Top 10 online learning platforms in 2021
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If you are one of the thousands of people who have been laid off as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have found yourself with more time on your hands than usual. As recent weeks have seen the most unemployment claims ever recorded, know that you are not alone. Many people now find themselves in a period of transition and uncertainty, and the next few months will not be easy.

This does not mean, however, that it is a bad time to work on your career. Even in times like this it is important to continue learning and keep your skills sharp. Fortunately, education has never been more accessible. There are now countless online platforms offering courses that you can access from anywhere. If you’re looking to stay productive throughout the pandemic, these ten learning platforms are a great place to start.


Coursera offers university-level level classes in business, computer science, the social sciences, and more. Classes are delivered as video lectures, quizzes, and exercises, making this an invigorating and interactive way to learn from home. Schools like Duke University, University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University, as well as top companies like Google and IBM have all contributed courses to Coursera, many of them free of charge.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Coursera has made several of their classes available free of charge.


edX is a non profit provider of university-level online courses. Comprised of video lessons, learning exercises, and discussion forums, edX classes are a great way to get an education online. Classes may be from Harvard, MIT, Berkeley, and more – and many classes are offered for free.


Udacity is an online learning platform with a focus on tech skills. By partnering with companies throughout the tech industry, Udacity can offer robust courses in business, data science, web development, and more. If you’re looking for a career in the tech industry, whether as a data analyst, a product manager, or anything else, this is a great place to start.

Udacity is offering scholarships to people who have been affected by COVID-19.


Classes in programming, design, business, fitness, and more can all be found on Udemy. Udemy offers thousands of different courses, each designed and led by industry experts. Courses vary in price, and many are offered free of charge.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a not-for-profit organization that offers free courses in computer programming, science, history, and more. Classes are delivered in short video presentations, making it an accessible way to build and maintain your skillset from home. Many of Khan Academy’s classes target younger learners, but it is still a great place to introduce yourself to such topics as computer programming, entrepreneurship, and electrical engineering.


FutureLearn partners with universities like the University of Kent and the University of Michigan, as well as institutions like the British Library and the British Film Institute, to offer a large selection of short online courses. Courses may have video, audio, and article components, and often include quizzes and assignments.


OpenLearn offers nearly one thousand introductory, intermediate, and advanced courses for free online. Topic areas range from business to design to literature, so no matter your industry you are likely to find something that will interest you. Classes will include videos, readings, and participation.

GFC Global is a free platform featuring thousands of educational courses, videos, and interactives. With topics ranging from career planning to Microsoft Office to graphic design, GCFLearnFree is a great way to begin enhancing your career. It’s never a bad idea to learn something, whether you are brushing up on your math or learning a new skill like Excel.

Academic Earth

Institutions like Columbia, Harvard, MIT, and more have all contributed top classes to Academic Earth. There are more than a thousand videos available by accomplished professors, and it is all completely free. Class subjects include business, science, engineering, and more.


YouTube, as the largest video sharing platform on the internet, is a great place to find courses and tutorials on nearly any topic. Do you want to be a web developer? Find a course in PHP or Python. Do you need to learn how to make a spreadsheet? Look for a class in Excel. Thinking of becoming a graphic designer? Classes in Photoshop, Illustrator, and more can all be found on YouTube, all for free. Simply look up the skill you want to develop and some useful courses are sure to appear.

Ben Temple

Written By

Ben Temple

Community Success Manager & CV Writing Expert

Ben is a writer, customer success manager and CV writing expert with over 5 years of experience helping job-seekers create their best careers. He believes in the importance of a great resume summary and the power of coffee.

See more posts from Ben Temple
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