14 (FREE) Online College Courses That'll Enhance Your Career Skills

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

I'm a sucker for a free online course. In fact, during the past two years, I've signed up for dozens. Just this week, I took author Marion Roach Smith's 5 Ways to Become a More Productive Writer webinar. Last week, I watched marketing and publishing experts talk about ways to engage with readers and market books. 

One thing I really love about most of the classes is that if you can't attend in real time, the hosts will send you a replay link. So, often I end up watching while I eat lunch or make dinner. (Yes, I am dividing my chilly winter days by meal times now, as in, "It's 90 minutes 'til my afternoon coffee break.")

When I received an email from Remote.co highlighting 14 free online courses covering key areas like accounting, marketing, analytics, SEO, and more, I thought I'd share the content. (I'm eyeing the Grammar & Punctuation one as a refresher since Grammarly loves to tell me I'm using commas incorrectly.)

If you're looking to expand your skill set, I hope these free courses help!


University of California, Davis


  • Introduction to Search Engine Optimization – This class is the first of an SEO specialization series and introduces you to search engine optimization. You’ll learn how the Google search engine works and why SEO best practices are always shifting. Students will also learn SEO tips and tricks to help drive more organic search results and avoid Google penalties.


University of Pennsylvania


  • Introduction to Marketing – Learn about three fundamental marketing principles and how to effectively use them in your marketing strategy. You’ll learn about branding, which helps keep loyal customers loyal; customer centricity, which is not the same as customer service; and go-to-market strategies, which help you understand what influences customers.


Duke University


  • English Composition 1 – You will learn how to read and write at the college level in this free online college class. This includes understanding the writing process, citing sources, analyzing text, writing effective arguments, and how the writing process works.


Stanford University


  • Writing in the Sciences – This class is geared toward scientists who want to be more effective writers. Using practical examples and exercises, you’ll learn the principles of good writing, how to write faster, the peer review process, grant writing, and more.


Harvard University


  • Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking – In this introductory course, you’ll learn the theory and practice of rhetoric, also known as persuasive speaking and writing. You’ll learn how to construct and defend compelling arguments and how to recognize when someone is trying to persuade you.


University of California, Berkeley


  • How to Write an Essay – Over the course of this introductory level online college class, you’ll learn the basics of writing college-level essays. By the end of the course, you’ll know how to write effective sentences and paragraphs, as well as introductions and conclusions.


University of California, Irvine

  • Grammar and Punctuation – This class is the first of a series of grammar classes and is a refresher course. You’ll learn how to identify the correct verb tense, how to use commas effectively, and many more grammar tips you may have forgotten since high school!

University of Virginia


  • Managerial Accounting Fundamentals – Learn the fundamentals of managerial accounting and how to use financial information to make decisions. You’ll discover how to describe different types of costs, conduct cost-volume-profit analysis, and understand how to determine what information to use in your decisions and which to discard.


  • Financial Accounting Fundamentals – This free online college class walks students through the three most commonly used financial statements: balance sheets, income statements, and statement of cash flows. In addition to understanding how to properly fill them in, you’ll learn how the three documents work together and how to analyze the information on them.


  • Marketing Analytics – Take your marketing to the next level through the use of analytics. This class introduces you to the different types of marketing analytics and how to interpret data. Once you can interpret the data, you’ll be able to make data-driven decisions to drive your marketing plan.


University of Illinois


  • Auditing 1: Conceptual Foundations of Auditing – This introductory class focuses on the beginning concepts of auditing. You will learn about an auditor’s professional responsibilities and the main parts of the audit process. 


West Virginia University


  • Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination – Students in this free online college class will learn about business fraud—specifically, who commits fraudulent acts, and why and how they do it. But, more importantly, you’ll also learn the techniques to help you catch them.

University of Michigan


  • Accounting for Decision Making – This class focuses on understanding and interpreting two key financial statements: balance sheets and income statements. You’ll not only learn about the “big picture” of these statements, but also the individual components of each to help guide your overall decision-making process.


  • Writing and Editing: Word Choice and Word Order – Learn how language can influence people and their decisions. You’ll learn how to take complex information and present it in a reader-friendly way. Students will also learn creative ways to construct sentences, tell compelling stories, and the best way to organize their writing. 



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