10 Great Free Online Courses for High Paying Jobs – Online Course Report

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If you’ve ever found yourself self stuck in a job you don’t love, you’ve probably wondered what you could do to advance your career. Whether it is to move up the ranks in a current position or pursue a new career entirely, people are always searching for ways to make more money at their jobs. Many of the highest-paying career options are those that require a degree, such as legal and medical professions. However, there are many other high-paying jobs that can be done as freelance work, or that you can learn how to do online. These jobs can include programming, computer science, finance, and marketing.

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Disclaimer: Some courses may include an affiliate link. Courses were chosen first based on the methodology with affiliate links only added after the ranking was complete.

If you feel stuck in your current job and are yearning to learn the skills you need to move to a new career, keep reading to see a list of the top ten free online courses for high-paying jobs. These courses teach a variety of skills that could allow you to move up the ranks or achieve a new career entirely. We’ve chosen them using an exclusive methodology we use to sort through only the best free online courses in a variety of subjects. If you are looking for short courses that lead to good jobs, read on.

Ranking 10 Free Online Courses for High Paying Jobs

1. Learn Python 

Offered by SkillShare

skillshare logo

Python is one of the most well-known and widely-used programming languages in the world and it is used for the majority of machine learning and artificial intelligence. If you want a high-paying job in programming, you will definitely need an advanced understanding of how Python works. SkillShare is an online learning platform that offers users a free membership that provides access to thousands of courses on a variety of creative and quantitative topics. SkillShare also offers users the option to have a premium membership that provides access to premium courses and certificates of achievement. 

By the end of the course, students will have learned how to start coding with Python, the basic operations of the language, how to make decisions, and how to understand variables and identifiers in Python. Joe Hughes, the instructor for the course, is an expert in Python as well as general web development and is extremely qualified to help build your understanding of this complicated programming language. The course also provides a class project toward the end of the material that allows you to test your knowledge with Python hands-on and deepen your understanding. 

Cost: Free

Certificate: Yes (with SkillShare premium membership)

Time to Complete: Approximately 10.5 hours

Curriculum: Beginner 

User Experience: Excellent

Quality of Instruction: Excellent

Pros:

  • Start anytime and go at your own pace
  • Learn at no charge
  • Dives deep into basic Python operations 

Cons:

  • Certificate does not come free with the course 

2. Become a Programmer: Foundations 

Offered by LinkedIn Learning

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Knowledgeable programmers are needed more today than ever before. This programming specialization will help anyone achieve their dreams of becoming a programmer, even if they are starting from square one. LinkedIn Learning is a MOOC (massive open online course) network that stems from one of the premier professional social networking sites. While LinkedIn Learning does require a paid subscription, they offer a one-month free trial for new users and university students currently enrolled in an accredited school often get free memberships. 

By the end of this selection of courses, students will have reviewed more than 22 hours of material and attended 13 different courses. After they have finished, they will have developed the knowledge to start programming in whatever language they choose. Additionally, students will be able to connect their knowledge about programming to other practical and real-life scenarios. Students will also hear from experts in the field and understand how they can apply best practices. If you want a high-paying job as a computer programmer, this specialization is perhaps the best place to start. 

Cost: Free Try a free trial for Linkedin Learning.

Certificate: No

Time to Complete: Approximately 22 hours

Curriculum: Beginner

User Experience: Excellent

Quality of Instruction: Excellent

Pros:

  • Start anytime and go at your own pace
  • Learn from a variety of experts in the field
  • Over 22 hours of course material  

Cons:

  • Certificate does not come with the course 
  • Free trial expires after one month

3. CS50’s Introduction to Computer Science 

Offered by Harvard University via edX

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This beginner course provided by Harvard University has been honored by two different awards, including being one of the Top 100 Courses of All-Time by Class Central and nominated for the edX Prize 2018. edX is a MOOC that provides students with a variety of free courses, many of them offered by prestigious universities with qualified instructors. Over 2.5 million users have enrolled in this course thus far and it takes about 12 weeks to complete if you work between 6 to 18 hours per week. The course is taught by three professors who work in the computer science department at Harvard University and is the same popular course that is taught on campus.

This free online Harvard course is great for those who have no knowledge of programming or computer science and will need to start from square one. The class will teach students how to think in accordance with an algorithm and learn how to solve problems effectively and pragmatically. By the end of the course, students will have a well-rounded understanding of computer science as a whole and will understand concepts like abstraction, algorithms, and data structures. Students will also take a look at coding languages during the course, familiarizing themselves with languages like JavaScript, Python, SQL, and HTML. 

Cost: Free 

Certificate: Yes (with $199 fee)

Time to Complete: Approximately 12 weeks

Curriculum: Beginner

User Experience: Excellent

Quality of Instruction: Excellent

Pros:

  • Start anytime and go at your own pace
  • Learn from one of the most prestigious universities in the country
  • Learn a variety of coding languages  

Cons:

  • Certificate does not come free with the course 

4. Business Foundations Specialization

Offered by University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

university of pennsylvania logo BC3CCBB697 seeklogo.com

Having a solid knowledge of business is one of the many ways to boost your career goals, or perhaps even create your own high-paying job by owning a successful business. This business foundations specialization offered by Coursera allows you to do just that, providing students with four full courses to give them a well-rounded knowledge of business. Coursera is a MOOC that offers students a variety of free course topics offered by premier learning institutions, such as this one provided by the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. 

The four courses that students will take include Introduction to Marketing, Introduction to Financial Accounting, Managing Social and Human Capital, and Introduction to Corporate Finance. There are eight different instructors who teach the classes, all coming from the Wharton School of Business. They are incredibly successful in their respective fields and more than qualified to give you the tools to start your career in business. About 41 percent of students who completed this specialization began a new career after completion, and 11 percent got a pay increase or were promoted. 

Cost: Free 

Certificate: Yes, with a fee

Time to Complete: Approximately 7 months

Curriculum: Beginner

User Experience: Excellent

Quality of Instruction: Excellent

Pros:

  • Start anytime and go at your own pace
  • Learn from one of the most prestigious business schools in the country
  • Get a well-rounded perspective on business 

Cons:

  • Longer course, takes 7 months to complete

5. The Complete Introductory Course To Finance & Accounting 

Offered by SkillShare

SKILLSHARE Social

Being an accountant or working in finance are two of the highest-paying jobs you can have without needing an entirely new degree to learn the material. Thanks to this free introductory course from SkillShare, you can gain a solid understanding of finance without having to go back to school. You can join SkillShare as a free member and gain access to the majority of the features available on the site, including any of the free courses. The instructor for the course, Chris Benjamin, has taught over 100,000 successful students and is a top-rated instructor on SkillShare. 

By the end of the course, students may be able to consider themselves entrepreneurs! Those who successfully complete the course will have a solid grasp of everything business, finance, and accounting-related and will feel confident solving problems in the real world. The course follows the perspective of starting your own business, along with all of the challenges and obstacles you will face along the way and how to deal with them. Chris Benjamin is known to be incredibly responsive and he is easy to interact with on the SkillShare website if you have any questions throughout the course. 

Cost: Free 

Certificate: Yes (with SkillShare premium membership)

Time to Complete: Approximately 6.5 hours

Curriculum: Beginner

User Experience: Excellent

Quality of Instruction: Excellent

Pros:

  • Start anytime and go at your own pace
  • Course goes through situations you will face when you start your own business
  • Get a well-rounded perspective on finance, accounting, and business

Cons:

  • Certification does not come with the course 

6. Create A Social Media Marketing Campaign

Offered by Future Learn

Future learn

Social media marketing is an incredible job that not only is high-paying once you become good at it, but it can also be done remotely. Virtually any brand you can think of uses social media marketing, and therefore needs to hire people to create their marketing campaigns. This course from Future Learn will enable you to do this with materials provided by the University of Leeds and the Institute of Coding. This course also includes a free digital upgrade, which allows users downloadable course materials and a free certificate of achievement when they become eligible. 

By the end of the course, students will be able to identify a social media strategy and pick apart its components as well as identify the differences between paid reach and organic reach. Also, students will feel comfortable identifying a target audience and will understand how to reach them. Finally, students will learn how to produce a strategy on their own and make sample content for a social media marketing campaign.  

Cost: Free 

Certificate: Yes

Time to Complete: Approximately 2 weeks

Curriculum: Beginner

User Experience: Excellent

Quality of Instruction: Excellent

Pros:

  • Start anytime and go at your own pace
  • Course teaches you how to produce sample content and strategy
  • Understand how social media works for companies and in politics 

Cons:

  • You should have some digital skills before starting 

7. Become a Financial Analyst 

Offered by LinkedIn Learning

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Becoming a financial analyst is one of many ways to ensure financial security for yourself and your future, and this specialization from LinkedIn Learning could help you take the first step in doing that. A financial analyst evaluates trends and market research in order to effectively advise business decisions, and could be involved in a variety of different industries. This specialization is comprised of 10 courses and more than 17 hours of learning material, designed to lead you down a learning path of success. LinkedIn Learning offers a free trial for new users and is often available for free for students enrolled in an accredited university. 

By the end of the course, students will be able to make business recommendations to others regarding investments and other financial decisions. They will also be able to effectively read and interpret different types of financial statements. Finally, students will be taught how to perform a basic analysis of financial data. Becoming a financial analyst could be easier than you thought, and you can start right now!

Cost: Free Try a free trial for Linkedin Learning.

Certificate: No

Time to Complete: Approximately 17 hours

Curriculum: Beginner

User Experience: Excellent

Quality of Instruction: Excellent

Pros:

  • Start anytime and go at your own pace
  • Learn how to interpret financial documents and advise others
  • Over 17 hours of video content 

Cons:

  • Certificate of achievement does not come with course 

8. Introduction to Finance and Accounting Specialization

Provided by University of Pennsylvania via Coursera 

university of pennsylvania logo BC3CCBB697 seeklogo.com

This course provided by the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania gives students a broad understanding of business accounting and finance, and more than half of the students who completed the course started a new career after finishing. Additionally, 14-percent of students who finished the course received a promotion or a raise after completing the course. The Wharton School of Business is one of the premier business schools in the country and is one of the best places to learn skills in finance and accounting. The courses within the specialization include Fundamentals of Finance, Introduction to Corporate Finance, Introduction to Financial Accounting, and More Introduction to Financial Accounting. 

By the end of the specialization, students will have completed these four courses as well as a hands-on project that demonstrates the skills they have learned in the course. Students will also be awarded a shareable certificate at the end of the specialization, perfect to share on your LinkedIn profile or with future employers. 

Cost: Free 

Certificate: Yes, with a fee

Time to Complete: Approximately 5 months

Curriculum: Beginner

User Experience: Excellent

Quality of Instruction: Excellent

Pros:

  • Start anytime and go at your own pace
  • Get a solid foundation of corporate finance and accounting 
  • You will complete an applied learning project at the end of the specialization

Cons:

  • Longer specialization, takes 5 months to complete

9. Introduction to Marketing

Offered by University of British Columbia via edX

bc logo

This introductory course, which nearly 175,000 students have enrolled in already, is provided by the University of British Columbia and offers users an easy and free way to get a firm grasp on marketing. Marketing is an integral part of any business model and is one of the ways you can reach a high-paying career in your near future. While edX does not provide students with a free certificate of achievement upon completion of the course, passionate students can add a certificate for a fee of $150 to share on their LinkedIn profile or with employers. 

By the end of the course, students will be able to identify a basic system of customer segmentation as well as understand the psychology behind why consumers make the decisions they do. Students will also be expected to know how to develop strategies for pricing that have an emphasis on profit. The two professors that teach the course, Darren Dahl and Paul Cubbon, are both instructors at the UBC Sauder School of Business and are more than qualified to teach you how to achieve your dream job in marketing. 

Cost: Free 

Certificate: Yes (with $150 fee)

Time to Complete: Approximately 6 weeks

Curriculum: Beginner

User Experience: Excellent

Quality of Instruction: Excellent

Pros:

  • Start anytime and go at your own pace
  • Understand key topics like market research and brand strategy 
  • Do not need any prior marketing knowledge or experience

Cons:

  • Certificate of achievement costs $150

10. Digital Marketing Specialization

Offered by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign via Coursera

ILD University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign logo

This specialization is comprised of six courses to help students jumpstart their career in digital marketing. Especially right now during the COVID-19 pandemic, digital marketing is a great career to pursue because it can be done remotely. The six courses that make up this specialization include Marketing in a Digital World, Digital Marketing Analytics in Theory, Digital Marketing Analytics in Practice, Digital Media and Marketing Principles, Digital Media and Marketing Strategies, and Marketing in an Analog World. The specialization is offered by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which is a premier institution for research and public engagement. 

By the end of the specialization, students will have knowledge on a wide array of topics including things like social media marketing and 3D printing. You will also be able to understand what effects new technological developments have on the marketing landscape. The course takes approximately 8 months to complete and about half of the students who have completed it have started a new career. 

Cost: Free 

Certificate: Yes, with a fee

Time to Complete: Approximately 8 months

Curriculum: Beginner

User Experience: Excellent

Quality of Instruction: Excellent

Pros:

  • Start anytime and go at your own pace
  • Learn a wide array of topics within the industry of marketing  
  • You will complete a capstone project at the end of the course that demonstrates your learning

Cons:

  • Longer course, takes 8 months to complete

Frequently Asked Questions About Free Online Courses for High Paying Jobs 

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If you have been searching for ways to get a high-paying job, the results may seem incredibly overwhelming. You might not even be sure about what industry you want to go into or where to start your job search. There are many different types of jobs that can be high-paying, even some where you work for yourself. On the list above, the jobs outlined include marketing, finance, accounting, business, computer science, and programming. These are jobs that you could make into a solid career without having to get an additional degree or return to school. 

Regardless of the career path you choose, finding a new job can be stressful. It is likely that you have a lot of questions about finding a new job online or taking a course related to that new job. Hopefully the following section will explain some of the burning questions you have and make you feel a bit more comfortable about taking one of the aforementioned courses. 

Who Should Take an Online Course for High Paying Jobs?

Do these things sound like you? You’ve been stuck at a boring desk job for years, you are not happy with where you are in your career, you are not sure if you love your career path, and you aren’t making enough money to support yourself as much as you want. If yes, you should definitely take one of the courses mentioned above. If you agreed with any of the aforementioned statements, you might not be in the right job for your personal growth. Taking an online course can be the push you need to move from your boring current job to a new and exciting one. 

What Will I Gain From Taking an Online Course for High Paying Jobs?

Many of the courses on this list have statistics on the students who have completed them, and the results are clear. A large percentage of students who completed a comprehensive online course have since started a new career related to that online course’s material. The courses listed above could lead you into a variety of new jobs, including:

  • Financial analyst
  • Computer programmer 
  • Chief marketing officer
  • Creative director 
  • Accountant 
  • Software engineer 
  • Machine learning 
  • Artificial intelligence 
  • Data science 

The possibilities are endless! Many online courses do not take that long to complete and could permanently change your life. The least you can do is try, and even if you don’t like the course, you can simply stop and try something else. After all, it is free!

Are Online Courses for High Paying Jobs Difficult? 

If you have been in the same career for several years, you are probably very comfortable with where you are and with the material or clients you work with. Just as it would be difficult for you to drop this career and try something new, it will be difficult for you to open an online course and learn a subject that is entirely different to your current career. 

However, the more open you are to learning new materials and accepting new ideas, the easier these courses will be. When it comes to learning something new, the best thing you can do is accept that there might be bumps along the road and that you most likely won’t be an expert right away. As long as you are always open to learning new things, you can never fail! 

Are Free Online Courses for High Paying Jobs Worth It?

Learning something new is always worth it! Since all the courses listed above are completely free, you will not be wasting your hard-earned money on the wrong course or the wrong materials. Instead, you could try one or more of the courses on this list before deciding whether or not they work for you. 

Since these courses are free, the only thing you have to waste is the time you spend learning. But if you walk away from a course having learned anything new at all, your time hasn’t been wasted.   

Disclaimer: Some courses may include an affiliate link. Courses were chosen first based on the methodology with affiliate links only added after the ranking was complete.

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