Best IT Courses for Beginners: 15 Top Picks for 2024

Best IT Courses for Beginners

Information Technology (IT) is a fantastic field to enter, whether for your career path or personal enjoyment. However, there are many different areas within IT, and it can be hard to know where to start if you're a beginner.

That’s why we’ve created this list of 15 courses that we think will be the best starting point for an absolute beginner. From the barebones fundamentals to cyber security and AI, if you’re new to IT these courses should have you covered.

Rather than worrying about where to begin, simply follow the path below and look through our picks for the 15 best IT courses for beginners.

Are you ready? Let’s start. 

What Is IT?

Information Technology (IT) is the study and use of computer systems for storing, sending, and receiving information. It’s a varied field, and there are many different areas you can specialize in, including:

  • Hardware
  • Operating systems
  • Network administration
  • Network architecture
  • Cyber security
  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Cloud services
  • Database management
  • Web development
  • Software development
  • Machine learning

Read this to find out which IT certifications and certification courses you can pursue: 

The Best IT Certifications for Beginners in 2024

How to Learn IT: Using the Best IT Courses for Beginners Online

IT is a broad field covering many different areas. You should start by learning foundational IT concepts and then the fundamentals of hardware, troubleshooting, and operating systems. 

Then, you can begin exploring more advanced topics like networking and cyber security while considering where you may want to specialize. 

We’ve presented the courses below in the order in which it would make sense to learn all these topics. 

Learning IT isn’t difficult, but it requires planning and dedication. That’s why one of the best things you can do to increase your chance of success is to join a program like StationX’s Accelerator Program

We are one of the leading cyber security online learning platforms, and you can access all of our courses as well as mentorship and a community of other IT learners and enthusiasts who can help keep you motivated and on track. 

Foundational IT Courses

If you’re new to IT, you’ll want to nail the fundamentals before specializing. 

Foundational IT courses cover the basics needed to prepare you for further specialization. They also give you basic computational skills and foundational knowledge required for many non-specialist jobs that use computer systems today.

1. CompTIA IT Fundamentals (FC0-U61): The Total Course

This introductory course is instructed by the ever-popular Scott Jernigan, who contributed to dozens of books about different areas of IT. It prepares you for the CompTIA IT Fundamentals (FC0-U61) exam, covering all its domains:

Course materials include:

  • IT Concepts and Terminology
  • Infrastructure
  • Applications and Software
  • Software Development
  • Database Fundamentals
  • Security

This course gives you the skills one would expect from an advanced user, from understanding computer components to setting up workstations, installing software, configuring mobile devices, connecting to the internet, preventing basic security risks, and understanding the basics of databases and programming languages.

While the ITF+ certification itself isn’t very sought after for IT jobs, the information this course provides is essential for the average PC user who doesn’t already consider themselves a power user. 

You’ll learn how computers work, how to make the most of them, and how to troubleshoot issues. If all you’ve done is use your personal computer for email and web surfing, this will prepare you with real applicable skills for your entire IT learning journey.

Hardware and Troubleshooting Courses

The two courses below, delivered by well-respected best-selling IT author Mike Meyers, and Steve Nicholson, an Information Security professional with decades of experience in I.T., will give you a solid foundation in essential IT topics—including hardware and troubleshooting fundamentals—and prepare you for sitting your CompTIA A+ exams.

An A+ certification can help you get hired for many entry-level IT jobs, such as Help Desk Technician or Desktop Support Technician, which can get you started on your IT career path.

2. TOTAL: CompTIA A+ Certification Core 1 (220-1101)

This online course covers everything you need to know to pass the Core 1 CompTIA A+ exam. Core 1 covers a wider breadth of subjects than Core 2 and focuses more on computer hardware and devices, including the physical aspects of networking as well as cloud computing and basic troubleshooting methodology. 

Course materials include:

  • Mobile Devices
  • Networking
  • Hardware
  • Virtualization and Cloud Computing
  • Hardware and Network Troubleshooting

This course covers all the A+ Core 1 domains and features 15+ hours of video lessons, PDFs, and quizzes.

3. TOTAL: CompTIA A+ Certification Core 2 (220-1102)

This course follows the first and covers everything you need to know to pass the Core 2 CompTIA A+ exam. While Core 1 covers more of the underlying hardware, Core 2 covers software, including operating systems and security. It also delves deeper into the software implementation side of networking, while Core 1 focuses more on physical networking devices and cable routing.

Curious about which jobs an A+ certification can lead to? Check out our guide:

CompTIA A+ Jobs: What Careers Does This Certification Offer?

It features 17+ hours of video lessons, quizzes, and downloadable PDFs, and covers all the A+ Core 2 domains.

Course materials include:

  • Operating Systems
  • Security
  • Software Troubleshooting
  • Operational Procedures

Operating Systems Courses

The courses below should get your skills up to scratch with two of the most important operating systems for an IT professional to understand: Linux and Windows. Most of the world’s servers run on a Linux OS, and the majority of enterprise workers and end-users use Windows daily.

4. Learn Linux in 5 Days and Level Up Your Career

This course, instructed by well-respected Linux author and trainer Jason Cannon, is designed to cut through the noise and get you up to speed with the most crucial Linux concepts and Terminal commands. The best part? It’ll take you just 45 minutes per day for five days to complete.

Course materials include:

  • How to get access to a Linux server
  • What SSH is and how to use it
  • The Linux file system
  • The basic Linux commands you'll use most often
  • How to compare the contents of files.
  • How to schedule and automate jobs using cron

When you’re through, you should know how to do some of the most important things in any Linux OS. You even get a free bonus checklist and video that teaches you how to install WordPress on Ubuntu Linux.

5. Linux Command Line Essentials - Become a Linux Power User!

The previous course can get you up and running in Linux, but if you want to master the OS, you’ll have to master its command line. That’s why Jason Cannon made this course, which complements the previous one by focusing on Terminal commands.

Course materials include:

  • What components make up the command line prompt
  • The 8 Linux commands that you'll use almost every time you log into a Linux system
  • Exactly where commands are located and how to find them quickly
  • How to get help using the built-in Linux documentation system
  • How to manage files and directories
  • The various ways to display the contents of files and how to easily edit them

At the end of the course, you’ll know how to use the command line to perform the most common Linux tasks and how to teach yourself by using Linux’s documentation system. 

You won’t have to remember everything immediately because the course includes a Linux command-line cheat sheet.

6. Microsoft Windows 10 Pro - Hands-on Training

While it’s important for many IT professionals to understand Linux, we can’t forget the most-used desktop OS: Windows. Not only do many consumers use Windows as their OS of choice for home computers, but many organizations run Windows across their entire network, too.

Want to get Windows tasks done quicker? Here are some of the most useful Windows commands:

Windows Command Line Cheat Sheet: All You Need in One Place

This course, instructed by IT and cyber security expert Professor K, teaches you everything you need to know about installing, configuring, and maintaining Windows. 

Course materials include:

  • Plan, install, and upgrade Windows
  • Perform post-installation configuration
  • Implement networking
  • Manage local storage
  • Secure Windows
  • Maintain and update Windows
  • Recover and troubleshoot Windows

After taking this course, you’ll know how to use Windows OS efficiently and how to maintain, secure, and troubleshoot it in a Windows Server domain environment. 

Networking Fundamentals Courses

Networking is all about how data gets from A to B in a network system, and understanding networking fundamentals means understanding everything from network topology to network security, IP addressing, networking protocols, and so on.

The courses below will cover enterprise-level networking skills required for corporate environments. These skills go well beyond what is expected for simple home use and are essential for any IT professional.

7. CompTIA Network+ Cert. (N10-008): The Total Course

CompTIA’s Network+ certification is often recommended or required for IT or cyber security jobs, and it’s considered the go-to for establishing that you know the fundamentals of computer networking. 

Want to make sure you pass your Network+ exam? Check out our guide:

How to Pass CompTIA Network+ on Your First Try

This course covers all Network+ topics and should give you a broad understanding of fundamental networking concepts. This can act as a base for building more specific networking expertise as you continue your IT journey.

Course materials include:

  • Network Fundamentals
  • Network Implementations
  • Network Operations
  • Network Security
  • Network Troubleshooting

It’s delivered by Mike Meyers (CompTIA exam expert and IT author) and Joe Ramm (Master's in Educational Leadership). It provides 21+ hours of videos and quizzes covering everything you need to know to learn networking fundamentals and attain your Network+ certification. It covers all fundamental networking areas, from network architectures to virtualization, routing, and risk management.

8. Microsoft Windows Server 2019 - Hands-on Training Part I

These next courses, delivered by IT and cyber security expert Professor K, will teach you how to install and configure Windows Server 2019 and manage various aspects of its implementation, such as configuring storage and roles. Because this is a practical topic, the courses feature tutorial videos and hands-on labs, which are a great way to learn Active Directory.

Course materials include:

  • Building a Windows Server Domain Using PowerShell
  • Domain Naming System (DNS)
  • Configuring the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)
  • Active Directory 
  • Group Policy
  • Disk Management
  • Firewall Administration
  • Troubleshooting

9. Microsoft Windows Server 2019 - Hands-on Training Part II

After completing Part I, which covers the basics of setting up and managing a Windows Server, Part II of Professor K’s Windows Server course covers more advanced, hands-on topics such as monitoring, recovery, and certificates.

Course materials include:

  • Windows Deployment Service (WDS)
  • Operations Master Roles (FSMO)
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Monitoring Server 2019
  • Server 2019 Advanced Administration
  • Internet Information Services (IIS)
  • Certificate Services

Cyber Security Basics Courses

Cyber security is a lucrative, booming IT industry involving subjects and skills as diverse as network security, ethical hacking, risk assessment, and cryptography. Cyber security practitioners are in high demand, too, because companies are always willing to pay to keep their systems and data safe from cyber threats.

Want to specialize in cyber security? Read our Best Cyber Security Courses and Best Penetration Testing Courses articles.

10. Cyber Security Awareness Training

Because cyber security is such a broad field, figuring out where to begin can be confusing. This course should get you up to speed if you’re just starting on the path and want to have a basic understanding of cyber security concepts and techniques.

Course materials include:

  • The ways hackers can socially engineer people
  • How to spot red flags in phishing emails, text messages and phone calls
  • How to securely configure a browser
  • How to securely use Windows, Apple Macs, iPhones, Androids, etc.
  • Password management
  • Cyber security software

This online course, delivered by Reza Zaheri, a cyber security professional with over 20 years of extensive experience in the industry, features 41 videos covering over 30 cyber security subjects and a supplemental 50-page training guide. It’ll teach you network security fundamentals, basic social engineering tactics, and cyber security awareness.  

IT For Business Courses

Businesses require IT professionals who know how to design, build, and implement IT solutions in an efficient, manageable way. This is where IT Service Management (ITSM) comes in, which sees information technology as a service and describes how IT teams deliver their services to their clients or customers.

The three-part series below, taught by well-respected IT professional Jason Dion, should help you understand the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), the gold standard of ITSM best practices.

The three-part course below, featuring videos, quizzes, two complete practice exams, and a downloadable PDF study guide, should teach you everything you need to know to attain an ITIL 4 Foundation Certification, proving you know how to implement IT solutions as a well-managed service for your customers.

11. ITIL 4 Foundation: Complete Course Part 1

Course materials include:

  • Service organizations and the fourth industrial revolution
  • Service management basics
  • The four dimensions of service management
  • The service value system

12. ITIL 4 Foundation: Complete Course Part 2

Course materials include:

  • Guiding principles for service management
  • The service value chain
  • The continual improvement model

13. ITIL 4 Foundation: Complete Course Part 3

Course materials include:

  • General management practices
  • Service management practices
  • Technical management practices
  • Putting everything together

Cloud Courses

Nowadays, more and more information technology, networking, and cyber security services take place in the cloud, so it’s no surprise that cloud computing is one of the most lucrative fields in IT alongside cyber security. Whether you’re working with Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Server (AWS), Google Cloud, or any other vendor-specific cloud platform, grasping the fundamentals of cloud IT is crucial.

14. TOTAL: Cloud Computing / CompTIA Cloud+ Cert. (CV0-003)

This course is taught by Tom Carpenter, Chief Technical Officer (CTO) at Certified Wireless Network Professionals (CWNP), in association with best-selling IT author Mike Meyers. It covers all the domains of the CompTIA Cloud+ exam.

Course materials include:

  • Cloud Architecture and Design
  • Cloud Deployment
  • Cloud Security
  • Operations and Support
  • Troubleshooting

Featuring 15 hours of video lessons as well as PDFs, quizzes, and follow-along labs, the course is vendor-neutral, which means you’ll be able to take the knowledge and skills it provides to any cloud platform. You’ll learn to implement cloud security controls, execute workload migrations, allocate cloud resources, troubleshoot connectivity and security issues, and more.

Artificial Intelligence Courses

While we don’t foresee AI replacing cyber security or IT jobs with ever-improving large language models (LLMs), AI is certainly being taken up in IT roles. It can improve efficiency and eliminate menial tasks from your workload, allowing you to attend to more pressing IT problems and solutions. 

15. ChatGPT: The Complete Bootcamp for Beginners With Practical Applications

You can use ChatGPT, OpenAI’s chatbot, to streamline IT procedures and complete workloads quicker and more efficiently. But first, you need to know how to use it to make the most of it. While anyone can prompt an AI chatbot, it takes skill to get the best results.

Course materials include:

  • Progression from novice to expert level using ChatGPT
  • Utilizing ChatGPT to benefit other businesses and generate income
  • Using ChatGPT to summarize books
  • Using ChatGPT to generate ideas
  • Using ChatGPT as an email writer

This course, which includes videos explaining how to use ChatGPT for different purposes, such as an AI YouTube Assistant, Email Writer, Career Adviser, and so on, gives concrete AI prompting examples that can be adapted for your own IT workloads.

Conclusion

These are the best IT courses online for beginners. They will not only provide you with the foundational IT knowledge and skills you need to start your career but also give you exposure to the different specializations and career paths within the greater IT landscape. 

If you want the best value for money, consider joining the StationX Accelerator Program. Here, you’ll be able to access not only every one of these courses but also over one thousand other courses, labs, and projects. 

Plus, you’ll get access to our mentorship program and a community of like-minded people motivated to help each other on their IT learning path.

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  • Jacob Fox

    Jacob is a professional technology writer, academic researcher, and cyber security buff. When he's not working towards his PhD in philosophy, he's writing about the latest computer hardware developments or fiddling with his most recent technology impulse buy. If you'd like to talk tech or writing with Jacob, you can contact him or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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