The best platforms to learn a new skill online

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Learning doesn’t stop when we finish our formal education, and it’s never too late to broaden your knowledge and expand your horizons. Online courses offer an excellent way to pick up new skills in a way that fits your lifestyle.

Whether you’re interested in earning a university degree or picking up some practical tips for everyday life, these online platforms make it easy to do.

The Open University

Based entirely online, the Open University offers a huge range of undergraduate and masters courses that provide a recognised qualification – perfect if you need further education for a promotion or career change. For something a little less formal, the university also offers OpenLearn courses, which are much shorter and don’t go towards a degree. This is a great way to discover new subjects you haven’t tried before. What’s more, there are more than 700 courses you can try from the website for free.


As we take more and more of our lives online, many of us are interested in learning more about how websites work and learning the practical skills we need to build a website or a blog. Whether you want to develop your coding skills for a web project you are working on or simply interested in picking up a new hobby, Codeacademy is a great place to start. The website is specifically dedicated to teaching coding and making it approachable, straightforward and easy to understand. There is a dashboard where you can monitor your progress and each lesson is designed to let you practice while still viewing the lesson material.


For informal learning, Skillshare is an excellent place to start. This online community is a hub for people to teach their skills and learn them from others. By signing up, you gain access to thousands of courses in four main categories: creative arts, culinary arts, entrepreneurship, lifestyle and technology. There are both free and paid memberships to choose from on the site; with a free membership you get access to a range of online courses, while paid membership offers you access to unlimited classes, meaning you can take as many different classes as you want in any subject for the same price.

Future Learn

Future Learn offers a huge range of free online courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. You can access them from your computer, smartphone or tablet, making it easy to fit learning around your life. From languages to history, health, creative arts, science, math and technology, the website makes it easy to learn for pleasure without worrying about the cost of tuition.

Have you ever considered online learning?


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Silversurfers Features Editor

Hello there! I’m Rachel and I’m the Features Editor for Silversurfers. I work behind the scenes to bring interesting, informative and entertaining subject matter to the Silversurfers community. I hope you enjoy the features we have shared with you. Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with us, we love to hear from you!

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22nd Oct 2015
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