Last year has opened our eyes to the wonders and convenience of online learning and communication. The closure of schools forced many to rely on distance learning with some preferring it over on-site classes. Distance learning allows students to learn on their own time, become more creative in their research and develop self-discipline with their schedule. August 31 is World Distance Learning Day, which is a great time to celebrate the many advances in distance learning to appreciate alternative learning methods. 

Distance learning has been around way before computers and the internet existed. It started in the 18th and 19th centuries when courses and assignments were delivered by mail on a weekly basis. It was only in 1969 that Open University offered courses via distance learning as an alternative to traditional teaching methods.

Now with the internet, finding the best online course websites is as easy as a quick Google search. With so many great schools and institutions also branching out online, it’s even easier to find the best online classes to take to give you that extra push for your career. Here are a few of the best online courses with certificates and those without if you want to expand your knowledge and skill set.

Here's our list of the best online classes to take:

1. Influencer Marketing Strategy

Coursera's Influencer Marketing Strategy course Coursera's Influencer Marketing Strategy course Photo: coursera.org

Brought to you by Rutgers and taught by Greg Jarboe, this course revolves around creating the best strategy that will engage internal and industry experts with active networks. It provides measurable goals for your business that are achievable through a comprehensive marketing strategy that includes both content and influencers. 

Enroll in this online course today at Coursera here

2. Viral Marketing and How to Craft Contagious Content

Coursera's Viral Marketing course Coursera's Viral Marketing course Photo: coursera.org

This course taught by Jonah Berger, author of the best-selling book, “Contagious: Why Things Catch On,” takes a deep dive into viral marketing techniques. The course will help you understand how and why content goes viral and apply this newfound knowledge to your own marketing efforts. 

Enroll in this online course today at Coursera here

3. Social Media Marketing Specialization

Coursera's Social Media Marketing Specialization Coursera's Social Media Marketing Specialization Photo: coursera.org

This specialization equips you with the tools and techniques you need to grow, engage and retain your social media networks en route to becoming an influencer. It also teaches you how to build an extensive social media strategy including everything from consumer insights to metrics analysis. As one of the best social media marketing courses out there, it is updated every quarter to reflect its timeliness. 

Enroll in this online course today at Coursera here

4. Introduction to Python

365 DataScience's Introduction to Python course 365 DataScience's Introduction to Python course Photo: 365datascience.com

This certificate course teaches you the basics of programming in Python to prepare you for more advanced training in the future. The course lays down the foundation for Python as the most well-known and most used programming language by data scientists as well as its advantages over other programming languages.

Enroll in this online course today at 365 Data Science here

5. SQL Course

365 Data Science's SQL course 365 Data Science's SQL course Photo: 365datascience.com

This course covers the fundamentals of SQL or Structured Query Language, an essential programming language when working with databases. The course will teach you the very valuable skill of extracting data yourself instead of relying on others on the team. After completion, you should be familiar with creating SQL queries and database management. 

Enroll in this online course today at 365 Data Science here

6. Deep Learning with TensorFlow 2

365 Data Science's Deep Learning with TensorFlow2 course 365 Data Science's Deep Learning with TensorFlow2 course Photo: 365datascience.com

This course not only introduces you to TensorFlow 2.0 code but also teaches you the application of its advanced deep learning techniques. As a data scientist, you will need quantitative analysis skills including machine learning and data learning. This course will delve deep into all that employing the powerful technology of TensorFlow 2.0.

Enroll in this online course today at 365 Data Science here

7. The Complete Visualization Course with Python, R, Tableau and Excel

365 Data Science's Data Visualization course 365 Data Science's Data Visualization course Photo: 365datascience.com

This course teaches you the mastery of creating and styling charts for professional purposes. The course doesn’t just focus on one environment but includes all four technologies: Python, R, Tableau and Excel to get a deeper understanding of data visualization.

Enroll in this online course today at 365 Data Science here

8. Data Preprocessing with NumPy

365 Data Science's Data Preprocessing with NumPy 365 Data Science's Data Preprocessing with NumPy Photo: 365datascience.com

This course focuses on Python’s most popular fundamental package, NumPy. It teaches you how to work with it as well as its applications. Upon completion, you should be familiar with NumPy’s crown jewel, its ndarray class.

 Enroll in this online course today at 365 Data Science here

9. Starting a Career in Data Science: Project Portfolio, Resume and Interview Process

365 Data Science's Starting a Career in Data Science course 365 Data Science's Starting a Career in Data Science course Photo: 365datascience.com

Land that dream job as a data scientist with this course that provides valuable insight on how to create the perfect portfolio and resume and ace the interview to land the job. Plus, it gives you tips on how to go about the take-home test and even optimize your LinkedIn, GitHub and Kaggle profiles so recruiters can easily spot you.

 Enroll in this online course today at 365 Data Science here

Pimsleur lets you learn multiple languages Pimsleur lets you learn multiple languages effectively. Photo: pimsleur.com

10. Spanish (Latin America)

Expand your knowledge and learn new languages like Spanish, the way they express and use it in Latin America so that you’re ready for your next trip to Mexico or Costa Rica.

Enroll in this online course today at Pimsleur here

11. Chinese (Mandarin)

Mandarin is one of the most common languages in the world and it wouldn’t hurt to learn it if you have to travel or converse with anyone who speaks it. It will prove valuable when traveling to mainland China or Hong Kong or even when meeting Chinese clients. 

Enroll in this online course today at Pimsleur here

12. Japanese

Japanese is a beautiful language that hasn’t changed much through the years. If you absolutely love anime and Japanese culture, then learning Japanese is perfect for you and could prove as a wonderful asset especially when traveling to Japan.

Enroll in this online course today at Pimsleur here

13. Korean

If you love everything Korean including K-Pop and K-Drama, then learning Korean only makes sense. Learn how to speak and understand Korean comprehensively through Pimsleur’s effective methods. 

Enroll in this online course today at Pimsleur here

14. Photography with Annie Leibovitz

MasterClass Photography with Annie Leibovitz MasterClass Photography with Annie Leibovitz Photo: masterclass.com

Learn the basics of photography and more with the famed Annie Leibovitz. In this course, you will learn what makes a picture stunning through its story, not the equipment you’re carrying. Leibovitz teaches how to create concepts, how to work with light and the subjects and post-production techniques.

Enroll in this online course today at MasterClass here.

15. Creative Writing with Margaret Atwood

MasterClass Creative Writing with Margaret Atwood MasterClass Creative Writing with Margaret Atwood Photo: masterclass.com

Start or level up your creative writing skills with one of the most influential literary writers of our time, Margaret Atwood. She'll teach you the tools you need as a writer followed by the structure of your story and plot, point of view and everything you need to finish writing your novel.

Enroll in this online course today at MasterClass here.

16. Cooking with Gordon Ramsay

MasterClass Cooking with Gordon Ramsay MasterClass Cooking with Gordon Ramsey Photo: masterclass.com

Learn the basic skills and techniques in the kitchen properly from seven-star Michelin chef Gordon Ramsay. Gain a better understanding of ingredients and how to cook them optimally as well as fundamental knife skills that could take you a long way into your cooking journey.

Enroll in this online course today at MasterClass here.

17. Gardening with Ron Finley

MasterClass Gardening with Ron Finley MasterClass Gardening with Ron Finley Photo: masterclass.com

In this course, community activist and “Gangsta Gardener” Ron Finley teaches the basics of gardening. Not only to make your outdoor space prettier, but also more sustainable. Finley teaches how to grow your own food, keep your plants alive and just enjoy tending to your garden. 

Enroll in this online course today at MasterClass here.

18. Interior Design with Kelly Wearstler

MasterClass Interior Design with Kelly Wearstler MasterClass Interior Design with Kelly Wearstler Photo: masterclass.com

Enjoy interior design in this course with award-winning designer Kelly Wearstler where she teaches the fundamentals of good design. Wearstler also teaches concepts like how to make your space look bigger, choosing the right colors, textures and materials. 

Enroll in this online course today at MasterClass here.