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Alyssa Powell/Business Insider
Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced coder, the internet has plenty of options to help you develop and deepen your skillsets — often completely for free.
Below, you’ll find 13 sites that offer resources for learning how to code from the comfort of your home. They vary in price and offerings, but most have free material or affordable options. You can take advantage of MIT’s OpenCourseWare where they publish virtually all MIT course content for the public, or you can earn a Google IT Automation with Python Professional Certificate for $49/month. Coursera also made 100 of its courses completely free to enroll in — including computer science classes — through December 31.
If you’re looking to pick up a specific skill, you can narrow your search by programming language or coursework. If you’re just starting out in a field, it may be worth looking at affordable or free introductory courses to get a sense of what you’d like to pursue before investing money and time into a degree or professional certificate. It’s also worth looking into any scholarships or financial aid learning sites like edX or Coursera may offer.
13 sites that will help you learn how to code online:
Codecademy serves about 45 million students — most of which are in the 18-36 age group who want to progress in their career or build a new skill. Students can access interactive basic courses for free, or pay $20 per month for a Pro subscription that includes perks like step-by-step guidance, peer support, and real-world projects.
Its content is built in-house by a small team with engagement in mind — learners earn badges and get real-time feedback as they interact with classes. You can browse its catalog of thousands of hours of instruction by subject, like programming and data science, or by language, like HTML & CSS and Python.
Codecademy has structured curriculum roadmaps like Career Paths that teach the core skills of Computer Science, Data Science, and Web Development, as well as Skill Paths focused on more specialized, shorter-term goals. You can take a quiz here if you’re not sure where you should start.
freeCodeCamp is a non-profit designed to make learning web development 100% free and to teach students by building projects and completing challenges. It may be especially useful for beginners and is sometimes incorporated into high school, college, and adult education coursework. Its LinkedIn alumni page counts more than 50,000 alumni working everywhere from Amazon to IBM and Microsoft.
It offers more than 6,000 tutorials and has a free 2,000-hour curriculum. Most of its certifications take around 300 hours to complete, according to the organization.
Coursera has courses, MasterTracks, Specializations, professional certificates, and one guided project for coding offered from notable universities like Duke, Stanford, and Princeton, and companies like IBM and Google. There’s something for both beginners and advanced learners, and while courses can typically be audited for free, certificates and graded work are usually behind a paywall.
Specializations and professional certificates typically have a free seven-day trial and are billed monthly once it ends — so the faster you complete it, the cheaper it will be. (Note: they can take anywhere from a few months to more than a year to finish and start around $39/month). Coursera’s MasterTrack options tend to be more costly — usually at least a few thousand dollars.
Coursera also has an annual $399 subscription, Coursera Plus, that includes access to 90% of the site and may end up being a cheaper option — just make sure your desired courses are included.
edX was founded by MIT and Harvard and offers free and affordable online classes, professional certificates, MicroMasters programs, and Master’s degrees from top universities like Harvard and Dartmouth and institutions like Microsoft and IBM.
Most edX courses can be audited for free, with an optional certificate of completion costing anywhere from $39-$99. Professional certificates can run around a few hundred dollars, and MicroMasters and Master’s Degrees tend to be a few thousand dollars.
Udemy has thousands of affordable courses. You can enroll in coding courses for as little as $10-$12. The site has over 150,000 courses available in over 65 languages and runs frequent sales.
MIT OpenCourseWare/Mara Leighton
MIT OpenCourseWare is MIT’s initiative to publish virtually all MIT course content — from its graduate and undergraduate level courses — online for free to increase accessibility. While you can find video lectures and helpful simulations, the MIT OpenCourseWare is like many free online learning tools: best for the sake of learning, but not a degree-granting or credit-bearing program.
With a free membership, you’ll get access to free classes on both web and mobile. But for full access to all classes and offline viewing, you’ll need a premium membership which is $19 billed monthly, or $99 upfront for the year.
LinkedIn Learning/Mara Leighton
LinkedIn Learning offers over 16,000 courses that vary in price and length, but most take under four hours. Learners can search the site by industry-specific subjects, software, or by learning paths that group related courses to master a skill.
It comes with a free one-month trial, with a subscription costing $29.99 a month or $240 a year after the trial ends.
Khan Academy/Mara Leighton
Khan Academy is entirely free. It has exercises and short video-based lessons created by experts that are typically geared towards K-12 through early college students, teachers, and parents.
They’ve also partnered with NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences, and MIT on specialized content.
You’ll find some free courses, but most are paid, with individual courses typically going for $19-$79. Learning tracks, which combine courses on a topic to help you master a skillset like DevOps for Developers or Python for Programmers, are usually $39-$470. You can also subscribe and pay $249 for the year or $59/month for unlimited access.
Pluralsight offers a free trial for 10-days or 200 minutes of content (whichever comes first), and it’s $29/month or $299/year afterward for access to courses, paths, and skill assessments for individuals. But you’ll need a premium subscription ($449/year) for access to exams, projects, and interactive courses.
The site offers a free 7-day trial for any membership, but it’s $20/month after for its most popular basic membership and up to $199/month for its TechDegrees.
Udacity offers courses that cover data science, machine learning, AI, cloud computing, and autonomous systems that range in experience level and duration. It carries about 190 free courses that don’t offer certification, as well as what it calls “nanodegree programs” that are typically a few hundred dollars and include projects, mentor support, career services, and more. The site is also currently offering free access for one month.
The site was founded shortly after two Stanford instructors, Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig, decided to offer their “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” course for free online and saw a reported 160,000 enrollments in more than 90 countries.
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