No More Excuses

The Best Online Courses for Cooking, Staying in Shape and Learning New Skills at Home


May 2, 2020 Buying Guides By
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Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

Whether you want to take up photography, cook like a world-class chef or simply burn off those empty beer calories, there are online courses for just about everything these days. Here are the top free and paid sites offering an extensive array of online courses to help you pick up a new hobby or skill from the comfort of your home.

MasterClass

MasterClass is unique in that it has some of the top professionals in their respective fields teaching the courses. These masters run the gamut of actors, musicians, photographers, athletes. And for $15 a month (billed annually), you get access to all of them. Some standout courses include Massimo Bottura teaching modern Italian cooking, Annie Leibovitz teaching photography, David Sedaris teaching storytelling and Frank Gehry teaching design and architecture.

Coursera

Coursera was an early leader in offering online audits of courses from top universities. The online provider now collabortes with over 200 universities and companies to offer certification-level classes in nearly every subject field — data science, information technology and programming are a few of Coursera’s more popular subjects. While the audit versions of most courses are free (including Yale’s world-renowned The Science of Well-Being course), you’ll need to pay for individual courses or subscribe to Coursera Plus ($33 per month) or Coursera Specialization (starting at $49 per month) for credits and certifications.

ClassPass

If you’re used to working out at a gym or attending fitness classes, ClassPass is a great replacement option. The best thing is that a free account lets you access its vast library of on-demand classes. If you want to live stream classes, you can pay as you go (memberships with credits for classes start at $19 per month).

Editor’s Note: Because of the coronavirus, ClassPass will give 100 percent of its live-stream proceeds directly to studios until June 1st.

Udemy

Udemy has over 100,000 online classes ranging in a variety of topics from meditation to interior design to woodworking. Courses typically range from $20 to $200 and you have lifetime access to them, which is something most other platforms do not offer.

Linkedin Learning

Linkedin is one of the biggest professional hubs out there. As such, its Linkedin Learning platform provides ample opportunities to further your career. Courses center around three main subjects: business, technology and creative.

Lululemon

Lululemon has a darn good database of free online yoga classes but the fitness apparel brand also offers up a few other workout videos on its site and YouTube. They cover bodyweight training, meditation and kettlebell workouts.

CreativeLive

As its name states, CreativeLive classes cater to the creatives out there, with classes covering photography, illustration, typography, bass guitar and more. Each day, CreativeLive offers free classes through OnAir, which you can stream. All the other courses are individually priced, or you could also sign up for The Creator Pass ($299 per year).

Editor’s Note: The Creator Pass is half off right now. Get it for just $149 per year, which comes out to less than $13 per month (billed annually).

Find Your Trainer

Find Your Trainer previously operated as a platform in which you could book a personal trainer for an in-person session. This service was available in just about every state, and even more prevelant in larger cities. Now, the platform is offering virtual training sessions that start at $29 per session and can take place over Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts or Facebook Messenger.

Skillshare

Skillshare is one of the more interactive platforms out there with the ability to create projects with fellow students and teachers. It has a host of free classes, like how to brew amazing coffee with Micahel Phillips of Blue Bottle Coffee. The Skillshare Premium gets you offline access to all courses, as well as access to more than 20,000 Premium courses.

Editor’s Note: Right now, you can get two free months of Skillshare Premium for free.

Aaptiv

Aaptiv is a solid option if you have specific fitness goals because you can take programs tailored exactly to them. You start with a short fitness quiz and a free seven-day trial. From there, it costs $15 per month. It’s best if you’re someone who wants audio-based workouts you can take outdoors for runs.

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Ryan Brower

Ryan Brower serves as Commerce Editor and also writes about beer and surfing for Gear Patrol. He lives in Brooklyn, loves the ocean and almost always has a film camera handy.

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