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25 Tech & Digital Courses You Can Do Online for Free

· Katie Wells · Culture

Upskill and bulk up your CV with these digital courses.

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From web development to social media strategy, you can boost your digital skills with these courses.

Over the last two years, UK tech employment has grown by 40%. It now accounts for 9% of the national workforce with 2.93 million jobs. That number is expected to increase exponentially over the next 10 years, so this is a lucrative industry to move into. But how can you skill up and find out if it’s the right choice for you? With these free digital courses, of course.

Unity Learn

Unity is a game engine that allows you to build 3D games and virtual reality experiences and they’ve gone all-out to help budding game-developers by launching their own online academy. It’s an education hub packed with quick tutorials, guided projects and in-depth courses, all for free. Beginners can learn how to build a game with the Creator Kit, which covers the basics of Unity Editor and C# code, while those with experience can hone their skills with tutorials on everything from AI to audio, VFX to animation.

All Unity Learn courses are available for free.

Introduction to Data Science

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Interested in data science? You can get to grips with the fundamentals on this free digital course from Alison. It’s split into two parts – you’ll start with an overview of data science itself, which explains what it is and the stages of the data science process, before you move onto the nitty gritty of machine learning. You’ll study common algorithms like regression, classification and clustering, as well as tackle the practical aspect of using Azure ML Studios for projects. Pay close attention because there’s an assessment at the end – score over 80% to pass the course.

Introduction to Data Science is available on Alison. It’s free to study, but if you want the course certificate, it will cost £20 to upgrade.

Google Analytics Academy

Google Analytics is the key to understanding how your customers use your website. It’s free to use and Google has created a dedicated academy to help you make the most of it. New to analytics? You can learn the basics on their beginner’s course. It will introduce you to the data Google collects and show you how you can evaluate it through goals and reports. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can move onto the advanced course, which covers everything from event tracking to custom reports. All their courses are free and take 4 to 6 hours to complete.

All Google Analytics Academy courses are available for free.

The Fundamentals of Code and Computers in iOS

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If you want to learn about mobile app development, check out this free coding course. It’s a 3-hour programme – the instructor will introduce you to the binary system and explain how code works in computers, then show you how to apply that knowledge to iOS. You’ll even get to put your skills to the test and write the functions for a simple iOS app. It’s a great taster for anyone interested in a career in app development, but you’ll also gain invaluable programming skills that can be applied across a huge range of industries.

The Fundamentals of Code and Computers in iOS is available on Alison. It’s free to study, but if you want the course certificate, it will cost £20 to upgrade.

iDea

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iDea is a website dedicated to helping people develop digital and enterprise skills. Rather than focusing on one area, they offer a range of mini-courses across a huge variety of subjects, so you can develop a wide-reaching understanding of the digital world. From animation to automation, big data to blockchain, you can expand your knowledge one badge at a time and work your way up from their Bronze beginner status to their Gold expert level. The courses are easy to follow and designed to make complex subjects accessible.

All iDea courses are available for free.

Agile Essentials: A Practical Guide to the Agile Process

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Agile is an iterative approach to project management and software development that has grown into a global movement adopted by businesses in every industry. It gives businesses the flexibility to respond to today’s ever-changing marketplace by building and releasing products incrementally. On this course, you’ll learn about the benefits of agile working compared to traditional methods like waterfall. It’ll walk you through the concept of sprints, user stories and product backlogs to equip you with the knowledge you need to apply the agile method to your next project.

Agile Essentials: A Practical Guide to the Agile Process is available on Alison. It’s free to study, but if you want the course certificate, it will cost £20 to upgrade.

How to Get Noticed with Social Media

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Want to learn how to use social media for business but don’t have much spare time? This 30-minute crash course will teach you the fundamentals over four bitesize video lessons. In the first, you’ll learn what social media is and why it’s important in the modern world. From here, you’ll cover the platforms you can use and how you can set realistic goals, before taking on a quick-fire lesson on how to set up profile and grow your social following. Each lesson ends with a quiz, so you can check you’ve understood what you’ve just learnt.

How to Get Noticed with Social Media is available on Google Digital Garage for free.

Diploma in Python Programming

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Python is an extremely popular programming language and you can learn how to use it with Alison’s free online diploma. Designed for complete beginners, this free coding course will teach you the basics of programming with Python. You’ll learn how to create a simple project in Visual Studio and get hands on by writing your own code, as you learn about everything from string variables to repeating events and error handling. This in-depth course takes 15 hours to complete and comes with two assessments to test your new-found knowledge.

Diploma in Python Programming is available on Alison. It’s free to study, but if you want the course certificate, it will cost £60 to upgrade. (https://alison.com/course/diploma-in-python-programming-revised)

Digital Skills: Digital Marketing

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This is a great all-round course that will teach you the basics of digital marketing. Developed by Accenture, a digital consultancy that works with 91 of the Fortune Global 100, it will show you why digital marketing is so important and how you can use it to your advantage. The course covers everything from SEO and PPC to display and email marketing, then goes one step further by explaining the importance of balancing and integrating these different strategies. Once complete, you’ll get official certification for free, so you can boast about it on your CV.

Digital Skills: Digital Marketing is available on FutureLearn for free.

Computer Programming

You can learn to code for free with Khan Academy’s Computer Programming course. It will give you the skills you’ll need to kick start your career in programming. First, you’ll be introduced to JavaScript, HTML, CSS and SQL. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll step it up a notch with tutorials on interactive webpages, natural simulations and games visualisations. The course ends with a unit called ‘Meet the Professionals’, which will show you how the skills you’ve learned can be applied to a range of global industries.

Computer Programming is available on Khan Academy for free.

AI For Everyone

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If you’re intrigued by AI and the role it will play in our future, check out this free course from IBM. No programming necessary, it’s designed to make it accessible to everyone. The instructor will guide you through how AI works, covering the concepts of machine learning, deep learning and neural networks. You’ll delve into the ethical dilemmas AI presents and how it will impact the future, before getting career advice from industry experts. As part of this course, you’ll be given the opportunity to create your own mini AI project.

AI For Everyone is available on EdX. It’s free to study, but if you want the course certificate, it will cost £38 to upgrade.

Diploma in Web Design

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Web design is an invaluable skill in the modern world and you can get up to speed with the basics on this 15-hour course. It starts with an overview of the essential tools used in web development, including HTML and CSS, then you’ll be shown how to create a website using Adobe Dreamweaver and make it your own with links, colours and images. The video lessons will walk you through each step in the process, from choosing your domain name to publishing. By the end of the diploma, you’ll have the skills you need to build your own site.

Diploma in Web Design is available on Alison. It’s free to study, but if you want the course certificate, it will cost £60 to upgrade.

Introduction to FinTech

Over the past 10 years, the world of finance has been transformed by new technologies and regulations. This free digital course from the University of Hong Kong will help you understand what’s changed, the challenges that it presents and the opportunities it’s created. Aimed at people with a background in finance, it dives into the complex relationship between finance, tech and regulation. The course takes six weeks to complete and covers everything from emerging technologies to data security and FinTech regulation in a series of video lessons.

Introduction to FinTech is available on EdX. It’s free to study, but if you want the course certificate, it will cost £154.

Understand the Basics of Code

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Don’t know your Java from your Python? This free coding course from Google Digital Garage will teach you the fundamentals. It’s aimed at people who are curious about code, but have little experience with it. The one-hour crash course starts with a simple explanation of what code is. They’ll introduce you to the different coding languages available and show you how they’re used in everything from vending machines to laptops. If you want to go beyond the basics, they have a range of courses that will teach you how to write and use code.

Understand the Basics of Code is available on Google Digital Garage for free.

SEO Fundamentals

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SEO helps you get a higher rank on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo – and the higher you rank, the more traffic you’ll get. This easy-to-follow course will introduce you to the algorithms that search engines use to rank your website and teach you the strategies you need to get a better rank. There are lots of factors to take into consideration, including keyword research, on-page optimisation and technical SEO strategy – all of which are covered, so you can get a great all-round understanding of the topic.

SEO Fundamentals is available on Coursera. It’s free to study through the audit feature, but if you want the course certificate, it will cost £37 a month to upgrade.

Introduction to Web Development

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If you’ve mastered basic programming structures like loops and if statements, you can take your learning to the next level and build an interactive website on this free coding course. It takes you through the web development process step by step, from using HTML to styling with CSS and making your page interactive in JavaScript. You’ll get to grips with the box model and the Document Object Model before designing and building your own working quiz website? This is your chance to put your newfound skills to the test.

Introduction to Web Development is available on FutureLearn. It’s free to study, but if you want the course certificate, it costs £32 to upgrade.

Database Management Essentials

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If you’re looking to get into database development or business intelligence, check out this intermediate-level course. It’s hands-on, so you’ll need to be familiar with SQL to get the most out of it. After an introduction to database technology features and relational data models, you’ll jump right into writing a CREATE TABLE statement. The video lessons will walk you through SELECT statements, entity relationship diagrams and schema conversion to help you develop your skills over the course of the 7-week programme.

Database Management Skills is available on Coursera. It’s free to study through the audit feature, but if you want the course certificate, it will cost £37 a month to upgrade.

Create a Social Media Marketing Campaign

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Want to find out how to use social media for business? This is the course for you. Aimed at beginners who want to boost their skills, it will teach you how to use different platforms and produce effective campaigns. You’ll start with an overview of what social media strategy is and how to identify your target audience, before moving onto planning, content creation and measuring success. At the end of this free digital course, you’ll have the opportunity to use what you’ve learned to create a social strategy with sample content.

Create a Social Media Marketing Campaign is available on FutureLearn for free.

Manage a Project with Digital Tools

This two-in-one course will teach you the essentials of project management and help you get a handle on the digital tools you can use to achieve project goals. It takes 7 hours to complete and follows the project management process from start to finish. You’ll learn how to create a project charter to outline the goals, resources and challenges involved. Once you’ve completed this, you’ll move onto producing budgets and tracking projects in Google Sheets, before finishing with a lesson on using Google Slides for summary reports.

Manage a Project with Digital Tools is available on Google Digital Garage for free.

Digital Skills: Web Analytics

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Digital marketing is unique, because you can see the results instantaneously. From impressions to time on page and bounce rates, every interaction is recorded, so you can see how every ad, page and post performs. But first, you have to get your head around web analytics. This 4-hour beginners course will introduce you to common analytics tools and teach you how to use them effectively. It focusses on Google Analytics, so after covering key concepts like benchmarking and measurement plans, you can practise using Google’s software.

Digital Skills: Web Analytics is available on FutureLearn for free.

Big Data Analytics: Opportunities, Challenges and the Future

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The internet produces vast amounts of data. In the last two years alone, more data was generated than in the entire human history. On Google alone, we make 40,000 search queries per second – that’s 1.2 trillion searches a year! Harnessing the power of this data has become a job in itself and this course will start you on your journey. You’ll learn what big data is, where it comes from and how the data analytics cycle works, before taking a closer look at social media and the huge data set it produces. If you’re interested in a career in analytics, this is one of the best free digital courses you can do.

Big Data Analytics: Opportunities, Challenges and the Future is available on FutureLearn for free.

Marketing in a Digital World

Instead of focussing on business strategies, this course explores how technology has transformed the relationship between marketers and customers. In a world where the customer is more involved in the marketing process than ever before, we need to rethink the way we work. Every week, you’ll take an in-depth look at how new technologies have impacted one of the four P’s of marketing – product, promotion, placement and price. This is beginner-level course has been produced by The University of Illinois.

Marketing in a Digital World is available on Coursera. It’s free to study through the audit feature, but if you want the course certificate, it will cost £37 a month to upgrade.

Introduction to E-commerce

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From everyday retail to big corporate transactions, e-commerce is used in a wide variety of businesses, so it’s a good skill to have on your CV. Split into three modules, this beginner-level course will teach you the essentials of online sales. You’ll start with an introduction to e-commerce and the business opportunities it presents, before diving into the more technical aspects of TCP/IP, routing and electronic publishing infrastructure. It takes around 3 hours to complete and includes an assessment to test your knowledge at the end.

Introduction to E-commerce is available on Alison. It’s free to study, but if you want the course certificate, it will cost £20 to upgrade.

Foundations of Project Management

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From budgeting to resource planning and problem solving, project management is an essential part of the product development process, which is why Coventry University has created a dedicated course to help you learn the basics. It will introduce you to the principles of project management, including perquisites, traditional life cycles and restraints like cost, time and resources. By the end of the course, you’ll understand the role of a project manager and have a clear idea of how to get into the industry.

Foundations of Project Management is available on FutureLearn for free.

Getting Started: Create and Manage Cloud Resources

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Google Cloud Platform is a computing platform that lets you build applications and web services using the same infrastructure as Google. It offers a range of services, including developer tools and intelligent analytics. If you’re a cloud beginner, this is one of the best free tech courses you can do. It focuses on practical training, so you’ll be given access to the Google Cloud Suite, which means you can do everything from the initial set up to writing Cloud Shell commands, deploying your first virtual machine and running applications on Kubernetes Engine. On completion, you’ll get an exclusive Google Cloud digital badge.

Getting Started: Create and Manage Cloud Resources is available on Google Digital Garage for free.