The internet is full of free learning resources that can help you develop professional and personally. You can learn how to code, create a winning presentation, design, develop and study and all without spending a penny.
Here are five companies giving their resources and knowledge away for free:
HubSpot is a multinational inbound marketing company that sells software to businesses. The company specialises in social media, among other things, and it has written and published some informative, free and easy to read white papers.
These document everything from how businesses can get the most out of Facebook to what makes a good tweet. The white papers tackle the nuts of bolts of social media marketing and, depending on the individual paper, are pitched as introductory, intermediate and advanced guides.
Some of HubSpot’s other giveaways include free email and social media templates for designers and as well as stock imagery.
What you’ll learn: professional marketing skills
Codecademy breaks each language into a series of games or exercises that form part of an overall learning track. Users receive badges and streaks for progressing through each learning track. The various tracks are good for beginners and for more advanced programmers, and the Codecademy forums are full of helpful tips and additional challenges.
What you’ll learn: how to code
Tuts+ is an online learning resource for creative professionals.
The site teaches people how to use graphics applications like Photoshop and Illustrator. It shows people how to develop using languages like those featured on Codecademy, and it also lets people sharpen their audio and video editing skills using programmes like After Effects and Logic Pro X.
I spent some time working through the various Photoshop and Illustrator exercises. The tutorials are well-written and, for the most part, are easy to follow. The only caveat is that you will still need the relevant premium software to complete Tuts+ exercises.
Users can also subscribe to a premium version of Tuts+ and gain access to the source files for each exercise. Premium access is far from essential though and the free resources are rather excellent.
What you’ll learn: industry standard software for creative professionals
Alison is an Irish-based online learning provider for students around the world. It teaches a number of free courses in areas like business, economics, law and finance.
Students receive diplomas for completing these courses and over two million people have studied with Alison to date.
Alison is not a complete replacement for a classroom learning environment, but it is a comprehensive learning resource. Its various courses are suitable for:
- People curious about studying something new
- Those who want to skill up in a particular area
- Would-be students who don’t have the time or money for a classroom education
What you’ll learn: whatever you want
5. SlideShare and Prezi
Almost every professional will have to give or prepare a presentation at some point in their careers. PowerPoint is the staple tool for presentations and many people are content to use – and arguably bore listeners – with the default templates.
The former is a free online resource for sharing top presentations. The best presentations trend in a chart similar to YouTube’s. It’s worth browsing these to get ideas and see other peoples’ templates. SlideShare uploads can even be embedded directly into people’s webpages, making it a useful tool for business people.
The latter is a free cloud-based presentation software that looks nothing like PowerPoint. Presentations are created on a zoomable canvas, which users navigate like a journey. There’s a small learning curve to Prezi but the results are quite distinctive.
Although Prezi is cloud-based, users can also download and play offline versions of their presentations using Prezi software.
What you’ll learn: the art of a good presentation