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    Coursera is an online education platform that offers a variety of courses and certificate programs from top universities and leading companies. Coursera’s high-quality certificate programs help students earn college credits and professionals advance their careers and earn industrial recognition.

    Learn more about Coursera and the types of courses and certification programs the platform offers, especially for IT professionals and students, in this guide.

    What Is Coursera?

    Coursera Logo

    Founded in 2012 by two Stanford professors, Coursera is a massive online open course (MOOC) provider and a leading e-learning platform. The company collaborates with over 250 leading universities and organizations to provide more than 5,000 online courses, professional certifications, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, and specializations. 

    These are some of the platform’s primary learning formats:

    • Professional certificates help individuals become job-ready for in-demand careers, earn career credentials, and apply knowledge to hands-on projects. 
    • Specializations allow employees to learn specific career skills by completing rigorous courses, handling projects, and earning certificates to share with potential employers. 
    • Guided projects enable users to learn a job-specific skill in less than two hours from a subject-matter expert
    • MasterTrack certificates are university-issued online graduate certificates that include selected portions of master’s degree programs from top universities.

    Industry-specific platform versions

    • Coursera for Business helps organizations develop transformational skills in employees with expert-curated content, AI-driven content, professional certifications, and diplomas.
    • Coursera for Campus supports students and faculty with blended learning coursework to help students develop workforce skills.
    • Coursera for Government works with government agencies in 100+ countries to help them upskill citizens and public officials and increase digital literacy.

    How Does Coursera Work?

    Creating an account on Coursera is simple and free of cost. After signing up, users can search for a particular course they want to take, or they can choose from 11 broad topics. The broad categories include:

    Users can filter courses based on skills, job title, language, difficulty level, duration, and more. In the “About this Course” section, users can preview reviews, ratings, instructor info, enrollment info, syllabi, FAQs, and whether financial aid is available for the chosen course or not.

    Though many courses are free to “audit,” verified certificates of completion and graded assignments come at a cost. Many courses are available to take any time of the year, while others have specific enrollment dates and follow a structured syllabus and outline.

    Once users are enrolled in a course, they get access to pre-recorded videos by industry experts and professionals, student discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, and exams. Many courses are part of Coursera Specializations. If a user completes all courses in a Specialization, they become eligible for the Specialization Certificate.  

    How Much Does Coursera Cost?

    Coursera offers around 2,000 free courses, and paid courses start at $9.99. The platform offers pay-per-course as well as a subscription-based pricing plan to users. A 7-day free trial is also available for specializations and professional certificates.

    Coursera for Business pricing plans

    For teams and smaller businesses, Team Package costs $399/user/year with access to over 4,000 courses from top universities, guided projects, quizzes, and certificates. Enterprise Plan is suitable for larger organizations to get unlimited access to skill metrics, user analytics, and integrations; enterprise pricing is custom and available upon request from the Coursera sales team.

    Coursera for Business Pricing Screenshot

    Coursera Plus pricing

     Coursera Plus provides unlimited access to 7,000+ world-class courses, hands-on projects, and job-ready certificate programs, for one all-inclusive subscription price. 

    • Single Learning Program: $49-79 per month
    • Coursera Plus Monthly: $59/month, with a 7-day free trial
    • Coursera Plus Annual: $399/month, with a 14-day money-back guarantee 

    Coursera Plus Pricing Screenshot

    Who Uses Coursera? 

    Millions of students, hobbyists, educators, businesses, and governments around the world benefit from Coursera. It’s ideal for users looking to further their higher education or make progress in their careers. The platform attracts top-notch professors from leading universities like Stanford, Duke, and Yale to teach in-depth courses.

    Coursera is a top online learning platform for anyone who prefers self-paced learning over physical classroom-led learning.

    What Are the Advantages of Using Coursera? 

    • Diverse catalog of courses with thousands of courses in dozens of areas of interest but especially in business and technology.
    • Partnered with leading universities and organizations, including Stanford, Harvard, University of London, Google, Meta, IBM, and Microsoft.
    • Verified certificates allow employees to showcase their learned skills to potential employers and students to earn college credits.
    • Free and affordable courses are abundant, with over 2,000 free courses and thousands of other courses and degree programs offered at a lower cost than campus-based learning.
    • Well-structured & high-quality courses are curated by industry and subject-matter experts, with interactive assignments, quizzes, exams, and hands-on projects.
    • Expert instructors are the platform’s norm. In contrast to other e-learning platforms where anyone can teach, Coursera trainers are usually top university professors and industry leaders.

    Coursera Courses for the IT Professional 

    Though Coursera offers courses in many categories, such as personal development, its coursework and certificate opportunities are growing exponentially for the IT professional. These are some of the most popular and applicable courses offered for IT professionals now:

    1. Google IT Support by Google
    2. ITIL 4 Exam Preparation by LearnQuest 
    3. Information Technology and Cloud Fundamentals by IBM
    4. Python for Cybersecurity by Infosec
    5. Kubernetes: Basic Architecture and First Deployment by Coursera Project Network
    6. Google Data Analytics Professional by Google
    7. Building Modern Python Applications on AWS by AWS
    8. Develop Clustering Models with Azure ML Designer by Microsoft
    9. Building Modern Node.js Applications on AWS by AWS
    10. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Architect Associate by Oracle
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