Update your IT and Computing Skills
Skilled IT professionals are very much in demand and Computing and IT is a rapidly growing sector of employment. Gain more digital skills with our free courses.
This free course, Introduction to cyber security: stay safe online, will help you to understand online security and start to protect your digital life, whether at home or work. You will learn how to recognise the threats that could harm you online and the steps you can take to reduce the chances that they will happen to you.Learn more ❯Introduction to cyber security: stay safe online
This free course, Digital skills: succeeding in a digital world, will develop your confidence and skills for life online, whether study, work or everyday life. It explores a range of digital skills and practices, including digital identity, digital well-being, staying safe and legal, finding and using information and online tools, and dealing with information overload. The importance of developing a critical approach to life online is emphasised throughout, whether consuming or creating information. You'll be encouraged to reflect on your own situation and to apply what you learn to real-life scenarios, using a digital skills plan to keep a record of progress.Learn more ❯Digital skills: succeeding in a digital world
Ever since the very beginning of humanity, tools have played a pivotal role in who we are and what we do. Tools for recording, processing and communicating information have a time-honoured history – from the clay tokens used in Mesopotamia to mechanical calculating machines. The invention of the digital computer has boosted the scale, speed and reach with which thinking tools extend our natural capabilities. This free course, Digital thinking tools for better decision making, starts by placing thinking tools in their historical context and concludes with an examination of their future. During the course, you’re introduced to a wide variety of digital thinking tools. You will apply these tools in many practical activities and case studies, solving problems that involve finding and evaluating information, performing calculations and drawing reasoned conclusions.Learn more ❯Digital thinking tools for better decision making
As a society, we are now almost always connected to the internet and rely on it for many different day-to-day activities. However, this dependency on the internet can make us vulnerable to attacks. Once a connected device is compromised, it is not only that particular device that is affected – it can also be used as a springboard to attack other devices in the same network and in others. In this connected world, it is also inevitable that personal information is stored in large-scale government and commercial databases. Unfortunately, breaches of these large-scale databases happen fairly frequently and, when they do, personal information can be leaked which will make you, and millions of others affected, vulnerable to scams and other identity crimes. This course analyses several cyber security incidents and looks at what lessons can be learned.Learn more ❯Learning from major cyber security incidents
The internet of everything (IoE) is the networked connection of people, process, data and things. As more people, data and things come online, we develop processes to harness the vast amounts of information being generated by all these connected people and things. The goal of this free course is to introduce you to fundamental concepts and technologies that enable the IoE and the internet of things.Learn more ❯Internet of everything
This free course will teach you how to write your own computer programs, one line of code at a time. You'll learn how to access open data, clean and analyse it, and produce visualisations. You will also learn how to write up and share your analyses, privately or publicly.Learn more ❯Learn to code for data analysis
This free course, Introducing computing and IT, provides a general overview of how digital technologies have come to dominate virtually every aspect of the modern world and some guidance on how to prepare for this digital life. It raises awareness of the importance of data security and online safety. It also provides an explanation of the internal structure and workings of a typical computer and describes hard and solid state drives in some detail.Learn more ❯Introducing computing and IT
Digital evidence features in just about every part of our personal and business lives. Legal and business decisions hinge on having timely data about what people have actually done. This free course, Digital forensics, is an introduction to computer forensics and investigation, and provides a taster in understanding how to conduct investigations to correctly gather, analyse and present digital evidence to both business and legal audiences. It also outlines the tools to locate and analyse digital evidence on a variety of devices, how to keep up to date with changing technologies, and laws and regulations in digital forensics.Learn more ❯Digital forensics
Find out more about Computing and IT qualifications at The Open University and a range of short courses on FutureLearn.
Learn More about Business and Management
Adaptive skills are crucial to any organisation and education in business will help you navigate the competitive global economy. These free online courses will help your business and management ambition.
This free course, Business communication: writing a SWOT analysis, is designed to develop your writing skills for business. You will be taken step by step through the process of writing a SWOT analysis, with clear advice on selecting key information from a case study text, making concise notes, choosing an appropriate structure and using language effectively. You will learn how to write a formal report including recommendations, based on a case study analysis of the British company, Brompton Bicycle.Learn more ❯Business communication: writing a SWOT analysis
This free course, Effective communication in the workplace, explores the importance of communication as a skill in the workplace. It aims to increase your understanding of communication skills and to help you to consider how your communication could be perceived by others. You'll cover areas such as verbal and non-verbal communication, written communication and using your communication skills to overcome challenging situations.Learn more ❯Effective communication in the workplace
In this free course, Internships and other work experiences, you’ll begin by learning more about what an internship is and how it might differ from other forms of work experience. You’ll find out what you can gain personally and professionally, and consider the practicalities of obtaining work experience, from how to choose what’s right for you, to making strong applications. You’ll explore the virtual internship and why more employers are starting to use them, and finish by looking at how to maximise your experience and make it work for you as your career progresses, considering your next steps and setting yourself SMART goals.Learn more ❯Internships and other work experiences
This free course, Collective leadership, will give you an insight into the importance of how to be a more effective leader, and how to better engage and work with ‘followers’ in an organisational setting. It considers the ‘heroic’ leader of the past and how leadership studies historically focused on the individual. It then builds on what is meant by Collective Leadership, using real-life case studies as examples.Learn more ❯Collective leadership
This free course, Developing career resilience, will help you to understand the factors that influence career resilience and offer examples and tactics for you to develop your own resilience further.Learn more ❯Developing career resilience
Do you want to change jobs, are you just starting in the job market or may be returning after a break? If so, then this free course, Succeed in the workplace, is for you. It will help you explore career opportunities. You will also gain the skills to write strong CVs and application forms, and to handle different types of interviews. By the end of the course you will have made a start on your own realistic and strong action plan to enable you to find a job that will fulfil your aspirations and suit your lifestyle.Learn more ❯Succeed in the workplace
This free course, Collaborative leadership in voluntary organisations, will help you to reflect on and develop collaborative leadership practices that will make a difference. The course is aimed at people who work within voluntary organisations as paid staff or as volunteers or for people who work regularly with voluntary organisations, such as public sector staff or politicians.Learn more ❯Collaborative leadership in voluntary organisations
This free course, Understanding your sector, will help you to understand the difference between sectors, industries and professions. It will also help you to gain the inside knowledge to impress in applications and at interviews and to put together an action plan that is tailored to you.Learn more ❯Understanding your sector
This free badged course, Working in diverse teams, will help you consider your experience of working in teams and the different roles you play in them. It will increase your confidence in marketing this key skill to employers as well improve your ability to perform well in teams you are currently part of.Learn more ❯Working in diverse teams
Find out more about Business and Management qualifications at The Open University and a range of short courses on FutureLearn.
Try an Economics Free Course
Explore a variety of topics related to government policy, international trade, business decision making, work and climate change. Check out our free economics courses below.
The free course, Prices, location and spread, explores aspects of the question Are people getting better or worse off? It covers statistical measures characterising the location of a batch of data (the median and the mean), and looks further at weighted means and at the interquartile range as a measure of spread (variability). Boxplots and stemplots are used to picture the data. All this is done in the context of measuring prices, and the course also covers the concept of a price index, and the index numbers (Retail Prices Index and Consumer Prices Index) used to measure price levels and inflation in the UK.Learn more ❯Prices, location and spread
This free course, Understanding economic inequality, explores the causes of economic inequality in modern times and its consequences for success for the economy. The course will encourage you to reflect on your personal experiences of inequality before looking at how the issue is approached in economics. You will study some of the different dimensions of economic inequality, and learn about the main debates on its role in achieving economic success. You will also have the opportunity to put yourself in the shoes of a prime minister and explore what can be done to make economies less unequal.Learn more ❯Understanding economic inequality
This free course, Exploring economics: the secret life of t-shirts, aims to describe what goes into making and selling t-shirts. Which resources, which markets, who is involved, the income people get, the income and value they create are all discussed. You will explore these questions at different stages of the production of a t-shirt, and you'll use concepts from economics such as 'supply chains' or 'value added' to answer them. The course will be described using data. You should think about key numbers and data which help constructing evidence of how a t-shirt is produced, from raw cotton to our wardrobe.Learn more ❯Exploring economics: the secret life of t-shirts
This free course, Understanding international development, introduces and explores international development by considering the three themes referred to as PASH - Power and Agency, Scale and History, and programmes to promote livelihoods.Please note: This course contains several Flash activities which are no longer playable. These are being updated. This course can still be studied, but you may like to postpone your study for now if you would rather have the full experience.Learn more ❯Understanding international development
This free course explores the economic and cultural value of coffee. You will follow the chain of processes that connect the drink you enjoy on a daily basis with circuits of economic and cultural value, hearing from coffee farmers and consumers in different parts of the world.Learn more ❯The value of coffee
The new 'service economy': is it a direct result of globalisation? This free course, Living and working in the new economy, examines the switch from manufacturing to services and looks at the impact of information and communication technologies on the economy as a whole. The 'new economy' has many benefits, but at what cost?Learn more ❯Living and working in the new economy
This free course, Economics and the 2008 crisis: a Keynesian view, looks at how Keynes's theories revolutionised thinking about the causes of crises and unemployment. Keynes's thinking on how to reduce these problems was very influential with economists and policy makers for several decades following the 1930s. The economic downturn that started in 2008 led to a widespread revival of interest as economic conditions seemed to resemble those seen in the 1930s. This OpenLearn course on Keynes's ideas is therefore highly relevant to modern policy making, as well as being of historical interest.Learn more ❯Economics and the 2008 crisis: a Keynesian view
China has emerged as a global economic superpower over the past few decades. This has sparked intense academic and popular debate about the long-term implications of its continued growth. The expansion of China into African countries in pursuit of natural resources has incited particular controversy – does it spell increased cooperation between developing countries for mutual benefit or are Chinese practices largely exploitative, signalling a new phase of neo-colonialism? This free course, Rising China and Africa's development: oil, considers the impact of the rise of China on Africa’s development through the lens of oil production.Learn more ❯Rising China and Africa's development: oil
It is hard to think of a part of the world that has not been touched by globalisation. From 'Big Macs' in Moscow to Blockbuster video in Beijing, the world seems less distant, and 24-hour-a-day news makes foreign places more familiar. This free course, Managing local practices in global contexts, examines the dimensions of globalisation and the processes that connect people together.Learn more ❯Managing local practices in global contexts
Find out more about Economics qualifications at The Open University and a range of short courses on FutureLearn.