Deservedly named as one of the best services of online courses, Coursera can boast the number of more than 24 million registered users while the service offers over 2,000 courses. All the courses are designed by the world’s leading universities and are created for a pure online learning purpose. Considering that Coursera has opened its courses and made it available for free to the public, it appears to be, as our Coursera review proves, a major hub for seekers of distant education.
Coursera is actually a great opportunity for anyone who wants to develop within his/her field further or try to learn something new. The courses provided on its website are the university-like courses, the majority of which come along with specific tasks, projects, and assessment systems, so those courses would be suitable for the advancement of your career and acquiring new skills, getting prepared for a new job in a completely different field, or gaining enough education, knowledge and skills for starting your own business. Coursera is, indeed, a Klondike of valuable information and knowledge, and our Coursera review will give you an insight about how to make use of it.
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Coursera Review: Basic Information About Coursera
As it has already been mentioned in our Coursera review, it is possible to study at Coursera for free. Though, there are a few aspects to keep in mind. First of all, you must be a registered user (you can find the instructions on how to get registered on the Coursera website below). The other aspect is that there are specializations and single courses. Specializations are a bunch of courses that cover a specific field. You can enroll in specializations and complete tasks there only by paying a certain fee, which varies across fields and subjects (IT specializations cost higher, for example). Those fees are typically paid on the monthly basis. Thus, you can save your money if you pass the entire specialization within a month, for example. The more time you need to complete the specialization, the more you will have to pay.
Coursera is one of the largest educational online services with over 24 million registered users
On the other hand, single courses can be both paid-for and free. The difference between the paid-for and free courses is the following: if you have paid for the course, you will get a certificate upon the course completion. Free courses allow you only to audit the courses, i.e. you gain all access to the courses’ materials. If you are interested exactly in self-education and self-development, the latter option will be suitable enough for you.
However, you might have a question like: “What if I need to audit the courses of a certain specialization, but I have no money to pay for it?” The answer is actually crystal clear: as it was stated above, specializations comprise of a number of courses (typically, from 4 to 6 courses). The majority of those courses are free if you audit them one by one.
So, if you are willing to study on Coursera for a specific specialization, make the following actions: first of all, find a specialization that has interested you and pay attention to the university that has prepared the specialization and the section where it is placed. Then, go to that section (for example, “Business > Marketing”), then click on “SEE ALL.” On the following page, you will get to see both specialization and single courses of that section. Scroll down to courses and seek for the courses, prepared by the same university that has prepared your specialization. Open the courses you have found. On the page of a course, you will get to see the basic information about that course and a line somewhat similar to: “Course 5 of 6 in the Digital Marketing Specialization.” So, find all the courses from the specialization and enroll in each of them separately. Then, audit these courses and pass the specialization – as simple as that!
Besides, the website’s courses are placed in the following categories: arts and humanities, business, computer science, data science, life science, math and logic, personal development, physical science and engineering, social sciences, and language learning. Furthermore, the categories are also broken up into different sections. For example, the “Business” section is divided into the following sections: leadership and management, finance, marketing, entrepreneurship, business essentials, and business strategy. You can explore the rest of the categories on your own.
Coursera Review: Advantages of the Coursera Service
Coursera is deservedly considered to be one of the most popular MOOC (massive open online course) websites, and it has not happened just accidentally. There are pretty solid reasons to select courser among its competitors, and this section of our Coursera Review will give you an insight about the advantages of this service:
- A variety of online courses in all possible spheres allow students to learn something they truly want. When it comes to the advantages of the Coursera portal, one of the most obvious edges (as it is frequently cited in this Coursera review) is the abundance of top-notch online courses in all fields. It does not matter whether you want to master the Chinese language, become a computer scientist, or study economics – you will definitely find suitable courses on Coursera! A selection of more than 2,000 courses can be anything but a good opportunity to find something that suits exactly your needs.
- Coursera offer online courses prepared by top-notch universities. Online education can be seen at its fullest exactly on Coursera, where you can find courses and specializations, brought by prime-quality universities: University of Illinois, IE Business School, University of California, Duke University, Northwestern University, the State University of New York, and many others. Moreover, the company (Coursera) has strategic partnership agreements with University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, Yonsei University (South Korea), Indian School of Business, University of London, and University of Sao Paolo (Brazil).
- Many of the website’s courses are translated into or dubbed in other languages. This is sponsored by numerous Maecenas and organizations that promote affordable education for everyone. In particular, the courses on the website are available not only in English, but also in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Ukrainian, Portuguese, Russian, Hebrew, Turkish, Arabic, and Chinese.
- You are able to pass the courses on Coursera that otherwise would cost many thousands of dollars. As it has been already mentioned in our Coursera review, this portal provides courses from the world’s best universities, and tuition fees amount to over $40,000 per year. With Coursera, you get an opportunity to audit these courses completely for free! Besides, you will get a certificate of accomplishment for quite a moderate fee (typically such fees varies between $50 and $100)!
- You are able to receive certificates of accomplishment for a pretty moderate fee. Even though this reason might seem as something unnecessary, many people feel motivated when they see the results of their work (and education is work) outright. Certificates of accomplishment provided by Coursera are a great means for that purpose. While the fees are not too high, you get also a “plus” to your CV and potential employers – HR managers value people who devote their free time to self-development and self-education. Besides, you also support the entire project by buying such certificates.
Best Free Coursera Online Courses
Given the abundance of massive open online courses available on this website, it appears to be quite a tough task to determine the best free Coursera online courses. In this section of our Coursera review, we will list only those courses that are suitable for getting started in a particular field or sphere. Though, Coursera also offers a wide range of comprehensive courses for people who want to advance in their spheres.
Coursera is a home to more than 2,000 online courses from the world’s leading universities
- Introduction to Project Management Principles and Practice. If you want to master the art of project management, then the specialization (comprising of 4 courses) from the University of California (Irvine Extension) will help you build a set of skills and acquire knowledge, necessary for handling and managing projects.
- International Business Essentials. This specialization of 6 courses is designed by the University of London for anyone who truly wants to master the skills, needed for carrying out business operations on a global scale. It includes both the management part of the business and quantitative data and analytics, and both parts of this specialization will give you a good ground in the international business.
- Social Media Marketing. Nowadays, social media marketing (known as SMM) is an important part of any marketing strategy, and this 6-course long specialization comprises all necessary elements and knowledge, needed for an effective social marketing strategy.
- How to Start Your Own Business. Pondering about what you need in order to run your own business? This 6-course long specialization was created by Michigan State University for those soon-to-be-entrepreneurs, who have passion and a desire to become entrepreneurs, yet who lack necessary skills and knowledge for launching an own enterprise.
- Java Programming and Software Engineering Fundamentals. Java is one of the most demanded coding languages nowadays, and this 5-course long specialization was created by the Duke University with a purpose to teach software engineering to beginners. No previous programming or learning of coding language experience is required, so anyone is free to apply and will be able to comfortable advance further.
- Web Design for Everybody. This specialization, created by the University of Michigan, allows anyone – without any prior experience – to learn how to design and create websites. The entire specialization comprises 5 courses and can be completed at quite a fast pace.
- Python for Everybody. Python is just another coding language, which is frequently used for building both small- and large-scale programs. This specialization was created by the University of Michigan and comprises 5 courses, during which you will master how to code with and analyze the Python coding language.
- An Introduction to Programming the Internet of Things. The concept of the internet of things has been pretty fresh, but it has already taught in the University of California, Irvine. The specialization comprises 6 courses and teaches you how to deploy various items by utilizing special platforms. This is definitely one of the most extraordinary courses on Coursera and among those ones that are listed in our Coursera review.
- Trading Strategies in Emerging Markets. The Indian Business School has prepared a specialization of 5 courses, teaching its students about how to trade on stock exchanges in the emerging economies – it is also quite an unusual, yet useful course.
- Learn Mandarin Chinese. Coursera offers a variety of courses for language learning, but this one is, indeed, quite outstanding. With the help of this 4-course long specialization, you will be able to kick start the process of learning Mandarin on your own!
How to Get a Coursera Coupon
There are really a variety of Coursera coupons, which allow you to get some percent off the actual price of a certificate or a specialization. Here are a few sources where you can look for Coursera coupons:
What Are Coursera Alternatives?
It is definitely not that easy to compete with Coursera, but there are a handful of pretty worthy alternatives you may look at. In this section of the Coursera review, we have compiled a list of Coursera alternatives which will help you to gain a better understanding of which exactly online educational service suits your needs best! So, the main alternatives to Coursera, as given in our Coursera review, are:
edX. edX is perhaps the most similar to the Coursera’s educational website, among other websites represented in this list. It was born from the cooperation between Stanford and Massachusetts universities and appears to be a service that offers both paid and free courses. Unlike Coursera, however, you are not able to audit all the courses – you can audit only free online courses, while the price of the paid courses sometimes exceeds $1,000.
Udemy. Udemy is the largest hub of online courses, among other educational resources mentioned in this Cousera review. Basically, this platform hosts more than 48,000 courses and provides almost anyone with an opportunity to become a lector. While there are pretty many courses that are free (or you can find 100% discount coupons), the majority of the Udemy courses appear to be paid and they typically cost $10.
Udacity. Udacity is a paradise for any programmer or coder – this website contains online courses only for IT specialists. All the courses are created in cooperation with largest corporations that include AT&T, Twitter, Facebook, Google, and Mercedes. Both free and paid courses are available.
Khan Academy. This non-profit educational company was a pioneer in the realm of online education. Actually, it doesn’t appear to be a direct competitor of Coursera, as Khan Academy offers rather basic education for pupils (though, advanced courses can be found too). The logical structure of the courses and interactivity makes it easy and fun to learn for your students.
Pluralsight. Pluralsight was founded as a training company for IT specialists, but later turned into an online training website. It utilizes the subscription business model and offers over 4,000 courses in the sphere of IT.
NovoEd. NovoEd fosters collaboration in small teams between learners and offers both paid and free online courses.
How to Get Started on Coursera
In order to audit (or purchase specializations/course certificates) on Coursera, you need to get registered on the website. This section of our Coursera review will show you how to audit the website’s courses for free:
- First of all, launch your browser and go to the following website: https://coursera.org.
- Click on the “Sign up” button, located in the right-upper corner.
- You can sign up either by using your Facebook account (click on “Sign Up with Facebook”) or by using your email address. Let’s suppose you have chosen the second option. Provide your full name, email address, password, and click on “Sign Up.”
- Go to the inbox of your email address, open a letter from Coursera, and click on “Confirm.”
The registration process on Coursera is fairly simple and fast
- Once you have confirmed your Coursera account, go to the Coursera website again. Click on “Log In” button (located near the “Sign Up” button). Enter your login and password. Click on “Log In.”
- Once you have got logged in to the website, click on the “Catalog” button, located near the search field at the top.
- There, you will see various categories of courses. Choose the category that interests you.
- On the category’s page, you will see only specializations and various sections. Choose a section that interests you (“Marketing” in the “Business” category, for example) and click on “See All” below it.
- Find a course (not a specialization) that interests you and open it.
- On the left side of the course, there will be the “Enroll Now” button. Click on it.
- You will be offered a 7-day trial. However, you will notice a small text button “Audit the course” at the bottom of the window. Click on it.
- Now, you have gained access to the course’s materials.