It’s difficult to stand out from the crowd in today’s competitive job market. But one way you can set yourself apart is by obtaining free certifications through online courses.
What do you do with these certificates?
You add them to your social media profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. You can also print them out. But the best place to put them is on your resume.
Certifications improve your resume because they show potential employers that:
- You have the necessary skills for the job.
- You are willing to invest time and effort in your professional development.
- You are up-to-date with the latest trends in your field.
Free certificates are valuable assets, whether you are looking to improve your employability or simply want to keep your skills sharp.
Another great way to stand out from the competition is to use Jobscan’s resume scanner. This tool uses AI-powered technology to help you create a resume that will get you more job interviews.
Below is a list of 28+ free online courses that provide certifications upon completion. You do NOT need to pay for the certifications on this list.
These free courses cover a variety of industries, including technology, business, marketing, science, and medicine.
No matter what field you’re interested in, there should be a free course listed below that can improve your skills and help make you a more attractive job candidate.
Free certifications by category
- Project management certification
- LinkedIn Learning certificates
- Google Analytics certification
- Salesforce certification
- Python certification
- Cyber security certifications
- IT certifications
- Data analyst certification
- Bookkeeping and accounting certification
- HubSpot certification
- Google Ad Certification
- Nursing certifications
- Digital marketing certificate
- Technical writing certification
- Business certifications
- SEO certification
- Amazon AWS certification
- Cloud computing certification
- Machine learning certification
- Customer service certification
- Photoshop certification
- MongoDB certification
- Free Online excel courses with certificate
- MATLAB certification
- Content marketing certification
- Email marketing certification
- Front-end developer certificate
- Twitter Flight School
How to list certificates on a resume
1) Project management certification
No matter what the industry, qualified project managers are always in demand.
Project managers are responsible for ensuring that all aspects of a project are taken care of, from budgeting to timelines. Without a project manager professional (PMP), it is very easy for a project to spiral out of control.
Here are free certificates you can get in project management:
- PMP Basics (SkillUp) (9 hours)
- Project Management (Great Learning) (1.5 hours)
- Become a Project Manager (LinkedIn Learning) (12 hours)
2) LinkedIn Learning certificates
With over 800 million users, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the internet.
To help its users learn new skills, LinkedIn launched LinkedIn Learning. You can sign up for a free one-month trial here. (Many of LinkedIn Learning’s course can easily be completed in less than a month).
Having a LinkedIn Learning certificate showing on your LinkedIn profile can improve your chances of landing a job. After all, LinkedIn is one of the first places recruiters and hiring managers go to learn about and find prospective employees.
In fact, studies show that 6 people are hired on LinkedIn every minute!
3) Google Analytics certification
Google Analytics is a web analytics service that is used by more than half of the world’s websites. That’s over 28 million websites!
Getting certified in Google Analytics can certainly help your job prospects. It demonstrates that you have a working knowledge of the platform and how to use it to collect and analyze data.
NOTE: Google Analytics Universal will stop working on July 1, 2023. The following free courses will teach you about Google Analytics 4, which is the newest version.
- Discover the Next Generation of Google Analytics (49 minutes)
- Use Google Analytics to Meet Your Business Objectives (1.7 hours)
- Measure Your Marketing with Google Analytics (50 minutes)
- Go Further with Your Google Analytics Data (46 minutes)
- Google Analytics Certification Course (take the previous courses before taking the test)
4) Salesforce certification
Salesforce is a popular CRM (customer relationship management) software for small businesses.
It requires no technical knowledge and provides users with a platform to manage their customer relationships, sales data, and marketing campaigns.
Trailhead is an interactive, hands-on learning platform designed by Salesforce. It’s an easy and fun way to learn everything you need to know about Salesforce, and you can earn badges as you progress through the various modules.
5) Python certification
One of the most popular programming languages, Python is easy to learn and has powerful libraries for more experienced programmers.
Python is also one of the most in-demand languages among employers. If you’re looking to get started in programming, Python is an excellent language to learn.
Harvard University has a free Python course called CS50’s Introduction to Programming with Python.
To unlock Harvard’s free certificate, you have to set up an account via GitHub. It’s all explained in the first assignment.
6) Cyber security certifications
The cyber security field is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States. In the past year, demand for cyber security jobs increased by 43%!
However, employers are having a hard time filling those roles because of a shortage of talent. If you are giving your career path a reconsideration, try looking into the rapidly expanding field of cyber security.
Here are some online cybersecurity courses that offer free certificates:
- Introduction to Cybersecurity (Cisco Networking Academy) (15 hours)
- Cybersecurity Essentials (Cisco Networking Academy) (30 hours)
- Cybersecurity Foundations (LinkedIn Learning) (2 hours)
7) IT certifications
Information technology (IT) covers a wide range of topics, including computer hardware, software, electronics, semiconductors, the Internet, telephones, and wireless technology.
FreeCodeCamp.org offers a variety of IT certification courses and it’s 100% free. Since 2014, more than 40,000 graduates have gotten jobs at tech companies including Google, Amazon, and Microsoft.
If you’re interested in furthering your career in the tech industry, consider taking advantage of freeCodeCamp.org’s free certification opportunities.
8) Data analyst certification
According to The World Economic Forum, data analysis is one of the most in-demand job categories in the U.S. across all industries.
Data analysis is the process of studying data in order to figure out what it means. This can be done in a number of ways, but most data analysis involves using some type of software to examine the data and look for patterns.
These free online data analysis courses offer free certificates upon completion:
- Data Science 101 (Cognitive Class) (3 hours)
- Data Analysis and Statistical Inference (DataCamp)
- Big Data Analysis with Revolution R Enterprise (DataCamp)
- Become a Data Analyst (LinkedIn Learning) (39 hours)
9) Bookkeeping and accounting certification
There are many opportunities for growth and advancement in the bookkeeping and accounting industry, and the pay can be good.
The following free courses teach you about the basic rules of double-entry bookkeeping and how to use this information to create a balance sheet and a profit and loss account.
- Introduction to Bookkeeping and Accounting (OpenLearn) (8 hours)
- Accounting Foundations: Bookkeeping (LinkedIn Learning) (1 hour 39 minutes)
10) HubSpot certification
HubSpot is one of the most popular marketing and sales platforms on the internet. It helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers.
HubSpot Academy offers free certification programs that cover all aspects of digital marketing. Its most popular courses are:
- Inbound Marketing (4.54 hours)
- Social Media Marketing (4:05 hours)
- SEO (3:36 hours)
- Content Marketing (7:24 hours)
- Email Marketing (3:45 hours)
- Inbound Sales (3:12 hours)
To become certified, you must pass an online exam. You can then use the globally-recognized HubSpot logo to show potential employers that you are up-to-date on the latest digital marketing techniques.
11) Google Ad Certification
One of the most popular forms of online advertising, Google ads appear on the Google search engine and other Google-affiliated websites.
There are many opportunities out there for those with the skills and knowledge to utilize Google Ads effectively.
The following courses offer free certifications upon completion:
- Google Ads Display Certification (2.6 hours)
- Google Ads Search Certification (3.7 hours)
- Google Ads Video Certification (4 hours)
- Google Ads Apps Certification (2.8 hours)
- Shopping Ads Certification (3.1 hours)
12) Nursing certifications
Like most professionals, nurses should always continue learning and growing.
The Stanford Center for Continuing Education offers a variety of online medical resources, including podcasts and full-fledged courses. These resources are free and offer certificates of completion.
To earn these free certifications for nurses, here’s what you need to do:
- Sign up for Stanford Medicine.
- Browse the catalog and enroll. By selecting “Online Course” and then “Enduring Materials” you should find plenty of open resources with free certificates..
- Claim your certificate. Once you finish a course, you can claim your certificate via the catalog page. Some courses require passing an assessment to unlock your certificate.
13) Digital marketing certificate
According to LinkedIn, digital marketing ranks among the top 10 most in-demand jobs.
The following free marketing certification course was created by Google and includes 26 modules that are packed full of practical exercises and real-world examples.
14) Technical writing certification
Technical writing is about providing technical information to readers in a way that is easy to understand. This type of writing is found in a variety of formats, including user manuals, how-to guides, and online help documentation.
Technical writing is an important skill to have in many different industries, as it can help communicate complex information clearly and concisely.
The following courses offers a free certificate upon completion:
- Technical Writing (Saylor Academy) (86 hours)
- Technical Writing: Quick Start Guides (LinkedIn Learning) (1 hour)
15) Business certifications
Business certification can be beneficial for both early-career professionals and those with more experience.
For early-career professionals, business certification can help you stand out from the competition and demonstrate your commitment to your chosen career path.
For those with more experience, business certification can help you stay current with industry trends and developments, and can also be used to demonstrate your expertise to potential employers.
Here are some business courses that come with free certification:
- Introduction to Business (Saylor Academy) (62 hours)
- Business Analysis Foundations (LinkedIn Learning) (1 – 2 hours)
- Business Analysis Foundations: Business Process Modeling (LinkedIn Learning) (1 -2 hours)
- Business Analyst and Project Manager Collaboration (LinkedIn Learning) (Less than 1 hour)
- Business Benefits Realization Foundations (LinkedIn Learning) (1 -2 hours)
16) SEO certification
One of the most important digital marketing skills is SEO, or search engine optimization.
SEO is the process of optimizing a website for search engines, making it easier for people to find the site when they search for relevant keywords.
Here are two courses that will provide you with a free certificate upon completion:
- Danny Sullivan on SEO (LinkedIn Learning) (less than an hour)
- SEO Certification Course (HubSpot Academy) (3:36 hours)
17) Amazon AWS certification
Amazon Web Services is a cloud computing platform that many companies use. While AWS training is free, you do have to pay for the certification exams.
However, there is a free course that will teach you the basics and present you with a free certificate upon completion:
18) Cloud computing certification
Google Cloud Computing Foundations offers free beginner courses in cloud computing. The courses should be completed in the following order:
- Cloud Computing Fundamentals
- Infrastructure in Google Cloud
- Networking and Security in Google Cloud
- Data, ML, and AI in Google Cloud
19) Machine learning certification
The goal of machine learning is to find patterns in data and use them to make better decisions.
The two courses below can be found at Kaggle, which offers a large variety of free computer science courses that come with free certificates.
- Intro to Machine Learning (3 hours)
- Machine Learning Explainability (4 hours)
20) Customer service certification
Customer service can be a highly rewarding job. You get to help people achieve their goals and you learn a lot of important skills along the way, such as conflict resolution and effective communication.
In fact, the skills you learn in customer service can be applied to practically any job in any industry!
The following course can be accessed for free by signing up for LinkedIn Learning’s one-month free trial:
- Build Your Skills In Customer Service (5 hours, 38 minutes)
21) Photoshop certification
Photoshop is a software program for editing photos and other images.
Many jobs require Photoshop skills, especially jobs like graphic design, web design, or user interface design. Knowing Photoshop can also help you get a job in marketing as well.
Here are two courses that offer free certificates upon completion:
- Online Free Course Photoshop Certification (EDUCBA) (2+ hours)
- Photoshop Quick Tips (LinkedIn Learning) (33 minutes)
22) MongoDB certification
MongoDB is a powerful NoSQL database that offers both speed and scalability. It’s a versatile and powerful database that can be used in a variety of business applications.
The following 2 courses can be found at MongoDB University, which offers numerous free courses with certification upon completion.
- MongoDB Basics (8.5 hours)
- MongoDB for SQL Pros (2 hours)
23) Free Online excel courses with certificate
Excel is a powerful tool that can help you organize, analyze, and present data.
Excel can be used for a variety of purposes – from creating charts and graphs to tracking expenses – so learning how to use it effectively can make you a more well-rounded and versatile job candidate.
Here are two Excel courses that come with a certificate. The LinkedIn Learning course can be accessed for free by signing up for LinkedIn Learning’s one-month free trial:
- Excel for Beginners (Great Learning) (2 hours)
- Build Your Excel Skills (LinkedIn Learning) (9 hours, 47 minutes)
24) MATLAB certification
MATLAB stands for Matrix Laboratory. It’s a numerical computing environment and fourth-generation programming language whose basic data type is the matrix.
The following free courses can be found at MathWorks, which offers a variety of courses about MATLAB.
- MATLAB Onramp (2 hours)
- Machine Learning Onramp (2 hours)
- Reinforcement Learning Onramp (3 hours)
25) Content marketing certification
One of the most important aspects of digital marketing, content marketing focuses on building a strong relationship with your audience by providing them with high-quality content on a regular basis.
These free courses offer certification upon completion:
- Content Marketing (HubSpot Academy) (7:24 hours)
- Content Marketing Basics (Great Learning) (1.5 hours)
- Content Marketing Foundations (LinkedIn Learning) (53 minutes)
26) Email marketing certification
Email marketing can be used to increase sales, build customer loyalty, or promote a brand. It’s a valuable skill for any job candidate because it demonstrates an ability to effectively reach and engage an audience.
These two online courses are free and offer a certificate upon completion:
- Email Marketing Course (HubSpot Academy) (3 hours 45 minutes)
- Email Marketing (Great Learning) (1 hour 30 minutes)
27) Front-end developer certificate
A front-end developer certificate demonstrates your knowledge and skill in developing user interfaces and front-end web applications.
Here are free online front-end developer courses that provide you with a certificate:
- Introduction to Front-End Development (SkillUp) (12 hours)
- Front End Development – CSS (Great Learning) (1 hour, 30 minutes)
- Explore a Career in Front-End Web Development (LinkedIn Learning) (22 hours)
28) Twitter Flight School
Twitter Flight School is a program developed by Twitter that provides free courses and other resources to help people learn how to use the platform effectively.
The following courses offer badges that can be displayed on LinkedIn and other social media platforms:
- Ads Manager Fundamentals
- Cross-Border Advertising
- Get Started On Twitter
- Launch and Connect Badge
- Performance Fundamentals Badge
- #TwitterFlightSchool Video Badge
- Twitter for Creatives
How to list certifications on a resume
Listing your free online certifications on your resume is a great way to catch the attention of a hiring manager.
Certificates show that you have taken the initiative to learn new skills and are constantly trying to improve your qualifications. They can give you a competitive edge over other candidates who don’t have certificates.
Here’s a quick guide to listing your certificates on your resume:
Create a designated section
Create a section specifically for your certifications at the very bottom of your resume. You can call it “Certifications,” “Professional Training,” or “Courses.”
This way, your hard-earned certifications will be easy to spot, since hiring managers typically only spend a couple of seconds skimming each resume.
List certifications in reverse chronological order
Just like the work experience section of your resume, your certifications sections should include dates.
Put the dates in parentheses and organize them in reverse chronological order, with your most recent certificate at the top.
Bold important details
Bold font can be used to highlight important details, like the name of a well-regarded certification program.
Here’s an example of how your certifications section should look:
Read the full guide: How to Format Your Resume Education Section: Tips and Examples
What certificates can I get for free?
There are a number of free certificates you can get that will help improve your resume and make you more attractive to potential employers. Most do not require any prior experience or training.
Some of the most popular websites for obtaining free certificates include:
- Hubspot Academy
- LinkedIn Learning
- Free Google Certifications
- Great Learning
- Saylor Academy
- Cisco Networking Academy
- Cognitive Class
Read the full guide: Low-Cost Online Training to Add to Your Resume
Are free certifications valuable?
There is no denying that free certifications have become increasingly popular in recent years. And it’s easy to see why: they are, quite literally, free.
But are they actually valuable? It depends.
On the one hand, free certifications may be seen as less valuable because they usually don’t require the same investment of time and money as paid certifications.
On the other hand, free certifications demonstrate a strong commitment to your professional development and a desire to stay current in your field.
Ultimately, free certificates won’t hurt you, and they can definitely help you stand out from the competition.
Read the full guide: Ask a Recruiter: On Side Hustles and E-Learning Certificates
How do I get a free course and certificate?
In addition to the list of courses above, you can simply search Google for additional free and quick certifications online.
Most courses are easy to sign up for. You will generally need to create an account in order to access the course, but once you have done so you should be able to start right away.
Some free courses offer a certificate once you finish the course, but others require that you pass some kind of assessment or test to unlock the free certificate.
By taking advantage of free courses and certification programs, you can save money while still learning the skills you need to further your career.
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