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11 Best Online Courses and Online Class Sites for Adults in 2022

Here are 11 best online courses and online class sites for adults in 2022 that offer online courses as a way of teaching new skills from home. The exciting part is being able to improve your personal development

Despite our fast-paced, modern world, there is the time to pursue new learning opportunities especially now there are a number of online courses specifically designed for adults in 2022. These high quality courses offer the flexibility to learn at your own pace and fit learning into your busy life.

This article covers both subscription and free online courses and lists online class sites.

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Benefits of online learning for adults

These online course websites provide the opportunity to explore new topics or develop existing skills without having to commit to a traditional educational program. The beauty of the online certification courses is that it can be used for professional development, especially when your employer sees value in upskilling you.

For a modest fee, usually in the form of a monthly subscription, you have the opportunity to learn new professional skills. Most employers with a culture of investing in their people will help with meet the course fees. Whether you’re looking to gain new knowledge or sharpen existing skills, online courses offer a convenient and affordable way to learn.

Most popular online courses for 2022

At present there is a high demand for online learning in:

  • data science
  • computer science
  • business management
  • computer programming
  • creative writing
  • web development

The good news is that many leading universities like Harvard University and Stanford Online are providing massive open online courses for adults seeking to improve their technology skills via online learning platforms. Their business model consists of providing some free online education courses and then advanced courses that are essentially paid programs.

Best online course websites

The advancements in video-streaming technology allows learners to learn many skill sets from the comfort of their own homes. A large number of online resources offer online classes for hire. These may be single video lectures on a specific subject or series of lectures for new learning about a specific field.

Below is a list of the best online learning sites that offer many free courses and paid classes. So, even though you may not have formal education in a particular area of expertise, a whole new world has been open to you via these educational websites.

1. Codecademy

Codecademy was founded in 2011 with a focus on delivering computer science and data science courses. It aims to teach people how to code. As of April 2020, this free services helped 45 million users learn new programming skills. The program continued with a quick-paced approach to keep you active, encouraged by supporting groups and a game-changing, point-based reward.

There is also a free pro membership which gives you more direct guidance on building your portfolio to jumpstart your freelance career and gain business skills. The school offers courses in numerous languages including Ruby, PHP, JavaScript, SQL and Python. Many students have already built projects before completing their studies.

2. GFC Global

The GCFLearnFree.org program provides a learning opportunity under the Goodwill Community Foundation Global initiative. Since its founding, the program offers a wide range of practical business courses (job training) for individuals to find employment and this program focuses primarily in business.

It is possible to learn about money, how the internet works, preparing to work a freelance job or just too learn a new and interesting hobby. This is probably the easiest source for you if you are interested in learning to program a piece of computer software. The service offers free lessons in 200 subjects.

3. Harvard Online Courses

If you want to learn entrepreneurship or STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), Harvard University has curated a lot of their academic courses and made them accessible online.

Harvard online courses offer a variety of free leading university online content that are free and paid programs priced from $25.

11 Best Online Courses and Online Class Sites for Adults in 2022

Topics include the latest computing trends to learning how the early explorers used the stars to navigate their way around the world. Most of these courses are self-paced with lectures by Harvard professors as well there is additional learning material provided.

4. General Assembly

The General Assembly has campuses throughout more than 30 countries and offers a comprehensive online training experience delivered by over 20,000 expert instructors. The company offers both full and part day training courses online along with workshops and coding courses for people wanting to improve their computing skills. Courses offered include Product Management, UX Design, Software Engineering, Data Science, Data Analytics, Front-End Web Development.

Typically, most products and services are offered online and in-person (fulltime or part time). In response to COVID19 travel restrictions, LiveStreams and Online Options have been added. The company hopes that online classes can be expanded due to the positive reaction to its digital tools.

5. Khan Academy

Khan Academy founded in 2008 is a valuable resource that offers free educational “micro-lectures” through its free website. It offers a range of video and text material addressing traditional subjects in mathematics, economics and humanities.

It is open to anyone and free to teachers and learners. Over 70 million people have used Khan Academy with 2.3 million students making use of the resources provided to prepare for SAT. These courses are accompanied by videos, readings and interactive pieces which have been sequenced for you. In July 2020, the website announced a focus on early college and kindergarten programs and therefore retired material which did not fit within this scope.

Khan Academy provides a comprehensive set of practice books for students from elementary through high school and covers grammar, science, history, AP® and the SAT®. All the learning is available to all teachers.

It is a great way to experience a certain subject before attempting to advance further into another subject. Due to the COVID19 pandemic, the organization’s online services were significantly expanded and the organization has developed learning tools to support learners.

How does Khan Academy work?

Khan Academy uses e-learning, short lectures, online quizzes and discussion threads. When a student enrols for any class she can access all the material in the video courses in a sequential order. Usually a course includes units containing lessons, which include lectures, videos and questions. In most instances, the sequence of learnings and units is crucial for gaining foundations before you progress.

Gamification and quizzes

It tracks how you’ve moved through content and helps you progress. It records the amount of time spent on completing a quiz. In addition you will earn mastery points and badges when you complete a certain milestone. Not all courses have questionnaires, but they often contain plenty. Usually you won’t see the same question again when you try the quiz the next week or two.

Does Khan Academy serve American schools?

Khan Academy serves American schools as well. Many classes in its program follow formal curricula for different grades. It includes math and science, as well as economic and finance subjects.

Eligible students are able to enrol in Precalculus history and LSAT courses. The course is unlimited. Khan Academy Kids offers materials for young children aged two and seven. It has both an iPad app and an Android app.

Cost and availability

Khan Academy and its partners are 501c(3) non profit organizations. The company has a goal of providing the highest quality education to anyone in any region. It therefore provides absolutely no cost to you. There is no need for registration or a login. You can also check out course progress by logging in or by accessing the site’s other functions. This extra feature allows teachers and parents to see your educational history.

Customer Support

Khan Academy provides outstanding customer support which you quickly realize based on the changes the organization has been undergoing in the past few years. The team at Khan Academy responds regularly and logically to customer queries and complaints to make the platform as accessible as possible. You may reach a Khan Academy representative for more details. Here you can send an enquiry and get an answer via e-mail within 24hrs.

6. Alison Learning Paths

Alison founded in Ireland, provides a free online course designed for professionals of many disciplines. There’s also the mix in education and business development for the content. Occasionally, the company sponsors a particular project such as the application of a different certification or test.

The classes are divided into several main categories like marketing, science and technology. Most higher level classes are free, and only charge for the sale of Certificates and Diplomas if required after you have successfully completed your online course.

The company ethos is one of empowering the individual through education. People from all walks of life are welcome to enrol and start their journey to improving their lives through education.

In addition, Alison also offers an affiliate program where you earn income by introducing family and friends to the free learning course curriculum.

7. Better explained

Better explained provides interesting classes, articles, and lessons for anyone interested in learning mathematics. As founder Kalid Azad states, “Learn to understand math, not memorize it”.

11 Best Online Courses and Online Class Sites for Adults in 2022

Courses cover algebra, geometry, precalculus and trigonometry and statistics. There are also courses for university math/engineering (linear algebra, fourier transformation and convolution), programming tools and web development courses.

Individual classes are usually free and are also available as online courses. However, you can purchase complete classes, which have downloadable books, videos, more questions and invites for webinars if needed.

The courses have a wide range of study areas and complexity, plus certain areas where mathematical rules can guide computers and web development.

8. Coursera

Coursera is a popular online course provider founded by Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, both of whom are computer science professors at Stanford University. It offers more than 3900 specialisation courses globally, with over 87 million people already enrolled.

Many of these services are offered for free, and you may even take online courses from accredited universities such as Duke, Imperial College London, Penn State to name a few.

It also offers professional certificates and MasterTrack Certificates. They are a university-issued certificate with credits towards a degree. Perfect for the professional working a full time job and wanting to upskill to improve their career prospects or use it for professional development.

Recently, the company has joined with Disney and Pixar to celebrate the movie Soul with a selection of courses to help you explore creativity and career.

9. EdX

EdX is a non-profit educational and online platform developed and operated by Harvard University. The company collaborates globally in providing educational programs with interactive and self-paced courses for students and employers worldwide.

It has been providing online educational tools to over 20 million people since its creation and offers over 3,000 classes. Many of the classes are free, although it is possible to buy certificates for certification attesting the completion of the training.

The EdX curriculum includes lectures at several top institutions including Harvard, Microsoft, and the University of California, Berkeley. You will have access to instructors whose expertise is incredibly valuable in their field.

Self-paced learning

Although there are numerous instructor-paced classes available on EdX, many are self-paced. So you’re able to go through material quickly and easily.

EdX Pricing Model

Like many other MOOC programs, EdX teaches students who may otherwise have been unable to attend classes. Even if the courses required payment can be purchased and easily accessible, it helps reduce inequality in higher education.

There are two different price tiers that can be explored. The test courses may be either certified or unverified classes. Unverified courses offer totally free courses that are open anytime – no need for waiting a specific year for registration. Course fees vary depending on the course.

10. Iversity

Iversity is a Berlin-based university that aims to become the European education center that teaches free academic courses for adults. Courses are conducted in English, German, French, Vietnamese and Hindi to name a few. It offers MOOCs as well as paid pro courses.

The company recently added certificate verification of course completion on all the courses it offers. The costs vary and some of those options are free of charge too. Businesses can also collaborate with the university for training its workforce or you can take specific courses for certain jobs.

11. Academic Earth

Academic Earth provides free online courses from leading universities. On their site they help find particular courses and search for universities.

It offers video electives in different video formats; the purpose of these videos is to spark your intellectual curiosity, and hopefully make you think more deeply rather than accept the status quo.

Academic Earth can be used to make a search easy. It collects a large collection of Free Courses from universities around the world such as Columbia University, Princeton University, Oxford University and Berklee College of Music.


How do I choose the best online courses and online class sites for adults?


We’ve sorted through a huge array of online learning sites. As there are many learning platforms available it becomes confusing if learners don’t know what platform to choose to learn their particular skill set. Online courses are important for their content. Certain platforms have an intense enrollment process, requiring courses to generalise or retain courses according to the depth and complexity preferred by most enrollees.

In contrast, some sites also work in partnership with specific universities for teaching specialized courses. Similarly, other features, including smartphone compatible, certificate and degree certificates are required for formal educational purposes.


Content on various platforms vary as a certain segment focuses primarily on artistic and creative learning.

Why should I opt for online certification courses?

Online training can be used by a number of people in different categories. A person whose intention in learning is to gain experience and passion in business and career fields, as well as gaining knowledge in a specific discipline. These skills are included on your resume for creating new jobs.

What are the common resources offered by online educational platforms?

Typically used learning materials include books, e-books, lectures and videos, electronic journals, transcriptions, and notes.