Coursera Review

In this article, I will review Coursera.org, the world’s leading provider of massive open online courses. We will go over their course selection, course types, course quality and course pricing, and then we summarize the whole review.


Course selection at Coursera.org

On Coursera, you can choose from over 6,000 courses from 200 partnering universities. You can learn programming, computer science, economics, and much more. Coursera asks you questions such as what your current job is or what your current experience level is to offer you the most personalized selection of courses.

Coursera courses last approximately four to twelve weeks, with one to two hours of video lectures a week and graded assessments at the end of each week. Graded assignments include ABCD tests and uploads. Sometimes you have to upload your code to the server, sometimes you have to run a code on your side and receive some output and then you have to upload the output.


Course types at Coursera.org

1. Single Courses

Most often, online learners take individual courses, such as “Basics of JavaScript” or “Introduction to Psychology”, which span roughly 10-12 weeks and require 5-10 hours of learning a week. Such a course consists of tutorial videos and interactive exams or exercises which test your knowledge.

When you pass the final exam at a certain grade (usually 70% or higher), you will be awarded a certificate, which you can put on your CV. Please note that issuing the certificate is subject to a one-time fee of 79 USD.

2. Specializations

The Specializations on Coursera are series of courses which you can take one-by-one and receive a single certificate from each. However, if you finish all courses in the Specialization, you will receive one big certificate from the whole specialization on top of that.

Example specializations:

Usually, the price to take a specialization is 49 USD/month with a 7-day free trial. If you are really fast and manage to finish a course in the 7-day free trial period, you get your certificate for free!

3. MasterTrack™ Certificates

MasterTrack™ certificates cost a 4-digit sum in US dollars, are issued by universities, and can help you gain a Master’s degree. If you get a B or better on your first attempt in all courses of the specialization, you will earn academic credits which can count towards a real Master’s degree at the same or different university.

For example, the Software Engineering MasterTrack™ Certificate by Arizona State University, a 6-9 month program, costs $4,500 and if you get a B or better on all courses in the program, you will be able to start an online Master’s degree at Arizona State University the next year with a headstart of 9 out of 30 required credits (if you pass the admission process).

4. Online Master’s degrees

These are full credit academic Master’s degrees that are perfectly equivalent to their physical counterparts. Their price is in USD 5-figures and there is a standard admission process.


Course quality at Coursera.org

The Coursera website is user-friendly and I have not experienced any issues with video quality or the assessment system. The courses I picked (Deep Learning specialization and Python for Everybody) were of high quality and the instructors were able to motivate me to study.

You can take notes, you can re-watch videos as many times as you need, and while some courses only run a few times per year at specific time windows, most courses are on-demand, meaning you can enroll at any given day of a year and you’ll be guaranteed that you start your study at Day 1, Week 1, and you won’t have to worry about catching up like you would if you joined a not-on-demand course too late.


Pricing

  • Single courses: 79 USD per verified certificate
  • Specializations: 49 USD/month with a 7-day free trial
  • MasterTrack™ certificates: around 4,000 USD
  • Online degrees: five figures in USD

Summary

We have reviewed Coursera, the leading course provider of online courses. The courses at Coursera are of exceptional quality and there is a very big selection of courses. While verified certificates are paid, they can be used as credentials on your LinkedIn, meaning you can get a better job or a promotion thanks to them. There are also other course providers such as EdX, Udacity, Udemy, however, all in all, I think that Coursera deserves the position #1 in the world among course providers.


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