Coursera Overview

Many will be aware of Coursera: an open source free to use educational platform. Although it’s available for all, this provision is specifically aimed at the underprivileged section of society, where access to education is difficult. This could be due to socioeconomic or geopolitical reasons. Now, let’s explore whether their offering can be beaten by many other competitors in the marketplace.

Advantages & disadvantages of Coursera specifically:

  • It is free to use
  • It offers multiple level courses from world-renowned institutions
  • It is fairly easy to use & doesn’t require any specialist or prerequisite training to operate
  • Self-paced learning allows users to learn & acquire knowledge at a comfortable rate
  • Like any online platform, it can be accessed from anywhere, anytime & from multiple devices, including their mobile app
  • It caters for both personal and enterprise use, hence is available for all types of users


  • Many options are paid for only & can be pricey: this is impractical for many users
  • The enrollment on some courses can be time or date specific, rendering it inflexible
  • Many users report that in case of experiencing technical difficulties, it’s almost impossible if not difficult to obtain support.
  • The requisite team seldom responds. This is obviously a rebuttal for many certain courses’ material is overly complex or too vague to follow

The variety of competition appears to be almost infinite, however, as always, there will be distinctions that set many of them apart. For instance, the following factors should always be considered prior to opting for one or the other:

User interface: this preference is often user age-dependent. Younger people (especially children) prefer brighter colored dashboards & easy to read graphics. You can’t blame them for this really. Whilst many do offer this type of presentation, there are others that don’t. Hence, this is something that needs to be taken into account prior to enrolling in a course with a specific provider
Types of courses offered. Nowadays, the selection is often plentiful. However, there are specific or niche courses that may only be offered by a handful of providers. So, watch out for this too!
Generally, Coursera offers many completely free courses, although associated charges can ensue. For example, in order to obtain an official certificate to ascertain & affirm your qualification achieved, there is often a price associated with this. Although sponsorships & paid subscriptions may assist with the continuity of such platforms, paid services are required to ensure this.

Hence overall, whilst Coursera does offer many free courses & the opportunity to learn something new in the academic field, owing to perhaps a neglected or poorly maintained interface, it may not be an ideal option for all. This would especially be the case for first-time users who may not be technically oriented with navigating or operating a somewhat perplexing site or online resource portal.

Coursera Features

  • Skill Assessment
  • Projects
  • Comprehension Checks
  • Course Recommendation Engine
  • Interactive Content
  • Video Content
  • High-quality content
  • Certification practice tests
  • Certificates
  • Mobile compatibility


Available on: Free Trail, Subscription
  • Starting Price: $319/year

  • Trail Days: 14