Never stop learning. There are now hundreds, if not thousands of free online classes you can take in almost any subject. Online courses and classes are quickly moving from a novelty to the mainstream. Leading colleges, graduate schools, companies and experts are investing significant resources into free education.
These are some of the best sites, schools and experts that offer free classes you can take from the comfort of your desk if you want to start a business.
Although this course was originally taught at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, don’t expect to watch a series of lectures. Instead, every session in the syllabus is an in-depth and focused case study of MIT entrepreneurs from areas as diverse as mobile applications and 3D printing to power electronics and international development. From these case studies, you’ll learn how to go from having an idea to gaining an understanding of who will buy your product. The course is free, but you can add a MITx Certificate for $100.
Duration: 24 hours / 6 lessons
Instructed by online entrepreneur Mike Omar, this course aims to help you make money while you sleep (no, we’re not joking). The course materials were designed to make you $5,000 per month in passive income earnings. What’s more, the skills you learn in this course will allow you to build all kinds of online businesses in the future.
Duration: 12 hours / 24 lessons
3. Make a Website, Codecademy
Take this short, three-hour course to learn how to build a website from scratch using HTML and CSS. You’ll be asked to create a recent version of Airbnb’s home page and learn the fundamentals of web development in the process.
Duration: 3 hours / 5 lessons
Anyone with a basic knowledge of HTML and familiarity with CSS is encouraged to take this course taught by the World Wide Web Consortium (also known as W3C). You’ll learn to use the new simplified HTML5 tags, animate fun web graphics, and practice coding techniques through multiple interactive exercises.
Duration: 48 hours / 6 lessons
5. Beginner’s Guide to Image Editing in Photoshop, Digital Tutors
This series of step-by-step videos will teach you Photoshop terms and definitions and get you started with using basic tools and techniques. You’ll start off by resizing and resampling images, then move on to correcting the colors of an image and removing unwanted information. You’d be surprised by how much you can learn in 90 minutes!
Duration: 1.5 hours / 10 lessons
6. Online Advertising, OPEN2STUDY
Want to find out more about major digital platforms, social and mobile search, and how online ads are priced and delivered? If so, then OPEN2STUDY’s Online Advertising course is perfect for you. Be prepared to learn how to set realistic and measurable campaign objectives, identify the steps involved in digital campaign planning, and understand the process of selling an online ad program.
Duration: 16 hours / 33 lessons
7. Google Analytics, ALISON
One of the premier tools for analyzing web traffic, Google Analytics is useful whether you’re running a major international commercial website or managing a personal blog. At the end of this course, some of the skills you’ll have mastered include knowing how to see how well your paid keywords perform, determining the keywords that bring high value visits, and identifying problem areas in your campaigns.
Duration: 2 hours / 1 Lesson
8. Social Media 101, Social Media Quickstarter
Email marketing provider Constant Contact created this online tutorial to get you started on building your social media presence across all of the top social networks — from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+.
Duration: 1.5 hours / 1 Lesson
9. SEO for SEO Beginners, Udemy
Heard of SEO, but never got the chance to understand what it actually is? This is the course for you. Upon completing the class, you’ll become an expert on the three pillars of powerful SEO, resulting in you knowing how to get to the top of the search results.
Duration: 1 hour / 15 lessons
10. Diploma in E-Business, ALISON
This course will help all business owners increase their knowledge of what online marketing is and how to go about implementing a successful online marketing strategy. Concrete skills you’ll have by the end of the course include using AdSense and AdWords, analyzing revenue metrics and custom reporting, and navigating Google Analytics reports.
Duration: 10 hours / 15 lessons
11. Getting Started With Email Marketing, Skillshare
In this class, MailChimp’s Allyson Van Houten teaches you how to craft an email marketing strategy that will help you achieve your business goals. Whether you’re a small business owner, a freelancer, or a part of a startup team, you’ll be able to learn from the bite-sized lessons packed with core email marketing concepts, guiding questions, and practical resources.
Duration: 1.5 hours / 14 lessons
12. Professional Communication Essentials, Udemy
Email etiquette, letter-writing, web and URL searching: These are communication skills no professional can live without. In this hour-long online course, you’ll be equipped to communicate effectively and improve your thinking, writing, and information literacy in different electronic environments.
Duration: 1 hour / 10 lessons
This Yale University course will help you become a better negotiator. You’ll leave the course better able to predict, interpret, and shape the behavior of people you face in competitive situations. Apart from that, you’ll learn to make ultimatums, avoid regret, and deal with someone who has a very different perspective on the world. Advanced topics in this course include negotiating when you have no power, negotiating over email, and the role of gender differences in negotiation.
Duration: 11 hours / 9 lessons
14. Business Communication — Fundamentals of Business Writing, ALISON Being able to express your thoughts and ideas through writing in a clear, concise, and efficient manner is crucial in the business world. Whether you’re sending an inquiry to a company or submitting a cover letter for a job application, how the letter is written and formatted can make the difference between having it taken seriously or not. That’s why this course aims to give you the skills — and the confidence — needed to write professionally in any situation.
Duration: 3 hours / 3 lessons
15. Growth Strategies for Business, ALISON
This course is created for anyone who is interested in starting his or her own company or wants to learn more about the factors involved in growing a business. You’ll gain knowledge of the changes, transformations, strategies, and mistakes that need to be considered when growing a business internationally.
Duration: 3 hours / 5 lessons
16. Law and the Entrepreneur, Coursera
If you’re a passionate (or aspiring) entrepreneur who feels intimidated by the legal aspects of your business, this is the course for you. Designed by Northwestern University, this course covers topics such as American law on choice of entity, protecting intellectual property of the business with patent, and trademark and copyright law.
Duration: 42 hours / 6 lessons
17. Copyright Made Easy, Udemy
Designed by a licensed attorney, this class gives you a comprehensive introduction to copyright law. At the end of two hours, you’ll understand the benefits that intellectual property brings and learn how to apply copyright law to your content.
Duration: 2 hours / 8 lessons
Originally shared on Mashable (as a “45 free online classes you can take (and finish) by the end of this year”) by The Muse.