Formal education has gone far beyond the four walls of a learning institution.

Whether you want to learn a completely new skill, acquire a completely different degree, or top up your knowledge on a subject, there is no limit to the number of free online courses that can give you a great head-start. In fact, there are so many choices that it can be difficult to figure out the right platform for your chosen endeavour.

The world is moving at a fast pace and women need to keep up the pace with rapid changes. We have to embrace the new knowledge system by getting the required upgrades as that is the only way to not be left behind and consequently become irrelevant.

So whether you are a career woman, an independent business owner, a job seeker, or student; these five websites are the best platforms you cannot afford to ignore if you're keen on acquiring the relevant skills of the 21st century.



Coursera has partnered with leading universities around the world to provide online courses covering a wide range of subjects; everything from data science to musical theory. You can find over 2,000 paid and unpaid courses in over 180 fields. It also has mobile apps to enable you to learn at your own pace and they offer you a certificate at the completion of your chosen course. So if you are looking to take courses from top universities around the world, you might want to check out Coursera.



It is such an incredibly popular and valuable resource. You can search through over 55,000 courses in different fields including marketing, entrepreneurship, accounting and finance, sciences etc. You can also download the app for quick lessons and study sessions when you are on the go. Udemy courses are not free, but they start from as low as $10.

If you are an expert looking to create and launch a course of your own, you can also become an instructor with Udemy and take advantage of their massive user base to attract students.



Lynda is owned by LinkedIn, and it is a popular learning platfom for professionals looking to acquire new skills in the field of creativity, marketing, business and technology. Courses fall under categories like animation, music, business, design, development, marketing communications, photography and many more.

When you sign up with Lynda, you get a 30-day free trial and then you will be charged a fee afterwards for basic or premium membership. If you ever want to deactivate your membership and then come back later, Lynda has a reactivate€ feature that restores all your account information including your course history and progress.



Very similar to Coursera, edX offers access to higher education from over 90 of the world's leading educational institutions including Harvard, MIT, Berkley, the University of Maryland, and others. It is founded and governed by colleges and universities. You are guaranteed to receive official credentials from the institution signed by the instructor to verify your achievements.



Previously backed by the White House, Codecademy is dedicated to teaching people how to code: something more women are really beginning to get involved in – and it is available for free. While most online coding courses offer a "learn at your own pace"€ environment, Codecademy motivates learners to keep a fast pace using support groups and a game points system.

The school offers courses on a number of languages including Python and Ruby, and students are often already building and deploying projects by the time they finish their course.


Looking to learn anything new or improve on your current skill-set? These few sites are among the top established online learning environments that you can choose from to upgrade your skills and knowledge in these times and also encourage your employees (if you are a business owner) to do same. They would profit your business and life in general.