Updated: October 25, 2022

13 Top Online Learning Platforms for Professional Development

You found our list of the best online learning platforms for professional development.

Online learning platforms for professional development are resources that offer the opportunity for participants to learn new skills without the need for physical classrooms. Examples include Skillshare, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning. The purpose of these services is to provide convenient and flexible avenues for career growth. Online learning platforms also provide affordable services compared to the increasingly expensive traditional learning institutions.

Online courses are examples of professional development activities, professional development best practices, and corporate workshop ideas.

This list includes:

  • online course platforms
  • free online learning platforms
  • online learning platforms for business

Let’s get to it!

List of online learning platforms

The technology revolution has paved the way for online learning platforms. As some of the most coveted services on the global market, these platforms offer workers the flexibility of working while upskilling. From Udacity to MasterClass and General Assembly, here is a list of the best online professional development learning platforms.

1. Coursera

Featuring over 43,000 certification programs and university-level guides, Coursera is one of the best options for online learning platforms for business. In addition, the platform has a unique teaching program compared to other online learning spaces. You will find instructors from top universities and companies such as Yale and Stanford. Most courses feature assignments, group discussions, projects, and video lectures. Learners can choose topics such as math and logic, data science, business, information technology, and computer science.

Highlights:

  • Online degree courses provided by accredited universities
  • Courses available in many languages, such as English, French, Arabic, Korean, and Portuguese
  • Specialization options for learners who want to master a specific skill
  • Offers certifications upon the completion of courses
  • Availability of free courses via the audit option
  • With Coursera Plus annual subscription, learners can take on several courses, specializations, and professional certifications

Coursera also offers students homework exercises, video lectures, community discussion forums, and peer-reviewed assignments. The platform is an excellent option for organizations that want to provide workers with learning avenues from prestigious institutions. Individuals who are also looking for a one-off certification, course, or online degree will benefit from Coursera. Depending on the program, these courses range from $25 to $25,000. Learners can also opt for the annual Coursera Plus subscription at $399.

Learn more about Coursera.

2. Skillshare

As one of the most popular online learning platforms, Skillshare is a fantastic option for professional development. The platform boasts a collection of over 27,000 classes in different categories. Companies can choose between Thrive, Build, and Create categories. In the Build category, the platform offers classes about leadership and management, freelance and entrepreneurship, business analytics, and marketing. The Thrive category comprises productivity and lifestyle classes, while the Create section offers creative writing, animation, and web development lessons.

Highlights:

  • A project-based approach that fosters learning and encourages creativity
  • Each course has a class project and video presentation
  • A free trial period, usually for 30 days
  • Premium membership with access to unlimited classes on the platform
  • Student community that encourages interaction
  • Availability of live workshops and sessions by top tutors with a download option
  • Learners can take many courses at the same time

While Skillshare provides learners with many vital career development classes, the platform does not offer certification upon completing a course. The pricing for Skillshare services is $32 for a monthly subscription or $168 for an annual membership.

Learn more about Skillshare.

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3. Mindvalley

With over 50 courses, Mindvalley is one of the best online platforms businesses can use to enrich workers with personal development and transformation insights. The platform aims to help learners succeed in their careers and unlock their full potential. With a focus on mind, spirit, and body, Mindvalley is a remarkable space that will help learners improve different aspects of their lives in a short span. Tutors include international speakers, renowned therapists, best-selling authors, and entrepreneurs. The platform offers classes in the career, mind, body, entrepreneurship, relationships, and career categories.

Highlights:

  • Offers practice exercises and video-based lessons
  • Mindvalley membership provides learners full access to all training, quests, live workshops, private social networks, and meditations
  • Daily membership option at $.028
  • Daily live classes
  • Unlimited access to the Mindvalley private social network for learners who want to foster long-term connections

Mindvalley pricing for a monthly membership is $149, while an annual subscription is $599. However, you may be lucky to get discounts depending on the time of purchase.

Learn more about Mindvalley.

4. Codecademy

If you are looking for online platforms for developers, then Codecademy is a good bet. Codecademy provides courses in technology niches. Some of the subjects that the platform offers include data science, machine learning, web development, web design, and code foundations. In addition, learners can choose different coding languages, such as HTML, JavaScript, and Python.

Highlights:

  • Offers certificates upon the completion of courses
  • Provides team members to assist different groups of learners
  • The Codecademy catalog includes interactive articles, quizzes, and interactive lessons
  • The Skillsoft catalog includes audio books, on-demand videos, and certification prep
  • Learners can start with the free basic access

Codecademy provides students with an interactive way of learning accessible to all willing participants. The pricing of these courses starts from $13.99 for the pro lite and $19.99 for the pro option.

Learn more about Codecademy.

5. Udemy

Featuring over 204,000 courses, Udemy is a fantastic option for companies searching for online learning platforms for professional development. The platform offers courses in a wide variety of expertise, such as marketing, business management, finance, and information technology. In addition, users can also find courses promoting workers’ creativity, like weaving, photography, design, and music production.

Highlights:

  • Learners have to purchase each course since the platform does not offer an unlimited subscription option
  • Availability of affordable courses, with some starting at $9
  • Has beginner, intermediate, and advanced course options
  • Courses available in different languages, such as English, German, Chinese, and Spanish
  • While Udemy is not an accredited learning institution, the platform offers certificates upon the completion of a paid course
  • Offers a mix of video tutorials, practice tests, and assignments
  • Over 60,000 instructors
  • Learners can download the courses and watch them at any time

While Udemy is a great learning platform with many classes, students get limited interaction with instructors and other learners. The platform offers free courses, while premium courses range between $20 and $200. However, the platform provides discounts on courses every so often.

Learn more about Udemy.

6. edX.org

If you are looking for college-level online learning platforms, then edX is an excellent option. The platform features top-notch courses from reputable institutions such as Harvard University, Boston University, and Australian National University. Learners will browse the library of over 2,500 classes.

Organizations searching for free learning resources can opt for subjects other than professional education courses. Students looking for free online learning platforms can check out the Audit Track option. The learners will access free course materials, including videos, lectures, and ungraded materials. However, learners will not receive certificates of completion and graded assignments. Some course subjects on edX include physics, food and nutrition, language, medicine, and architecture.

Highlights:

  • Courses available in different languages like English, French, Spanish, and Chinese
  • Availability of accredited certificates upon the completion of a course
  • Courses have video content, course discussions, assignments, and group projects
  • Bachelor’s degrees from reputable organizations
  • Affordable MicroMasters programs for graduate-level courses
  • Interactive classes
  • Learners can complete courses at their own pace
  • Option to apply for financial aid for low-income learners
  • Custom quotes for groups or businesses seeking edX services

With a diverse library of courses, edX is a fantastic option for students who want to learn new subjects or upskill. Since the platform mimics the approach of formal education, learners who want access to top-quality education will benefit from the flexibility and freedom that edX offers. The cost of the edX paid verified track courses ranges between $50 to $300, while master’s degrees cost between $10,000 to $25,000.

Learn more about edX.

7. Udacity

With a focus on being audacious for students, Udacity is a fantastic upskilling platform for tech workers of all levels. The platform offers over 200 courses and more than 40 Nano degree programs focusing on project-based learning. The Nano degree platforms consist of course topics such as coding, mobile programming, artificial intelligence, data science, and robotics. The platform also offers one-on-one technical mentorships for Nanodegree learners.

Highlights:

  • Availability of executive programs for business leaders who want to learn complex topics quickly. The average cost of these programs is $1,500 and includes technical mentor support, access to top industry professionals, and career coaching.
  • Access to comprehensive programs like artificial intelligence, machine learning, self-driving automated cars, and deep learning
  • Top-quality content through collaborations with industry leaders such as Amazon and Google
  • Career services include resume, cover letter, GitHub, and linked reviews.
  • Over 200 free courses
  • Non-accredited certificates

While Udacity is not an accredited university, the platform offers in-depth knowledge on relevant topics. The monthly cost of Nanodegree courses is $399 per month, while the five-month access costs $1,695 on an upfront basis. Workers who want the flexibility of online learning platforms can choose the monthly access option.

Learn more about Udacity.

8. LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning is a great online learning platform for professional development. The former Lynda.com platform boasts over 16,000 high-quality courses for learners of all levels. You will find a variety of subjects, such as software programming, web development, business management, and economics.

Highlights:

  • Free one-month trial period
  • Single monthly subscription option with access to all content
  • Learners can download educational materials for later viewing
  • Most courses offer certificates of completion, although not accredited
  • Offers courses in different languages

LinkedIn Learning is an excellent platform for individuals who want to upskill or entities that wish to train their workers. LinkedIn Learning costs between $29.99 for a monthly membership and $19.99 monthly for an annual subscription. LinkedIn premium members also get access to LinkedIn Learning.

Learn more about LinkedIn Learning.

9. MasterClass

Featuring renowned celebrities and experts, Masterclass is an excellent option for online learning platforms for business. While most courses are in the creative fields, the platform also offers technology and business classes. The learning model is ideal for students who want to gain vital insights from the world’s best tutors through structured step-by-step instructions. Your team can learn interesting categories such as food, writing, science and tech, music, arts, and lifestyle. Some of the esteemed instructors include Richard Branson for disruptive entrepreneurship, John Legend for songwriting, and Esther Perel for relational intelligence.

Highlights:

  • Learners get unlimited access to over 25,000 courses across 11 categories
  • Annual subscriptions start at $15 for all sessions and classes
  • Download option for offline viewing
  • Learners can connect and interact with other students
  • Classes include assignments, high-quality video guides, workbooks, and community activities
  • No deadlines, hence students can learn at their own pace

MasterClass is an excellent platform for employers that want to encourage creativity from the workforce. However, the platform does not offer certifications.

Learn more about MasterClass.

10. FutureLearn

FutureLearn is an online learning platform that offers access to quality courses through partnerships with specialist organizations and top international universities. Some of the partnering universities include the University of Adelaide, the University of Bath, Bond University, and Cardiff University. The platform has a wide range of subjects, short courses, micro-credentials, expert tracks, and online degrees.

Highlights:

  • Learners can access over 600 courses with the unlimited subscription
  • Free courses via the audit option
  • Offers certificates of achievements or statements of participation for paid courses
  • Courses may include reading materials, audio and video content, short quizzes, group discussions, and assignments
  • Premium courses for learners who want to advance their careers and study in small groups
  • Accredited micro-credentials such as data science, digital photography, and change management

FutureLearn for Business is an excellent option for companies that want workers to upskill. The platform creates a unique learning solution tailored to the needs of a business. The cost of premium courses ranges between $75 and $400, while micro-credentials cost between $579 and $1,549.

Learn more about FutureLearn.

11. BitDegree

As one of the best online learning platforms for professional development, BitDegree is an excellent option for learners who want to upskill. The platform has a unique model that emphasizes blockchain technology. However, your team can get game design, software development, monitoring and evaluation, financial analysis, and web development courses.

Highlights:

  • A learn-to-earn business model where learners earn cryptocurrency tokens upon the completion of courses. Students can use these tokens to pay for courses at accredited institutions
  • Blockchain certificates after the successful completion of a course
  • A gamified environment that can be motivating, engaging, and rewarding
  • Free membership that offers access to paid and non-paid courses

While BitDegre is a fantastic option, the platform offers fewer courses than other learning avenues. Also, most topics prioritize programming, cryptocurrency, and tech. Businesses are also limited since BitDegree does not offer a subscription plan or multiple-user access through a single account. Hence, the platform is suitable for individuals who want to learn new skills.

Learn more about BitDegree.

12. LearnWorlds

If you are looking for online course platforms, then LearnWorlds is a commendable option. The cloud-based platform offers tutors an avenue to build an online academy featuring interactive and unique social learning experiences. The platform also provides educators the right marketing tools to promote online courses and monetize their skills.

Highlights:

  • Easy to set up and does not require technical skills for use
  • Build-in authoring capabilities
  • Coding-free and customizable Mobile App Builder for Android and iOS
  • Variety of assessment engines and learning tools

LearnWorlds is ideal for individual instructors, entrepreneurs, and businesses that want to train their workers. For educators, the pricing for the starter course creators is $29, and $99 per month for the pro trainer option. The learning center also has pro trainer features and costs $249 per month.

Learn more about LearnWorlds.

13. General Assembly

General Assembly is a fantastic pick if you are looking for online learning platforms that prioritize open interaction between instructors and learners. The platform offers learners the option of in-person or online classes. Students will access many courses, such as data science, software engineering, digital marketing, product management, and python programming.

Highlights:

  • Promotes easy flow of communication among the learners and educators
  • Learners can build other soft skills through the over 40,000 alumni network across different dominions
  • Offers companies employee sourcing and training from non-traditional backgrounds
  • Course designers and educators from top businesses like Amazon, Google, and Airbnb
  • Offer learners with a dedicated career coach, real-world learning, and job search prep

With General Assembly’s flexibility model, students can choose part-time, full-time, and short-form learning arrangements.

Learn more about General Assembly.

Conclusion

The benefits of online learning platforms are evident in a world that is becoming increasingly busy and expensive. Virtual classes allow learners to access educational materials in different formats and even interactive sessions with tutors and other students. These platforms also enable employees to upskill at a significantly lower cost than traditional schools. However, with the wide variety of online learning platforms, it can be difficult for businesses and workers to choose the right option.

Some factors that individuals can consider are the availability of structured content, course content, and a community that makes learning fun. Pricing is another major factor that all players must consider. If you want your team to gain new skills without needing certification, then you can opt for free online learning platforms.

Next, check out training and development books and leadership conferences.

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FAQ: Online learning platforms

Here are answers to common questions about online learning platforms for professional development

What are online learning platforms for professional development?

Online learning platforms are digital spaces that provide an avenue for participants to learn a new skill. Like a traditional school setup, these platforms provide safe learning environments for students and tutors. Students can access learning materials and interact with the teachers. Some platforms even offer course completion certificates.

How can you use online learning platforms in the workplace?

Offering your team access to up-to-date knowledge can increase employee performance and job satisfaction. With e-learning, your team can learn anytime and from anywhere. If you want the entire team to gain new skills, then you could opt for platforms that allow access to multiple users from one account. If you are unsure about the right learning platform for your team, then you could let workers take on courses from multiple platforms.

What are some good online learning platforms for professional development?

Online learning platforms are some of the best educational avenues that eliminate the stress of commuting to school. These platforms are also cost-effective and reduce the learning financial burden. Some good online learning platforms for professional development include Coursera, edX, and BitDegree.

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Author:

People & Culture Director at teambuilding.com.
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at TeamBuilding. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.

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