Resources for Learning New Tech Skills or Hobbies Cheap or Free

Don't miss this guide to the best online learning resources that don't break the bank.

Adult learning online at home. Handwriting in notebook while listening to lecture in headphones
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Education has come a long way from chalkboards and overhead projectors. In our digitally-advanced world, online courses and tutorials are the new classrooms. You can now learn new skills and upgrade your CV cheaply from the comfort of your home. Stay tuned for our list of cheap and free online skill websites.

Mammoth Interactive

Mammoth Interactive has been around for quite some time, and they have garnered a reputation for offering a wide variety of courses on everything from game development to machine learning. Their primary selling points are their hands-on approach to learning and affordability, with some courses being up to 90% off during sales.

From game development in Unity and Unreal Engine to web development, machine learning, and data science. Every course ensures learners get the skills they need to advance in their chosen field.

Alison

Founded in 2007, Alison has become a pioneer in free online learning. With a mission to make education and skills training accessible, this platform offers courses across many subjects without a hefty price tag.

From tech to languages, health, humanities and more. Alison boasts a catalogue that caters to both hobbyists and professionals. Their diploma courses, in particular, offer a comprehensive deep dive into subjects perfect for those looking to solidify their hobbies into expertise.

Alison’s freemium model allows learners to access courses at no cost. Although certification comes with a fee, the knowledge remains free, emphasising their commitment to open learning.

Codeacademy

At its core, Codeacademy believes in transforming the passive learning experience into an active one. Gone are the days of monotonous lectures and rote memorisation. At Codeacademy, you’re not just learning; you’re doing. 

What sets Codeacademy apart is its interactive learning environment. Every lesson is a hands-on experience, pushing you to write real code, solve actual problems, and see the results of your work in real time. It’s not just about theory. It is about practical, applicable knowledge.

Codecademy offers two service levels: free and paid. The basic membership is free and features a variety of courses that students can take without any financial obligation. From HTML, CSS, and Python to more advanced areas like machine learning and full-stack development. Whatever your tech aspirations, there is a pathway tailored for you.

Skillshare

Skillshare isn’t just a learning platform. It’s a thriving community for the insatiably curious, from digital illustration, photography, and film, to entrepreneurship, marketing and productivity hacks. Skillshare boasts a library that caters to both the logical thinker and the creative spirit. Whether you’re honing an existing craft or diving into a new passion, Skillshare’s vast catalogue promises a course for every interest.

Normally quality education comes with a hefty price tag, but not with Skillshare. Their subscription-based model ensures unlimited access to all their courses without breaking the bank. For £5.99/month, you can access hundreds of courses for less than a Netflix subscription. Diving into a new skill is now both easy and economical.

MasterClass

A MasterClass isn’t about learning from any expert, its about gaining insights from iconic figures. Imagine delving into the art of acting with Natalie Portman or understanding the nuances of writing with Margaret Atwood. From culinary arts with Gordon Ramsey to filmmaking with Martin Scorsese, MasterClass directly brings the luminaries of various fields to your screen.

MasterClass has unparalleled production value. Each course feels like a cinematic journey, making the learning process informative and deeply immersive. While the allure of celebrity instructors might be the primary draw, the depth and breadth of the content ensure a substantial learning experience.

Although video tutorials are the main focus of the learning experience, MasterClass courses often have downloadable resources and assignments, ensuring the learning isn’t always passive. Starting from £10/month, MasterClass is a unique and affordable learning experience.

Linkedin Learning

Linkedin is, forgive my comparison, Facebook for businesses. But at its core, Linkedin learning capitalises on what it does best: understanding professional skills. By leveraging data from its vast professional network, the platform offers courses that are not just trendy but tailored to real-world career progressions. 

With insights derived from your Linkedin profile, including your skills and job role, Linkedin Learning offers course suggestions relevant to your career path, helping you stay one step ahead in your profession.

However, because of its seamless connection to your Linkedin profile and, as a result, helpfulness in career progression, Linkedin is slightly more expensive than its competitors on this list. It doesn't break the bank at £29.99/month for 16,000+ courses but may not be ideal if your budget is low.

Udemy

Udemy has an unparalleled selection of over 150,000 courses, from digital marketing to artificial intelligence to musical instruments. If you’re looking to learn, there is a very good chance Udemy has the course for you. Udemy’s lifetime access to courses allows you to work at your own pace in a fast-paced world, with the ability to revisit content whenever you need.

Udemy Provides full certification for courses upon completion, adding valuable credentials to your professional arsenal for just £10.99/month.

FutureLearn

FutureLearn collaborates with world-class universities like Kings College London—the University of Edinburgh, and Monash University. Whether you’re dipping your toes into a new subject or diving deep into a specialisation, FutureLearn offers a variety of formats, from short courses to in-depth degrees. This flexibility ensures learners of all commitments and interests find something to match their needs.

FutureLearn spans topics from business, tech and health to humanities and social sciences, all for just £19.99/month. Upon course completion, learners also have the option to get a certificate of achievement, a valuable testament to their dedication and skill.

Humble Bundle

Humble Bundle isn’t technically a learning platform but stay with me. Humble Bundle is an online store that sells video games, books, software and courses for massive discounts which go to charity. For example, I bought a whole C++ and Unity Engine learning course via Mammoth Interactive (see above) worth close to £1000 for only £70, and a share of the money went to charity.

They often sell bundles for game development and coding languages, so if you are in the mood for learning but don’t want to subscribe to one of the above websites, visit Humble Bundle and see what’s on offer.

So whether you’re a student keen on supplementing your formal education, a professional seeking to update your skills, or a lifelong learner with insatiable curiosity, I hope this article has helped you on your learning journey.

If you’re looking for deals on courses and learning, why not head over to our dedicated Jobs & Education Discount Page? Or maybe you want to couple your student learning with the best deals with our Ultimate Guide to Student Discounts.

Nathan Walters
Editor

I joined MyVoucherCodes as a Deal Expert, searching the web and sourcing the best deals, discount codes and sales to benefit our readers. I decided to combine these money-saving skills with my love of writing and become an Editor, sharing what I have learned to help you get the most out of your money. Having been a student for four years, I understand the need to budget and get more for less.

In my spare time, I love playing video games and later writing reviews at GameReport. I also enjoy anything to do with technology and cool gadgets, and I'm constantly adding extras and components to my home gaming computer. Additionally, I love DIY, having worked in a tool store as a student, I have grown to enjoy fixing things, whether it’s my car or home.