Date posted: 26/05/2020

Self-directed learning: 7 free resources to help you develop new skills

Here are 7 free learning resources to help you discover new skills and interests, and achieve your goals!

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Learning is a lifelong journey. We all have interests and passions we want to learn more about, or dream skills we'd love to develop - and these evolve over the course of our lives.

A self-directed approach to learning allows you to identify your own interests and learning needs, set your own development goals and then put them into action.

With that in mind, we've curated a collection of free learning resources to help you learn more about the topics you love, upskill and kick goals!

Linkedin Learning

LinkedIn is the professional social media channel through which you can network with industry leaders and discover job opportunities. LinkedIn Learning is the site's hub of video courses to help grow your skills and accomplish your goals.

Although the majority of LinkedIn Learning's 13,000 courses are subscription based, some courses are free!

These include 'Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant on Option B: Building Resilience,' 'J.T. O'Donnell on Making Recruiters Come to You' and 'Jodi Glickman on Pitching Yourself.'

Check out LinkedIn Learning's free courses to help enhance your professional skills.


With more than 10.8 million subscribers around the world, Crash Course is a free educational YouTube channel started by author/sibling duo John and Hank Green.

With courses ranging from the humanities to the sciences, Crash Course transforms the traditional textbook model by presenting information in a fast-paced format of 10-20 min videos.

Previous videos include 'How to Make a Resume Stand Out,' 'Making Time Management Work for You,' and 'Is Growth Right For You?'

Whether you are looking to brush up on your business knowledge, or looking for some motivation to chase your career goals - there is a CrashCourse video for everyone!


Want to develop practical skills and experience across a range of industries?

TAFE NSW, in conjunction with the NSW Government, is offering 21 fee-free* accredited short courses during COVID-19 to people over 17 who live or work in NSW and are an Australian or New Zealand citizen, permanent resident or humanitarian visa holder.

These short courses can be completed in just a number of days (or weeks depending on the chosen course), and include topics such as 'Building your Digital Literacy with Coding,' and 'Undertaking Projects and Managing Risk.'

Make the most out of your free time and undertake a short course to help diversify your skill set.

*Fee-free short course enrolments are limited to a maximum of two courses per person.

Are you looking to develop new skills and advance your career without spending your hard earned cash?

Check out Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) - free online courses available for anyone to enrol.

Developed by staff from universities around the world, MOOCs are online courses that provide students with the same level of teaching and learning as classroom-style education.

With no entry requirements and hundreds of free online business and management courses, students can enrol into university subjects like 'Excel Skills for Business' and 'Designing the Future of Work.'

With a world of training and knowledge at your fingertips, why not start a MOOC today?

Harvard University

Regarded as one of the most prestigious universities in the world, Harvard University is offering free online courses to help students advance their career, pursue their passions and keep learning during COVID-19.

With course lengths ranging between one to 15 weeks, Harvard University is providing students around the globe with access to 80 free courses* in a variety of subjects.

Enrol into courses on topics including 'Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies', 'Contract Law' and 'Nonprofit Financial Stewardship.'

*Students can choose to receive a verified completion certificate for a fee.


Coursera is a leading online platform for higher education.

Designed and taught by instructors from leading universities and companies, Coursera provides students with the opportunity to learn something new, anywhere and anytime.

Hundreds of Coursera's online courses are free* and give students access to on-demand video lectures, homework experiences, and community discussion forums.

With subjects like business, computer science, data science and more - you can sign up to a free course and take the next step closer to achieving your personal and professional goals!

*Paid courses provide extra quizzes and projects as well as shareable course certificates.


Founded by Harvard and MIT, edX's mission is to increase access to high-quality education by removing the barriers of cost and location.

edX is a trusted education and learning platform for curious minds, supporting more than 20 million learners at every stage of their career journey.

Enrol into courses on topics including 'Business Management', 'Introduction to Investments' and 'Becoming a Successful Leader,' and many more.

We hope this selection of free online resources and links will encourage you to learn something new, develop your skills, and use your free time productively. Get studying today!

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