Online Education Could Replace College in the Future Online Education Could Replace College in the Future
Top 20 Most Popular Online Education Courses in 2023/2024 Top 20 Most Popular Online Education Courses in 2023/2024
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Top Best Online Courses from USA during Pandemic - Photo:

Whether you've always wanted to attend a Yale lecture or try out a University of Michigan course before applying to graduate school, online learning offers a convenient opportunity to explore your interests or gain essential new skills.

On e-learning platforms like edX, Coursera, and FutureLearn, you may also enroll in thousands of online courses given by reputable colleges, many of which are completely free. The majority of them also provide supplemental paid certificates of completion that you can add to your LinkedIn profile or resume, or they're a part of longer programs that can be more cost-effective alternatives to on-campus training.

Check out the top 15 online courses offered by top US colleges, according to

1.Harvard University — CS50's Introduction to Computer Science

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Harvard University - Photo: Business Insider

Length: 12 weeks

Related courses or programs include CS50's AP® Computer Science Principles, Computer Science for Web Programming (Professional Certificate), Computer Science for Artificial Intelligence (Professional Certificate), Computer Science for Mobile Apps (Professional Certificate), Computer Science for Game Development (Professional Certificate), and Computer Science and Mobile Apps (Professional Certificate) (XSeries)

The fundamentals of problem solving and algorithmic thinking are covered in this introductory computer science course, which has almost 3 million students enrolled. Topics covered include abstraction, algorithms, data structures, encapsulation, resource management, security, software engineering, and web development.

2.Yale University — The Science of Well-Being

Length: 10 weeks

related programs or courses: Handling Emotions in Times of Uncertainty or Stress; Introduction to Psychology

The Science of Well-Being, which was adapted from Yale's most well-attended on-campus course ever, offers a summary of what really makes us happy along with quick check-ins and activities to help track your feelings as you progress through the course.

Psyc 157: Psychology and the Good Life, popularly referred to as the Yale happiness class, is one of the most popular courses ever offered at Yale University. It was a 1,200-student lecture course that was only ever delivered in person once, in the largest building on campus, during the spring 2018 semester.

Tens of thousands of online students enrolled in The Science of Well-Being in March after Coursera made a free 10-week version of the course available to the public. Yet when lockdowns began in March of last year, a full two years later, enrollment shot through the roof. More than 3.3 million people have registered so far, according to the website.

3.Massachusetts Institute of Technology — Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python

Length: 9 weeks

Related courses or programs: Computational Thinking Using Python (XSeries)

More than 1 million students are enrolled in the MIT introductory computer science course, which is geared toward people with no prior expertise. Along with learning the fundamentals of computer science and Python programming, students also master some simple algorithms.

The first two courses of a two-course program are Introduction to Computer Science and Programming with Python and Introduction to Computational Thinking and Data Science. They all collaborate to teach people with no background in computer science or programming how to think computationally and write programs that address real-world problems. Some students who sign up for the two courses may use them as a stepping stone, but for many, they will be their first and last introduction to computer science.

4.Stanford University — Machine Learning

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Stanford University — Machine Learning - Photo: Business Insider

Length: 11 weeks

This basic machine learning course, which has more than 4 million students enrolled, provides a complete review of the topic by going through data mining, statistical pattern recognition, and machine learning fundamentals.

The topics of statistical pattern detection, data mining, and machine learning are all thoroughly covered in this course. The subsequent subjects are covered: I supervised education (support vector machines, kernels, neural networks, and parametric and non-parametric techniques). Learn without supervision (ii) (clustering, dimensionality reduction, recommender systems, deep learning).

Machine learning best practices (bias/variance theory; machine learning and AI innovation process). With the course's thorough use of case studies and applications, you will learn how to apply learning algorithms to the building of smart robots (perception, control), text understanding (web search, anti-spam), computer vision, medical informatics, audio, database mining, and other domains.

5.University of Oxford — From Poverty to Prosperity: Understanding Economic Development

Oxford, United Kingdom

Length: 6 weeks

This course examines how societies can financially prosper, looking into the political, social, and economical factors that affect how a country develops including national identity, scaling, and international trade.

6.Columbia University — Financial Engineering and Risk Management Part I

Length: 8 weeks

Related courses or programs: Financial Engineers and Risk Management Part II

For those interested in financial engineering, a field that combines economics, math, statistics, and computer science, this course will introduce students to financial modeling while also providing ample context (such as the 2008 financial crisis).

7.University of Cambridge — Teaching English Online

Length: 4 weeks

Related courses or programs: Exploring the World of English Language Teaching

Led by Cambridge English Assessment (a part of the University of Cambridge), this course is designed for experienced English teachers who want to start their practice online, covering everything from virtual classroom communication to professional development.

8.Johns Hopkins University — COVID-19 Contact Tracing

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Johns Hopkins University — COVID-19 Contact Tracing - Photo Business Insider

Length: 1 week

Related courses or programs: Measuring and Maximizing Impact of COVID-19 Contact Tracing; Fighting COVID-19 with Epidemiology: A Johns Hopkins Teach-Out

As contact tracing jobs become more available around the world, this short course — which comes with a free certificate of completion — covers the fundamentals of contact tracing (as well as the ethics behind it).

Who should I contact about starting a contact tracing program in my area?

Please consult your public health department. Contact tracing should only be performed as part of a coordinated initiative led by the appropriate public health agencies.

Is it possible for me to get a remote job as a contact tracer in another city or state if there is no program in my area?

Different cities, counties, states, and countries have different requirements for hiring contact tracers. Please consult the appropriate public health departments to learn whether being a resident of the city or state is a requirement.

9.University College London — The Many Faces of Dementia

Length: 4 weeks

related programs or courses: Sharing expertise, fostering understanding, and enhancing lives: Dementia and the Arts

Aiming to demystify dementia care, this course explores four lesser-known kinds of dementia, their symptoms, and the experience of receiving a dementia diagnosis. Dementia affects approximately 44 million people worldwide.

10.California Institute of Technology — The Evolving Universe

Length: 10 weeks

Related courses or programs: The Science of the Solar System

Caltech's introductory astronomy course goes over planetary systems, stars, galaxies, black holes, quasars, and larger structures to help broaden students' understanding of the physical universe as a whole.

11.University of Washington — Machine Learning Foundations: A Case Study Approach

Length: 6 weeks

Related courses or programs: Machine Learning (Specialization)

No matter what you aim to use machine learning for, this course helps students gain applicable knowledge by offering practical case studies and exercises to teach Python programming, data analysis, and more.

To audit this course for free, click "Enroll for free" and then hit "Audit this course."

12.Princeton University — Algorithms, Part 1

Length: 6 weeks

Related courses or programs: Algorithms, Part 2; Computer Science: Algorithms, Theory, and Machines

For anyone considering a programming career, this course covers all the basic knowledge about algorithms and data structures you'll need to know, including elementary data structures, sorting, and searching algorithms.

13.University of Chicago — Understanding the Brain: The Neurobiology of Everyday Life

Length: 10 weeks

Gain a thorough overview of how the human brain works in this introductory course, which covers how the nervous system creates behavior, how we use our brain, and how neuroscience can explain our problems.

14.University of Toronto — Introduction to Psychology

Length: 12 weeks

related programs or courses: Mind Control: Controlling Your Mental Health During COVID-19; The Social Context of Mental Health and Disease; Understanding human needs is part of the science and art of relationships.

The basics of human psychology and development, such as memory, learning, attention, perception, and awareness, are taught to students, but they are also exposed to some of the most exciting studies conducted today in the discipline.

15.Imperial College London — Mathematics for Machine Learning: Linear Algebra

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Photo Business Insider

Length: 5 weeks

Related courses or programs: Mathematics for Machine Learning (Specialization)

To help plump up students' math skills in preparation for their machine learning studies, this course covers how linear algebra relates to vectors and matrices, and how they can be used to solve problems.

To audit this course for free, click "Enroll for free" and then hit "Audit this course."

Top Universities In The World Offering Free Online Courses

Harvard University

University of California, Irvine

Georgia Institute of Technology

École Polytechnique

Michigan State University

California Institute of the Arts

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

4 Best Sites for Free College Courses Online

1. EdX

edx free courses website

Around 14 million users can access free courses from colleges through EdX, one of the biggest huge open online course providers in the world. The website, which was initially launched by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), currently offers courses from institutions including Boston University, Caltech, and numerous more prestigious universities from across the globe.

2. MIT OpenCourseWare

MIT opencourseware website

One of the first institutions to offer college courses online was Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Using its OpenCourseWare platform, the institution allows you to download and access its older courses.

Using the platform has the advantage of giving you access to a broad selection of real courses that the institution has provided over the years. The drawback is that you might still need to buy textbooks in order to adhere to the curricula.

3. Carnegie Mellon OpenLearning

Carnegie mellon open learning initiative courses

Anyone interested in taking an online course can do so for free at Carnegie Mellon University. In fact, it provides resources for professors who want to deliver these courses to their students.

Short courses in subjects like computer science, biology, psychology, and more are available for independent learners. The drawback is that there are far fewer open courses on this website than on other open learning platforms.

4. Coursera

Coursera free courses site

Coursera is another online learning platform through which many universities and companies offer their open courses. Like other course providers on the list, you can access courses for free, but you won't receive accreditation or a certificate without a fee.

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