Popular Alternatives

10 Coursera Alternatives 2021 | Free Online Learning Platforms

Coursera Alternatives

eLearning has been a trendy choice for students and professionals of all kinds from all over the world as a means of gaining more knowledge, learning new skills, and increasing qualifications. Perhaps one of the most popular eLearning platforms is Coursera that provides tons of free and paid courses from top universities and the like. However, if you have tried Coursera before and realized it wasn’t for you, then you should definitely check out these ten Coursera alternatives and competitors that have just as many great courses to choose from.

Top 10 Coursera Alternatives (Competitors) and Free Online Learning Platforms in 2021:

1. Udemy

One of the most popular eLearning platforms like Coursera, Udemy claims to have the most extensive selection of courses on offer consisting of over 100 thousand options to choose from. From music to business to personal development, there are many different topics to choose from and so many new skills to learn. The best part is that, much like Coursera, Udemy offers free and paid courses (though the latter option is more common).

Udemy - Coursera Alternatives

Of course, there are some drawbacks to the platform. Having so much variety means you could spend too much time going through the courses to find exactly what you need. You can use the filtering and the categorization features to help you in the process. Another downside is that Udemy lets almost anyone become an instructor, so you will first have to check the instructor’s credentials before you choose to enroll in a course.

Courses range in length and price, which means you can probably find something great even if you have a tight budget. After completing a course, you get a certificate stating so. Once you register, you will get a personalized list of recommended courses based on your personal information. Another thing to keep in mind is that Udemy often has discounted courses available, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for them too.

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2. edX

Just like Coursera and Udemy, edX is definitely in the top three most popular eLearning platforms currently available. The best universities from all over the world offer numerous free courses you can choose from. Some of the universities and institutions offering courses on the platform include Harvard, MIT, UC Berkeley, The University of Texas, Boston University, The University of Queensland, and many more.

edX - Coursera Alternatives

Though all the classes on edX are free, you can get a certificate up n completion for a small fee. Course topics range from computer science to literature to business, so there is everything for everyone. Moreover, there are many language courses to choose from, including ones that specifically prepare you for tests like TOEFL or IELTS.

3. Skillshare

The eLearning platform Skillshare is a trusted Coursera alternative that has gained popularity in recent years because of its welcoming community and classes on a wide variety of topics. From filmmaking to programming to DIY techniques to business – there is just so much to choose from. Instead of relying solely on universities as some other platforms do, Skillshare lets specialists from different industries create their own classes.

SkillShare - Coursera Alternatives

Signing up for Skillshare is free, and you instantly get access to thousands of free classes. However, you can get a premium subscription for a small (monthly or yearly) fee that lets you get access to all the remaining premium classes, which means you won’t need to pay for each paid class separately.

The platform also has a unique approach of “learning by doing” which means that you will often have to be completing projects as a part of taking a particular course. However, Skillshare doesn’t use certificates, so the projects you complete and the knowledge you get will be the only proof that you completed specific classes on the platform.

4. FutureLearn

FutureLearn is yet another Coursera competitor that offers numerous classes from top universities and institutions, including the University of Michigan, King’s College London, Johns Hopkins University, The Open University, British Council, and others. Apart from offering courses in history and business courses, FutureLearn also has a great selection of language courses.

Future Learn - Coursera Alternatives

Most courses on the platform are free; however, you will need to pay a fee if you want to get access to exams or certificates. In fact, certificate and degree programs are pay-as-you-go, so you won’t have to worry about payment right away. Another fantastic thing about FutureLearn is that it offers courses in healthcare and medicine, which are not as common on other platforms.

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5. Udacity

Just like the Coursera alternatives listed above, Udacity is a popular eLearning platform that offers courses for programming, data science, AI, and digital marketing niches. So, you will be learning tech-related skills. Though their course selection is much smaller (only a few hundred courses), these courses are chosen carefully and are of the highest quality.

Udacity - Coursera Alternatives

Just like the Coursera alternatives listed above, Udacity is a popular eLearning platform that offers courses for programming, data science, AI, and digital marketing niches. So, you will be learning tech-related skills. Though their course selection is much smaller (only a few hundred courses), these courses are chosen carefully and are of the highest quality.

In fact, Udacity is known for offering the so-called “nanodegrees” or courses that deliver information on narrower topics that can help specialists advance their qualifications. On the other hand, this doesn’t mean that these courses are short – you will actually most likely have to commit to several months of learning as Udacity’s courses can be pretty lengthy, but they are definitely worth it.

6. MasterClass

The popular Coursera alternative, MasterClass is a unique case. The platform is known for offering exclusive classes taught by industry professionals and currently has over 100 classes from 11 different spheres. Of course, the fee isn’t the cheapest ($180 per year), but it’s definitely worth it if you want to learn from the best of the best.

MasterClass - Coursera Alternatives

You could be learning filmmaking from Martin Scorsese, storytelling from Neil Gaiman, cooking from Gordon Ramsay, skateboarding from Tony Hawk, songwriting from Alicia Keys, fashion design from Marc Jacobs, business strategy from Bob Iger, and so many other things.

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7. PluralSight Skills

PluralSight Skills, much like Udacity, is a Coursera competitor that focuses more on tech-related topics than offering a wide variety of courses from many industries. Developers and IT professionals particularly can benefit from PluralSight Skills a lot as they can advance their current qualifications while beginners can learn different skills from zero.

PluralSight - Coursera Alternatives

The best thing about PluralSight Skills is that it offers courses on the most currently popular technologies such as AI and machine learning, cloud computing, cybersecurity, and many more. You can choose between a monthly or a yearly subscription, a standard or a premium one, an individual or team subscription.

8. Khan Academy

Khan Academy is not a platform offering online courses but rather a website with free eLearning tools in such subjects as history, economics, science, and many more. The Coursera alterantive platform primarily focuses on teaching kids and teenagers, but anyone can register and start learning. Besides, it also has training resources for such tests as SAT.

Khan Academy - Coursera Alternatives

As Kirsten Cobbles from onlinewritersrating.com says, “Khan Academy is a non-profit organization, and that’s what makes it so great. It is powered by donations and created for people to get access to education for free from anywhere in the world – and that’s why so many people are already using it.”

9. Treehouse

Yet another more tech-focused alternative to Coursera, Treehouse offers online courses on programming, coding, web design, and others. The platform provides a free trial, after which you can pay for a subscription to keep access to their courses with a library of more than 300 of them. The so-called “Techdegree” lets students access such features as a dedicated Slack group, portfolio growth, building job-ready skills, and a certificate.

TreeHouse - Coursera Alternatives

The best part about Treehouse is that it gamifies the learning process by offering such features as quizzes, projects, guided curricula, and a forum for discussions with fellow students and instructors. In other words, you will be learning Python or UI/UX, or web development in a very welcoming environment.

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10. Skillsoft

Last but not least, Skillsoft is of the best Coursera alternatives with over 180 thousand resources offered on such topics as IT, business, leadership, compliance training, and many more. Like Treehouse, Skillsoft provides a free trial, after which you can choose from several subscription options.

Skillsoft - Coursera Alternatives

Though courses are Skillsoft’s main focus, you also get access to videos and books on the topic you want to be learning. The platform is also available in 160 countries in 29 different languages, so it’s definitely a great find even for professionals from non-English-speaking countries.

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Conclusion

To sum up, Coursera is definitely not the only eLearning platform you need to check out if you are looking for a place to enroll in online courses. In fact, there is a variety of options available to you, both free and paid. Check out the eLearning platforms presented in this article to find the best fit for your own needs and interests. Whether you want to study programming or painting or something completely different, you will definitely find an excellent option for yourself among these.

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