Coursera is one of the most popular do-it-yourself learning websites, but it's hardly the only one. In fact, Coursera is part of a whole wave of self-education platforms that have become popular on the Internet lately. Here are five of Coursera's most popular alternatives.
EdX is one of the two most often-mentioned Coursera alternatives. Created from a joint effort by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) and Harvard University in 2012, EdX is very similar to Coursera. In addition to its lessons being similarly structured, EdX offers learner's certificates for completing courses, as well as groups of related courses called "XSeries". However, EdX is run on a non-profit basis (though that doesn't necessarily mean that it's completely free), and works by using open-source software (so people can look inside and see how it works). As of the end of 2014, EdX had over 500 courses and over 4 million registered studens.
Udacity is another Coursera competitor that gets mentioned frequently. It is significantly smaller than Coursera, with around 100 courses or so (with 9 "Nanodegree" course groups) and only about 1.6 million users. However, it offers certification (though, like Coursera, usually not university program credit) for courses in technical fields, such as website development, software engineering, data science, and other roles that the world's leading tech companies (including Google, Facebook, and Salesforce) are looking to fill. It's okay if you're new to technology, though, as you can search for courses based on how much technical knowledge you need to succeed. This lets you start out with the easier courses first (like simple programming and design) and then move on to more advanced concepts.
Named after founder Salman Khan, Khan Academy is another education website like Coursera (but it's a not-for-profit one like EdX). Its main feature is its free miniature lectures, powered by YouTube, on tons of different topics. However, it also has features that track your progress in particular subjects, and generate practice assignments and quizzes based on your skill level and performance. It also has free resources that you can use if you're a teacher running a class. Khan Academy's website is available in 23 different languages, and its videos are available in 65 different languages.
Udemy is one of the largest alternatives to Coursera, with over 7 million users and over 30,000 courses. The reason for this is that unlike Coursera, EdX, and Udacity (which rely on partnerships with major corporations and educational institutions to provide their material), almost anyone can put together a course to teach on Udemy about pretty much anything. As a result, it doesn't have any courses that count towards a university degree, though some may count towards skilled trade certification. Some of its courses are free to take, while others require you to pay a small tuition fee (usually between $30-$100).
As its name implies, Codecademy is an online learning platform for how to make computer programs out of 10 different coding languages. It's free to sign up, and has lessons built for people of all technical skill levels, from total beginners to programming experts. Users can create their own courses, or ask and answer questions in the forums to help each other out. To keep you motivated, Codecademy also gives you feedback on your performance, including keeping track of your progress in individual courses and the number of days in a row that you've completed at least one course, as well as reward badges when you complete exercises.
Have you tried any of these websites like Coursera? Did they get a passing grade, or did they flunk in your books? Are there any other Coursera alternatives that you think our users would like to know about? Let us know in the comments below, or leave us a message on our social media channels.
Oh, and one more thing: if you'd like to use one of these alternatives to Coursera exclusively, or just don't want to use Coursera exclusively anymore, our last tutorial will show you how to delete your Coursera account.
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