Trying to improve your career prospects can often be challenging, you may have financial or time constraints preventing you from fulfilling your potential. There is an array of online learning tools that could help you overcome some of these limitations, here we highlight 4 great online resources and best of all - they are all free!

1. Open University

The Open University has always been a solution for those who need to study at home and now they also offer free courses. They have thousands of hours of learning materials on a wide variety of subjects from Health, Sports and Psychology; Money and Management; Nature and Environment to People, Politics and Law. Each subject shows the hours it takes to complete and the level of difficulty (introductory, intermediate and advanced). On completion of any course you can also receive a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning.

2. Codecademy

There is a skills shortage within the IT sector and this is only set to increase, with Coders being in very high demand. Codecademy offers free coding classes in 9 different programming languages including Python, Java, PHP, JavaScript and Ruby as well as markup languages HTML and CSS. The site has had over 24 million users who have completed over 100 million exercises. Courses are made up of lessons, resources, projects, quizzes and advanced projects. Learn how to make websites, build web apps or create animations. If you are looking for a career change with great prospects and job security, why not give coding a try?

3. Duolingo

In today’s international society it always puts you ahead of the pack if you can speak another language. Duolingo gives you the choice of 15 different languages, the gamified elements of the site is designed to make learning a language easier and more fun. 100 million people are learning with this free resource. You can start the courses as a beginner or take a test to determine your level of competency and choose your daily goals – casual (5mins), regular (10mins), serious (15mins) and insane (20mins). The course gives you tips and advice on grammar and tests; getting more difficult as you progress. You can also invite friends to join, who you can compete against if you choose. It’s an easy and fun way to start learning a language.

4. Khan Academy

Career prospects may not be your main reason for wanting to increase your knowledge, you may have a personal interest in an area, want to engage with something completely different from your working day or just fancy a challenge. Khan Academy is a great resource for learning at your own pace. They offer practice exercises and instructional videos on a variety of topics from Maths and Science to Art History and Economics. They provide competency levels for all ages as well as partnering with some big institutions for specialised content; The British Museum, NASA, Stanford School of Medicine, Pixar and MIT etc. They currently have 36,693,431 learners, why not join them?

Don’t let perceived problems stand in your way to learning, whether you are looking to improve your career prospects or to dive into a subject you have an interest in. There are many free online tools and resources to help you achieve your goals – these 4 are only a snapshot.

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