Investing in the right education is among the smartest moves to make if you want to develop your career opportunities. But it can be tedious to take classes at universities if you’re already swamped with work and other responsibilities.

Enrolling in an online learning platform is more efficient and manageable – you can learn at any schedule through self-paced courses and add your online degrees as the finishing touches to your resume.

In this article, we’ll be comparing the learning platforms EdX and Coursera. They’re two of the best online course providers, with each hosting over a million users made up by professionals trying to acquire a new skill, so you can negotiate promotions on better footing, or simply turn yourself into a more capable individual.

EdX vs Coursera

Course Selection

Coursera and EdX have balanced coverage of mostly academic courses taught by seasoned professors.

First of all, edX and Coursera feel more alike than most platforms, since their courses are made and supported by big universities around the world. Due to this pedigree, you can expect high-quality learning material and instruction from either platform. You can browse a wide range of subjects, which are usually academic, and a large number of courses are free on either platform. 

EdX was founded in 2012 as a non-profit partnership between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. It’s undoubtedly a giant in the massive open online course (MOOC) industry. It presents over 3,500 online courses for free. These courses are produced by top universities, with most of them intending to provide academic course material similar to their curricula. EdX offers classes on topics like music, law, computer science, data science, and physics.

In the same vein, Coursera was an experiment in MOOCs by two Stanford professors. It has about 6,000 courses available in its library. It offers courses of incredible variety, with subjects such as information technology, personal development, business, and foreign languages. Like edX, it is oriented for professional learning, although Coursera’s larger library includes many more topics. These courses are produced by universities like Stanford, Michigan and Yale.

Learning Experience

Both platforms will make you feel like part of a learning community, although edX has a livelier forum and more peer involvement.

As typical to other course platforms, instruction comes in the form of video lectures, downloadable resources, and formative assessments. Most of the time, you’re free to set your own schedules on Coursera and EdX, but many follow a timeline set by the professor. Timed courses are more common if you’re getting credits or a verified certificate.

Learning on EdX is simple and feels like studying in a real university. The video lectures are in excellent quality and assessments come in varying levels of difficulty. You’ll find supportive professors and an even more welcoming community of fellow learners. On each course, you get the chance to socialize and collaborate with other users, which is especially great to practice people-oriented skills, such as foreign languages.

Coursera offers a similarly distinguished experience, with top-notch video instruction and course material. The biggest difference is that you won’t get to meet your instructor a lot. The community in Coursera is a little bit quieter than its edX counterpart. If you want to interact with classmates and the professor, it can be a little jarring, but if you’re intent on self-studying anyways, it doesn’t seem too bothersome.

Subscription Plans

EdX lets you earn credits to add to your actual university course. Coursera offers full Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.

In debating edX vs Coursera, everybody wins when it comes to free courses.

A subscription to Coursera courses is priced according to the following categories:

  • Main courses. $29-99/monthly, and takes about 4-6 weeks to complete. Users receive a digital certificate of completion with the logo of their course’s university.
  • Specialization courses. $39-79/monthly. Designed as supplementary instruction on certain aspects of a larger field, such as database engineering for computer science.
  • Professional degrees. Certain Coursera courses offer Bachelor’s degrees from their university partnerships, and can be treated as an equivalent to regular education. Can go from $15,000 to $30,000.

A Premium subscription, Coursera Plus, is also available, and grants access to all 3,800 paid courses on the platform and their related certification for $399.

On the other hand, the majority of courses edX puts up belong to the audit track and are generally free. You can enroll in a program, learn the material, and take the assessments in a set period before the course closes. For getting credits and certificates on edX, Verified Track courses are offered at a rate of $50-300. Purchasing a Verified course unlocks full access to the course materials, including graded assessments, as well as certification.

Conclusion – Coursera vs EdX

All things considered, both online learning platforms are broadly matched in terms of quality education and the variety of online courses. 

The two course providers offer great certificate opportunities, but Coursera is more suitable if you’re interested in building a resume. You can get an actual Bachelor’s or Master’s certificate from Coursera. EdX doesn’t offer a full certificate, but still, partial credits from Harvard or MIT will look sweet to your college dean.

However, if you prefer learning with others, edX is the better choice. The platform simply has a stronger community and discussion forum than Coursera. Peer review, live instructor feedback, and the overall presence of other humans taking the same course can help you absorb and process information at a better rate.

If learning is your biggest priority, you’ll find a gold mine of knowledge available in each platform’s free courses. Coursera and edX let you study at no cost. Although you won’t be able to participate in activities, take quizzes, or obtain certification, just accumulating all that information from prestigious institutions is still a pretty great deal.

Picking the best course platform comes down to your priorities, and we hope we’ve helped you decide where you’ll stand on the edX-Coursera discussion. There are certainly a few platforms as alike as the two. Enjoy studying online!