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Are Free Marketing Courses For Entrepreneurs Worth Your Time?

Updated: Apr 18, 2018

Have you seen advertisements for free marketing courses? There are companies like General Assembly that offer free marketing courses for entrepreneurs and small business owners. But, are these courses worth your time?

In this article, we will review General Assembly's free courses.

What Is General Assembly?

General Assembly is a private school that teaches entrepreneurs and business professionals practical technology skills. They partner with Fortune 500 companies to offer courses to their employees.

Focus Areas

General Assembly focuses on key skills that will help entrepreneurs succeed in their business. Courses include digital marketing, business skills, coding bootcamps, UX design and data analytics.


They have 20 campuses in 6 countries including the United States, London, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia.

Free Courses

General Assembly offers free introductory courses in digital marketing, coding, UX design, data analytics, data sciences and product management for professionals and entrepreneurs.

1. Intro To Digital Marketing

Learn how to design a marketing campaign by identifying your marketing goals with a hand-on activity to identify key performance indicators (KPIs).

2. Intro To Coding: HTML & CSS

Want to make your own web application or website? Then understand the fundamentals of HTML & CSS and design your very own webpage.

3. Intro To UX Design

Discover how design shapes users' online experiences and understand why companies need UX professionals.

4. Intro To Data Analytics

Learn the fundamentals of data analysis, roles and responsibilities of a data analysis and how to distill actionable insights from data sets. The course includes hands-on examples on how analysis a data set and derive insights.

5. Intro To Data Science

Dive into the world of data scientists and understand the problems they solve. Walk through data science workflows and learn how industry experts derive powerful business propensity models. Explore key tools and processes used to analyze, visualize and model big data.

6. Intro To Product Management

Discover the roles and responsibilities of a product manager and career opportunities. Learn fundamental tools and techniques used by industry experts and apply what you learn with a hands-on activity to design a basic minimum viable product (MVP).

What's The Verdict?

We attended some free data analytics and marketing courses in various locations like Singapore and Chicago.

The courses are great for busy business professionals who want to get a brief introduction into each topic. If you are an entrepreneur and hoping to learn practical skills, you will be disappointed.

Let's be realistic, a 2-hour course is not going to make you an expert in any field. And the courses were structured to cater to people of all backgrounds. For example, excel was taught in the data analytics course we attended. Any serious data analyst would not be using excel for their analyzes.

Instead use this as an opportunity pick up keywords and learn industry trends. After the course, build up your own knowledge by reading articles and with hands-on practice. Specializations like digital marketing, data analytics and UX design requires experience.

See Free Courses

Paid Courses

You must be thinking, if General Assembly offers only free courses, how do they generate revenue? Their revenue model is to offer free introductory courses to get you interested, then up-sell advanced courses.

Here are some of the advanced courses General Assembly offers.

Online Courses

Learn new skills from the comfort of your home. Courses include web development, data analytics, web design, UX design and digital marketing.

Campus Courses

Join other like-minded individuals in one of General Assembly's campuses. Courses are held on Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

For the busy entrepreneur or business professional. Courses are held in 2-hour sessions, twice weekly on campus.

What's The Verdict?

At a glance, prices are pretty expensive for the course duration. When we dive deeper into the course syllabus, we realized that some topics like web design and UX design can be self-taught. While other skills like digital marketing, you are better off with practical work experience.

Who should attend these courses? Someone who is in a different industry or role (e.g. accounting) but wants a career change.

What about entrepreneurs and small business owners? With the price and duration, your money and time could be better spent. Learn new skills when the need arises. And use rapid prototyping to test out our ideas and launch your product.

Please note that this is NOT a sponsored advertisement.

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