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The best free online courses to do during lockdown

A roundup of online courses to expand your skillset and pass the time.
Image: Marlene Awaad/Bloomberg

As South Africa adjusts to lockdown, many of us are finding that we have more time on our hands. While things feel uncertain, it can be reassuring to create a routine and find activities to slot into your day to pass the time.

If you have access to the internet and a smartphone or computer, doing an online course could be just the right activity to pass the time. And you’ll hopefully get some usable skills out of it to be able to put to work, even from the comfort of your own home.

Some online courses are on special discount in light of Covid-19, while others are always freely available.

Here are some of the best:

Search engine optimisation courses from Moz

Understanding Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is useful no matter what business you’re in. SEO software company Moz has decided to make (nearly all) its SEO courses free until May 31. You can learn about SEO fundamentals, keyword research, page optimisation and backlink basics, as well as advice on finding SEO clients, SEO reporting and client onboarding.

Take a programming course and learn Python

Programming is a great skill to have – if you can write programs, you can create websites, apps, tools to help you with your day to day or even build a game. Python is an excellent language to start with – it’s a high-level language (meaning you can do a lot with it – and is increasingly popular among developers, data scientists and software engineers. Class Central has two programming courses available for free that are highly reviewed: Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python) and An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python.

Learn to play the guitar with Fender

If, by chance, you’ve got a guitar or ukulele lying around, now might be a good time to bring it out and get playing. Guitar manufacturer Fender is offering three months’ worth of guitar, bass and ukulele lessons for free. Musicians teach lessons via downloadable videos, and you’ll practice songs you know.

Take Yale University’s most popular course, The Science of Well-Being

Yale University is offering a free course online, The Science of Well-Being, that teaches you how to be happier. It became the most popular class in Yale’s history and covers misconceptions about happiness; our expectations of happiness; overcoming our biases; what really makes us happy and putting strategies into practice. There’s no required reading and no grade penalty for a missed assignment deadline, which means that you can work at your own pace.

Learn accounting and financial management skills

If you run your own business, now might be a quiet time. So why not use it to learn some necessary financial management skills that will help you predict cash flow and manage your money? Udemy has a range of free online accounting courses, including Financial Accounting in Excel, Introduction to Financial Accounting and Basic Accounting Skills for Business Owners.

Katie Chodosh is a communications consultant at TopLine Comms in Cape Town. 


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Try coursera for very many international university courses on just about anything.

Thanks Gina!

Dadape, sadly all the free courses in the world won’t be able to cure your affliction.

Take Yale University’s most popular course, The Science of Well-Being
“There’s no required reading and no grade penalty for a missed assignment deadline, which means that you can work at your own pace”

No wonder there are so many jobless millennials in the US

Yale might as well as just offered courses in “Lesbian dance theory majors”

Its the most popular course because the yale management noticed that half the students are anxious or depressed about their situation and are choosing it as a free elective. Quite a good course actually, helps to put things back in perspective and choose jobs more wisely instead of chasing meaningless cubicle farm jobs like banking or consulting and getting chained to your desk.

Currently poker is abt your best “bet” online !

…this article almost tasted like fake news

but its okay, majority has less to do

We are in SA! The fender site tells me that free lessons are not available for my country domain. Thanks for nothing.

End of comments.





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