Coursera is one of the most well known online learning platforms and offers thousands of courses across most disciplines. One of the best things we like most about Coursera is the partnerships they have with major universities that produce the courses. You are getting access to some of the best minds in whichever field you are studying for a very affordable price.
While the individual courses and specializations allow you to get a certification, Coursera also offers the ability to get full-fledged degrees. They offer both bachelor’s and master’s degrees, again, offered by some of the best universities in the nation. Yes, you are going to pay significantly more for these degrees, but there is much more value delivered as well.
Setting Up an Account
Setting up an account is simple. You search for the course you’re interested in, and then select the button to start your free trial. Most courses offer this free trial period where you will be granted access to the entire course.
Once you have signed up, you will be able to navigate throught their learning management system (LMS) to see the details of the course you’ve signed up for and start watching videos, taking quizzes, reading course materials, and more.
Coursera offers a vast selection of courses with different levels of difficulty and with differing amounts of content. The basic options are the following:
- Course – Take a simple course that is offered standalone. Most of these courses are still robust and are going to offer many hours of teaching content, coupled with quizzes, readings, and other interactive material.
- Guided Projects – Similar to a course, a guided project will walk you through a more specific learning path to accomplish some specific goal.
- Specializations – A specialization is a group of courses focused on a broader subject. Most of the specializations we looked at had between 4 and 8 courses to complete.
- Professional Certificates – Coursera offers many different professional certificates, mainly in technology-related fields. Many of them require no prior experience or education, making them a great way to kick start a career in a high growth industry.
- Degrees – There are multiple bachelor’s and master’s degree options you can earn through major universities at Coursera.
Certificates & Degrees
If you are looking to increase your value without a large investment, Coursera Certificates are one of the best options we’ve seen anywhere. Most Coursera Certificate programs use the same affordable monthly subscription pricing averaging around $49/month. Don’t be completely fooled though, since most of them indicate they take a few months to complete unless you have an inordinate amount of time on your hands. Still, even an entire year of those monthly fees is a good price to add a professional certificate to your resume.
To give you a flavor of some of Coursera’s professional certificate programs, here’s a list of some of their offerings.
- Google IT Support
- Facebook Social Media Marketing
- IBM Data Analyst
- Salesforce Sales Development Representative
- IBM Data Science
- Google Cloud Security
- SAS Advanced Programmer
- IBM Applied AI
That’s just a few of the certificates they offer, but you can see they are all from well known names in the industries you’d be looking to get a job. So whether you are just starting out, or looking to build your resume, a Coursera Certificate program is a great option.
If you want to take it a step further, you can get full Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Coursera. This is something you won’t find with most online learning platforms and gives Coursera an edge over some of the other players in the market. Not to mention these degrees are being offered by world-class universities.
They currently offer degrees in four major categories of study.
- Computer Science and Engineering
- Data Science
- Public Health
You’ll note that all of these are areas we can expect major growth in job demand over the coming years. And you are talking about universities like the University of Michigan, the University of Illinois, the University of Colorado Boulder, and more. Don’t be shocked by the price tag though if you start to explore this route. While much of what Coursera offers is affordable, most of these degrees cost well over $10,000.
We’ve spent a decent amount of time talking about the affordability of Coursera. We like that the Coursera Cost is in most cases an affordable subscription-based model. The bachelor’s and master’s degrees are an exception as we mentioned above. There are also some one-off guided projects that are offered for a one time cost and are typically very affordable.
Regardless of the course, Coursera’s cost compared to the quality of the material is extremely good. While there is no one set price across the board, the majority of their courses are available at or around the $49/month cost.
Without a doubt, the first thing lending credibility to Coursera is the number and quality of universities offering courses on the platform. When you see names like Yale, Princeton, and Northwestern, you know you are getting access to very knowledgeable instructors. And the list of recognizable universities goes on and on. Take one look at any section of Coursera’s course catalog and it’s hard to find a university that does not have national brand recognition.
Coursera for Enterprises
As with many of the online course platforms today, Coursera has programs for enterprises. These are geared to helping companies improve the skills of their employees. They offer unlimited access to their entire course catalog for $400/user/year.
Given a single course can often cost much more than that for employees in a traditional setting, this offers enterprises a more affordable option for continuous improvement programs with their employees.
Coursera is very similar to most businesses in this space with their support options. Most of what you will see is online help topics, and pages walking you through frequently asked questions or problems.
If you can’t solve your problem with their online help center, then they do provide the ability for you to email them with a more specific question. Beyond that, we did not see any support option to call in for customer service. Again, that’s not uncommon with online businesses in general.
The Bottom Line
Coursera courses are one of the best options you are going to find on the market. From the platform to the university partnerships, there are very few things to complain about with Coursera.
If your goal is to add a few additional skills, Coursera has you covered with one off courses, or a specializations track. If you want professional certificates, Coursera has you covered with a wide ranging number of courses. And lastly, if you want a full bachelor’s or master’s degree, you have options here as well.
Coursera feels like a much more professional and complete offering than some of the other online course platforms, especially one that has access to such a wide range of subjects. In the end, if you are looking for an affordable way to improve your skills and resume, Coursera is an option you need to consider.