Top 11 Free Online Classes for Adults

Gaining new knowledge is not limited to a specific age range nor can it be wasted, to this effect, we have compiled a list of free online classes for adults who are interested in learning new things and want to take their career forward.

It is easy for an adult to dismiss the fact that they have to keep learning, I mean in an academic way. Many grown-ups believe since they’re older and, maybe, already have a degree, enterprise, or working in an office, they no longer need to do the whole class-learning thing anymore.

Well, you can’t blame them because they are older now and have so many responsibilities therefore the thought of academic learning, to some, feels like something that can never happen anymore. Even those who have always had an interest in gaining new knowledge and learning cutting-edge skills couldn’t keep up due to responsibilities.

Fortunately, there is a solution to this and it is online learning. Thanks to the internet, a host of online learning platforms have been developed through the internet and digital tools that you can learn with. These online learning platforms partner with major universities and industry professionals to revolutionize learning and put it under your fingertips.

With a few clicks on your computer, tablet, or smartphone with internet access, you can gain access to these platforms and start learning instantly. Whether you are a child or an adult, as long as you have the equipment listed above, you can go ahead and learn almost anything you want online.

In fact, we recently published a post on free online courses for kids and teenagers who are interested in gaining an online skill or simply want to try out online learning.

Some universities even, through these online learning platforms, offer accredited degrees, certificates, and diplomas that are recognized by organizations all over the world. There are more than 40 free online courses offered by Harvard University that you can join and get a certificate of completion.

Also, if you are an adult without a high school diploma, this is the time for you to get it in the most stress-free manner. You can get a free high school diploma online which is provided by accredited high schools and you can join them from any part of the world.

To adults who think their time of learning something new is over, online education is the solution. You get to learn from the comfort of your home, office, or wherever is convenient for you. The online classes are flexible, which means they are designed to fit into your busy schedule and not disrupt your existing responsibilities.

Unlike traditional education where there is a time for enrollment, there isn’t in online education. You can enroll in an online class at any time of the year and complete it at your own pace. Online education is a key solution for those who have always had an interest in gaining knowledge in other fields or want to polish their existing skills.

Another interesting thing about online learning is that what you can learn online is unlimited and they are mostly cheap or free. From free online computer courses to free online math courses and so much more, the list is just endless and these free online courses mostly come with certificates that are either free or paid.


Who is an Adult?

An adult is a mature, fully grown person who has reached the age of majority and is therefore regarded as independent, self-sufficient, and responsible.

Are There Online Classes Specifically Meant for Adults?

Yes, there are online classes that are specifically meant for adults. Some of the online classes usually indicate the age range that can take the course and that is how you can know if it is meant for adults or not. Also, you can know from the title of an online course that is meant for adults rather than for kids.

Looking for an online class that your kid or younger sibling can take? Don’t worry, we got you covered. If your child has potential for art, then you should look up our post on free online art classes for kids or if their interest lies in computer and programming, then look up the post here.

Can Adults Start A New Career Path Through Free Online Classes?

If you are an adult who wants to kick start a career in a new field, online classes can help take you there. Taking online classes won’t just help you start a new career path but will also help you when looking for a new job as getting a new skill can set you apart from other applicants.

Taking online classes in a new career can help you get a promotion in your workplace.

Benefits of Free Online Classes for Adults

Some of the benefits of online learning for adults have already been discussed earlier but there are still more which are:

  • Firstly, the classes are free but you may pay for the certificate which is important because it is proof that you have that skill
  • The free online classes for adults are flexible and self-paced, making you study anytime you can without disrupting your responsibilities.
  • You will have time for work, family, and friends and study from anywhere that is convenient for you. You can be less busy at work and start studying project management online.
  • You can study with others
  • It is a fun way to learn and you get to partake in cutting-edge tech

Best Free Online Classes for Adults

Here, we have compiled a list of the best free online classes for adults to take and develop themselves both academically and professionally. Each of the classes has been further discussed providing more info on them and how you can apply to any of them that interests you.

  • Nutrition, Heart Disease, and Diabetes
  • Introduction to International Criminal Law
  • Introduction to Personal Financial Planning
  • Collaborative Data Science for Healthcare
  • Business Writing Techniques
  • Philosophy and the Sciences: Introduction to the Philosophy of Cognitive Sciences
  • Materials Science: 10 Things Every Engineer Should Know
  • Nutrition and Lifestyle in Pregnancy
  • Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python)
  • Introduction to Networking
  • JavaScript Introduction

1.     Nutrition, Heart Disease, and Diabetes

This is one of the free online classes for adults offered on edX by Wageningen University & Research. This is an online course that explores the role of nutrition in relation to diseases of the circulator system and diabetes. You will learn about the etiology of heart attacks, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and common cardiovascular diseases.

The course is taught by professors and researchers in nutrition and medical fields from the university. Interested students are required to have a basic knowledge of biology before enrolling in this class. It is free to join but you won’t get a certificate unless you pay a token. With a time commitment of 6-8 hours per week, you can finish the course in 5 weeks.


2.     Introduction to International Criminal Law

Introduction to Criminal Law is one of the best free online classes for adults on Coursera and taught by Michael Scharf, a professor of law at Case Western Reserve University. The online course explores the fundamentals of international criminal law and policy and the contours of international crimes such as genocide, war, crimes, terrorism, and piracy.

The course content includes 8 modules with each module taught per week with video lectures accompanied by role-playing exercises and debates so that students can engage in conversation with one another. In a total time of 13 hours, you will be done with the course and gain skills in criminal justice, law, international law, and prosecution.


3.     Introduction to Personal Financial Planning

This is one of the free online classes for adults on edX, it is offered by Indiana University and teaches you how financial planning impacts your personal wealth over a lifetime. Since adults deal with finances every day anyway, this course can help develop your ability to work with income statements, balance sheets, budgets, and taxes to achieve your financial goals.

You can apply this knowledge both in your workplace and at home. If you are looking to kick start a career in business or finance or accounting, this is probably the best place to start. The course is free to take but you will need to pay for the certificate. The course duration is 4 weeks with a time commitment of 4-6 hours per week.


4.     Collaborative Data Science for Healthcare

This is one of the free online classes for adults offered by the prestigious MIT. The online course is designed for front-line clinicians, public health practitioners, computer scientists, engineers, and social scientists.

It provides a basic survey of data science tools in healthcare through several hands-on workshops and exercises and it also highlights the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to health data science.

It is recommended that the course should be taken as part of a team consisting of individuals in the various professions listed above. When you complete this course, you will gain more knowledge and acquire more skills that can put you up for promotion in your workplace.

The course duration is 12 weeks with a time commitment of 2-3 hours per week.


5.     Business Writing Techniques

On our fifth list of free online classes for adults is the course, Business Writing Techniques, offered on edX by Doanex. Joining the course, you will explore the various communication styles of business writers, the best practices of business writing by providing real-world scenarios and applications, and examine how to use the 6 C’s to improve your business message.

Enrollment into this online class is done any time in the year and you study at your own pace and finish whenever you can.


6.     Philosophy and the Sciences: Introduction to the Philosophy of Cognitive Sciences

This online course is offered by the University of Edinburgh and taught by 11 of its professors from the faculty of arts and humanities. It is offered online on Coursera and has 4 modules with each module taught to students per week. Each of the topics consists of lecture videos and a quiz to enhance your learning of the subject matter.

At the end of the class, you will gain in-depth knowledge on some areas and topics at the intersection of philosophy and the sciences. You will also gain an understanding of some key questions and conceptual problems arising in the cognitive sciences. Finally, you will develop critical skills to evaluate and assess these problems.


7.     Materials Science: 10 Things Every Engineer Should Know

This is one of the free online classes for adults designed for those who are aspiring to pursue a career in engineering or want to switch to a career in engineering. The course explores 10 things ranging from the menu of materials available to engineers in their profession to the many mechanical and electrical properties of materials important to their use in various engineering fields.

If you are already in the engineering field and want to sharpen your skill to appear more professional and become even more knowledgeable, this is a course you should consider enrolling in. It is offered online on Coursera by the University of California, Davis or UC Davis.


8.     Nutrition and Lifestyle in Pregnancy

If you are expecting a child or simply preparing yourself for the pregnancy journey, then you should add this online class along with some online antenatal classes. The course offers an overview of the latest research findings and international recommendations on a variety of nutrition-related aspects and outcomes of pregnancy.

You will learn the right nutrient recommendation, exercises, and overall lifestyle during pregnancy. This will help you avoid pregnancy complications and have a safe delivery. Nurses and others in the healthcare field can also take up this course.


9.     Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python)

The University of Michigan in collaboration with edX is offering this online programming course for beginners. To join the course, you don’t need to have prior knowledge of programming as you will be learning from scratch. You will learn the variables, conditional execution, repeated execution, and how to use functions

This course is designed for adults who want to get into programming, this basic programming course is the best place to start and gradually progress into intermediate and then advanced. The course is free to enroll but you won’t get a certificate of completion unless you upgrade which costs a few dollars. Enrollment is also at any time of the year.


10.  Introduction to Networking

This is one of the free online classes for adults offered by NYU on edX. It is a self-paced course that explores the fundamentals of networking and covers topics on the network layer, transport layer, link layer, network security, computer networking, and application layer.

You will gain skills and knowledge of networking applications and protocols such as HTTP, SMTP, and FTP. You will also learn how to describe peer-to-peer networks, describe computer networks, and so much more. You can get a certificate when you pay for an upgrade.


11.  JavaScript Introduction

One of the most sought-after individuals in today’s world is those with digital skills. JavaScript is a web development and programming language and one of the most sought-after skills in the digital space.

Introduction to JavaScript is one of the free online classes for adults and presents an opportunity for you to learn about it and maybe kick start a career in web development or programming.

The course teaches the basics of JavaScript, therefore, you don’t need to have prerequisite knowledge before learning the course. From here, you can advance your knowledge through other online programming classes and build your way to becoming an expert web developer.

The free course does not come with a certificate unless you upgrade which will cost some dollars.


This wraps up the free online classes for adults and I hope you are able to find an online course that interests you. Engaging in one or more of these courses will take you forward both at the professional and academic level, this is an opportunity, seize it now.

Free Online Classes for Adults – FAQs

Is it worth taking free online courses as an adult?

Taking free online classes as an adult is totally worth it and comes with many benefits. If you are looking to explore a new career path or gain the latest skills and knowledge in your field, taking an online course will help take you there faster.

Are there government free courses for adults?

Yes, there are government free courses for adults and some of them are offered online.