If someone told you 25 years ago (that’s 1996) that we would be using the internet for the things we use it for now would you have believed them? It’s easy to say yes in hindsight but realistically speaking cellphones were not internet devices yet, the internet was still dial-up and the speeds well, the less said the better. One aspect of the internet that has truly surprised me and yet I feel is massively underutilised is in the area of learning. Yes schools and institutions are going online and that’s great for them but I want to talk about skills you can learn online for free. These skills being key skills that businesses and the future can and will be built on.


Now, this is the hard part. The internet is a HUGE place. The courses and skills I will mention here have been offered free of charge at one point or another in time. Pointing to you to resources that currently offer all of them free is an arduous task and if I stuck to that it would water down the point of the article. The point is of course to open up your mind to some of the skills you can learn for free online. These can be used to enhance your prospects in employment or business.

Project management

Project management is huge and yet it’s been with us for quite some time. The world of business is geared more towards project work, which has made it a sought after skill set. Project Management is offered for free on LinkedIn learning and you can access it here. There are many other resources available that pop up from time to time.


Coding is big. We may not see it but with everything moving towards online the people who create the online interfaces and make things work are becoming more and more important. You can become one of those people for free. There are many different languages in coding such as Java, Python and more which you can learn for free online. I could not find resources for the courses for free at the time of writing but it does happen from time to time.

Web design and development

Web design and development are just as complex as coding at least in terms of the alternatives available out there. You have so many options to learn including WordPress, Java, Php and others.  On video sharing sites like youtube and Skillshare, you can find great tutorials on these and more web design and development systems for free.

Financial analyst

Financial analysts do work that can be considered quite complicated. There’s a lot of data crunching, some modelling, understanding how numbers relate to stories and advisory on the action. If this sounds like something you can do then consider diving into an online financial analyst course. You can find one here offered free by LinkedIn learning but also look out for it from institutions such as Harvard EdX and Yale online.

Data analyst

Data analysis is huge and going forward it is going to become more and more important. Data analysts take the numbers and look to establish patterns that can be used to predict current and future behaviour in markets of groups and right down to individuals. Here is a free data analyst course from LinkedIn learning but you should check places like Harvard EdX and Udemy.


Graphic design has always been big. But with the advent of the online world and eCommerce it’s becoming more and more important. You will see that it is becoming more and more integral to digital marketing and social media management. There are so many places you can learn graphic design programs and packages from and many more you can learn the skills to use them effectively to serve customers and make it a business.


Photography is another skill that may look like it’s on the decline but it is actually on the up. The factors that make it look like photography is on its way out (the proliferation of cameras through smartphones) are the factors that make photography more important. While anybody can now take a picture a quality picture has become more valuable especially to businesses. I could not immediately find any free photography courses have a look at YouTube and Skillshare for great tutorials.

Digital marketing

Digital marketing is also becoming a big part of the online as if it wasn’t already. Learning skills in digital marketing can set you apart in the job market as well as in business. No matter your degree of involvement in marketing, understanding digital marketing can make you better at your part of the job or business. Google offers a free digital marketing course and you can find more from places like Udemy.

This is a small list as there are many more skills you can learn online for free. These represent the best chances of skills that can be immediately used to make you better at what you do.