What are the best Alison courses online? Diplomas and certificates.
The Alison platform offers users the opportunity to get an online diploma or a degree in any of 9 major subject areas. You can study anything from science, languages, psychology and humanities to business, technology, project management and marketing.
We put together a round-up review of some of the best Alison courses in those subject areas along with a taste of how each can help you power up. Alison’s mission links to the UN Declaration that “everyone is entitled to a free education.” To learn more about how they deliver on this promise, keep reading.
Alison Courses Online – Overview
In a 2017 Forbes article, Alison’s Founder and CEO Mike Feerick quotes Article 26 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights Resolution. Since he started in 2007, the goal of this MOOC (massive open online course) has been to make education accessible to all.
With over 18 million learners and 3 million graduates in 195 countries, Alison can claim success. Forbes described Alison as “one of the world’s largest certifiers of education and skills attainment.” What’s great about learning with Alison is paying a fraction of the cost of bricks and mortar institutions for your education.
Indeed, Alison courses are free. Alison can keep its promise because advertising pays the bills. You can opt to go premium to spare yourself the intrusions.
There are three ways you can use Alison to level up.
- Diplomas – comprehensive programs that take a total of 8-10 hours to complete.
- Certificates – skill-boosting classes designed to take less than 3 hours to complete.
- Learning Paths – This is a way to craft a learning experience that meets your needs. This is about as close to a degree as you can get, except you don’t have to take a Phys Ed elective or any other irrelevant course to complete your studies.
Free Alison Courses, Yes. Free Alison Diplomas, No.
Nevertheless, there is a catch. If one of your goals is to get that diploma or certificate to print and frame for your ego wall or add to your LinkedIn profile, you will have to pay for it. The good news is that, not surprisingly, the cost of a certificate or diploma is generally low.
Subscriptions – Also, a subscription does not include the costs of certificates. It simply allows you to study one month, one year, or for a lifetime ad-free. Again, even a lifetime subscription costs way less than a university degree.
How to Pay – They quote all prices in Euros, so you will have to do the conversion. They use PayPal, which is great for learners in countries where PayPal is available. Otherwise, they take credit and debit cards via Stripe. Your only other option is to do a bank transfer. Alison provides full details of how you can do that if you choose this option.
Bells and Whistles
Here are a few more useful features of the Alison platform:
- Study Reminders – You can have Alison email you at particular days and times every week to prompt you to continue learning.
- Notes – There’s a handy note feature inside each class page.
- Medals – If badges keep you motivated through games and other online experiences, then Alison has these to help you celebrate both micro and macro wins. On the other hand, if these annoy you, unfortunately, they are hard to ignore.
- Alison App – For mobile learning, they just launched their online app. A recent review mentioned that content could not be downloaded for off-line study. Perhaps they will build this feature into an update or a future version. They really should!
- Alison Merch – You can order a Learner t-shirt once you have signed up. There’s a Graduate t-shirt that is so legit only a learner who has completed a course can order.
Alternatives – There are many Alison alternatives that provide excellent online education. To get your bearings, we suggest browsing our lists of Coursera courses or edX Courses for university-style education. To jump on a career path in technology-driven industries, Udacity courses or Pluralsight courses or DataCamp courses are great choices.
Ok, without further ado, here are 16 of the best Alison courses online. Enjoy.
Best Alison Courses Online 2021 – Top Picks
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Alison IT Courses
Here, you can learn software development and computer networks management. This is probably the most pertinent area to study at the moment. Computers and phones facilitate almost everything we do in our lives. Therefore, knowing how to maintain vital technology systems as an IT professional makes you an asset. Let’s look at two diplomas:
1. Diploma in Python Programming
In this Alison course, you learn how to program with Python, which is one of the foundations to start a career in data science. Become more skillful at creating variables to store different types of data, make decisions with your code, and use loops.
Remember “If-Then” statements back in high school? Well, you will put this knowledge to use in logic statements (and you thought you’d never need that stuff!) The course guides you through creating your first program. You will put the learning to practice right away!
2. Diploma Computer Networking – Digital Network Security
Digital security is a genuine modern-day concern. The course description correctly points out that “… it is easy to forget the dangers associated with connectivity, as data stored in cyberspace is vulnerable to data theft.”
That brings network security skills into the ranks of most marketable skill sets. From the basics of network architecture to security management and protocols in modern network security, you will be well equipped to compete.
Alison Life Science Courses
The Life Science category covers Biology and Environmental Studies. These Alison diploma courses promise to equip you with an in-depth understanding of ecology and biogeography. Classes cover living organisms and life processes of microorganisms, plants, animals, and the human connection to ecosystems.
You can also take classes in human anatomy and physiology to better understand how the body works. Here are the two best Alison courses offered in this category:
3. Fundamentals of the Biological System
This Alison course promises the learner some great insights into biotechnology. Learn about different types of cell hosts available for biotechnological applications. Get familiar with microbiology medium constituents, cell division, and microbial growth kinetics. You will get a thorough tour of the enormous world of the most minuscule life forms.
4. Diploma in Environmental Management
This is a good step in preparing for a career in environmental management. Learners will get an education in climate change, sustainability, and the IPAT equation. Other subjects include biogeochemical cycles, different types of pollutants and sources of pollution, environmental regulations, and waste management strategies. If you want to be one of the architects of a sustainable energy economy, this Alison diploma course is built for you.
Alison Courses – Languages
From what I could tell, Alison is heavily used in countries where English is not the first language. This may be the reason why the bulk of the offering is in the English section. Alison’s courses include English for STEM, Media Literacy, and Tourism (featured below). French and Japanese tie for a distant second place.
Interestingly, they claim to feature Arabic, Chinese and Irish (from Alison’s home country), but there are no actual Alison courses available in those languages at the time of this writing. Swedish, Spanish and German only feature one certificate course each.
The great selection of English courses notwithstanding, Alison does not set itself apart from other language learning platforms. Nonetheless, below we suggest two worthwhile language courses from their English section:
5. English for Tourism – Hotel Reception and Front Desk
Effective communication at the reception desk in a hotel is a vital step in a guest’s experience there. This Alison course will prepare you to make your English speaking guests feel well cared for and comfortable.
That said, this course was probably written before the Corona pandemic took off, so it would not take COVID-19 into account; so look for updates. A Front Desk clerk may now need to communicate relevant protocols in various areas of the hotel, depending on what country they work in. You won’t get that in this particular certificate class.
6. Diploma in English Language and Literature
In this diploma course, you will take a fascinating journey through the history of English. Along the way, you encounter some of the most important writers, playwrights and poets in the genre. Very stimulating for the literary set!
Alison Courses Online – Business
The Business department at Alison covers project management, entrepreneurship, sales, finance and more. In the e-commerce division, you can take a class in building your own website on Angular 5. Of particular interest in the entrepreneurship section is a course on Idea Validation, designed to educate you in ideation and prototyping.
They still feature a Diploma in Hospitality Management (updated in 2017), among a range of other tourism and hospitality courses. This makes me beg the question: Since COVID-19 has drastically reshaped this industry, are these Alison courses relevant in 2021? Here are two of the best Alison business courses for consideration:
7. Diploma in Human Resources
In this human resource management course, you will learn about effectively hiring, training, and motivating employees. Top-notch HR management is essential to the success of any business as they work to create productive relationships between staff and companies. HR managers are vital members of the management team in any corporation.
8. Diploma in Operations Management (Ops)
Learn key decision-making skills in operations management. You will learn how to handle all the activities necessary to create and deliver an organization’s goods and services to its customers daily. This Alison course sets out to define the role of operations management. Along the way, you learn about quality and supply chains and how to manage production systems and equipment. Not glamorous, but definitely essential.
Alison Courses Online – Finance
Alison courses from the finance department aim to up your skills in accounting, investing, and personal finance. Becoming more financially literate is always handy, no matter what field you’re in. They split the department into “Finances and Banking” and “Accounting”.
You can take a certificate course in Global Islamic Finance and Banking or a Diploma in Quickbooks Pro. A wide range of diploma courses promises learners in-depth education in their focus area. Here are two worthwhile Alison diploma courses in finance:
9. Diploma in Cryptocurrency
You will learn about how crypto began and the technology it is built on. The course examines the legal ramifications of cryptocurrencies and the pros and cons of this emerging technology. You will also get an introduction to mining and investing and the blockchain technology behind crypto. Graduates will be equipped to make informed decisions as they enter this realm and take a look into the future of the market.
10. Diploma in Blockchain Technology and Applications
Get an introduction to Blockchain technology and all its applications in this diploma course. Learners will find out how to use these applications to resolve real-world issues.
You will learn the differences between public and private keys and their secure use. Also, learn the differences between Ethereum and Bitcoin blockchain and get a better understanding of smart contracts. Learning these emerging technologies is a smart move as the world has gone virtual.
Alison Marketing Courses
In the marketing department, you can sign up for a diploma in digital marketing, social media, public relations or SEO. This latter, interestingly, specifically covers Bing, WordPress and YouTube. Bing gets more than 1 billion visits per day. Nevertheless, Google stands as the world’s most popular search engine by a huge margin, so a Google SEO option would be valuable. A few other worthwhile Alison certificates are:
- Copywriting for Conversions: How to Write Persuasive Content
- Designing a Service
- Growth Strategies for Business
Here’s a look at these best Alison courses you can take in marketing:
11. Diploma in Marketing Management
Gain insight into important market research processes and learn the strategies that work for different types of companies. Become savvy at evaluating marketing strategies, including using the PESTEL framework, SWOT Analysis and other proven methods.
This class promises learners a simple, straightforward education in marketing management and research. Customer analysis and the components of a marketing information system are two more important feature topics covered. These skills are both universal and relevant across many disciplines.
12. Diploma in Social Media Strategy
In this Alison course, learners will get insight into conducting and auditing market analysis, setting goals, and selecting platforms. You will learn how to create a social media policy and integrate marketing strategies. By the end of this class, you should know how to launch successful social media marketing campaigns.
They promise to prepare you to “leverage social media in a professional and engaging way.” These are valuable skills indeed!
Alison Humanities Courses
Alison’s humanities department covers the areas of law, politics, geography, education, economics and architecture, among others. There are Alison courses in parenting skills and working with special education students.
In the law section, you can get certified in General Data Protection Regulation and Criminal Investigation. This section boasts eleven pages of high-value courses covering a healthy range of topics for you to choose from. Below are two best Alison courses in humanities:
13. Diploma in Journalism
This Alison course promises to get you ready to start or accelerate your journalism career. Learn the ethical responsibilities and public duties of journalists. Also, find out how to use facts and opinions to write quality articles and avoid conflicts of interest.
A walkthrough of the main types of journalists and their challenges in the digital world begins your journey. Desired learning outcomes include the ability to write editorials and feature news pieces. Grads should be well skilled in producing investigative journalism that meets international standards.
14. NLP – Neurolinguistic Programming – Ultimate Guide to NLP
Learners will be able to use NLP to boost their social skills and tap into their “most powerful mental states.” Through this program, you can gain a better understanding of the function of the human brain. You can learn how to reprogram your mind, which is the overall goal of NLP.
Alison Lifestyle Courses
The Alison lifestyle courses cover a range of interests, including photography and skilled trades. You can hone your skills and level up your creativity with arts and crafts, literature, and food and beverage courses. In the skilled trades division, you can study plumbing, electrical, carpentry and more. You can even get a certificate in dog grooming.
These Alison courses could help you make your hobby or side hustle the main income stream. Here are two of the best Alison courses from the Lifestyle department:
15. Diploma in Food Safety
Although the description refers to this class as “revised”, food safety has been greatly impacted by COVID-19. This Alison diploma course was designed to train managers in food businesses to prevent foodborne illness and the spread of disease.
Topics covered include sanitization, personal cleanliness, designing a cleaning schedule and training staff. This is all still highly relevant in general in the food industry. Nevertheless, the absence of any mention of coronavirus in the description indicates that this Alison course lacks a highly relevant body of information.
16. Diploma in Digital Photography
The camera has evolved so much since the dawn of the information age. As such, photography, in general, has changed. This class promises to help you master the art by mastering the equipment and learning key concepts. Some of these include using shutter speed, aperture, ISO, bracketing, and getting the correct exposure.
There is a list of additional features you will learn to take your photography to a whole new level. If that’s what you’re after, this Alison course promises to deliver.
Alison Courses Online – Pros and Cons
Alison is one of the better known online learning platforms and may have been a godsend for some. It makes high-quality education widely accessible. It offers lots of ways to boost your resume in an easy-to-navigate online environment. If you have internet access and a computer or other device, you’re in!
That said, the pace of change in the modern world means that some of the Alison courses updated in 2017 are out of date in 2021. Apart from a Coronavirus Emergency course that is wisely heralded above the fold on the homepage, course offerings that should include COVID-19 protocols don’t. On top of that, the platform leaves much to be desired in the language department, including vacant course sections. Not a good look.
Best Alison Courses 2021 – Summary, Verdict
Let’s wrap up our review of the best Alison courses and diplomas in 2021. In a world where free online education options abound, the term caveat emptor still applies. While the financial cost of a class may not be concerned, the more valuable asset of time is.
If you’re considering spending even a few hours on any class, free or not, then it is worth it to scrutinize and comparison shop. In some departments, Alison may measure up or even excel. In others, they miss the mark, and you may get a better free course elsewhere.
Best Alison Courses Online 2021
- Alison Diploma in Python Programming
- Diploma Computer Networking – Digital Network Security
- Fundamentals of the Biological System
- Alison Diploma in Environmental Management
- English for Tourism – Hotel Reception and Front Desk
- Diploma in English Language and Literature
- Alison Diploma in Human Resources
- Diploma in Operations Management (Ops)
- Alison Diploma in Cryptocurrency
- Diploma in Blockchain Technology and Applications
- Alison Diploma in Marketing Management
- Alison Diploma in Social Media Strategy
- Alison Diploma in Journalism
- NLP – Neurolinguistic Programming – Ultimate Guide to NLP
- Diploma in Food Safety
- Diploma in Digital Photography
What are the best Alison courses 2021? Share your journey and learning experience in the comments below.