In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, distance learning has emerged as a way for business professionals sheltering at home to stay ahead of the curve in their respective fields. Shorter than a college semester, these courses are typically self-regulated and cover just about every business and creative skill, topic, or hobby you can imagine. Looking to learn how to code or to do digital advertising? Want to know how to turn your photography hobby into a full-time business? Or just want to dip your foot in the waters of graphic design or public relations? Below, I’ve listed my top 10 distance learning platforms (not in any order).

  • General Assembly: Free and paid classes in general business, design, marketing, product management, data science, and coding – taught by well-regarded instructors from within each industry. What started off as a co-working space in NYC in 2011 has grown to a global organization with 35,000 graduates.
  • CreativeLive: Classes in art and design, photography, and crafting – this is an online school for creatives. 1500 classes on-demand or live – whichever works best for you. As of Spring 2020, many are free.
  • Udemy: Subscription-based access to 100,000 classes in business topics that range from marketing and IT to personal development.
  • Codeacademy: New to coding? Try Codeacademy, a well-funded tech education start-up that offers hundreds of highly interactive classes and multi-course programs in today’s most relevant coding languages.
  • Hubspot Academy: Disclaimer: Hubspot is a well-known CRM solution and many of its classes naturally teach to the tools within the software; however, there are multiple certificate programs that are definitely applicable beyond Hubspot. I earned a Certificate in Content / Inbound Marketing and I can vouch for the comprehensiveness of the course.
  • LinkedIn Learning: 16,000 free and paid courses in digital marketing, start-up funding, data analysis, coding, selling, HR, UX design – you name it – there’s a class for almost every business topic. Or, if you’re an expert in your field, consider becoming an instructor yourself.
  • Skillshare: Classes lean toward the creative – there’s animation, videography, photography, illustration, design, and writing – to name a few. There are plenty of free classes, but to notch up the learning a level, choose membership at $99/year.
  • Coursera: An educational collaboration of 190 universities and corporations, Coursera was one of the pioneers in online learning. You can earn a certificate or degree or just take a class. Hundreds of free courses give you access to on-demand lectures, homework exercises, and discussion forums. Paid courses provide additional quizzes and projects.
  • Alison: One of the world’s largest (and first) free learning platforms for skills training – dedicated to making it possible for anyone to study virtually anything at any time at any subject level. Variety is the key at this online learning platform.
  • MasterClass: Differentiates itself by offering interesting class topics taught by celebrities in their fields: Gordon Ramsay teaches cooking, Martin Scorsese teaches filmmaking, Annie Liebowitz teaches photography – well, you get it. Unlimited access to all of the masters for $15/month. Not a place to go to earn a business degree – but who wouldn’t be inspired by spending an hour or two with your celebrity crush?

What online learning platforms would you recommend?