Best Online Courses Website: A Detailed Review on Coursera

Have you been looking for the best online courses website to update your skills or acquire a new one? Do not look further, you’ve arrived at the right page.

Skills and knowledge acquisition have been made really affordable and easily accessible by the availability of online courses platforms.

The internet is a leveler. It has made it possible that anyone from anywhere can do great things and be recognized for them.  Online learning is one of the greatest benefits of the internet.

These days, with little or no cost, you can acquire the best education from the best universities in the World.

And the fun of it is that you can acquire these skills and knowledge without leaving the comfort of your home or office.

Online courses websites like Coursera, edX, Udemy, Alison etc. in collaboration with the best universities, academic and industry experts have brought to you the opportunity to learn with ease. At your own pace and convenience, you can keep updating yourself with the relevant skills and knowledge you need to advance your career.

We’ve taken out time to review several online courses websites. Read further to discover our top recommendation. This conclusion is based on a lot of important factors like the number of users, the quality of the courses, and the reviews and ratings from students.

Best Online Courses Website

From our reviews and study, Coursera is the best online courses website on the internet.

Coursera was founded in 2012 by two Stanford professors, Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller. The platform has gone ahead to partner with over 200 world-class universities and organizations to offer students the best learning resources on the internet.

There are currently about 92 million users on the Coursera platform. This could be because of the high quality courses and programs it offers. The platform currently offers about 4000 courses from the best universities in the World.

There are top-quality courses on business, health, data science, personal development, and much more.

Most of these courses are available for free audit. What this means is, you can access the full course content for free. However, when it comes to receiving a certificate, you’d have to pay to get one.

This is because, immediately after you complete a course on Coursera, you will receive a verified certificate. This certificate includes your name, the logo of the partner university or organization, the instructor’s signature, and a URL that allows others to verify the authenticity of the certificate.

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Coursera’s Learning Programs

In Coursera, there are a variety of learning programs. You can choose a program based on your interests and learning expectations. This is one of the things that makes it the best online courses website. Here are the program types:

Courses

These are regular topic-based courses from top universities and companies. Coursera has over 1700 free courses on its platform. There are certificates available for them too, you just have to upgrade from free to the paid plan.  

Guided Projects

These are short interactive courses that are designed to teach you how to accomplish certain projects.

Guided Projects are designed in such a way that your screen is split into two. On one side of the screen is your workspace, and on the other side is an instructional video where your instructor carries out the project.

So what you do is watch your instructor carry out the project and replicate the same on the other side of the screen.

Specializations

These are a series of related courses designed to help you master a skill. However, you can review the courses that make up the specialization and choose the specific one you want.

Once you’ve enrolled in any course in a specialization, you’ve enrolled in the full specialization.

To earn a certificate in a specialization, you must complete the courses that make it up and complete the hands-on projects attached to each course.  

Professional Certificates

If you’re looking to acquire the necessary credentials to get you ready for a particular job, professional certificate courses are for you.

Here you can take courses with specific and in-depth look on particular professions. For instance, if you’re looking for an entry level job in digital marketing, you can take Google’s Digital Marketing & E-commerce professional certificate course on Coursera. It is offered by Google itself.

Professional certificate courses include hands-on projects that help you create work samples that will eventually make up your portfolio.

MasterTrack Certificate

A MasterTrack Certificate course on Coursera prepares you for an actual master’s program. It is usually a module of a master’s program where you work on real-world projects.

You also get live instructions from the expert instructors handling the program.

The big advantage of the MasterTrack Certificate course is that when you’re accepted for a master’s program, it counts towards your degree.

Degrees

Coursera offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs from top universities. These programs are handled by the same top professors who lecture on campus.

Upon graduation, you will receive the same degrees from the universities as those who attended on-campus programs.

Partnering Schools and Organizations

Here is a short list of some schools and organizations Coursera partners with:

  • Duke University
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Stanford University
  • Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta
  • Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
  • Yale University
  • Michigan University
  • Google
  • University of Science and Technology of China
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Goldman Sachs
  • GitLab
  • Esade Business and Law School
  • Databricks etc.

Disciplines Covered by Coursera

Coursera offers a wide range of subjects covered in 11 broad categories. Here are the course categories:

  • Business
  • Computer Science
  • Data Science
  • Health
  • Personal Development
  • Information Technology
  • Language Learning
  • Physical Science and Engineering
  • Social Sciences
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Math and Logic

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Coursera Courses and Program Pricing

The different programs offered by Coursera come with different pricing.

The regular courses are offered for free on the platform. However, you have the option to upgrade and earn a certificate at the end. There are over 1700 courses available here.

Guided Projects Programs on Coursera starts at $9.99. There are over 2000 courses available in this program.

Pricing for specializations starts at $39 per month and the programs can last up to 3 months. While that of professional certificates starts at the same price per month and can run for 6 months. There are 7 days free trials available for these programs.

The MasterTrack Certificates program starts at $2,000. The average time commitment in these programs is 4-7 months.

Lastly, degree programs start at $9,000 and can run from 2 to 4 years.

Apart from these individual programs, Coursera also has other premium programs like Coursera for Business, Coursera for Campus, and Coursera for Government.

In these programs, a team, university, organization or government can purchase a series of specialized courses relevant for its people.

Click here to start taking courses on Coursera.

Other Online Courses Websites

Udemy

Udemy is another wonderful online courses platform. It has the biggest library of over 150,000 courses.

The courses are divided into these 13 broad categories: Finance and Accounting, Music, Business, Marketing, Personal Development, Photography, Lifestyle, Academics, health and fitness, IT and software and office productivity.

The individual courses start from $9 to $200 each. Unfortunately, Udemy doesn’t offer unlimited subscription plans.

Another downside of the platform is that its courses are not accredited.

Click here to start taking courses on Udemy

LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning was formerly known as Lynda. Lynda was one of the oldest online learning platforms before it was acquired by LinkedIn.

The platform has a course library of over 18,000 high quality courses.  At the end of a course, you will be offered a certificate, which you can add to your LinkedIn profile. However, the certificates are not accredited.

LinkedIn learning offers a monthly subscription plan at $29.99 per month and an annual plan at the rate of $19.99 per month. Both plans come with a 1-month free trial and gives you access to all the courses.

Alternatively, you can pay for the courses individually, with the prices ranging from $20 to $50 per course.  

The monthly and annual subscription plans give you access to the LinkedIn premium services.

Click here to start taking courses on LinkedIn Learning

edX

edX is one of the best online courses platforms out there. It was created by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The platform offers superior quality college-level courses in a range of disciplines. There are over 2,500 courses on different subjects.

These courses are available to be audited for free. However, to be assessed and issued a certificate, the price ranges from $50 to $300 per course.

The edX official teaching language is English. However, there are courses available in other languages like Spanish, Chinese, Italian, French, and Russian etc.

edX certificates are verified as they are issued by the institutions handling them. There are over 130 top Institutions that offer courses on the edX platform.

In edX, you also have access to MicroMasters programs and earn credits upon completion of a program. The MicroMasters programs are graduate-level programs offered by top universities. These programs, however, cannot be audited for free, as their pricing starts from $1000 to $1500.

Click here to start taking courses on edX.

Skillshare

Skillshare is another online learning community that offers a wide range of courses. With over 27,000 courses focused on key areas like business, design, lifestyle, publishing etc. Skillshare has equipped millions of users in the world.

Though the courses are not accredited, they are taught by industry experts who are guaranteed to offer you nothing but quality.

The platform offers over 2000 courses for free, but the premium membership gives you access to the entire course library.

The premium membership costs $32 per month or $168 per year, billed monthly and annually, respectively. However, the platform offers a 30-days free trial on its premium plans.

Skillshare courses are available for download. So you can access them even while offline.

Click here to start taking courses on Skillshare.  

Masterclass

Masterclass is an online learning platform that gives students access to training programs from industry experts. It has over 80 courses in its library.

The platform is structured in such a way that the instructors are experts on the subjects they are delivering. A course on acting will be handled by a veteran actor, while a course on politics will be handled by an expert politician.

The fact that they’ve had industry experts like Alicia Keys, Bill Clinton, and Mariah Carey etc. makes the platform a very popular one.

If you’re looking to learn and be inspired by experts from various fields like personal development, leadership, acting, and the creative industry as a whole. Then Masterclass is the right platform for you.

Masterclass pricing starts at $15 per month and is billed annually. There are no free trials available.

Click here to start taking courses on Masterclass.

FutureLearn

FutureLearn is an amazing digital learning platform. It is owned by The Open University and SEEK Ltd.

The platform offers over 800 courses from top universities in the World. It also offers Microcredential programs where students can take fully accredited courses and earn course credits at the end.

You can audit most of the courses for free, but if you want to be assessed and issued a certificate, you have to upgrade to the paid versions.

The unlimited subscription goes for $27.99 per month, and with it, you have access to over 600 short courses on the platform.

Click here to start taking courses on FutureLearn.

Udacity

In collaboration with AT&T, Udacity made available its Nanodegree programs to individuals who are looking to qualify for entry level IT jobs at AT&T.

The Nanodegree program consists of a series of programming and tech courses, and projects designed to teach students some relevant skills that are on high demand. The programs are available for $200 per month and can run from 3-6 months.

Udacity has over 200 single courses on its website, most of which are available for free. It is a very resourceful platform to access massive open online courses.

Click here to start taking courses on Udacity.

Codecademy

Codecademy is one online learning platform that specializes in a specific course area. It offers only coding classes to its users.

The platform offers free classes on different programming languages like Java, Ruby, Sass, C++, C#, SQL, python etc.  The premium version however gives you access to more personalized learning experiences, quizzes and projects.  The Pro version is available for $39.99 per month, or $239.88 per year.

Codecademy has over 45 million users worldwide. It is a great platform for anyone who wants to pick up important programming skills.

Click here to start taking courses on Codecademy.

Conclusion

Getting the best online courses website to acquire industry-relevant skills can be a very daunting task.

However, I believe that after going through this article, you’ve been able to pick out the best website that offers online courses that match your interest and budget.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Best Online Courses Website

Are Certificates From Coursera Valid?

Certificates from Coursera are verified and accredited. They are issued by top universities, organizations and industry experts.

Is Doing Free Online Courses Worth It?

Free online courses from reputable platforms are worth it. The free courses on Coursera, Udemy, edX for instance are issued by world-class institutions. Their values can’t be undermined because they are issued for free.

Which Is The Best Online Course Website?

Based on the quality of courses, and standard of universities they are partnering with, Coursera is the best online course website.

Can I Put Online Courses on My CV?

Yes. You can put your online courses certificates on the Certification and Professional Programs section of your CV.

Are Online Degrees Worth It?

Yes, online degrees are worth it. They are offered by the same institutions and handled by the same professors that handle traditional degrees. The quality of education is the same. The assessment is even tougher and more reliable, as proctors are assigned to monitor students during examinations. 

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