Beginner computer classes online: What can you take, and where?

Computers are part of our schools, workplaces and everyday life. Whether you are a beginner or at an advanced level, taking online computer courses can improve your basic, programming, and development skills.

This list features a variety of free and paid platforms that offer beginner and intermediate courses in computing fundamentals, as well as topics like Python, data analysis, and cloud computing.

providers at a glance

Vendor name

Select learned skills

Difficulty:
(for children) – ★★★★★ (for experts)

Costs

Alison

  • zoom
  • Microsoft 365
  • power point
  • python

★★ to ★★★★

Free

Paid certificates and premium option available at $9.26/month

Goodwill Community Foundation Global

  • operating systems
  • E-mail
  • Computer Basics
  • Online Safety

★ to ★★

Free

Google Workspace Learning Center

  • Use of Google Products
  • gmail
  • Google Drive
  • Chrome browser

★★ to ★★★★

$6 to $18/month

Khan Academy

  • Introduction to computers
  • Introduction to the Internet
  • HTML/CSS
  • Introduction to Programming

★ to ★★★★

Free

Udemy

  • Computer Basics
  • web development
  • Internet security
  • operating systems

★★ to ★★★★★

$11.99 to $199.99 per course

edX

  • Javascript
  • python
  • cloud computing
  • software development

★★★ to ★★★★★

$50 to $300+

Coursera

  • Basics of computer science
  • data science
  • cloud computing
  • UX design

★★★ to ★★★★★

$9.99 to $2,000 per course

Udacity

  • Introduction to Programming
  • data technology
  • C++
  • web development

★★★ to ★★★★★

$399/month/course

Nanodegrees $1,000 to $1,500

LinkedIn learning

  • python
  • cloud computing
  • windows 10
  • CompTIA

★★★ to ★★★★

$29.99/month or $400/year

What are basic computer skills?

Basic computer skills are basic tools for navigating computers and software. These skills are essential in a technology-driven world.

Graphical listing of basic technical skills including: word processing, operating systems, email management, installing and updating software, data entry, video conferencing, and navigating social media.

Tori Rubloff/ZDNet

After you’ve mastered basic computer skills, consider learning more advanced skills like website design or application development.



Online computer courses for beginners

Are you ready to improve your basic computer skills? This list of electronic learning platforms offers cheap and free online computer courses, training and learning activities, and self-paced tutorials.

Alison

Costs: Online courses and assessments are free, but certificates and diplomas are paid. The premium monthly package, which removes ads and gives discounts on certificates and diplomas, costs $9.26.

Best for: Full-time students, busy parents, professionals

Alison is an online learning platform that offers courses in information technology and other job-specific categories. Learners can earn diplomas and certificates in a variety of industries.

Cash:

Goodwill Community Foundation Global: Technology Fundamentals

Costs: Free

Best for: Kindergarten through 12th grade, homeschoolers, college and university students, professionals, career changers

Goodwill Community Foundation Global provides an online self-paced distance learning platform and tools for all ages, including free online computer courses for seniors. Learners can enroll in Mac OS, Linux, and creativity and design courses. Other tutorials build proficiency with social media, email, and Google.

Cash:

Khan Academy

khan.jpg

Khan Academy

Costs: Free

Best for: pre-kindergarten by college students

Khan Academy is a personalized and self-paced learning platform that offers online computer courses for kids, teens and young adults. Learners can access instructional videos and practice exercises in math, science, computer science, and additional content areas such as arts and humanities. The platform offers exam preparation for LSAT, Praxis and SAT.

Cash:

Google Workspace Learning Center

Costs: $6-18 per month per user

Best for: Colleges and universities, companies, industry professionals

Google Workspace Learning Center provides training resources and tutorials for accessing the video conferencing platform, customizing Gmail for business, and navigating word processing and cloud storage. Other courses cover specific products, roles and industries.

Cash:

Udemy

Costs: $11.99 to $199.99 per course

Best for: Young adult learners, college and university students, career changers, corporations, non-profit organizations, government employees

Udemy offers a variety of commercial and technical courses for young adults, students, professionals and career changers. Learners can select courses in cloud computing, data science, and design along with development, IT operations, and project management and operations.

Read our Udemy review for more information.

Cash:

Online Computer Courses: Intermediate

Do you have basic computer skills? Consider enrolling in online intermediate and advanced computer courses. These online learning platforms can help industry professionals with career advancement and staff development.

edX

edx-shutterstock-1816834112.jpg

Costs: Course fees for verified courses range from $50 to $300. MicroMasters programs may have higher costs.

Best for: All ages and learners

edX is an online learning platform with 2,400 global learning sites. Learners can enroll in massive open online courses for college credit, MicroBachelors programs for undergraduate credentials, and MicroMasters programs for graduate courses.

Cash:

Coursera

Learn more

Coursera Review

Coursera Review

Online learning has come a long way, but are Coursera’s courses and degrees worth it? Learn more about the pros and cons of signing up for Coursera.

Continue reading

Costs: Guided projects start at $9.99. Specializations and professional certificates range from $39 to $79 per month. MasterTrack certifications cost around $2,000. With Coursera Plus, learners can pay $59 per month or $399 annually.

Best for: College and university students and adults between the ages of 18 and 55

Coursera offers certificate and degree options. Learners can access on-demand lectures and applied learning experiences in data science, information technology, and online computing.

Find out more in our Coursera review.

Cash:

Udacity

udacity.png

Udacity

Costs: $399 per month per course; Nanograduate programs cost between $1,000 and $1,500

Best for: Full-time adults, college graduates, government employees, technical professionals

Udacity offers an online learning platform with courses in data science, programming and development, artificial intelligence and related technical specialties. Courses are self-paced, interactive and offered in a variety of formats.

Cash:

LinkedIn learning

linkedin-logo-crop-layout-for-twitter.jpg

Costs: $29.99 per month or $400 per year

Best for: College and university students, business and government employees, recent graduates seeking career opportunities

LinkedIn learning offers an online learning platform with over 5,000 courses in business, technology and creative skills. Learners can choose technology and certification prep courses in cloud computing, security, and CompTIA, among others.

Cash:

Conclusion

Basic computer skills are a necessity for today’s workforce. Intermediate and advanced computer skills can enhance career opportunities for industry professionals.

Computer experts can explore the best online learning platforms and earn certificates and certifications.

With affordable or free online classes, busy parents and professionals can choose classes that fit their schedule.

How can I learn basic computer skills online?

Learners can enroll in online introductory courses on online platforms such as edX, Coursera, Khan Academy, Udacity, and Udemy.

What are basic computer skills?

Basic computer skills include messaging and video conferencing, troubleshooting, word processing, data entry, and web searching.

This piece was reviewed by Monali Mirel Chuatico

Monali Mirel Chuatico, a woman with long dark hair, smiles in a headshot.

2019, Monali Mirel Chuatico graduated with her Bachelors in Computer Science, which gave her the foundation she needed to excel in roles such as data engineer, front-end developer, UX designer and computer science teacher.

Monali is currently a data engineer at Mission Lane. As Data Analytics Captain at the non-profit organization COOP careerMonali helps new graduates and young professionals overcome underemployment by teaching them data analysis tools and mentoring them in their professional development journey.

Monali Mirel Chuatico is a paid member of the freelance assessment network Red Ventures Education.

Last checked on November 21, 2021.

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