Coursera Review (2024 Updated) Does it Really Worth it?

Last Updated on June, 2024

Is Coursera worth the attention and hype it has?

The short answer is yes. But it’s the long answer that benefits you or your organization.

If you want to know whether Coursera is legitimately good, this brutally honest coursera review is all you need.

But wait — why trust me?

 Overall: 4.9/5
coursera learning platform logo
4.9
Easiness
5.0
Effectiveness
4.9
Price
Features
  • Partners with top universities and industries
  • Flexible learning schedules
  • Mix of video lectures, readings, and quizzes
  • Certificates and degrees upon completion
  • Mobile learning through an app
  • Courses have multi-language subtitles
  • SEE WHAT’S MORE
Brand Information
  • Founded in 2012 by Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller.
  • Their mission is to provide universal access to world-class education.
  • Partnerships over 200 universities and companies worldwide.
  • Empower individuals to improve their lives and communities
  • Millions of learners, courses in multiple languages
Product Benefits
  • Most certificates come from well-known institutions
  • Certificates can be shared on LinkedIn and elsewhere
  • All degrees are accredited
  • Course selection is easy with clear details
  • Businesses can affordably train staff
  • Governments can educate employees and citizens
  • AND MORE

Contents

Why Trust Me?

For starters, I’ve been using Coursera since 2015. But for this review, I contacted several stakeholders I personally know whose opinion helps me see areas that I might not see. However, while writing this review, I’m following with 3 Coursera courses, too.

Additionally, I thoroughly browsed several unofficial communities such as Reddit, Quora, and even YouTube to expand my view. That’s why what you get here is inimitable (unless they copy me).

Let’s start with the first question: what is Coursera?

What is Coursera?

a person logging in coursera through a tablet

Coursera is one of the industry leaders in online education, with a sky-high brand reputation. The platform was founded in 2012 by two Stanford professors, Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller. 

Their vision is a world where anyone, anywhere, has the power to transform their lives through learning.

In making that a reality, Coursera offers courses not only to individuals but also to businesses, universities, and even governments. These are typically high-quality video-based lectures that you can download.

I’ll dive into the details of Coursera courses in the next subtopic, but you should know that the platform has nearly 130 million registered learners. Now, let’s get into the heart of this review: the analysis for Coursera courses.

In-Depth Analysis of Coursera Online Courses

Coursera is elated to collaborate with 300+ established universities and companies, including leading establishments, including Google, IBM, Imperial College London, and even Stanford University.

The platform boasts its 5,800+ course catalog that millions of registered students use. This is an in-depth analysis of Coursera online courses.

Variety of Courses

a screenshot of all subject areas available at coursera learning platform

Coursera online education spans across 11 main subject areas. I’ll discuss the course structures in the last subtopic before moving into the next main subtopic.

Let’s look at them one by one.

1. Data Science

Data is the modern oil, and being a data science professional is a great career choice.These Coursera courses for data science teach students how to collect, analyze, and visualize data using tools and techniques.

These techniques (and/or languages) are interconnected and go up from the fundamental level. In a later subtopic, I listed my favorite courses, which mostly included top-rated courses. So, keep reading.

Popular data science skills:

  • Python
  • SQL
  • MS Excel
  • Machine Learning
  • Data Science
  • Data Analytics
  • Power B.I.
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Statistics

Up next is business.


2. Business

Top business leaders in the market sure have their gut feelings; they have unparalleled knowledge.

In your journey of harvesting such knowledge, Coursera’s business courses are ideal for learning about how to start, lead, manage, and innovate in the business world across multiple aspects.

These areas include accounting, finance, marketing (online and offline), entrepreneurship, branding, strategy, and so on.


3. Computer Science

The world is rapidly digitalizing itself, creating a massive market for computer science experts. 

You can be one in that pool by learning with Coursera. These C.S. courses are made to teach you how to program, design, and develop software and systems using languages such as:

  • Java
  • Ruby
  • SQL
  • C++
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Python
  • Javascript
  • AWS

Let’s look at information technology next.


4. Information Technology

Coursera’s information technology courses are ideal if you’re not very fond of C.S. but wish to pursue a tech career.

These courses teach you how to support, secure, and optimize I.T. infrastructure and services. The approach will be based on cloud computing, cybersecurity, networking, etc.


5. Language Learning

Being an American who knows French has helped me get into some career-changing places. That’s why Coursera helps you learn how to speak, read, write, and listen in different languages with their language course catalog.

Some of the languages you can learn include Japanese, German, Korean, and Spanish. On top of all that, there are separate Coursera courses designed for non-native English speakers to brush up their English skills to the native-speaking-and-writing level.


6. Health

Don’t worry; there aren’t any online MBBS courses here. Instead, these Coursera courses teach you skills areas that cover the physical body and psychology across several subject areas.

Some of the main areas covered are:

  • Medicine
  • Psychology
  • Medical
  • Bioinformatics
  • Neuroscience
  • Mental health
  • Anatomy 
  • Nutrition
  • Pharmaceutical

Next, let’s look at the personal development section.


7. Personal Development

You could lose opportunities even with a better CV because your personal development levels are insufficient. 

To fix that and elevate yourself, Coursera courses on personal development focus mainly on areas such as leadership, communication, creativity, public speaking, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, soft skills, and so much more.


8. Physical Sciences and Engineering

This area of Coursera is dedicated to students who want to learn how to understand and apply concepts of physical science and engineering from simpler to complex extents.

You’d be surprised to see diverse subject areas that include:

  • Civil engineering
  • Chemistry
  • GIS
  • Electronics
  • Sustainability
  • AutoCAD
  • Robotics

Let’s move to the next part.


9. Social Sciences

Have you wanted to pursue a career in areas involving human behavior and societal operations? If so, Coursera has got your back.

Coursera courses on social sciences are comprehensive as they cover topics such as:

  • Law
  • Sociology
  • Economics
  • Political science
  • Sociology
  • Journalism
  • History 
  • International relations

And more.


10. Art and Humanities

These Coursera courses are designed for aspiring students who want to learn how to appreciate and express the beauty and diversity of human culture and creativity.

These courses cover topics such as history, philosophy, applied arts, music, photography, architecture, Photoshop, drawing, and even film. And the list doesn’t stop there.


11. Maths and Logic

For the last category, in no order of importance, maths and logic are focussed more on problem-solving.

This is why you will be introduced to and be learning under topics such as:

  • Mathematics
  • Calculus
  • Algebra
  • Probability
  • Linear algebra 
  • Discrete mathematics
  • Mathematics for machine learning

With that, we have covered all the subject areas. With that, you’ll be able to get an idea of where to start. But let’s look at the quality and content next.


Quality and Content

a screenshot of the schools and partners of coursera

Coursera takes great pride in its elite panel of instructors. Additionally, the platform is directly affiliated with some of the world’s best universities. These instructors are industry experts who are well-known and reputed.

Even the free Coursera courses have so much rich content that even the introductory lesson itself teaches you something valuable. That’s one of the main reasons why Coursera courses are respected.

However, this makes it quite difficult for instructors to hop in. According to my research, getting on Udemy is easier than going to Coursera. 

But as a minimum requirement, any aspiring Coursera instructor is required to create and submit a course of at least 25 pages or 10,000 words long. Although not mandatory, video lessons are highly encouraged.

After that, Coursera evaluates your academic background. If you happen to have a few decades of industry-specific experience backed up by a reputable academic history, you have a good chance of becoming one.

Almost always, Coursera courses are offered by reputed universities and conducted by reputed instructors from the said prestigious universities.

One of the biggest issues I encountered using Udemy is the lack of people’s presence. The slides are amazing, but I had used MasterClass before. But Coursera has the best of both worlds by having both the instructor AND a slideshow behind for most courses.

For example, check out the below screenshot from a Korean language course.

a screenshot of a korean class available on coursera

So, the content and product quality are a perfect blend of MasterClass and Udemy, which is amazing. 

In conclusion, Coursera learning materials’ content and production quality are admirable. What about the video quality? Typically, the lowest quality is 240p, which can go as high as 1080p. You’ll notice how most free courses stop their video quality at 720p.

But trust me, that’s more than enough. As the video quality drops, YouTube’s audio quality drops proportionally. In my experience, this isn’t the case with Coursera, which is great. As I said earlier, you can download all the videos with transcripts.

Next, let’s discuss the method of delivery.

Method of Delivery

Similar to most competitive online platforms, Coursera also delivers pre-recorded videos. But I absolutely love how all courses give time-stamp-based transcripts, so you don’t hear anything wrong. Here’s how it looks on Coursera web.

a screenshot of the transcript of a korean class available on coursera

If you notice it, you can also see that the transcript is available in multiple languages. In other words, all Coursera courses are delivered with subtitles in various languages. 

Some of these languages are:

  • Dutch
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Italian
  • Nederlands
  • O’zbek
  • Romanian
  • Portuguese
  • Slovakian 
  • Turkish

And this list goes on. By implementing these subtitles, Coursera has gone the extra mile to shatter many language barriers.

The cherry on top is how some courses are conducted in foreign languages, too. Of course, you’d find them to have less number of reviews as the majority goes for courses taught in English.

I’ll discuss more details on the user interfaces in a later sub-topic. Next, let’s look at the course structure — you’re in for a surprise if this is your first time with Coursera.

Typical Course Structure

Coursera sure had its growth arc, and today, there is no standard or common course structure. 

The reason? It’s because the platform no longer offers just certificate courses. Since Coursera works with several accredited universities, you can directly enroll for a degree from a legitimate university, too. 

These are basically traditional college degrees provided online. The advantage of obtaining one via Coursera is the lowered cost, and it’s fully remote.

You can follow:

  • Bachelor’s level degrees
  • Master’s degree program list
  • MScs
  • MBAs
  • Executive MBAs
  • MasterTrack Certificates
  • Postgraduate diplomas
  • Graduate certificates

And it’s a delight.

The course structure of a degree varies based on the course and the institute. But typically, you only have to meet the studying hours and score the necessary college credit bracket.

But every degree detail, such as the one below, is clearly mentioned on pages:

  • Overview
  • Duration
  • Admissions
  • Academics
  • Tuition and Financing

Let’s look at certificates and diplomas now.

In a typical Coursera certificate, as I said earlier, Coursera only quality controls the structure forwarded by respective institutions and instructors.

The structure consists of:

  • The core modules covered
  • Skills you’ll gain
  • The respective subheadings with individual runtimes
  • Graded assignments (all graded assignments have clear KPIs)
  • Lecture notes for further reading

I’ll show how a typical course looks when we discuss the user interface-related stuff. Next, let me share my special guide to help you choose the BEST Coursera course.

BEST ONLINE LEARNING PLATFORM

My Personal Guide to Find the BEST Coursera Course for You

This is my special formula of tips that will enable you to find the best value for what you spend or for free.:

  • You should start by choosing the correct main category or the expected career role.
  • First, look through the highest-rated courses and see if there’s fast luck.
  • Look through the most popular or trending courses secondarily (take my word on that).
  • Then, look up any keywords you have in your mind, such as SEO, Power B.I., etc.
  • Now, you’ll scroll down slowly through the catalog.
  • When you do, pay attention to the source university and compare rankings
  • Simultaneously, look up to the credibility and the experience of the course instructor
  • Once you have shortlisted enough, go inside each course and check for:
  • Module details
  • Reviews (the number of reviews and what they’re actually saying)

I used to look up the course names on Reddit and Quora, but the accuracy is questionable on secondary platforms — EXCEPT when you want to learn about the platform as a whole.

Alternatively, you can always start from the course filter on the left.

This filter lets you filter courses by:

  • Credit eligibility 
  • Subject (the main course categories – e.g., business, computer science)
  • Skills (areas of specialization – e.g., accounting, algebra)
  • Level (beginner, intermediate, advanced, and mixed)
  • Duration
  • Less than 2 hours
  • 1-4 weeks
  • 1-3 months
  • 3-6 months
  • 6-12 months 
  • 1-4 years (degree)
  • Qualification type (certificate, degrees, etc)
  • Educator (the qualification source – e.g.: Duke University, École Polytechnique)
  • Subtitles
  • Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Indonesian, Thai, German, Portuguese, Turkish, Hebrew, Spanish
  • Language
  • Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, etc. (it’s a long list!)

Now that we’re done with the course selection special formula let’s look at the user experience.

Analysis of User Experience: Homepage & Inside Courses

I know we’re taught not to decide on books based on the cover, but it’s only natural. Don’t we abandon web pages if it looks really off?

But don’t worry; Coursera’s user experience is top-notch, with some excusable shortcomings. The platform operates on the web and an App. Let’s start from the website.

Coursera’s Website User Interface and Navigation

user interface of coursera online learning platform

The home page’s clutteredness is one massive similarity across all industry-leader online learning platforms. 

This is excusable, given that it has thousands of courses, and the brand wants to show as much as possible to a first-time viewer. And, if you pay attention, you’ll realize the user interface gives you multiple starting points for course selection.

For example, Most Popular Certificates are typically at the top. If you have already created your account and browsed a few courses, Recently Viewed Courses and Specializations will be below that.

Underneath that is the Get Started with These Free Courses section. Scroll down a bit, and you’ll see the Earn Your Degree section directing you to degree programs.

Coursera is a global online learning platform that offers massive open online courses (MOOCs), specializations, and degrees; remember that too.

If you have a Coursera Plus subscription (which I’ll explain later), you’ll see the Explore with a Coursera Plus Subscription option where you’ll see more areas including:

  • Explore MasterTrack® Certificates
  • Skill-based courses
  • Career-based courses
  • Popular in (insert a main course category)
  • Explore Coursera
  • New on Coursera 
  • Recently Launched Guided Projects

And a few more. But that’s about the main page. Next, let’s look at the user interface inside a course. For example, let’s consider “The Strategy of Content Marketing” offered affiliated with the University of California, Davis.

a screenshot of "The Strategy of Content Marketing" offered affiliated with the University of California, Davis by coursera

Don’t mind me cutting off my username there at the top right; that’s where your account will be.

It’s a very user-friendly interface; you can see all the crucial aspects of a course, such as:

  • The course name
  • Which institute offers it
  • The rating
  • The relevant competency level
  • The approximate duration
  • Enrolment button
  • How many have already enrolled

The cherry on top is how you can complete assignments at your own pace.

When you scroll down a little, you’ll see more details about the certificates, the number of quizzes and assessments, and their language. You’ll also see the complete module breakdown, which you can click on to read more. It’s super easy to know. 

What would you see when you’re engaging in a course? Let me show you the earlier Korean language course.

a screenshot of the how a coursera course looks like and its options

On the left, you can see the course material breakdown based on the week; in the middle, you can access all lectures conveniently. Not only that, but Coursera also lets you set up weekly goals so you can keep tracking better.

When you come back later to the website, this is what you’ll see. Because of this U.I., it’s super easy to follow up and select courses on the spot.

a screenshot of the welcome back page when you revisit coursera

And when you watch every video, you can easily skip back and forth as you turn subtitles on or off, adjusting resolution and playback speed with a few clicks.

Verdict? Coursera’s web interface is designed to make learning fun.

Next, let’s look at the app.

Coursera’s Official Mobile App

All the leading online educators have their own mobile app, and so does Coursera. The app is compatible with both iOS and Android.

The app has an excellent 4.8-star rating with over 220k+ reviews; that’s admirable. There are 10M+ downloads too. When compared to the Udemy app, Coursera’s star rating is positively distributed; the majority are 5-star reviews. 

Unlike the website, browsing is more restricted if you don’t have an account. Once you do, it’ll be pretty much the same user interface as the website, except a bit more vertically squeezed. 

However, you’ll find course filtering to be much easier, but I also think that depends on the phone you use. I use an iOS device, so there is an added advantage.

a screenshot of the coursera mobile app

Speaking of the iOS version of the app, Coursera boasts a stellar 4.8-star rating with over 100K and a growing number of reviews. The user interface is pretty much the same as Android; in other words, it is very aesthetic and easy to use.

As you can see, these are just the details; I’ll share my experience with the platform from an overall perspective. Next, let’s look at who Coursera is Coursera for.

Who is Coursera for?

In a nutshell, Coursera is for ANYONE who likes learning. But let’s segment their target audience, which helps Coursera to provide the highest quality courses of all types.

Coursera is ideal for you if you are:

  • A professional who wants to climb up your career with professional qualifications
  • A professional who wants academic qualifications from reputed universities
  • A government decision-maker who wants to invest in an online course system
  • A university decision-maker seeking new credible channels for prospective student
  • A professional who wants career skills to specialize in a specific area of your work
  • Anyone who wants to obtain an accredited university degree remotely for the lowest cost 
  • A student who wants to supplement formal education and identify career paths
  • A professional who wants quicker qualifications targeting a career switch
  • An entrepreneur who wants to start, grow, and manage your business overall
  • A hobbyist who wants to learn from pros to do what you love better
  • Anyone who seeks an affordable professional certificate to jumpstart a career
  • A responsible parent who wants to show a cost-effective career starting point

And this list goes on. When you connect a need that can be fulfilled with a Coursera course, then Coursera is definitely for you. But did you know Coursera offers 3 non-personal or non-individual options? Next, let’s talk about that.

Coursera for Non-Individuals

While Coursera is mainly known for educating single users, the platform is also ideal for businesses, universities, and even governments. You can easily access these sections via the top strip of Coursera’s home page.

If you already didn’t know, Coursera is pretty much the only platform that does this. Others only have the “platform for business” segment. Let’s see what this is about.

Coursera for Business

a screenshot of coursera for business

There are 3 flex points Coursera has to show the value of Coursera for business:

  • 38% retention rates
  • 25% more employee productivity
  • And the most attractive stat: 3. 24% reduction in training costs.

Coursera Business boasts an elite clientele of 3,800+ businesses, including top brands such as Emirates NDB, L’Oréal, P&G, and even TATA.

Here, the platform is clear about the return on investment across 4 key aspects such as:

  • Use role-based assessments to identify skills gaps and advancement opportunities.
  • Advance skills in roles that drive rapid transformation for your company
  • Enhance leadership skills to engage, navigate, and motivate employees amid change
  • Learn and apply skills faster with hands-on projects and immersive learning

Not only that, organizations are given complete control to monitor and assess the ROI, too. It’s like you’re the Dean of a university with visibility to their performance. 

With Coursera business, businesses can:

  • Track real-time skill development and learning activity of everyone in your company
  • Gain industry-specific insights to understand the fast-changing skills landscape
  • See every employee’s proficiency in 117+ technology, data, and business skills
  • Evaluate your skills against industry benchmarks using verified performance data

Coursera business operates across 6 key academies. The best feature of these academies is the customization extent. 

These are the academies Coursera business has:

  • Leadership Academy: develop employees with the skills to collaborate, communicate, and lead teams.
  • Data and Analytics Academy: invest in data, AI, and ML skills to improve decision-making and increase innovation.
  • Finance academy: improve confidence in forecasting, budgeting, and major business decisions.
  • Tech Academy: streamline technology transformation with training for I.T., Engineering, and security teams.
  • Marketing Academy: supercharge your marketing team with hands-on martech and digital marketing training.
  • Career Academy: attract and retain your frontline workers with career development benefits.

For example, let’s consider the leadership academy. Coursera is happy to share that 88% of H.R. professionals cited leadership development as a top priority for business success.

This academy’s courses are as organized as individual courses. It is segmented as courses for leading yourself, leading teams, leading organizations, and leading transformation.

For example, if you want to lead teams, Coursera business breaks down the 3 core areas such as:

  • Feedback and Coaching for Managers
  • Organizational Development for Managers
  • People Development for Managers

In each segment, skills required, course recommendations, and who Coursera has partnered with to deliver these courses are clearly mentioned. Here’s a quick look at how it all looks.

a screenshot of the 3 core areas of coursera for business

The segmentation is similar but with subject-specific areas for other academies. I’ll let you do the exploring by yourself. The only condition for Coursera Business is that the employee pool must exceed 125 heads. But what if you don’t have that?

The solution for that is Coursera for Teams.

Coursera for Teams

a screenshot of coursera for teams

Coursera Teams is basically a Coursera business for smaller teams. In this section of Coursera, you can upskill 5-125 employees while getting unlimited access to program set and launch tools, too.

That unlimited access makes what Coursera offers very valuable. Full access to the Coursera library will be granted, which has over 3,000 guided projects, 200,000 clips, and over 5,800 courses.

The cherry on top is how you can use analytics and benchmarking dashboards, too.

You’d be happy to hear that you can train your teams with courses offered by leading organizations and universities, including:

  • Google 
  • UC Irvine
  • META
  • University of Michigan
  • HEC Paris
  • DeepLearning.AI
  • Imperial College London
  • John Hopkins University
  • Salesforce

Without taking a cent from you, Coursera also lets you browse EVERYTHING they offer so you can confirm you’re getting the value for what your organization invests. That’s clever investing.

Coursera for Universities

a screenshot of the coursera for campus plan

Did you know that students are 76% more likely to enroll in a degree program that offers industry micro-credentials? Coursera offers courses to universities, too.

Even if you represent Harvard or Cambridge, integrating online degrees with a platform like Coursera can immensely increase your market share and further strengthen your industry leadership.

If you’re from another segment of universities, you can do what the leading universities don’t do to acquire more market share. But ultimately, it’ll be students worldwide who will be more educated.

To be more specific, Career Academy enables your students to:

  • Earn a Professional Certificate designed to get them job-ready
  • Gain common job skills employers demand
  • Showcase skill mastery with a portfolio of work
  • Explore a range of in-demand roles across industries

This customer testimonial is proof that universities could be better with Coursera.

a screenshot of a user testimonial from a university on coursera

But let’s assume that you represent a government — Coursera has got your back there, too.

Coursera for Governments

Governments can move mountains with effective government employees, regardless of the country and the budget. One common feature of thriving nations is well-educated government employees via cost-effective online learning.

a screenshot of the coursera for government

This is what Coursera offers for governments. If you represent a government organization, you can upskill your workforce better with Coursera classes for government affordably. So many governments actively do that.

Following are some of the featured examples:

  • Public Service Academies: Abu Dhabi School of Government
  • Education: National Center for e-Learning
  • Central Banks and Public Investment Funds: Central Bank of Brazil
  • Digital Transformation: Guyana Office of the Prime Minister
  • U.S. Defense and Intelligence: Defense Acquisition University
  • U.S. Civilian: U.S. Census Bureau

Could yours be the next government to go down in history to educate its employees and citizens? You have that opportunity without breaking your treasury with credible platforms like Coursera.

Across all the non-individual Coursera types, there’s a comprehensive form to fill, and the Coursera team gets back to you sooner than you’d expect — these are high-value ticket sales for them.

BEST ONLINE LEARNING PLATFORM

Next, let’s look at Coursera’s community.

Coursera Community

As a leading e-learning platform, Coursera also has its own official and unofficial communities for current and prospective Coursera students.

Coursera Official Community

Coursera has a comprehensive and diverse community filled with positive instructors and fellow learners. But, the Coursera team is directly connected to the community area as well.

a screenshot of the coursera community page

The community is mainly divided into two main sectors accessible by the community home.

These are:

  • Topics
  • Groups

Topics are much more course or subject-specific, and groups are more people-oriented.

From the community home, you can access multiple trending and standardized topics. As I said, these are more subject-oriented. So, these topics are basically the main subject areas of Coursera and some more, including UX design, Sales operations, etc.

You can also access various discussions from the community home. One example discussion thread is about “What Machine Learning Can and Can not Do.” 

What I think is most useful is how you can filter these discussions as the latest posts, top questions, and most recent activity. Groups are similar to Facebook groups on various topics and interests.

For example, some of the groups are:

  • Job Search Resources
  • English Language Learners
  • Coursera for the Military Family

And the list goes further. But there are more filters here than in the topics area, such as the number of members, member names, last activity, etc. 

Within Coursera, it’s amazing how supportive and patient everyone is with questions across all age groups. It shows how mature everyone in a learning platform really is, too.

Coursera Unofficial Communities

Coursera has some minor Facebook groups and several Qoura threads, but only Reddit has a dedicated large-scale community with the subreddit I.D. r/Coursera.

a screenshot of the coursera unofficial community on reddit

With little or no community guidelines, there is so much to learn here to get the maximum return on investment. You can search for some keywords about your issue or inquiry, and the chances of finding the solution are quite high here.

But remember not to sneak into the platform illegally, as that’ll take away your chances for an excellent certification.

That brings up a good question. How recognized or accredited are Coursera online courses?

How Recognized Are Coursera Online Courses?

MasterClass doesn’t provide any certificates. Udemy does, but almost all are issued from the platform itself. The same theory applies to Coursera certificates; they’re not accredited.

But hold on — you can still get your promotions and jobs with these qualifications since it’s a matter of relevance.

You can’t expect to be appointed as a licensed Engineer in the USA without an accredited degree, which applies to certificate courses, too. But having a Meta or Google certification in digital marketing is completely different from that.

The point is that, even if Coursera certificate courses aren’t accredited, you can get what you want, as long as the appointment or promotion doesn’t require degree-level accreditation.

However, I told you that there are so many degree programs in Coursera offered by reputed universities. The only difference is that you save a massive fortune on physical attendance.

Are these Coursera degrees accredited? They are!

Coursera is merely the mode of connection between the universities and students. This does not affect the quality and the curriculum of Coursera-hosted degrees. So, as long as you acquire the needed credits, you’re an accredited degree holder.

Don’t believe me? Let’s consider the BSc in Computer Science degree offered by the University of London below.

a screenshot of the BSc in Computer Science degree offered by the University of London available in coursera

With all the course details there, pay attention to the far left of the thick white strip: accredited Bachachor’s degree — that’s enough proof there.

One of the biggest reasons Coursera is so popular is that the certificates aren’t provided through the platform but by the affiliated university or organization.

Even if the accreditation level isn’t exclusively available for certificates, universities and organizations offer these. Below is one example of that.

a screenshot of a instructor and the university for a program in coursera

Did you notice that the instructor represents the university? That brings us to another important topic: Coursera instructors.

Coursera Instructors

In Udemy, pretty much everyone can submit courses, although it’s up to Udemy to decide whether or not to update the website. 

With Coursera, that’s not possible at all; you cannot even upload a course unless you have some requirements.

All Coursera instructors ALWAYS represent the university or the organization that offers the certificate. If it’s a degree, it will be the lecturers from the offering university. Because of that, the quality of all qualifications provided by Coursera is sky-high. 

Think about it; even if you were an instructor-worthy resource in a university, would a university want you representing them? Imagine the backlash and the consequences if the expected quality was not met.

So, all the Coursera instructors who represent various universities and organizations are the best of the best.

a screenshot of the best coursera instructors and institutions

However, Coursera allows you to share guided projects. Although there aren’t any certificates there, you can learn there too. 

But when you follow a Coursera course by a designated instructor, remember that respective organizations chose them. If you need your own reassurance, feel free to look them up.

The few times I did, I was surprised and wondered how difficult it should have been to major in two areas at once. All of this sorted out, let me teach you how to open a Coursera account; it’s very easy.

How to Open a Free Account in Coursera?

Udemy website is the best way to make an account, and it’ll easily sync with the app.

a screenshot of the coursera join for free option in the homepage
a screenshot of the coursera signup methods

To create a Coursera account:

  • Go to www.Coursera.org.
  • At the top of the page, click Sign up.
  • Choose whether you want to provide a name, email, and password or link your Coursera account to your Facebook profile, Google account, or Apple ID. 

If not, you can always use a preferred email with a name and password. I suggest using Google Password Administrator to save the passwords, just in case. Most reviews stop here, but I’ll highlight the most important step.

Verification of Your Email

If you don’t verify your email, resetting your password can be a real nuisance. 

To verify your email address: 

  • Open your email inbox.
  • Search for ‘Coursera’ and look for an email with ‘Action Required’ in the subject. 
  • Open that email.
  • Click the Confirm email address button.

If the button isn’t working, Coursera’s email verification link also has a link you can simply copy and paste. Don’t panic if the email isn’t in your inbox because sometimes it can end up in the spam folder.

Once you do all these, you can comfortably embark on your learning journey. Before we move to price, let me quickly run you through some of my favorite courses next.

My (Favorite) Most Popular Coursera Courses

One of the best things about Coursera is how they are interconnected. For example, you can follow a beginner French and Spanish course from two universities with the same standard.

Keeping that in mind, let’s look at some of Coursera’s courses that are very popular but also my favorite, in no order.

First Step Korean Offered by Yonsei University

a screenshot of the first step korean course by coursera

Maybe you already guessed this one. This elementary-level Korean language course consists of 5 lessons with 4 units and covers 4 skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Successful completion of this course allows you to learn about Korean culture.


The Strategy of Content Marketing

a screenshot of the the strategy of content marketing course by coursera

In this course, you will learn content marketers’ core strategies to acquire and retain customers profitably.

Specifically, you will learn how to develop, organize, and implement a content marketing strategy, analyze and measure the effectiveness of content marketing, write compelling copy, use a strategic framework when writing, and build your professional brand and authority through content marketing.


Meta Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate Offered By Meta

a screenshot of the Meta Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate by coursera

This course mostly focuses on establishing an online presence, building a following, and managing your social media accounts to evaluate and interpret the results of the subsequent engagement.

There are so many more outside these areas that you’d love. After all, there are so many free courses too.


Next, let’s talk about the investment.

How Much is Coursera?

Coursera’s fees fluctuate from free to various prices, and this depends on the type and the seriousness of the course.

Free Courses

a screenshot of free courses on coursera

Coursera is an admirable online learning platform offering hundreds of free courses. So, the starting price of Coursera is actually 0$; completely FREE.

Professional Certificates

Certificates offered by the Coursera platform are accredited and job-ready. That’s why financial aid is available at the starting price of $49/month. The cherry on top is the 7-day free trial.

a screenshot of the coursera professional certificates

For financial aid, you should have an application that includes information about your educational background, career goals, and financial circumstances. Most courses come as scholarships and with financial aid.

MasterTrack Certificates

Coursera’s MasterTrack courses start at $2,000, and these aim to earn a university-issued certificate and credit towards a degree.

Specializations

a screenshot of the coursera specialization courses

Specializations start at $49 per month, and they focus on mastering a specific skill. 7-day free trial is available here too.

Degrees

Courser’s superiority comes from accredited degrees, and the price starts from $9,000. You’re required to apply for degrees with an application form, unlike many other courses.

Coursera Plus

a screenshot of the monthly coursera plus subscription

Coursera’s subscription plan is Coursera Plus, and it gives you access to 7,000+ courses, projects, professional certifications, and specializations. 

However, Coursera Plus doesn’t include degrees and MasterTrack certificate programs. You can subscribe to the monthly or annual plan.

a screenshot of the coursera plus subscription plans
  • Coursera Plus Monthly: $59/month (with 7-day free trial)
  • Coursera Plus Annual: $399 USD/ year (includes a 14-day money-back guarantee)

That’s it for individual plans. Next are solutions for organizations.

Coursera Business & Teams

Coursera offers options for organizations such as Coursera Team and Coursera Enterprise. 

The main difference between the two is that Coursera Team comes at $399 per user, billed annually, with a 14-day refund guarantee. It applies to organizations with 5-125 users.

Coursera Enterprise has custom pricing for companies with 125+ users.

Refund Policy of Coursera

As the standard operational procedure, Coursera offers you two refund situations:

  • #1 Refund situation: until 14 days following the payment.
  • #2 Refund situation: Until you earn a course certificate for any course in the specialization.

Out of these two, whichever is the earliest is what applies.

The refund policy applies for one-time, paid enrollment for a course or specialization for both individuals and Coursera for Teams. 

For Coursera for business, Coursera for universities, and Coursera for governments have case-specific conditions that typically come in documentation. That is in favor of you.

Up next are customer testimonials.

a screenshot of the refund policy of coursera

Customer Testimonials: Coursera

Coursera video lectures and certificates receive high praise on multiple platforms; this is merely a glimpse of it.

I am really happy with Coursera so far!
I had enrolled on a course, then un enrolled…then re enrolled. So was dreading paying twice, sent customer care a message yesterday and haven’t heard anything from them but everything’s sorted!
I like learning this way, this feels right for me

Luke has points out the overall convenience and risk-free nature of the platform, and I agree.

a screenshot of a reddit thread on coursera certificates

This Reddit thread points out the increased employability with Coursera certificates. I’ve been on both end of it, and it’s true.

Absolutely not, they aren’t accredited so you might as well pay for Udemy or Coursera which is a few hundred Rands.

This X (formerly Twitter) thread aims to discuss the accreditation of Coursera certificates, which is one of the strongest plus points of the platform.

Next, let me share my personal experience with the Coursera lectures and the platform overall.

My Experience With Coursera Courses

As I said in the beginning, I’ve been using Coursera for years since 2012; I’ve seen it grow, and the platform always takes massive leaps with upgrades.

As a marketing professional, my exposure to some niche areas was well-polished thanks to specialization courses. I have followed free and paid courses almost equally, which has helped me be a practically superior service provider in my industry.

Remember, knowing how to show the value of a product or a service is admired in marketing. 

With the development of the user interface and the mobile apps, learning is fun with Coursera.

Whichever field you are in, Coursera has a course for you. All you need to do is browse a little and know how to filter. That’s why I shared my special course selection guide with you.

I have always been a big fan of Coursera’s courses as they clearly communicate:

  • What organization or university offers the degree 
  • Who is the instructor
  • The course breakdown
  • What we will learn with the successful completion 
  • Who is the course most suitable for in terms of the competency level

I also like how the website and the app let you set study reminders.

With a knowledge-filled course library, Coursera redefines the quality of online learning. That’s why I have always felt I get more than the expected return on investment.

However, I noticed one downside: not all courses can be bought separately. But in Coursera’s defense, and to our advantage, following a course inside the subscription is actually cheaper.

So, all things considered, I admire Coursera, and I believe it will only grow with time. Fingers crossed!

Next, let’s have a quick comparison of Coursera with leading platforms.

Coursera Vs. LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, SkillShare, And MasterClass

linkedin learning platform logo
udemy learning platform logo
skillshare learning platform logo
MASTERCLASS LOGO

Coursera has been able to fix many of the gaps in some of the leading online education platforms. For example, unless you have premium LinkedIn, you cannot access LinkedIn Learning, at least the impactful courses.

Both SkillShare and Udemy’s courses are not accredited. Leading universities and organizations directly offer the majority of Coursera courses. Not all competing platforms have resources or affiliations to offer accredited remote degrees.

You might be able to learn from celebrity experts in MasterClass, but you can’t use them as qualifications in your CV as there’s no proof. There are no courses or degrees there in MasterClass at all.

In comparison, Coursera is much more affordable at the same level as LinkedIn learning.

Verdict: Coursera is better.

BEST ONLINE LEARNING PLATFORM

Pros and Cons of Coursera

Coursera is loaded with pros, but it also has some cons. Let’s look at them next.

Coursera Pros

Pros

The majority of certificates are offered by reputed organizations & universities
You can easily share your certificate on LinkedIn and other platforms
Financial aid is available wherever payments are needed 
100% accredited degrees are available 
Massive variety of courses in almost every subject imaginable
It is much easier to pick from all the courses since all details are crystal clear
Flexible and personalized learning model that suits your busy lives
Official and unofficial supportive communities that constantly engage to solve issues 
Cost-effective payment plans across all courses
Available for businesses to upskill your staff on a budget
Universities can result in higher income with Coursera affiliations 
Governments can use Coursera to educate state employees and citizens
Extremely fun-to-learn user interface across all devices
Mobile app that supports both iOS and Android devices

Cons

Not all courses can be bought individually
Course-specific communities aren’t there

Other Online Learning Platform reviews:

Coursera Review Verdict — Should You Buy Coursera Courses?

Coursera has been revolutionizing online learning since 2012, and after 2020, it’s almost as if there’s nothing else to improve.

With sky-high quality learning content offered by leading universities and organizations worldwide, having Coursera qualifications is a privilege.

So, it’s not hard to recommend this platform. Is Coursera worth what you spend? Absolutely, yes, whether it was a degree program or professional certificates.

Remember to refer to this review when you sign up and find courses. That way, you can find the best ones.

I hope this review was helpful. Happy learning!

FAQs

Yes, Coursera is 100% legitimate. Most certificate courses are provided by top universities and many prestigious universities also offer degree programs through Coursera.

Yes, Coursera offers hundreds of valuable free courses in various subject areas including computer science, data science, languages, and project management.

Yes, according to Coursera’s metrics, completion of a course is necessary in order to obtain a Coursera certificate.

Yes, it is possible to obtain a Master’s Degree from Coursera as their online degrees are fully accredited.

Coursera’s pricing plans vary, starting from free for individuals and up for paid programs. The pricing may differ depending on whether you are an individual or an organization.

No, they are not accredited. However, one can obtain accreditation for all professional development courses.

Yes, Coursera Certificates are definitely worth it! They are offered by reputable universities and organizations and are worth both your time and money.

OUR #1 RECOMMENDATION
Coursera
coursera learning platform logo
Easiness
Effectiveness
Price

4.9

5.0

4.9

Overall Score

4.8

visa master amex paypal
Pros
The majority of certificates are offered by reputed organizations & universities
100% accredited degrees are available
You can easily share your certificate on LinkedIn and other platforms
Financial aid is available wherever payments are needed 
Mobile app that supports both iOS and Android devices
Get the BEST PRICE valid until the end of June
Cons
Not all courses can be bought individually
Course-specific communities aren’t there

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Carlos Eduardo
Author
Carlos Eduardo
Hey there, I’m Carlos Eduardo, the Founder and Author of Scorebeyond. Delving deep into 20+ years of education transformation through innovative e-learning, I’ve poured my expertise into this platform. My enduring legacy continues to drive the path towards a future empowered by knowledge!

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