You don’t need to enroll at a university or step out of your home to start learning something new. There are a whole bunch of portals that let you expand your skill set or simply revisit the basics. Online learning has been growing over the past few years and there are several portals that let you prepare for competitive examinations or even offer a proper US degree for almost no fees.
If you're curious about what you can do, here’s a quick roundup of online learning portals that you can use in India. We looked at various options, and also followed up on their reputation online to see what kind of feedback users were leaving, and here are the top picks we ended up with.
1) Khan Academy
Khan Academy is one of the best known names on this list. In case you don't already know, it is a free online learning portal with more courses than what most people need. The website lets you learn maths, science, humanities, economics, and more.
If you want to start with basics and move towards preparing for competitive exams such as IIT-JEE, you can do that at Khan Academy. It’s not as good as having a personal tutor but if you’re comfortable at learning on your own via really good videos, Khan Academy is excellent.
Check out Khan Academy
National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) is a project funded by the government where you can learn any course from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) for free. These courses are completely free but if you want certification you will have to pay Rs. 1,000 per course and take an examination in one of many cities where the program has an examination centre.
NPTEL is one of the biggest online learning platforms across the world and the quality of course material is excellent. It's perhaps the best resource for Indians who want to learn engineering or science related courses.
Check out NPTEL
3) University of the People
If you want a degree from a US-accredited university but don’t have the resources to travel to the US and live there, then University of the People is a great alternative. It doesn’t charge anything as tuition fees.
The University of the People offers degrees such accredited Bachelor’s and Associate’s degrees in business administration, health science, and computer science, as well as an MBA. There is a one-time application fee of $60 (roughly Rs. 3,900) and you also have to pay $100 (roughly Rs. 6,500) to $200 (roughly Rs. 13,000) for each exam. The fee varies depending on the number of examinations required for the course, but studying, resources, and coursework are free.
Check out University of the People
Coursera is also a popular online learning platform for which India is a large market. It has courses from various top universities across the world and you can access almost all of these courses for free.
To take tests and complete assignments, you must pay per course $29 (roughly Rs. 1,900) to $99 (roughly Rs. 6,400) per course, but learning doesn’t cost you anything. Its courses range from specific programming languages to self-improvement programs such as learning how to learn.
Check out Coursera
5) Harvard Business School
Harvard Business School has its own online learning program called HBX, where you can find various courses such as becoming a better manager and how to improve your negotiation skills. It's quite well-known internationally, and feedback online was quite positive too.
These courses are specifically aimed at preparing you for the world of business and they have various programs optimised for students, early, and mid-career professionals. The courses aren’t cheap at all but if you want the best education, you have to pay - be prepared to shell out around $1500 (roughly Rs. 97,000) per course.
Check out HBX
Byju’s is among the more popular online learning platforms in India. It offers courses for students from class 4 to 12, apart from several competitive examinations such as IIT JEE, GMAT, GRE, CAT, etc. The platform also has an app for parents and with each of its paid courses, offers lots of content via SD cards — very important in India, where Internet speeds aren’t the fastest.
The company follows a freemium model, with free access to some lessons via its apps, and a detailed offline package otherwise which can set you back between Rs. 20,000 and Rs. 30,000 per year.
Check out Byju’s
There are several other online learning platforms with a significant audience in India, but we didn't find too many reviews or testimonials on neutral sources. Still, if you're looking for alternatives, you should check these out too.
Edureka: Edureka offers several paid courses targeted at those who want to improve their skill set, with courses in the areas of mobile app development, big data, cloud computing, and more.
Talentedge: Talentedge has partnered with institutes from India such as XLRI and MICA, among others. It has courses ranging from business management to HR.
Prepathon: Prepathon is Pagalguy’s portal that lets you prepare for various competitive exams such as UPSC, GATE, and IIT JEE.
Toppr: Toppr is a comprehensive online learning platform that offers courses for classes 5 to 12, apart from examinations such as NEET and IIT JEE.
Pluralsight: Pluralsight offers a wide range of courses such as Game Design, Python, IT Certifications, and more.
Have you used any online learning portal? Tell us about your experience via the comments.