Learn digital skills online: our mega list of free and paid courses

Find out how you can reboot your digital skills with dozens of online courses for all ability levels.

Over the past couple of months almost everyone seems to have become an expert at virtual meetings… Take my mum, who’s now enjoying weekly intercontinental group video calls with her siblings in Bangladesh, America and Canada. The lockdown has found her transporting herself virtually, if not physically, to younger more carefree days of shooting the breeze and giggling away with her loved ones. People are appreciating, more and more, the value of digital tools and how they can help make life a little bit more fun.

For those of us who have been pushing the vital importance of digital skills to all and sundry, this new mindset opens up an incredible opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to build new skills, learn new ways of working and prepare for a future where technology will be even more ingrained in our lives.

But these figures collated by Accenture Digital Skills show that the UK is far behind where it needs to be when it comes to individuals’ digital skills:

  • 3 million people lack basic digital skills
  • 2 million estimated new technical and digitally skilled people are needed by 2022 to satisfy future skills needs
  • 21% of people in the UK aged 15+ lack one or more of the five basic digital skills
  • 76% of businesses are facing a shortage of digital skills in their workforce

Croydon Digital teamed up with TechUK to bring you this mega list of a wide range of free digital skills courses that you can access with ease. There are courses for all levels of interest and ability, so you can work at your own pace and open up exciting new opportunities.

Free courses: beginner

Good Things Foundation

Learn my way – lots of different courses


IT for Business Success – learn at your own pace

Lloyds Bank

Lloyds Bank Academy – 140 courses of different lengths

Salesforce Trailhead

Trailhead – lots of different courses

Free courses: basic skills

Accenture / Future Learn

Digital Skills: Artificial Intelligence – 3 weeks

Digital Skills: Digital Marketing – 2 weeks

Digital Skills: Social Media – 2 weeks

Digital Skills: User Experience – 3 weeks

Digital Skills: Web Analytics – 2 weeks

Future Learn

Introduction to Cyber Security – 8 weeks

Open Learn, The Open University

Learn to code for data analysis – one day

Internet of everything – 15 hours

Salesforce Trailhead

Build Better with UX – 3 hours 35 mins

Get Started with iOS App Development – 8 hours 50 mins

Huawei ICT Academy

HCIA Big Data Course – learn at your own pace

HCIA Cloud Computing Course – learn at your own pace

Future Learn/UAL Creative Computing Institute/IOC

Introduction to Creative AI – 4 hours over 2 weeks

Introduction to UX and Accessible Design – 4 hours over 2 weeks

Free courses: all levels


Cyber Training and Skills Content Repository – lots of different courses

Department for Education

Government Skills Toolkit – signposting platform – lots of different courses

Cisco Networking Academy

Introduction to Cybersecurity – 15 hours

Get Connected – 30 hrs

Linux Essentials – 70 hrs

Programming Essentials in Python – 70 hrs

Cybersecurity Essentials – 30 hrs

Microsoft Learn

Microsoft Learn – lots of different courses


Google Digital Garage platform

Free courses: advanced level

Future Learn, University of Leeds and Institute of Coding

Computer Programming for Everyone – 2 weeks

Salesforce Trailhead

Develop Secure Web Apps – 11 hours 45 mins


Introduction to Python – 5 weeks

Introduction to data analysis – 6 weeks

Paid courses

There are also a number of paid digital skills courses and virtual learning opportunities offered by our local colleges in Croydon, with support from experienced teachers. You’ll also get a shiny certificate on completion.

CALAT (Croydon Adult Learning & Training)

  • Beginners Guide to using WordPress – Build your own website
  • AAT – Access Award in Accounting Software – Level 1
  • Computing Skills for Life and Work – Beginners
  • Digital Skills in MS Office
  • Microsoft Office Computing For Work – Advanced Level 2
  • Microsoft Office Computing For Work – Intermediate Level 1
  • Using Computing Skills for Life and Work – Moving On Entry
  • Using Computing Skills for Work – Moving On Entry

Croydon College

  • Level 2 Certificate in IT User Skills (distance learning course)
  • Level 2 Certificate in Principles for Digital Skills (distance learning course)

John Ruskin College

  • offers a number of digital skills courses, some of which will be offered as virtual courses from September – contact the college for more details!

Experience Haus

We are also incredibly excited to be working in partnership with Experience Haus to launch a new online 8 week part-time course solely for Croydon residents, kicking off this June: digital product design including user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) designRead more about the course here.

1 thought on “Learn digital skills online: our mega list of free and paid courses”

David Randall 30th June 2020 at 7:34 pm

Very useful list Opama. Well done.

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