When it comes to online courses I can safely say that I have tried almost ALL of the online learning platforms out there. You see, I regularly like to take up a new course and learn a new skill, online courses have been a lifesaver for me. Especially under quarantine.
In this post, I would like to share with you my TOP 5 massive open online course (MOOC) providers, or otherwise known as online learning platforms. The cost of each and what they offer.
Whether you want to learn a skill to fill your free time or you are looking for professional development you will for sure find a platform to assist you here. Just continue reading!
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
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1. LinkedIn Learning
This is a subsidiary of LinkedIn which was initially Lynda.com.
It is my favorite platform for learning skills via video instructions. They offer over 15,000 courses taught by industry experts in software, creative and business skills.
The courses are structured to help you excel in every step of your carrier. Plus, you get the chance to learn from real-life instructors with hands-on experience. When you finish a course you can prove your skills by adding your certificate to your LinkedIn profile with a click. How awesome is that!
Since the courses are self-paced this allows you to pick and choose the time you want to learn. Each course has a small description of the content and the bio of the instructor. This is extremely helpful. I love the idea of getting to know the industry experts that will be teaching me a valuable skill. It provides a sense of connection in away. Don’t you agree!
There is a 30 day trial period for you to explore and get to know the platform. The monthly subscription after the trial ends is $29,99 USD. Not bad for unlimited access to content.
Why I love Linkedin Learning?
I find the instructions informative and engaging. The most amazing thing about this platform is that they offer the learner a Learning path to becoming a fully skilled professional in a filed of their choice.
What is Linkedin Learning Path:
It is available for individual subscribers. This path includes multiple courses taught by different expert instructors on a variety of skills and information associated with that subject or profession.
I am currenlty enrolled in a few courses myself😊.
Another online learning platform that must make my list is Coursera!
IT was founded by former Stanford alumni Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller in 2012. Today, it offers University courses online, Guided Projects, Specializations, and Degrees in a balanced variety of subjects.
They collaborate with more than 190 Top universities and companies. Once you land on the website and start browsing their catalog you will see courses from Stanford University, Yale, Princeton, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania and John Hopkins to name just a few.
The courses are mostly short videos with here and there reading material depending on the course. They also include quizzes, weekly exercises, peer-graded assignments, and final exams or projects in some cases.
What is a Specialization?
A series of courses designed to help you acquire the necessary skills in a targeted topic. Most of the specializations have a final hands-on project called Capstone project. Once completed, a Specialization certificate will be awarded to you.
What is a Guided Project?
Step-by-step guides on a job-relevant skill by an instructor. These guides are on a split-screen workspace. On the left side is a cloud desktop via browser and on the right is the video of the instructor guiding through the steps. These guided projects are no longer than 2 hours.
Courses: Generally Coursera courses are Free to audit for all. However, if you are interested in receiving a certificate for completion you need to be able to access the graded assignments in the course. For this reason, you will have to pay. The cost varies per course.
Specializations: To be able to enroll in an Specialization you need to subscribe to a monthly payment plan. Some are available for one time purchase as well.
Guided Projects: It’s for FREE until the 12th of June 2020.
The cost of courses, specializations, and degrees varies but at times Coursera offers Full Catalog Access with a monthly subscription. This includes over 90% of courses, Specializations, and Professional Certificates, degrees are excluded!
There are also Financial aid and Scholarships available but only applicable for the course that the application was approved. Check here for more info.
Signing up is for free. After that, you can browse their courses and have the option to enroll either by purchasing the course and receiving a certificate or simply choose the ‘full course, no certificate’.
Note that to explore their catalog and have access to their ‘Full Course, No certificate’ option you need to be signed in.
Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, Coursera is offering some courses that do not belong to a Specialization completely free. This offer is until the end of July 2020, check more info here.
Udacity is where lifelong learners come to learn the skills they need, to land the jobs they want, to build the lives they deserve.
Another well known and respected online learning platform which offers courses and nanodegrees.
The courses they provide are mostly Tech oriented. The programs available on their platform include the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Programming and Software Development, Data Science, Cloud Computing, Business and Autonomous Systems.
What is a Nanodegree?
This is an online learning credential program in which you learn a suite of skills. Then, you have to successfully complete a certain amount of projects to demonstrate your ability. After that, you will receive a credential affirming your mastery of these skills. These credentials apply to Udacity only.
Courses: At this stage, Udacity has 197 FREE courses available but without a certificate. If you want to receive a certificate you have to enroll in a Nanodegree program. Check more info here.
Nanodegrees: The Nanodegrees are paid and the price range between $300 USD and $449 USD per month. Here you can check a list of the Nanodegrees and their pricing.
You can reduce the price by opting to pay several months upfront. They also offer scholarships if you are interested click here.
They currently offer a quarantine spacial- 30 days free access.
This online learning platform offers 100,000 courses on a variety of topics.
Connecting students all over the world to the best instructors, Udemy is helping individuals reach their goals and pursue their dreams.
Personally, I think they offer the best variety of courses, ranging from music, teaching, development, lifestyle, and pet training. Isn’t that some variety!
If you aren’t sure of what kind of courses you want to enroll in, you can get a personalized recommendation by answering a few questions here.
Another thing you should know is that the courses available are grouped into different levels: Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert.
At present, Udemy offers 7,202 FREE COURSES.
The paid ones vary from $19,99 USD and can reach up to $200 USD.
They currently offer a 30-day money-back guarantee!
It is a massive open online university course provider enabling learning to people from all over the world. Well, as long as you have internet access😉.
At this time they offer 3,500 high-quality online courses which include texts, discussion forums, some problem and assessment types.
To provide those courses EdX partners with world’s leading universities and organizations. Here you can check the schools and partners of EdX.
While browsing their platform you will see plenty of degrees, programs, and certificates. Below you can check a brief description of all.
- Online Masters Degrees: Top-ranked programs, affordable and fully online.
- MicroBarchelor Programs: Undergraduate program for carrier advancement or a degree path.
- MicroMasters Program: Graduate level for carrier advancement or a degree path.
- Professional Certificate: For employers or universities to build today’s in-demand skills.
- Global Freshman Academy: Freshman year courses for university credit from ASU.
- XSeries: Series of courses for a deep understanding of a topic.
- Professional Education: Executive-level, for developing strategic leadership skills.
Most courses are completely free of charge. Those courses give you access to the audit version. The majority of the courses they offer have a paid verified track option with a certificate included.
What is a Verified track?
This is an option that gives you access to the graded assignments in the courses. This basically, allows you to work towards a certificate for a fee that varies per course. You can use the certificate as proof to an employer, school, or other institution. To be able to get the Verified track you need to verify your identity using a webcam and a photo ID.
- Audit track: FREE but you will not be able to get a certificate when you complete the course.
- Verified track: The fees range between $50 USD and $300 USD.
The fees for upgrading to the verified track or enrolling in a professional education course are the only charges on edX. Moreover, there are no other fees associated with edX courses.
EdX has financial assistance for 90% off the cost of the course. Check the full break down of their Financial Assistance here.
To recap about the online learning platforms
Overall, the above mentioned online learning platforms have it all. Each platform has its advantages and whichever you decide to go with you will for sure enjoy the experience and learning process.
However, you should always read the description of each course, specialization, degree, nanodegree, or program of your choice.
Check for details, certificates, and whatever else interested you in the course in the first place.
Always remember what Anton Chekhov once said……
“Wisdom…. comes not from age, but from education and learning.”
― Anton Chekhov
If you like this article, share it on social media. You never know who might need to read about online learning platforms!
Which platform do you use? Have you tried any of the online learning platforms listed above? Is there anything I missed to mention? Let me know in the comments!