The Best Free Online Courses: The 2024 Tech Guide

CareerFoundry Marketing Content Editor Jaye Hannah

Between post-pandemic economic uncertainty and rising inflation, it’s no secret that we live in a time of great change.

Still, the demand for talented tech professionals has never been higher—and taking advantage of free online courses is a great way to gain new skills and prepare for a shifting job market. 

From UI design to cyber security, there’s an abundance of credible free online tech courses that’ll allow you to master the fundamentals of a new discipline (without the financial burden). 

Need help figuring out where to start? We’ve got you! Read on for our roundup of the 12 best free online tech courses you can do to kick-start your career change in 2024. 

  1. Careerfoundry’s 5-day free online courses 
  2. Hubspot’s Inbound Marketing certification
  3. Udemy’s Mockplus RP UX/UI Design course 
  4. Simplilearn’s Intro to Python
  5. Georgia Tech’s Intro to UX 
  6. FreeCodeCamp’s Responsive Web Design Course 
  7. Udacity’s Intro to HTML and CSS
  8. Harvard University’s Introduction to Computer Science
  9. Learn UX’s Usability Course 
  10. IBM’s Python Basics for Data Science 
  11. OpenLearn’s Learn to Code for Data Analysis
  12. Enavo Tut+’s UI design for beginners

1. Careerfoundry’s 5-day free online courses

a screenshot of the free online courses section of the careerfoundry websiteCareerFoundry is a world-renowned online learning platform that offers self-paced career-change programs in several digital disciplines. On a CareerFoundry program, you’ll work alongside mentors, tutors, and career specialists who’ll help you navigate the challenges of breaking into tech as a complete beginner. 

A career change is a significant commitment. That’s why CareerFoundry allows you to try before you buy, with free five-day short courses in UX design, UI design, web development, digital marketing, product management, and data analytics.

Each day, you’ll get a bite-sized tutorial delivered straight to your inbox—which features a mix of video walk-throughs, written tutorials, and interactive tasks. There’s also a quiz at the end to test your knowledge. 

2. Hubspot’s Inbound Marketing Certification

Hubspot’s Inbound Marketing Certification is hailed as one of the top marketing certifications in the industry. Featuring a combination of interactive and comprehensive tutorials, this course provides a practical, beginner-friendly introduction to the world of digital marketing.

The course content focuses on attracting and converting leads, content strategy for lead generation and nurturing, and analytics reporting. In other words, it covers all the in-demand skills a digital marketing specialist needs to land their first role. 

3. Udemy’s Mockplus RP UX/UI Design Basics Course 

Udemy is an online learning and knowledge-sharing platform offering thousands of free online tech courses and tutorials on almost any skill—including their brand new Mockplus UX/UI Design Basics Course

To bring their designs to life, every beginner UX/UI designer needs to master a tool or application. Mockplus is a rapid prototype-building platform that enables designers to turn design ideas into interactive projects quickly and easily. In this video-based short course, you’ll learn your way around the tool and its features—and produce (and export) a prototype of your own. 

4. Simplilearn’s Python for Beginners

a screenshot from simply learn's website of the free online course, intro to python

Python is a versatile programming language that can create everything from simple web apps to complex AI projects. While it’s not as beginner-friendly as HTML and CSS, you can still grasp it fairly quickly—especially when learning through clearly explained videos, as with Simplilearn’s Python for Beginner’s course

Through 10 hours of video content, which you can watch at your own pace, Simplilearn’s Intro to Python course covers all the fundamental principles of using Python. From basic concepts to advanced methods, you’ll learn ​​user-defined functions, object-oriented programming, scripting, and more. 

5. Georgia Tech’s Introduction to User Experience Design

Provided by The Georgia Institute of Technology, which happens to be one of the USA’s top research universities, ​​this Introduction to User Experience Design course on Coursera is a must-take for those looking to get up to speed with fundamental usability and design principles. The course mantra is  “Design is a systematic and data-driven process,” which refers to UX design as a cycle of discovery. 

This six-hour online course covers the fundamentals of UX design, from user research to prototyping. With a mix of videos, tutorials, and quizzes, this course will see you gain the foundations in one of the industry’s most in-demand skills in just one day.

6. FreeCodeCamp’s Responsive Web Design

A screenshot of the free online course Responsive Web Design by FreeCodeCamp

FreeCodeCamp is a popular online education platform that offers extensive resources, exercises, and certifications to upgrade your web development skills—all with a vibrant online community backing it up. 

FreeCodeCamp’s new Responsive Design Course will see you use HTML and CSS to build dynamic web experiences that can be scaled and configured for different screen sizes, including a quiz site, a photo gallery, and a magazine article layout. 

7. Udacity’s Intro to HTML and CSS

Udacity is another excellent site for those looking to improve their skills arsenal with accessible, high-quality educational content. One of their most popular offerings is the Intro to HTML and CSS free online course, a self-paced program taught by industry experts and geared towards complete beginners. 

Through engaging media, you’ll learn everything you need to know to start building dynamic webpages—including key concepts like defining HTML structures, styling presentations using CSS, using flexbox layouts, code editors, and more.  

8. Harvard University’s Introduction to Computer Science

a screenshot from Harvard's website of the free online course, introduction to computer science

We know what you’re thinking: Harvard University on a free course list? Through the EdX platform, Harvard offers a range of world-class free IT courses in topics ranging from data analytics to machine learning.

Its esteemed Introduction to Computer Science provides a comprehensive deep dive into programming fundamentals, where you’ll learn how to solve real-world problems across biology, finance, gaming, and more.

While self-paced, the course requires a slightly more considerable time commitment—specifically, 10-20 hours per week over 11 weeks. But not only will you join an engaged global community of learners, but you’ll also benefit from the prestige of having Harvard on your tech resume!

9. Learn UX’s Usability Course

Looking for a one-stop shop to build on your UX skills? Look no further than! Created by veteran designer Greg Rog, this extensive platform offers free and paid courses on the latest technologies and tools, perfect for newbies wanting to dip their toes in or experienced professionals looking to hone their skillset. 

Their free Usability Course is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to gain a deeper understanding of how people interact with technology—and how to design intuitive and enjoyable experiences. The course covers the fundamentals of usability testing, including user research, prototyping, and usability analysis. It also dives into more advanced topics such as heuristics, cognitive biases, and recommended design patterns. 

10. IBM’s Python Basics for Data Science

IBM’s Python Basics for Data Science course is an excellent way to master the fundamentals of the powerful Python programming language. 

Geared towards tech-savvy data professionals, you’ll learn how to use Python in data science contexts—from defining variables, to sets and conditional statements.

The course also introduces problem-solving strategies that can be applied to real-world data science challenges, making it perfect for individuals looking to build a strong foundation in Python programming before moving on to more advanced data science topics.

If you’re interested in a data career or already have some programming experience, this course is a great way to gain a competitive edge and stand out in the tech job market. 

11. OpenLearn’s Learn to Code for Data Analysis

a screenshot from Open Learn's website of the free online course, learn to code for data analysis

Professionals who can work with software and data are in high demand—and this Learn to Code for Data Analysis course by OpenLearn will see you gain fundamental skills in both, making you all the more employable. 

Over 24 hours of self-paced study, you’ll get stuck in with the various techniques and methods used to collect, store, and analyze data. With step-by-step guidance, interactive examples, and expert advice from experienced coders, learners of all backgrounds can gain an understanding of data science and programming concepts. You’ll also get access to real data from organizations like the World Health Organisation and the World Bank.

12. Envato Tut+’s UI Design for Beginners

With 1.13 million subscribers, Envato Tuts+ is a channel every aspiring designer should follow. They post follow-along tutorials that help beginner designers level up their skills while providing invaluable insights into the psychology of design. 

Among their most popular videos is the UI Design for Beginners course, taught by industry-leading designer Daniel White. 

At each stage, Daniel explains critical design theories—like sizing, spacing, and positioning—so you can see how to apply fundamental principles in real-time. He also links out to source files and UI kits, so you have everything you need to get stuck in with designing straight away.

Key takeaways

In our era of digital innovation, it’s an exciting time to consider a career change into tech.

Gaining new, in-demand skills has also never been more accessible: With so many free online tech courses available, you don’t need a hefty savings pot to start making the switch. All you need is a laptop, a stable internet connection, and enough time (and dedication) to commit to the course. 

Without the burden of a financial commitment, you use the free short courses to dip your toes into different fields—and continue experimenting until you find a career path that’s right for you.

Speak to one of our program advisors for more information on how you can start your career change journey, or dive right into one of our free courses

If a career change is on your to-do list this year, we think you’ll find these related blog posts helpful: 

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