Looking for a new kind of online training experience? Consider our Alison online learning review if you’re ready to start thinking outside the box.

With the modern boom in online learning, there are all kinds of opportunities for you to take all types of courses from the comfort of your own home. Whether you want to learn coding or business fundamentals, chances are, there is an online education platform that’s right for you.

But what if you want to learn skills that will be immediately relevant in the workplace? In this Alison review, we’ll tell you about the best way to do so.

In this Alison learning review, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the one-of-a-kind Alison training courses. 

What is Alison?

Alison is an e-learning platform that focuses on helping users develop skills that can be applied in the workplace. Founded by Mike Feerick in 2007, this Irish-based platform offers courses in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, Urdu, Hindi, and Arabic. 

How is Alison different? In reading our Alison review, you’ll quickly find out how – but the most important piece of information to know is that Alison operates with a different perspective and model than most other online course platforms out there.

For starters, it generates its income from advertising and certificate courses. It has an online pay-per-click advertising revenue model so that you can take free online courses and get free online certifications – with no cost to you.

This makes learning accessible to all learners, no matter what your background or financial situation may be. 

You can take courses in nine separate subject categories, each of which requires as little as two or as many as fifteen hours of study. As with many online learning platforms, there is no time limit for completing a course. 

Who is Alison For?

Alison is an online learning platform designed for students who want to learn skills that will be immediately practical in the workforce. Whether you’re a busy parent with just a few hours a week to spend on online education or a committed full-time student, you’re likely to find what you are looking for on Alison.

The platform offers courses in nine key categories:

  • Sales and Marketing
  • Language
  • Information Technology
  • Health
  • Business
  • Management
  • Personal Development
  • Engineering and Construction
  • Teaching and Academics 

Sign up for a membership or simply take one free course and you’ll find that you can take courses in a wide variety of subjects – as few or as many as you’d like. Some of the common courses, diplomas, and certificates that people earn on Alison include:

  • Diploma in Human Resources
  • Diploma in Mental Health
  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) Exam Prep
  • Customer Service Skills
  • Fundamentals in Strategic Marketing And the Marketing Environment 
  • General Data Protection Regulation
  • Tourism – Marketing and Promotion

How Does Alison Work?

You can find a course on Alison in several ways. The easiest is to browse categories from the Alison homepage, where you can choose among the nine course categories listed above or type in a search query of your own.

Select a category, and you can sort by course type (free, certificate, diploma) or by language. You can also browse related subjects within that category.

For example, if you select the “sales and marketing” category, you can browse related topics like social media, marketing strategy, retail, digital marketing, Amazon, or entrepreneurship. You can hover over a course description to view more information about its content and what you can expect. 

Once you find a course you like, you’ll be prompted to create an account, if you haven’t already. You can do so with an email address and a password or you can create an account with Facebook, Microsoft, Google, LinkedIn, or Yahoo so you don’t have to create yet another password that you will inevitably forget! 

Then, you’ll be able to view the course. As long as it’s a single course and you aren’t interested in a full diploma or certificate, you don’t have to worry about providing any kind of payment details. All you have to do is start! 

Of course, since Alison makes most of its money with ads, you will have to sit through a few advertisements before you can start the class. That’s a small price to pay for free courses, however.

Features and Functionality

Here are some of the core features and functionality aspects of Alison. 

Three Main Types of Courses

Alison offers three primary types of courses, allowing the maximum amount of flexibility for all learners. While there are some situations in which you might want to specialize in a  full subject area, in others, you might just want to gain a more intimate knowledge of certain individual concepts within a subject area.

A certificate course will let you focus your learning on distinct topics and give you specific careers of expertise. You’ll also walk away with a credential that you can use on your resume or in your portfolio. Some common certificate courses cover topics like business studies, health and fitness, media studies, languages, computer programming, and journalism. Most certificate courses last around two to three hours.

Diploma courses are a bit longer, with each lasting around eight to ten hours. These will give you valuable skills on key topics, usually providing more extensive training in a given subject area so you can master multiple subjects at once. These might cover topics like food safety, workplace safety, business management, customer service, nursing, and more.

The final course option is a learning path. Learning paths are collections of niche courses that have been specially curated to provide you with a more intricate training in certain skills. 

You’ll broaden your understanding of skills you may have already learned in certificate or diploma courses and be able to fully master a subject, from a basic level all the way through a proficient or advanced standing. You might take learning paths in things like Google and Business, Project Management, and Physics. These are quite lengthy, with most taking 18 to 20 hours to complete.

Notes

This is a feature you’ll find on many online learning platforms and it’s one we can appreciate on Alison, too. When you take a class, you will be able to take digital notes via the notes section below your course. These notes can be downloaded for offline review later on, or you can even email them to yourself.

Referral Program

Alison has another neat feature that you won’t find on many other e-learning platforms – a referral program. Not only will you be able to see how many students enrolled in the course, how many students graduated, and how many courses are on Alison at the moment, you can also enlist your friends to join in on the learning (and the fun).

If you successfully refer your friends, you can be eligible to receive things like free digital certificates and courses. 

Study Reminders

In addition to the notes section below each course, you’ll also find a unique study reminder. This feature is exclusive to Alison – it’s not something that we have seen anywhere else. With study reminders, you can receive emails at preset times (any time or day of the week) that prompt you to review the material covered in the course. 

Free Online Certifications

Many courses on Alison offer certificates. With these, you’ll be able to verify that you have completed a course of learning on any of the subjects you pursue – often, at any level, and at zero cost to you. When you complete a course, you can choose from a free digital certificate or a free digital diploma. These can easily be downloaded from the main dashboard of the website.

Alison Pricing Model

Alison courses are 100% free every time. There are some situations, though, in which it is helpful to know Alison’s full pricing model.

Sign up for a basic membership on Alison, and you’ll enjoy full access to a variety of courses. These include all the major features you might expect, like course assessments, certificates and diplomas, learning hubs, study reporting and study reminders, notes, and more. You’ll be able to develop and keep track of your own “learner record,” too, which will help you keep tabs on what courses and diplomas you have already completed and earned.

Alternatively, you can sign up for a Premium Monthly membership. This affordable monthly subscription will give you access to a few more resources and services on Alison. Upgrade to the premium membership and you will be able to view any class you’d like without any advertisements – something that can be extremely beneficial if you plan on taking a lot of classes on Alison and don’t want to deal with the constant ads.

You’ll also receive access to CV builder features and exclusive monthly discounts (discounts which, it’s important to note, never expire).

The premium membership is €7.99 per month or €499.00 for a lifetime access. 

After completing each Alison course, you will be able to purchase an additional certificate to celebrate your accomplishments. The prices on these vary between certificate courses and learning paths, ranging from €21.00 to €215.00.

You can even pay a bit extra to have these shipped quickly to your door, though free standard shipping is included when you purchase these certificates at the above rates.

Support

Alison is also known for setting high standards when it comes to providing exceptional customer service and support. With this e-learning platform, you’ll be able to get the help you need by submitting a query via any course page – you will be able to chat live with a representative. You can also send an email to the help team at Alison or drop them a line – the company has offices in Galway, Ireland. 

Visit the support section on Alison’s website and you’ll also be able to review the answers to frequently asked questions so that you don’t have to wait for a response to one of your questions. 

The Advantages (Pros) of Alison

Alison poses many benefits to online learners hoping to get ahead with their education. Here are some of the biggest advantages of using this online platform. 

Ease of Use

One of the biggest benefits to taking courses on Alison is that the platform is incredibly easy to use. Take a look at the platform’s landing page, and you’ll find that it’s clean and attractive – and it’s easy to find the courses you want to take. Course categories are clearly broken down so that you can not only see which courses fall within each category but you can also explore trending, most recent, most popular, and most certified courses. 

Excellent Content Quality

In just about every comprehensive Alison review, you’ll hear the same thing – the courses on Alison are some of the best you’ll find if you want to get ahead in your career. The variety of classes will provide you with the skills you need to be successful and while they might not be as suitable for a person looking for more advanced training, they’re perfect for more entry-level learners. 

Affordability 

Another major advantage of taking classes on Alison is that they are undeniably affordable. You’ll be able to engage in hands-on learning without having to pay a fortune. Although you may have to pay extra for longer courses or certain certificates, these are still priced much more affordable than what you might see with other online learning platforms. 

Great Career Preparation

Another benefit of using Alison is that you’ll be given personally tailored help when it comes to preparing for your career especially if you choose to upgrade to a premium membership. You’ll be guided through the process of creating a CV and the skills you will learn in your Alison courses are perfect for boosting the resume you already have. 

Flexibility

Last but not least, Alison offers one of the most flexible and convenient learning environments you will find. It is easy to find the time to work on your courses on this platform since everything is structured around your own schedule – you don’t have to log in at set meeting times or worry about completing a course by a certain deadline. It is entirely self-paced, allowing you to move as slowly or as quickly through the curriculum as you’d like.

The Disadvantages (Cons) of Alison

There are several disadvantages to note when studying with Alison, too. Here are some that we noticed.

Ads

You get what you pay for – and when it comes to taking free classes on Alison, that statement rings especially true. A major downside to using Alison is that you’ll have to sit through 10 or so seconds of advertisements before you can begin taking your class. This can be a hassle if you just want to jump right in. 

No Course Description

Another negative feature of Alison is that you can’t view a course description before you actually sign up. This can be frustrating when you’re comparing multiple courses and trying to decide which one is right for you based on the initial perspective you get from viewing the description. 

Mobile Incompatibility

If you’re planning on taking courses from your iPhone or Android, you might want to think twice about using Alison. The Alison app has some issues as certain courses are not fully optimized for mobile browsing. You may have a lag in playback – in addition, many of the courses are Flash-based, so if the device you are using does not support Flash, you might be out of luck.

Bland Instruction

Although Alison offers many types of courses in all kinds of disciplines and fields, it is not the most engaging platform to work with when you’re trying to get ahead in your career. If you’re only interested in taking a couple of classes, this probably won’t serve as a major disadvantage for you. 

However, if you plan on completing a full learning path or diploma, you may find that the content on Alison, though informative and educational, can get a bit stale. The content does not contain all the “glitz and glamor” that you might find with courses published on other e-learning platforms, lacking the professional video editing and aesthetic design that you might see with courses offered on Skillshare, Udemy, and other outlets.

Alison Alternatives

If you’re in the market for individual courses you can take online to boost your skills and improve your career readiness, Alison is not the only option out there for you to consider. There are plenty of others you might want to keep in mind, including Coursera and Udemy.

Coursera is similar to Alison in that it offers many types of courses with different potential outcomes. You can take free courses or complete entire degrees, paying as little as nothing or as much as several thousand dollars for a full program of study. The courses are a bit more polished on Coursera but the topics aren’t quite as career-focused as what you would find on Alison.

Similarly, Udemy offers a larger selection of courses in a wider variety of fields – but again, most of these are not carrier-specific. That being said, you’ll pay per course on Udemy so there’s huge variation in what you might find. Not all courses are vetted and taught by experts on Udemy, so you do need to be careful about taking the time to research which ones are actually worth your money before you dive right in.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this Alison learning review has been helpful in giving you the information you need to determine whether Alison training courses are right for you. 

Learning with Alison is easy and seamless. You’ll have access to a wide variety of courses and while there is some cost associated with certain diplomas and certificate courses, for the most part, this online education platform is one of the least expensive to use. It is also one of the best if you’re hoping to take courses in more tangible topics that you can instantly apply to your career.

Whether the information we have given you in our Alison learning review has convinced you to take an online class with this online course platform or not, we hope you find the skills and experiences you are looking for in Alison. This unique platform has one-of-a-kind free online certifications and hands-on experiences to help you make the most of your learning experience – and hopefully, land the job of your dreams.

FAQ

Are Alison courses legit?

Although you might not always find exactly what you’re looking for when you decide to take classes on Alison, the reality is that the vast majority of these courses are legit. Most Alison Course reviews are positive, with Alison’s users claiming that the courses were not only useful but provided them with a new set of skills (and a great resume detail!) that they could take forth into their current jobs or job search. 

Are Alison courses accredited?

Although not all Alison courses are accredited – and most, in the past, were not accredited at all – the vast majority are now accredited by CPD UK, an independent organization that works with online course accreditation. 

Can I get a job with an Alison certificate?

With over 3 million graduates to date, Alison is technically one of the world’s largest certifying organizations! Because it has a unique certification and accreditation approach, just about anyone can certify and verify their learning on any subject, at any level, for a minimal cost. 

Although a certificate doesn’t necessarily equate to a full-time job – and money in your pocket – it can be a helpful boost as you go about your search. The value of your certificate can easily be proven to employers, either by demonstrating the skills you’ve acquired in real-time or by including the course completion as a line on your resume. More than 50% of all respondents to a 2017 Alison survey reported that their Alison certification helped them land a promotion or a permanent job. 

Does Alison have free courses?

Alison offers many free online courses. Although there are costs associated with receiving diplomas and certificates, you can take most courses (and build new skills) almost completely free of charge. Plus, you’ll enjoy an interactive, enriching learning environment to boot.

How much does Alison cost?

Although you can certainly take courses on Alison for free, a premium monthly subscription costs $7.99 per month.

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Rebekah Pierce

Rebekah Pierce

Rebekah Pierce is a writer with a B.A. in English from St. Lawrence University and a Master’s in Special Education from SUNY Plattsburgh. She has worked both as a college admissions counselor as well as a high school English teacher and has also written extensively on topics related to educational technology and the college selection process.

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