Free courses in cybersecurity, data and networking

Through UW Online and popular e-learning platforms such as Coursera and edX, anyone can gain foundational knowledge that would look stellar on a CV, be it cybersecurity, data, or networking.

By Shekinah Kannan 

Read all stories

With millions of student studying remotely and a large number of individuals confined to their homes with ample time to kill – online learning is making waves across the globe.

Businesses have also hopped on board, using various platforms to upskill and reskill their workforce quickly.


Thankfully, those looking to upskill themselves are spoilt for choice. The best part? Many of these programmes are offered by high-ranking universities at a low cost or for free.

The University of Washington is a good example. The US News and World Report ranked the university in eighth place in its 2021 Best Global Universities Rankings. Many might not know that the University of Washington was also one of the early innovators of online education, offering courses via the World Wide Web back in 2001.

Through UW Online and popular e-learning platforms such as Coursera and edX, anyone can gain foundational knowledge that would look stellar on a CV, be it cybersecurity, data, or networking.

Interested? Here are seven free, e-learning courses from the University of Washington:

Introduction to Cybersecurity

This six-week course provides learners with an overview of the cybersecurity landscape and American and international perspectives on the field. The course will cover the legal environment that impacts cybersecurity as well as predominant threat actors.

Computational Neuroscience

In this 26-hour programme, participants are introduced to basic computational methods for understanding what nervous systems do and how they function. This includes vision, sensory-motor control, learning, and memory. 

Specific topics also include representation of information by spiking neurons, processing of information in neural networks, and algorithms for adaptation and learning.

Machine Learning Foundations: A Case Study Approach

By joining this course, learners can enjoy a hands-on experience with machine learning from a series of practical case studies. Upon completion, students can expect to use the technology to predict house prices based on house-level features, analyse sentiment from user reviews, retrieve documents of interest, recommend products, and search for images.  

Social Media Data Analytics

This programme teaches participants to use Application Programming Interface (API) services to collect data from different social media sources such as YouTube, Twitter, and Flickr. The next steps comprise processing collected data, analysing unstructured data, and using various tools to collect, analyse and explore social media data for the purpose of research and development.

Internationalisation: Creating Digital Content for the World

This four-week course is an introduction to internationalisation — the process of developing the core of a digital product whose features and design are not based on a single language or locale. Participants will also learn to cater to different writing systems, understand design requirements, and create products that are politically and culturally sound to foreign markets.


Preparing to Network in English

This course helps learners understand the basics of networking and why it is crucial. In the process, learners gain understanding on growing and expanding their business network and professional connections. They will also gain confidence in speaking in English while learning about business culture in North America and across the globe. 

Speaking to inform: Discussing complex ideas with clear explanations and dynamic slides

This programme teaches participants to explain complex ideas vividly and accessibly. It also teaches the arts of designing clear and compelling presentation slides, conveying passion for topics while maintaining professional credibility, and speaking dynamically from notes or a manuscript.