The reason I like Coursera is that the courses it offers are developed in collaboration with prestigious universities and specialists in the field. Too often, the problem with online courses is that they can be made by anyone with an internet connection, and quality varies wildly. With Coursera, you know that the course material has been created by highly qualified people and that what you’re getting is reliable, good quality information. That alone makes it stand out for anyone looking to develop their skills online.
The way Coursera is structured (and priced) can be a little confusing, so I’d like to break that down here.
1. What’s free
Signing up to Coursera is free, as is shadowing any of their courses. That means that you can access all of the course content, but you don’t have access to graded assignments or the official certificate at the end of the course.
2. What’s not
To access the graded assignments and be awarded an official course certificate, you have to pay a one-off fee, which currently ranges between $29 and $95. Coursera has also grouped themed courses into clusters called “specializations.” Completing an entire specialization requires either a monthly subscription or a one-off payment depending on the specialization. Subscriptions are generally in the area of $49/month, while one-off payments can be anywhere from $275 to $595.
All in all, there is a good range of options, whether you have money to spend or not, and my overall opinion is that Coursera can be very useful in developing your portfolio of skills in a practical and targeted way. Check it out, and see what it can do for you!