7 of the Best Online Learning Classes for Small Business Workers

March 22, 2017 Pete Jansons

Beautiful smiling female student using online education service. Young woman looking in laptop display watching training course and listening it with headphones. Modern study technology concept

For a small business, providing employees with opportunities to expand their skills and knowledge with continuing education classes and training is invaluable. Not only do employees bring what they’ve learned to their own roles, which benefits the business overall, they also tend to be more satisfied in their jobs and more loyal to their companies. Unfortunately, small businesses do not have unlimited funding to put toward employee education and training. Fortunately, that’s no longer a problem, thanks to the variety of free (or almost free) online learning classes available for individuals of every level to take advantage of. Consider the following:

Udemy: Udemy offers self-paced courses in almost every discipline you could think of – from development to business to creative writing. Some are free while most are reasonably priced – and the site often has price-slashing sales. Sample classes include: Digital Art 101: From Beginner to Pro, The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0 and Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery

freeCodeCamp: Calling itself “an open source community that helps you learn to code,” freeCodeCamp is one of many code-teaching websites that offer free classes for anyone who wants to learn this increasingly in-demand skill. Users have access to free, interactive courses and tutorials, can get real-time help from experts via chat and can meet other coders nearby, among other benefits. Sample topics include HTML5, JavaScript, CSS3 and GitHub.

HubSpot Academy: HubSpot Academy offers a free inbound marketing certification for marketing pros, entrepreneurs or anyone looking to grow their business through inbound marketing. Course topics include SEO, blogging, email marketing, social media, and reporting and analytics.

edX: Founded by Harvard University and MIT, edX’s mission is to “increase access to high-quality education for everyone, everywhere.” edX offers over 950 free courses, across various disciplines, from its over 90 partners, including UC Berkley, Dartmouth, and Notre Dame. There’s even a MicroMasters program, with courses designed to accelerate your Master’s degree. Sample courses include: Artificial Intelligence, Marketing Analytics: Data Tools and Techniques, Professional Android App Development and Advanced Leadership for Engineers.

Coursera: Like edX, Coursera partners with top universities – Johns Hopkins, Stanford and Duke, to name a few – to offer free classes “taught by top instructors from the world’s best universities and educational institutions” to anyone, from anywhere, in almost any field of interest. Courses start as low as $29 and include Data Analysis and Presentation Skills, Economics of Money and Banking, and Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills.

LearnVest: An estimated 37 percent of employees at small businesses live paycheck to paycheck, and 67 percent are in debt. So even if you’re not in the financial services industry, LearnVest’s library of on-demand and live-streaming courses can turn your employees into better financial planners. LeanVest covers everything from budgeting and home buying to smart investing and retirement. Remember, the less they worry about their own money matters, the more present they can be at their job.

Duolingo: If you’re looking to expand your business overseas, Duolingo is worth looking into. Duolingo utilizes gamification to teach users a second language (or third or fourth) in a way that’s “fun and addictive,” according to its website. And by downloading Duolongo’s Android and iOS apps, users can easily learn while on a lunch break or on the go. Courses include German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Greek.

Want more employee training resources? Check out Inexpensive Ways to Fund Employee Training and Education


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