Free online resources to expand your mind

Always wanted to know more about art, philosophy or maths, or feel like learning Italian before your big holiday? Try these courses you can do at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home

Apparently an hour of learning a day in your chosen field will help make you an expert in seven years. While not all of us want to be number one necessarily, self-development and continual engagement with materials is a sure way to ensure that your career moves forward. It is also valuable to develop skills in other areas that will support your own work and broaden your mind. And sometimes you just want to brush up on your knowledge so you know what your colleagues are on about. Here are some of our favourite free online learning resources.

Open 2 Study

These 48 free courses cover valuable work topics and fascinating subjects like Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, photography and astronomy. All courses run over four weeks and there is a variety of resources, materials and tools at your disposal throughout the course. www.open2study.com

Digital Garage

This website provides free tutorials from Google on everything from your website to online marketing and more. This is super handy as all businesses must think digitally even if it doesn’t impact your everyday role. You can choose what to study or if you’re feeling particularly motivated, you get a certificate if you complete the whole online course. Subjects featured in the topic library include finding success with analytics, deep dive into social media and discovering the possibilities of mobile. digitalgarage.withgoogle.com

Codecademy

Coding is a skill that is only going to become more and more valuable. Codecademy is an education company that is trying to change the way we approach learning. Designed to be engaging, this is a different type of learning and people have used this site to go from absolute beginner to building their own websites. The catalog of modules is divided up into different languages, tools, web development and data analytics, so you can tailor your learning to suit your interests. www.codecademy.com

FutureLearn

FutureLearn has free courses on a phenomenal range of topics, such as biology, starting a business, important times in history such as World War 1. We really like the look of the course on literature and mental wellbeing. A lot of the free courses are six weeks long and require three hours work per week, but can be completed in your own time. www.futurelearn.com

Coursera

With courses from top universities like Stanford, Princeton, Johns Hopkins and more, Coursera is a great option if you want to dip in and out of subjects you’ve always wished you knew more about. Some of the courses are pretty niche, such as Dog Emotion and Cognition created by Duke University, as well as sections on personal development, math and languages. www.coursera.org

Duolingo

This website and app is in a league of its own when it comes to learning. It’s a language course that is a revolutionary way to learn and the intuitive app makes it easy to learn at your own pace and rehash what you pick up along the way. You can choose from 22 languages including Irish, and the gamification of the app is an extra motivation to keep progressing through the different levels. www.duolingo.com

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