So you’re about to launch a new digital career and forge a new path for yourself without traditional education.

Are you excited? You should be.

Based on LinkedIn’s 2020 report, digital skills are more in-demand than ever. Thus, with over half the world now online, there’s no better time to add to your digital toolbox.

So you search for online courses. Upon finding one that seems legitimate, you click “buy” and begin your journey …

… But the course is a waste of time and money. You learn nothing useful.

Ever made this kind of investment?

It’s frustrating.

Investing in quality is paramount. After all, the last thing you want to do is purchase a low-quality course that limits you as much as college has. You don’t want to be $400,000 in debt AND still lost in the weeds.

But there are so many courses out there – and most of them are just noise. On Udemy alone, over 130,000 courses compete for your wallet.

How do you determine which courses to invest in, and which to avoid?

That’s where we’ve done the work for you. Here are 37 expert courses that are worth your money and time.

Let’s explore.

37 courses to invest in

37 Practical Courses to Invest In

If you’re undecided on your direction, these in-demand skills are a good place to explore your passions. If you’ve already chosen your career path, congratulations! You’re about to tap into a world of opportunity. These 37 courses are straight from the experts – practitioners in their field who have met success and failure and can steer you toward success.

Training from Julia McCoy

Learn practical skills with my guided, hands-on Content Hacker™ Academy Courses, and join a thriving community of more than 500 content marketing and writing peers. Take proven courses and learn the “how” of SEO content, content strategy and marketing, and online writing. See all courses here.

Training from Dr. Ai Addyson-Zhang

Classroom without Walls: Dr. Ai offers success-geared education for young people and their parents. Enter this classroom to learn, unlearn, and relearn real-world principles and tap into a worldwide network of mentors and peers without losing your creativity.

SEO Courses


1. The Blueprint Training: SEO pro Ryan Stewart’s training is thorough, in-depth, and current. Invest in all 12 modules and you’ll learn exactly how to “do” SEO the right way.

2. Moz’s SEO Training Course on Udemy (free!): New to SEO? This 3.5-hour video course covers the basic concepts as well as tips and tricks.

3. SEMrush’s Content Marketing Toolkit Course: SEMrush is one of the biggest, best SEO tools out there. If you’ve already invested in it, take this course to learn key strategies and techniques to get the most out of this workhorse SEO tool.

4. The Expert SEO Content Writer Course: Mentioned earlier, this is my proven online course to teach you the art of search optimized writing. Learn how to craft content that gets found in Google. Included in the guided training course are templates, examples, and more than 18 videos in three comprehensive modules.

Content Marketing Courses

1. Blogging for Business by Ahrefs Academy: Do you know how to blog, but want to turn it into a profitable ecommerce business? This is the course for you.

2. Content Marketing University: CMI’s course hub is a must for anyone who wants to get serious about their content marketing skills. Robert Rose himself, the chief strategy officer and marketing veteran, leads six courses in this educational buffet.

3. Hubspot Academy (free!): HubSpot is a giant in content marketing for a reason. Their free education is second-to-none, and I highly recommend digging into at least a few courses to get knowledge from some of content marketing’s brightest minds. Included are countless hands-on tools to help you learn concepts in real time, like this buyer persona tool in the Content Marketing certification:

hubspot buyer persona tool


4. Quick Sprout University (free!): This isn’t a course, but rather an archive of Quick Sprout’s articles grouped by topic. Look at it as a learning library and read up on whatever topic you feel shaky about.

5. The Content Strategy & Marketing Course: Mentioned earlier, this is my proven program to guide you through every step in building your own brand content strategy. The Brand Strategy Exercises you craft in the course are reviewed by Julia before you receive certification. Included are over 75 videos in six modules, with over 9 guest speakers. Take a peek at the streamlined, intuitive structure:

Content Strategy & Marketing course curriculum

User Experience Courses

1. Getting Started in User Experience: This short, introductory overview to UX is a perfect first taste for starting a career in UX. Chris Nodder gives the basics of the industry as well as insights into the job market.

2. Online User Experience Design Course: For those with a larger budget, BrainStation’s future-proof training is unmatched. Complete with a cutting-edge learning platform, interactive live classes, and a collaborative atmosphere, you have access to a network of over 100,000 world-class professionals.

3. The Ultimate Guide to Usability and UX: To learn the what, how, and why – as well as the what not – of UX, try David Travis’ guide. Its well-designed, user-friendly interface is testament to its quality, and you’ll get a hands-on approach that’s comprehensive but manageable.

4. User Experience Design Essentials – Adobe XD UI UX Design: In 13 hours, you could become a UX designer proficient in Adobe XD. Daniel Walter Scott’s portfolio-building bestseller on Udemy is a reference point for other courses. Scott’s funny explanations will also help you interact with other professionals in the industry.

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Coding Courses

1. The Complete Javascript Course 2021: Go from zero to expert in JavaScript with Jonas Schmedtmann and become job-ready with an all-in-one course. New programmers and seasoned developers alike will glean a portfolio boost and practical, real-world confidence from this deep dive.

2. Python Complete Masterclass for Beginners: Want to learn Python? Why not learn from a world-class instructor? Mihai Catalin Teodosiu instructs a beginner-friendly, applicable masterclass on the latest version of Python. Be a Superhero and learn from scratch.

3. Java Programming Masterclass for Software Developers: Do you dream of building Android apps? Maximize your future career options by learning core Java skills. With Tim Buchalka’s inside perspective on the language, you’ll be able to take the Oracle Java Certificate exam and become the programmer that gets the job offer.

4. Unity Learn (free!): Are you an aspiring game developer? Learn from the creators of Unity, one of the most widely used game engines. Spend up to 750 hours in this massive learning hub taking live or on-demand courses to become Unity Certified. Just like in a game, complete missions, earn XP, and go from newb to pro. For guided learning, invest in $1 a minute with a mentor – or learn on your own for free. This is the most valuable way to become a game dev.

Here’s a look at the tutorial for a platformer microgame:

unity sample tutorial

Videography Courses

1. Connecting with Your Audience Using Video: On a budget, but passionate about video storytelling? Jaime Cohen’s short class proves you can connect with your audience with the equipment you have. You don’t even need a crew.

2. The Complete Video Production Bootcamp: If you’re just getting into video or need to improve workflow, try Video School’s bootcamp. Through case studies on real productions and direct feedback on your projects, you’ll discover you can make professional videos on any budget.

3. Video Editing with Adobe Pro for Beginners: Filmmaker Jordy Vandeput is a top teacher on Skillshare, but his video editing tutorial exceeds expectations. It’s engaging, organized, and down-scaled for clarity. The best part? You can get all three hours of it for free with a 14-day trial of Skillshare. This is truly one of the best Premiere Pro tutorials out there. Here are a few real samples of the variety you could create:

skillshare video editing course


Digital Art Courses

1. Photoshop for Beginners: You could learn Photoshop through YouTube, or you could reference Anna McNaught’s one-stop-shop and get access to the creation process of a successful professional. Enter the course an overwhelmed beginner. Leave a confident pro.

2. Paintable’s Digital Painting Academy: Interested in becoming a digital painter, but afraid of wasting time on trial-and-error? Or are you already a traditional artist transitioning to digital painting? Either way, Paintable holds incredible value for you with over 300 resources, a supportive community, and monthly feedback on you work. Learn more in two months from Paintable’s professionals than in three years in art school – without the loans. Here’s just a small sample of the courses they offer:

paintable courses


3. Digital Painting Studio: Have you always dreamed of being a professional entertainment artist? Subscribe to this all-inclusive art master academy taught by Hardy Fowler. In addition to mastering techniques, you’ll even learn to launch your own business.

4. Complete Animation Course: If you grew up admiring the animation of The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, or Mulan, you’ll covet professional instruction from the animator who brought those movies to life. Seriously. You could learn from THE Aaron Blaise. A rare treasure on the net, this is by far the best online animation course.

Business and Finance Courses

1. Financial Peace University: Do you struggle with finances? Learning how to manage money in Dave Ramsey’s all-access, best-selling, proven money plan could be your first smart investment – it’s one of the easiest, simplest ways to budget. Learn how to pay off debt, save for emergencies, track a budget, and invest. You can even get it free for 14 days. Here’s what the super-simple budgeting tool looks like:

budget tool


2. The Business Intelligence Analyst Course 2020: This all-inclusive course contains all the preparation you need to become a BI Analyst. The people who made it love teaching the concepts within, which are ready to apply to a real work environment. Challenging but well-simplified, its quality defies the law of theoretical online courses.

3. The Business, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Masterclass: In this masterclass, top Scottish entrepreneurs Kain Ramsay and Russel Dalgleish provide inspiring, insightful material that is immediately applicable. Learn how to launch and scale a sustainable business from two instructors with amazing delivery.

4. Seth Godin’s altMBA: This life-altering workshop on leadership and management could be the biggest moment of change in your life. In four weeks, you will learn to push yourself, understand others, and change from the inside out in a safe, supportive community led by entrepreneurial god Seth Godin. For the developing leader striving to make a ruckus, this will be time and energy well spent.

Data Analytics Courses

1. Become a Data Analytics Specialist (free!): It does exactly what it says – with thorough guidance from several experts, you can become a data analyst and master core skills needed in the field. This popular LinkedIn Learning Path is a great free intro to skills in statistics, financial forecasting, data mining, predictive analytics, and meta-analysis. Here’s a look at the first course:

data analytics course


2. Data Analytics for Business Professionals: If you want a practical crash course jam-packed with best practices for data analytics, John Johnson’s your guy. Quickly learn how to apply analytics to business, craft better questions, and avoid common pitfalls.

3. The Data Science Course 2020: Complete Data Science Bootcamp: Want to become a data scientist, but starting from scratch? This heavy-hitting bootcamp is technical but practical and teaches you in-demand data science skills. It’s the most effective, time-efficient, structured data training online with a great value for the price and a community of fellow learners at your disposal.

4. Become a Data Analyst Nanodegree Program: Udacity has a more advanced program for self-starters aspiring to be data analysts. This one’s pricier with a larger time commitment, but the reward is greater. It’s challenging, but you’ll leave with more useful knowledge, real-world portfolio projects, mentor support, and career coaching.

Blockchain Courses

1. Advance Your Skills in the Blockchain: Ever heard of blockchain? If you have, you know it’s revolutionary. In this Learning Path, gain a thorough understanding of the basics, DApps, cryptocurrency, and security. The experts have a lot to say about the implications of encrypted data storage for business and society.

2. Blockchain Specialization: Be one of the 20% who got a promotion after completing this hands-on package and learn how to use groundbreaking tech. Bina Ramamurthy teaches the essentials: building smart contracts and applying blockchain.

3. Blockchain A-Z™: Learn How to Build Your First Blockchain: Learn about the most disruptive technology since the internet with the best course on blockchain. Using real-life examples and a hands-on approach, SuperDataScience Team will teach you how to become an expert in the field. They even demo this handy blockchain tool in the course:

blockchain course


Invest in the Right Courses

Launching a new career is nerve-wracking.

Investments matter. Quality matters. Every piece of advice you absorb matters. The amount of effort you put in matters.

That’s a lot of pressure.

But it’s also exciting. Ahead of you is the future – a world of possibilities resting on your ambition. Now that you know which courses to invest in, you can cut through the noise and learn what really makes the difference.

Are you ready to turn your passion into income? Buy your copy of Skip the Degree, Save the Tuition.