Coursera Review — Is it Actually Worth it?

Are Coursera courses really worth your time and money? Let’s take a closer look at what it offers and what you can realistically gain from it.

people learning on laptop with books illustration

In this article we will cover everything you need to know about Coursera, the good and the bad. From pricing, certificates, and if it is worth it.

woman learning coursera on laptop

Online learning has quite popular in recent years, mainly because it offers learners a flexible way to learn.

Among the numerous online learning platforms available, Coursera is one of the best and better known online learning platforms. Since 2012, it has been helping people worldwide to achieve their education goals by giving learners control of their education. With Coursera, you have access to thousands of courses from top universities and organizations around the world.

What is Coursera? 💭

Coursera is a global online learning platform. The platform specializes in online education and offers learners access to 7,000+ different degree programs from anywhere in the world.

In Coursera, you are able to pursue Professional Certificates from successful companies. You can even get a Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees from top universities.

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Yale University, John Hopkins University, Stanford, and the University of Michigan are just a few of the top universities that Coursera is partners with.

Learners can also count select courses at Coursera towards college credits But, it depends on the partnership between Coursera and the university.

Courses in Coursera

Some of the subject of the courses in Coursera include: business, computer science, data science, humanities and more.

subjects in coursera example

Coursera is famous for its courses that cover Python, machine learning, business, and financial accounting.s mentioned previously, Coursera offers Professional Certificates, which provide learners with the skills necessary to pursue a career in that field.

Some of the top courses at Coursera are:

  1. Machine Learning Stanford University
  2. Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects _ Deep Teaching Solutions
  3. Python for Everybody University of Michigan
  4. Neural Networks and Deep Learning
  5. Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python) University of Michigan

Coursera offers a broad range of courses across different subjects, so it’s worth exploring to find a program that best fits your needs.

Explore other courses here.

How much do Coursera courses cost? 💵

Coursera costs vary. Pricing majorly depends on the type of course and certification you are trying to achieve.

General Pricing Guidelines:

plans at coursera screenshot
  • Individual courses: some courses are free, but others require payment to access the course materials or earn a certificate. The price for paid courses ranges from around $29 to $99, although some may cost more.
  • Specializations Subscriptions offer related courses that learners can take together to have a comprehensive learning experience. Specializations can range from $39 – $79 per month, and you pay every month as you progress through the course.
  • Professional Certificates are programs that help learners develop skills and gain practical experience in a specific field Costs range from $39 – $99 per month, paying every month as you progress through the program.
  • Master’s degrees: Coursera offers online master’s degree programs in various fields in collaboration with universities. The cost of a master’s degree program varies depending on the program and the university. It can range from $15,000 to $50,000.
  • Bachelor’s degrees: Coursera also offers online Bachelor’s degree programs in collaboration with universities. The cost of a bachelor’s degree program varies depending on the program and the university, but it can ranges from $9,000 to $25,000 per year.

Coursera Plus +

Coursera Plus Subscription is a subscription service that gives unlimited access to over 7,000 courses on the platform for a yearly fee. With Coursera Plus, users can take as many classes as they want without paying individually for each course. Also, the subscription includes course certificates that learners can earn upon course completion

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Coursera Plus Benefits

Coursera Plus is for individuals who want to build their skills and knowledge across various topics, from technology and business to humanities and health.

The subscription is the best cost-effective way to access Coursera’s vast library of courses and specializations, especially for those who plan to take multiple courses in the same year.

The cost of Coursera Plus is $399 per year.

coursera plus example courses
Examples of Courses included in Coursera Plus

Note that Coursera Plus does not include all courses available on the platform and learners may need to pay additional fees or face limitations on course access. Moreover, some courses may not be eligible for course certificates. Coursera courses and programs may also have varying pricing, subject to change and additional fees. We recommend checking the pricing details of any course or program you wish to enroll in.

Does Coursera Have any free Courses!

Yes! Coursera offers Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in various subjects, from computer science and data science to business and humanities.

MOOCs are courses that are accessible to anyone with an internet connection and are typically free to access. Additionally, learners can choose to pay for a certificate of completion.

coursera screenshot "take the first step toward your new career"

Coursera MOOCs are a great way to explore new topic, or enhance your knowledge in a particular area. Whether you are looking to advance your career, pursue further education, or learn for personal enrichment, there will likely be a free course that you can check out.

Does Coursera offer Financial Aid? 💰

Yes, there’s financial aid to learners who cannot afford the cost of courses on the platform. Coursera reviews financial aid applications on a case-by-case basis and awards aid based on the applicant’s circumstances.

To apply for financial aid, learners can visit the course page of the course they want to enroll in and click on the “Financial aid available” link. Then, you will be prompted to complete an application form that asks about income, employment status, and other financial information.

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Financial aid section wiithin coursera

The platform may take several days to review the application, and it can be challenging for learners to get approval. If they approve the financial aid application, the platform will grant the learner free or reduced-cost access to the course, depending on their application’s outcome

Overall, Coursera’s financial aid program aims to make education more accessible to individuals who may not have the financial resources to pay for courses.

What is Coursera’s Refund Policy? 💵 

Coursera offers a refund policy for certain courses and specializations. However, the specifics of the refund policy can vary depending on the course or program you have enrolled in.

“You can cancel your subscription during the trial period and avoid being charged for courses that offer a 7-day free trial. If you cancel your subscription after the trial period has ended, you will not be eligible for a refund.

For other courses and specializations, Coursera may offer a refund within a specific timeframe, such as 14 days after the course start date. However, some courses may not offer a refund at all.

To request a refund, you can contact Coursera’s customer support team through the “Help” section of your account. They may ask you to provide a reason for the refund, and the refund process can take several days to complete.

It’s important to note that Coursera’s refund policy is subject to change and may not apply to all courses or programs. Before enrolling in a class, carefully read the course details and refund policy.

Learn more about cancellation policies here.

So how does Coursera work?

Coursera offers a variety of learning experiences, including video lectures, readings, quizzes, assignments, and discussion forums. The specific learning experience for a particular course or program will depend on the design and format chosen by the university or instructor.

Guided Projects

Guided projects are a type of learning experience offered by Coursera designed to help learners build practical skills by working on real-world projects with the guidance of an expert mentor.

These projects are typically shorter than complete courses and focus on a specific topic or skill.

Guided projects on Coursera typically include video lessons, interactive quizzes, and hands-on exercises. Learners can also receive feedback from their mentors throughout the project to help them refine their skills and knowledge.

Here are some of the guided projects and learning experiences offered by Coursera:

  1. Video lectures: pre-recorded video lectures that cover the course material. Students can watch these videos at their own pace and re-watch them as often as needed to understand the material.
  2. Readings: Some courses may include required or optional assignments, such as academic papers or books. These readings can provide additional context and depth to the course material.
  3. Quizzes: Many courses include examinations that test students’ understanding of the material in the video lectures and readings. These quizzes can be multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, or other formats.
  4. Assignments: Some courses include assignments that require students to apply the concepts learned in the class to real-world problems. These assignments can be programming projects, data analysis tasks, or essays.
  5. Discussion Forums: Many courses include forums where students can ask questions, share ideas, and collaborate with their peers.


A bachelor’s degree program on Coursera will function similarly to a traditional on-campus degree program regarding coursework and assessment. However, the specific structure and format may vary depending on the program and university. It’s always a good idea to check directly with the university or Coursera for the most up-to-date program requirements and assessment information.

Here are some common types of tests that you might encounter:

  1. Proctored exams: Some programs may require proctored exams, typically administered at testing centers or online with a remote proctor. Proctored exams are designed to ensure academic integrity by monitoring students during the exam to prevent cheating.
  2. Multiple-choice tests: Many courses and programs include multiple-choice tests to assess students’ understanding of the material covered in the course. These tests may be administered online or in person.
  3. Essays and written assignments: Some courses and programs require students to complete written assignments, such as essays or research papers. These assignments may assess students’ ability to analyze and interpret data, communicate ideas effectively, and apply course concepts to real-world problems.
  4. Programming assignments: For courses and programs focused on data science or computer science, students may be required to complete programming assignments demonstrating their ability to write code and apply programming concepts.
  5. Project-based assessments: Some courses and programs may include project-based assessments that require students to apply course concepts to real-world problems. These assessments may require students to work individually or in groups to develop a solution to a specific issue or analyze a dataset.

Regarding taking tests, the specific format will depend on the university and program offering the course. Some programs may require proctored exams, typically administered at testing centers or online with a remote proctor. Other programs may use alternative assessment methods like project-based assessments or peer-reviewed assignments.

Types of Coursera certificates👩‍🎓 

Coursera offers a variety of certificates to learners upon completion of its courses. The type of certificate a learner can earn depends on the system and the program the course is a part of. Here are some of the most common types of certifications offered by Coursera:

Course Certificates are available for most Coursera courses and demonstrate system completion. They do not represent university credit.

Specialization Certificates

Specialization Certificates are awarded for completing a series of related courses on a specific topic, called a specialization. These certificates can demonstrate mastery of a particular skill or subject.

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Example of specializations in Coursera

Professional Certificates

Professional Certificates are available for specific courses and specializations and demonstrate that a learner has completed a class or series of courses designed to prepare them for a particular job or career.

MasterTrack Certificates

MasterTrack Certificates are a type of certificate offered by Coursera for select master’s degree programs.

These certificates demonstrate the completion of a portion of a full master’s degree program, typically comprising a few courses from the full degree curriculum.

MasterTrack Certificates are designed to be stackable, meaning learners can earn multiple certificates and apply them toward the full degree program.

MasterTrack Certificates are offered by top universities and are designed to provide learners with a flexible and affordable way to earn a master’s degree online. By completing a MasterTrack program, learners can demonstrate mastery of a specific skill set or knowledge in a particular field and potentially use those skills to advance their careers or apply for jobs.

More flexible than ever…

They are designed to be completed online, and coursework can be learned at its own pace with deadlines spread over weeks or months. It is generally affordable compared to traditional on-campus master’s degree programs, with pricing ranging from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands, depending on the agenda. It also provides a stackable certificate, wherein learners can earn multiple MasterTrack Certificates and apply them toward the full master’s degree program, allowing them to build a customized degree that aligns with their career goals.

It’s important to note that MasterTrack Certificates are not the same as full master’s degrees, and the specific value of a MasterTrack Certificate in terms of career advancement and employment opportunities will depend on the particular program, the employer’s requirements and preferences, and the learner’s ability to demonstrate their skills and knowledge to potential employers.

Degree Certificates: Coursera also offers Bachelor’s and master’s degree programs from top universities. Upon completing the program, learners will receive a degree certificate equivalent to a degree earned on-campus.

As for accreditation, Coursera itself is not an accredited institution. However, many universities and institutions offering courses and programs on Coursera are accredited by their respective governing bodies. Learners who complete degree programs on Coursera from accredited universities will receive a degree certificate accredited and recognized by the relevant accrediting bodies. It’s always a good idea to check with the university or institution offering the course or program for information on accreditation and recognition.

Can you get a job with a Coursera Certificate?  💼

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The value of a Coursera certificate in terms of employment depends on various factors, such as the certificate type, the specific course or program, and the employer’s requirements and preferences. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Certificate type: Different certificates have different recognition and value levels. For example, a degree certificate from a top university on Coursera may hold more weight with employers than a course certificate from an unknown institution.
  2. Course or program relevance: Employers will likely place more value on certificates directly relevant to the job or industry. The certificate may be more valuable to employers if the skills and knowledge gained from a Coursera course or program align with the job requirements.
  3. Employer requirements: Some employers may specifically require or prefer candidates with specific certifications or credentials, including those earned through Coursera. It’s always a good idea to research the job requirements and preferences of the employers you are interested in.
  4. Demonstrated skills: A Coursera certificate alone may not be enough to secure a job, but it can demonstrate a learner’s commitment to learning and their skills and knowledge in a particular area. Learners who can demonstrate how they have applied their Coursera learning in real-world projects or experiences may be more attractive to employers.

In summary, while a Coursera certificate may not guarantee a job, it can be a valuable credential demonstrating skills and knowledge to potential employers. However, the certificate’s value will depend on various factors, and it’s always a good idea to research the specific job requirements and preferences of the employers you are interested in.

Coursera VS other Online education platforms

Let’s take a look at other learning platforms and see whether Coursera really stands out!

vs Udemy

Coursera and Udemy are both popular online education platforms, but there are some critical differences between them:



– Broader selection of courses, including many that are taught by individual instructors or smaller organizations.

– Instructors may come from various backgrounds and have varying experience and expertise.

– May offer completion certificates but are generally less recognized by employers and educational institutions.

– Courses tend to be sold in an individual basis

– Udemy courses may offer different learning experiences, such as pre-recorded video lectures and self-paced learning modules.

– Udemy is a popular platform, but it may need to be more well-known or have more brand recognition.

– Offers a wide range of courses and Specializations from top universities and organizations worldwide

– Coursera courses are taught by experienced instructors from top universities and organizations, ensuring high-quality instruction and academic rigor

– Certificate options, from free certificates of completion to paid professional certifications and degree programs.

– Coursera offers a mix of free and paid courses and subscription services like Coursera Plus.

– Interactive learning experiences like quizzes, assignments, and discussion forums, which help learners engage with the material and with other learners in the course.

– Coursera is one of the largest and most recognized online education platforms, with partnerships with top universities and organizations worldwide.

Read more about Udemy here

vs edX

Coursera and edX are well-known online education platforms that offer a wide range of courses and certificate programs from top universities and organizations worldwide. However, there are some differences between them:

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– Courses are feel more”formal”

– 3,500+ courses available

– All courses are free, but most pay in order to get a certificate.

– edX courses may have a slightly greater emphasis on peer-to-peer learning and collaboration


– Coursera UI complement the courses

– 7,000+ courses

– Has different pricing options, 2,500+ free courses only

– Coursera courses have a slightly higher emphasis on academic rigor

– Coursera may have more recognized certificate options overall.

Overall, the best online education platform for you will depend on your individual learning needs and preferences. If you are looking for high-quality instruction and recognized certificate options, Coursera may be the better choice. If you are looking for a broader selection of courses and more flexibility in pricing and learning experiences, Udemy may be a good option.

Both Coursera and edX are excellent online learning platforms, and truth be told, they are very similar. The best choice will depend on your individual learning goals and preferences, and giving a try to free course of each, would be recommendable.

Is Coursera worth it?

Let’s start with the good things first.
The quality of the courses and programs offered is really good since they are made by top companies and institutions.

But, one of the main dislikes I have for Coursera is that the course forums are not really taken seriously, just like peer-reviewed assignments.

It can feel lonely not seeing anyone out there taking the course seriously. And, it all feels like it’s just for the sake of a digital piece of paper, which really puts into doubt completing the course yourself. Regardless, you have to remember that your knowledge and time investment will shine through if you take it seriously, where it will not for these other individual. Additionally, there are other places/platforms where you can converse with people trying to learn the same thing you are learning.

Coursera’s professional certificates are one of the most widely recognized online certifications due to the company’s big presence in the online learning market and their affiliation with top companies and educational institutions. So, getting a professional certificate from Coursera is worthwhile, if you truly put in the hours and effort to learn about the topic.

FAQs 📣

Here are some frequently asked questions about Coursera:

Yes, Coursera has been proven to be a legit and well-recognized online learning platform globally.

Established in 2012 by two Stanford professors and has since grown to become one of the largest online education platforms in the world. Coursera partners with top universities and organizations worldwide to offer a wide range of courses, Specializations, and degree programs in various fields of study.

Coursera offers a wide range of courses that can be accessed online.

Learners can enroll in courses for free or a fee and can access the course materials at their own pace. Courses typically include video lectures, readings, quizzes, and assignments.

Some Coursera courses are free to access and complete, while others may require a fee. Additionally, Coursera offers a range of certificate options, including free certificates of completion, paid professional certifications, and degree programs.

Coursera’s certificates aren’t accredited.

But, various employers, universities, and organizations around the world recognize Coursera certificates. However, the recognition of a certificate may vary depending on the institution or industry.

Coursera offers a range of certificate options, including free certificates of completion, paid professional credentials, and degree programs. The certificate options available depend on the course or program.

Coursera courses can vary in length, depending on the system and the learner’s pace. Some procedures can be completed in a few weeks, while others may take several months.

Coursera itself is not accredited, but its partner univertisities are.

Additionally, Coursera has partnered with various institutions to offer accredited degree programs

To enroll in a Coursera course, create an account on the Coursera website or mobile app, browse the courses available, and enroll in the course of your choice.

Coursera offers a refund policy for some classes and programs. The refund policy may vary depending on the course or program.

Read more about refund policies here.

Yes, Coursera has a mobile app that can be downloaded on iOS and Android, making it easy to access courses and materials.

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