2017 RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP RANKING BEST FREE ONLINE COURSES WITH CERTIFICATES
2017 Guide to Free Online Courses with Certificate of Completion
The job market is incredibly competitive these days, which means that being qualified is a critical component to landing the job of your dreams.
Employers want to see you continuing to learn and grow in ever-changing fields, but returning to school every few years is cost-prohibitive for most people.
What if you could find free online courses with certificates that would allow you to improve your resume at little to no cost? Many new platforms are developing the ability to offer free online certifications. Top courses from well-known universities, including Harvard and UC Berkeley, are releasing some of their more popular material in a free and supportive online environment.
Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Free Online Courses with Certificates
By attending these online courses with certificates, you are making yourself into a more competitive individual when applying for jobs. Keep your skills sharp and your resume polished to see what a few additional education credits from free online courses with certification could do for you.
AdvisoryHQ knows that it can be overwhelming to search for online certificate courses from the numerous platforms available. We’ve compiled this ranking of the top online certification courses to cover a spectrum of topics. From computer science to popular psychology, you’ll find key concepts to make you a more appealing candidate and to improve knowledge just for yourself.
AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best Free Online Courses with Certificates
List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the classes below to go directly to the detailed review section for that free online course):
- Coursera’s Innovation for Entrepreneurs: From Idea to Marketplace
- Coursera’s Marketing in a Digital World
- EdX’s Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Excel
- EdX’s Introduction to Computer Science
- EdX’s The Science of Happiness
- Udacity: How to Build a Startup
Top 6 Best Free Online Courses with Certificates | Brief Comparison
Free Online Certificate Courses
Coursera’s Innovation for Entrepreneurs: From Idea to Marketplace
University of Maryland
Customer discovery, product understanding and prototyping, building a team
Coursera’s Marketing in a Digital World
University of Illinois
Digital tools for product development and distribution, customer connection, and pricing
EdX’s Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Excel
Interpreting and analyzing data in Microsoft Excel
EdX’s Introduction to Computer Science
Algorithmic thinking and efficient problem-solving
Edx’s The Science of Happiness
Udacity: How to Build a Startup
Revenue models, partnerships, human resources, developing a business model
Table: Top 6 Best Free Online Courses with Certificate of Completion | Above list is sorted alphabetically
What Are Free Online Certificate Courses?
The internet has become more and more popular in recent decades, which finally allowed it to become one of the top sources for education as well. Consumers are able to work on coursework for free certification courses online from the comfort and convenience of their couch or local coffee shop. But how do these free online certificate courses really work?
They are offered through what is commonly known as a massive open online course, or MOOC. Top universities and schools are offering video series and lectures through popular platforms, along with assignments to reinforce the knowledge. While not all of the free online certificate courses will have personalized feedback, many of them now offer grades, midterms, and final exams to strengthen concepts even further.
You can find some of these massive open online courses through websites such as EdX, Coursera, Udacity, and Udemy. The types of schools and the specific free online courses with certificate of completion offered through each one are completely unique.
In most circumstances, access to the curriculum, lectures, and assignments is available at no cost to you as the consumer. This is a great way to use free online certifications to add a few skills to your repertoire or advance your education for your own personal gain.
Unfortunately, if you would like to leave these free online courses with certificates in your hand, there could be an additional cost.
Many platforms offer what is known as a verified certificate of completion. These free online certificate courses will allow you to access the material for free to complete the class, but the certificate at the end will cost you a fee. Expenses for the online certificate courses with a verified certificate of completion can run the gamut.
On our ranking, you will see plenty of online courses with certificates available for around $40. This makes for a relatively inexpensive way to add a few skills to your resume and increase the likelihood of a hire in your preferred job field. Stay competitive by taking advantage of training in free online courses with certificates.
AdvisoryHQ’s Selection Methodology
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Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Free Online Courses with Certificates
Below, please find the detailed review of each class on our list of free online courses with certificate of completion. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these free online certificate courses to score so highly in our selection ranking.
Coursera’s Innovation for Entrepreneurs: From Idea to Marketplace Review
Students who are interested in taking free online courses with certificates to build up their own business will love Coursera’s Innovation for Entrepreneurs: From Idea to Marketplace course. Part of a larger specialization for an MBA in technology entrepreneurship, these free online certificate courses allow you to get started learning basic concepts.
These free courses online with certificates are designed to be completed in just five weeks. Work should take roughly three to five hours to complete each week. The original course is offered through the University of Maryland and is taught by Dr. Thomas J. Mierzwa of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute.
Topics included in these particular free online certificate courses are:
- Customer discovery
- Product understanding
- Building a team
Access to these free online certification courses doesn’t cost you anything. You may view most of the curriculum and assignments without paying a penny to the Coursera platform. However, this will only be sufficient if you want the knowledge just for yourself instead of the free courses online with certificates.
If you desire to complete the whole entrepreneurship specialization to put on an updated resume, you will need to pay for and finish the four classes, including the Capstone Project. The cost for the online certification courses available comes to $39 each month.
Coursera’s Marketing in a Digital World Review
For those who have no prior experience with digital marketing, Coursera offers a highly recommended Marketing in a Digital World class from the University of Illinois. Rated one of the Top 10 Hottest Classes for Professionals in 2015 by NC Magazine, these free online certificate courses can help you to improve the marketing of your business.
These free online courses with certificates are designed to last for a total of four weeks. Each week consists of approximately six to eight hours’ worth of materials and assignments before the free online certification courses are completed.
Topics that will be covered include:
- Digital tools for developing new products
- Digital tools for persuading consumers to make a purchase
- Digital tools for distributing products
- Digital tools for establishing a price structure
Like many of the free online courses with certificates, Coursera’s Marketing in a Digital World is free to audit. However, the certificate itself comes with an additional cost if you will need it to show future employers ($79).
Keep in mind that this is the first course in a series of six that qualify as free online degree courses with certificates. They are a part of the digital marketing specialization to help beginners and seasoned professionals hone their digital skills when it comes to effective product development and sales.
In order to qualify for the free online courses with certificates for the entire specialization, you must complete all requirements. Five courses must be completed as well as the final Capstone Project. The total cost to earn this specialization with online certificate courses is currently discounted to $426.
EdX’s Analyzing and Visualizing Data in Excel Review
Unlike many of the free online courses with certificate of completion offered by top universities, this course in Analyzing and Visualizing Data in Excel is offered by Microsoft itself. Consumers who want to add a few technical skills to their resume or cover letter can benefit from the knowledge included in these free certification courses online.
In these free online certification courses, you can find all of the information you need to improve your skills in multiple areas:
- Gathering and transforming data
- Combining data in mashups
- Data model creation
- Visualizing data
In just six weeks, you can completely finish these free online courses with certification. Expect to spend roughly two to four hours each week covering the material offered by instructors. The teachers for these free certification courses online work directly for Microsoft, one as a senior program manager for Excel and the other as a senior content developer for Microsoft.
As with most of the best free online courses with certification, you can receive access to all of the information and curriculum at no cost. This is a great way to enhance your resume with additional skills and knowledge without paying for an online degree out of your pocket.
However, you will not have an official and verified certificate of completion without paying. The cost is relatively minimal to officially add these new skills into your repertoire with their online certificate courses at just $49.
If you choose to audit these free online courses with certificate of completion, you can print your progress reports as proof of your achievement without paying for the certificate itself. This is a great way around paying for the online certificate courses while still showing a future employer that you have done the work necessary to improve yourself.
Image Source: EdX
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EdX’s Introduction to Computer Science Review
One of the most popular free online courses with certificate of completion, the Introduction to Computer Science course from EdX replicates Harvard’s largest business class. Taught at an introductory level, you can take advantage of these free online degree courses with certificates to boost your knowledge of programming.
Skills taught in these free online courses with certificate of completion include thinking algorithmically and solving technological problems with a greater degree of efficiency. Other key concepts covered include:
- Data structures
- Web development
A verified certificate from EdX is available through their Introduction to Computer Sciences online certification courses. Unfortunately, opting to receive the certificate does have a small fee associated with it. This is one of their free online courses with certificates that come with a verification fee.
The certificate itself is available for an additional $90.
However, keep in mind that you can take advantage of their free courses online with certificates without a charge. Progress reports are available to prove participation to an employer at no cost to you.
EdX’s The Science of Happiness Review
Slightly different from many of the technology and business based free online courses with certificates included on our ranking, The Science of Happiness ranked in the top ten courses from EdX for 2016. These free online certificate courses will allow you to take a deeper look into your own happiness and the psychology behind it.
Image Source: EdX
When you enroll in The Science of Happiness, you should plan on spending eight weeks studying the materials. It will take an estimated four to five hours each week, in addition to your midterm and final exam.
What will you learn in these free online courses with certificate of completion? This psychology course is highly recommended by Huffington Post for promoting knowledge about positive psychology. Important concepts studied within the curriculum include:
Like all of the free online courses with certificate of completion available through EdX, this class is free to take. However, it will not provide you with the verified certificate of completion unless you put forth the additional money and information necessary to process your credit.
These free online courses with certificate of completion are still relatively inexpensive in comparison to some of the others. The certificate will come to a mere $49 for a course directly from UC BerkeleyX.
As with all of the online certification courses from EdX, progress reports are available to demonstrate your achievement at no additional cost to you. These can be a wonderful tool to show employers your growth without paying out-of-pocket for the certificate itself.
Udacity’s How to Build a Startup Review
One of the more helpful free online courses with certificates, Udacity’s How to Build a Startup gives students an opportunity to work through a rough business model. This course itself is only a free course with no certificate to offer. However, you can walk through the entire program to earn what is known as a “Nanodegree.”
The How to Build a Startup course offers beginners an opportunity to work through the essential elements of starting a company. Information is provided to help you learn the basics of what a startup is, how to develop a business model, and how to care for consumers. Specific information on the course includes:
- Revenue models
- Human resources
- Market opportunity analysis
These online certification courses should take approximately one month to complete.
Udacity’s free online courses with certificates are structured differently than some of the other companies. In this example, they provide online courses with certificates, but the verification of your completion is only available when you complete their Nanodegree program.
These free online courses with certificates are included under the large umbrella of a virtual reality developer, nanodegree. In order to receive the verification of your completion, the most popular nanodegree program begins at just $199 per month. This cost covers all curriculum, personalized feedback, a portfolio of credentials, and career support.
Image Source: Udacity
Conclusion—Top 6 Best Free Online Courses with Certificates
Gain a few new marketable skills or enhance your own personal life with some of the information contained within these free online courses with certificate of completion. Whether you need new skills for building your business model or just want to pursue a happier life, top universities have a lot to offer in their free online certifications.
Depending on what you hope to do professionally, you may find that some of these free online degree courses with certificates will be a perfect fit to develop a new skillset. Others will be great free certification courses online for your own enjoyment or advanced knowledge.
You’ll have to decide for yourself what you hope to gain from these free online courses with certificate of completion. Not only that, but determine how much money you intend to spend on your free online certificate courses. The cost of a verified certificate you can pass on to a potential employer is a top consideration when deciding between several free courses online with certificates.
Education doesn’t have to end once you have your degree in hand. Make the most of the massive open online courses and their free online courses with certificates to keep your mind sharp.
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