7 of the best online learning platforms to advance your career (or side hustle)

When we spend so much of our time online, we’re bound to learn something while clicking and scrolling. Discover something new with Mashable’s series I learned it on the internet.

In the past few years, technological advancements and high demand for accessible, low-cost education have led to ridiculous growth in the online learning sector. (For some perspective, experts predicted in 2018 that the e-learning industry would hit $325 billion by 2025 — that’s triple its revenue from ten years prior.) So, while the coronavirus pandemic didn’t launch the online learning boom, it sure didn’t hurt its case.  Read more…More about Tech, Online Learning, Mashable Shopping, I Learned It On The Internet, and Culture IMAGE: Udemy


With tens of thousands of classes on both hard and soft skills, Udemy lets you curate your own education on a budget.

* Accredited: No
* Price: Select classes are free; paid courses range from $19.99 to $199.99
* Free trial: No
* Number of courses available: 130,000+
* Subject areas: Design, development, marketing, IT and software, personal development, business, photography, and music
* Team/enterprise plans available: Yes (Udemy for Business)

IMAGE: LinkedIn


This subscription-based e-learning platform from the site that powers your job search can help you flesh out the “professional skills” portion of your résumé.

* Accredited: No
* Price: $29.99/month or $239.88/year; free with LinkedIn Premium
* Free trial: Yes
* Number of courses available: 16,000+
* Subject areas: Project Management Institute (PMI), programming languages, illustration, drawing, leadership skills, spreadsheets, NASBA Continuing Professional Education (CPE), data analysis, design thinking, personal effectiveness, data science careers, creativity, job searching, big data, and web design business
* Team/enterprise plans available: Yes

IMAGE: Skillshare


Skillshare students come out of its hands-on classes with strong, portfolio-worthy projects.

* Accredited: No
* Price: Select courses are free; upgrade to Skillshare Premium for $19.99/month or $99.99/year
* Free trial: Yes
* Number of courses available: 29,000+
* Subject areas: Animation, design, illustration, lifestyle, photo/film, business, technology, and writing
* Team/enterprise plans available: Yes (Skillshare for Teams)

IMAGE: Coursera


From short, portfolio-worthy projects you can complete in an afternoon to full-fledged online degrees, Coursera is your one-stop shop for an online college-level education.

* Accredited: Coursera itself is not accredited, but some of its classes are
* Price: Free to $99 per course; $9.99 per Guided Project; $39 to $99/month per Specialization; $39 to $99/month per Professional Certificate; approx. $2,000 $6,000 per MasterTrack Certificate; approx. $9,000 – $45,000 per degree; $399/year for Coursera Plus
* Free trial: Yes
* Number of courses available: 4,600 courses plus 1,000 Guided Projects, 500+ Specializations, 45 certificates, and 25 degrees
* Subject areas: Arts and humanities, business, computer science, data science, IT, health, math and logic, personal development, physical science and engineering, social sciences, language learning
* Team/enterprise plans available: Yes (Coursera for Business)

IMAGE: Treehouse


Friendly and collaborative, Treehouse is the place to go for a coding education that’ll help you land a sweet gig in tech.

* Accredited: No
* Price: $29.99/month for access to Treehouse’s library of courses and tracks; $199/month per Techdegree
* Free trial: Yes
* Number of courses available: 285 individual classes, 93 practice exercises, 196 workshops, 41 tracks, and 5 Techdegrees
* Subject areas: 21st-century skills, Android, APIs, business, C#, computer science, CSS, data analysis, databases, design, development tools, digital literacy, EDI (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion), Go, HTML, Java, JavaScript, learning resources, machine learning, PHP, Python, quality assurance, Ruby, and security
* Team/enterprise plans available: Yes (Treehouse for Teams)

IMAGE: Khan Academy


This nonprofit educational platform won’t bring any extra pizazz to a résumé, but if you need to brush up on some core academic skills (or help your kiddo with their homework), it’s just the ticket.

* Accredited: No
* Price: Free
* Free trial: N/A
* Number of courses available: Not specified, but there are 70,000 practice problems available in addition to videos, articles, and quizzes
* Subject areas: Math, science, computing, test prep, arts and humanities, economics, reading and language arts, and life skills
* Team/enterprise plans available: N/A

IMAGE: MasterClass


MasterClass isn’t a replacement for a traditional education, but its celebrity instructors’ video demonstrations make for some fascinating TV.

* Accredited: No
* Price: $15/month billed annually
* Free trial: No
* Number of courses available: 100+
* Subject areas: Sports and gaming, arts and entertainment, music, writing, food, design and style, science and tech, business, home and lifestyle, community and government, and wellness
* Team/enterprise plans available: No

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