We have compiled a list of online education providers. These sites all offer free classes, and paid classes, that people can take without having to actually sign up for college and deal with all the financial aid and registrations mess. Some of these sites do have what they call nanodegrees, which are (often) accredited study paths that are focused toward a particular area of study.
Udemy offers classes in a wide variety of subjects. Many of their classes are free, but many are paid. They have regular sales where you can buy a $200 class for $10. Also, if you know a great deal about a subject, you can apply to become an instructor and put together your own online course, and get paid for it.
Udacity offers free classes and paid nanodegrees. Nanodegrees are concentrated field of study degrees, so if you’re taking an Android developer nanodegree, all of your courses focus on skills needed to become and Anroid developer.
Nanodegrees are designed in conjunction with some of the big names in their fields, like Google, Amazon Alexa, AT&T, Lockheed Martin, and a slew of others.
EdX courses are free, and are developed by some of the top universities in the world. In many cases, it’s the same class you’d be taking if you were actually a student at Berkeley, MIT, Harvard, UCSD, and many other big name universities, but online and not for credit. They also have credit-eligible courses so your high schooler could be getting college credit, taking College Algebra and Problem Solving from Arizona State University, for example, while getting ready for his senior year at RHS.
The Global Freshman Academy at EdX costs $49 per course, which a great deal cheaper than taking the same course on campus. If you’ve already got a Bachelor’s degree, EdX also offers MicroMasters through major accredited universities. Please speak to admissions personnel at your college of choice about credit transferability.
Coursera is another site that partners with the big guns of education. Their courses are developed by schools such as University of Colorado, Penn State, Johns Hopkins, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Tel Aviv University, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and many others. Courses have a free and a paid version. Paid version includes a certificate of completion that can be used on your resume, but does not include college credit.
There are many more sites out there, that I have not personally examined and used. As with anything you do online, please be careful who you give your information to. At best, giving your information to a bad actor could mean a ton of spam. At worst, it could lead to identity theft. All sites that I have included links to are sites that I have used, myself.