Motivated learners are always on the hunt for more knowledge and self-development. Luckily, online learning platforms such as Coursera provide their enrollees with limitless possibilities in terms of education, freeing them from the “degree” mold. But is enrolling in a Coursera course worthwhile? We’re about to find out.
Founded in 2012 by Stanford University professors Andre Ng and Daphne Koller, Coursera is a reputable e-learning platform that offers users a chance to enroll in a wide variety of courses. It provides users with classes that will help them specialize in their field of interest and help them on their professional career paths.
How’s Coursera different from other e-learning platforms? The high-quality courses provided by Coursera are from top U.S. universities, including Princeton, Stanford, and Yale. Moreover, you can also find courses provided by international institutions such as HEC Paris and the University of London.
Who can benefit from Coursera’s offerings? Well, Coursera provides courses that are extremely insightful and highly recommended for technical professionals. Additionally, people who are into the business aspect of things will find Coursera to be tremendously valuable.
Coursera courses relate to topics such as data science, computer science, life science, arts and humanities, language learning, business, and many others. Coursera offers over four accredited degree programs and over 2,700 courses. You can find the entire Coursera course catalog here.
Coursera’s offerings are generally free for auditing. However, if you’re looking to enroll in graded assignments and get a certificate of completion after finishing a program, payment is mandatory. Are Coursera certificates worth the money? Absolutely! We’ll get into why shortly.
The great thing about Coursera’s programs is that they’re not just designed for individuals, you’ll be able to benefit from them if you want to train a team within an organization. The offerings are featured in a variety of languages so that they’re easily accessed without any language barriers. Languages include English, Spanish, Russian, French, Turkish, Chinese, and more.
The free courses provided by Coursera don’t feature official college credit. These courses are in the form of video lectures and practical exercises. Note that not all fee-based courses provide a certificate of completion, for now at least. We highly recommend going for paid courses in order to improve your CV when applying for your desired job position.
On average, Coursera courses tend to require four to six weeks to complete. Each one provides weekly video lessons, graded assignments, forum membership for students to interact together, and quizzes to gauge your level of mastery of the material you’re studying. A few courses have final examinations upon its completion.
Like we’ve just stated, the courses aren’t created by the folks at Coursera themselves, different universities worldwide provide the vast majority of courses on Coursera. So basically, the quality has to be top-notch since it’s provided by certified professionals. As far as reviews, it seems like the majority of Coursera users are extremely satisfied with the quality they’re receiving.
It’s important to note that the delivery can vary from one professor to another. Additionally, you’ll probably encounter professors that have heavy accents and ones that are camera-shy. This can be hard to deal with when committing to a demanding course, but this rarely happens and some people may not think of it as a big deal anyway.
- Auditable Courses – Coursera allows you to view and learn its offerings without needing to spend money on doing so. However, auditing a course doesn’t allow you to apply for a certificate of completion or submit grading assignments, along with a few other perks you get from a fee-based course. Some of the courses that Coursera has to offer can be a bit too expensive, so being able to audit these courses is a great option to have.
- Completion Certificates – Coursera offers a certificate of completion upon finishing one of its fee-based courses. The great thing about these courses is that you can submit the homework assignments whenever you want. Not only that, you can take the quizzes and final examinations based on your schedule as well.
- Degrees – You’re offered an incredible opportunity to pursue a degree from some of the highest-rated universities worldwide without the need to move to a new city or quit your day job. Like we’ve already mentioned, Coursera is teamed up with various universities to provide students with a high-credential degree at an affordable price. A degree takes from 1 to 3 years to complete at Coursera. Click here to check out the degree programs that Coursera has to offer.
- Specialization – With Coursera, you have the ability to enroll in specializations that will help you hone your skills in a particular topic. Courser offers over 250 specializations. It’s basically a micro-credential that combines 4 or 5 relevant courses together into a group. There are shorter specializations that can take around 4 to 6 months to complete, while others can take up to a year to complete. To get a specialization certificate, you need to pay for all the courses included in the specialization.
There are two ways you can pay for Coursera courses: single payments and subscriptions. The former is around $50. That number can vary depending on each course. Specializations tend to cost around $200, more or less depending on the specialization itself. Lastly, Coursera degrees are the most expensive and can cost you thousands. Subscriptions, on the other hand, will cost around $40 to $90.
A lot of people can get discouraged to enroll in a Coursera program because of the steep prices that they have, but you’re less likely to find an e-learning site that provides expert-level services that can rival that of Coursera. Additionally, it’s very rare to find other online education platforms that feature certified professors from top-rated universities worldwide.
Coursera vs Other Platforms
Coursera is a prestigious e-learning platform that provides accredited university-level courses to its students. It offers you the ability to learn for free or solidify your mastery of the material with a fee-based certificate. It may be a little costly for some people, but it’s definitely worthwhile.