MOOCs,” or Massive Open Online Courses, an initiative that began about ten years ago by edX, a global non-profit that calls itself “the educational movement for restless learners.”

All the courses mentioned here are available for free. They run the gamut of educational subjects, including computer science, math, programming, humanities, health, business, engineering, art, and design. Many of the courses can be taken at the learner’s own pace. They are offered in a variety of languages.

Acquire Skills and Learn About the Latest Trends

Learn problem solving skills that can be applied to everything from science and engineering to economics and finance in Harvard University’s “Introduction to Probability” course. Try your hand at front-end web development or app development with courses from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. The University of Alberta offers a video game programming course. The University of Minnesota offers “IT Infrastructure and Emerging Trends,” which covers the latest trends in IT (Information Technology) such as blockchain, security, and the ways the fundamental technical aspects of IT are influenced by emerging trends.

In today’s world it is critical for professionals to recognize that technology is integrated into nearly every industry, which is why institutions like IE Business School (Instituto de Empresa in Madrid, Spain) offer “Intelligence Tools for the Digital Age.” This course helps business professionals adopt an intelligence analyst’s perspective for the age of AI (Artificial Intelligence). “Social and Digital Media Analytics” from Purdue University dives into the application of digital and social media for business operation. Rutgers University’s “Influencer Marketing Strategy” doubles down on social media to help one better understand how to become a successful influencer across multiple industries.

Duke University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) offer machine learning. Several post-secondary institutions, including the University of California, Berkeley, offer free courses on the blockchain, Bitcoin, and cryptocurrency. The course offers an in-depth overview of these currencies’ fundamental concepts and are open to anyone, regardless of background or level of expertise.

Palo Alto Networks offers a number of cybersecurity courses. Yonsei University of South Korea offers a course called “Big Data Emerging Technologies.” It covers the industry of big data in hardware, software, and professional services, with a focus on the three big data technologies: Hadoop, Spark, and Storm. The course is designed to help you in business strategy in the upcoming “big data” era.

Embark on a Learning Adventure in Business, Physical Sciences, or Social Sciences

Courses in the field of business abound. Harvard offers “Improving Your Business Through a Culture of Health.” MIT and Stanford give real estate courses, and other schools offer a wide range of business-related subjects, dealing with fintech (financial technology), stock market concepts, finance, and accounting. Rutgers University offers a course titled “Influencer Marketing Strategy,” and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology offers “Finance for Startups.”

In the social sciences arena, courses include Harvard’s “Citizen Politics in America: Public Opinion, Elections, Interest Groups, and the Media,” “U.S. Public Policy: Social, Economic, and Foreign Policies,” and “US Public Policy: Social, Economic, and Foreign Policies.” The University of Amsterdam offers a social sciences course entitled “Logic for Economists,” which provides a brief introduction to logical mathematical concepts.

Learn meteorology from Harvard, quantum computing from MIT, or nuclear reactor physics basics from the National Research Nuclear University. The University of Alberta offers a course on black holes. King’s College London provides a course on “The Science Behind Forensic Science.” For those who prefer gazing directly at the sky rather than using computer models, Harvard offers “Backyard Meteorology: The Science of Weather,” which teaches students how to make observational weather forecasts while also highlighting the limitations of predicting weather with the naked eye.

Many universities offer courses in journalism and health sciences. Similarly, institutions like the University of Toronto and Coventry University offer personal development courses like “Communication Strategies for a Virtual Age” and “Emotional Intelligence at Work,” which will help professionals of all ages, both within and outside of the workplace.

And finally, if you did not manage to make the cut as an astronaut, at least you can take a course on “Engineering the Space Shuttle,” offered from MIT.

The examples above are only a small sample of the thousands of free online courses available to students, professionals, and inquisitive minds around the world. Hundreds of new courses are added each year, as more and more universities, colleges, and educational institutions provide tuition-free lessons taught by leading academics. There has never been a better time to delve into a world of knowledge with only a computer and a curious mind.