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Last update: May 21, 2024

Top Coursera Alternatives Worth Exploring

Who are its competitors?

Coursera Alternatives
Photo of Catherine Cooke

Written by

Catherine Cooke

Catherine Cooke

Upskillwise Advisor

I'm Catherine, originally from London, now living in Spain. My professional journey led me from being a certified teacher to a yoga instructor and then a freelancer designer. These changes were made possible by online learning platforms like Skillshare and Coursera. It wasn't always easy, but so worth it and inspired me to start Upskillwise.

Photo of Catherine Cooke is fully supported by its readers. If you register or buy a course using our links, we may receive a commission. This does not affect our ratings, methodology or partners.

A few years back, I found myself checking out Coursera looking for a particular design course, only to realize they didn’t have it—and the closest options were out of my budget. That got me curious about what other online learning platforms were out there, I was pleasantly surprised to find plenty of excellent alternatives out there worth exploring.

Catherine Cooke author of the post and education and freelance expert

To make this article on Coursera alternatives as informative and helpful as possible, I’ve put in the effort to thoroughly research alternative online learning platforms. My Master’s in Teaching and Education, along with years of experience using e-learning platforms, have helped me craft this in-depth review.

Catherine CookeUpskillwise Advisor

Coursera Alternatives Summary Table


Pros & Cons

  • Accredited Partners
  • Free Courses
  • Refund Policy
  • Prior Knowledge
  • Limited Categories

Verified Track: $50 and $300 USD

Professional Programs: Starting at $299+ USD

MicroBachelors Programs: Starting at $499 USD

XSeries Programs: Starting at $135 USD

Short Courses: Starting at $99 USD

MicroMasters Programs: Starting at $600 USD

Master’s Degrees: Starting at $10,000+ USD

  • Interactive Courses
  • Career Focused
  • Affordable Learning
  • Non Accredited Certificates
  • Only Data-Centric Topics

Basic Subscription: FREE (limited access)

Premium Subscription: $300 USD billed annually (working out at $25 a month) OR $39 USD billed monthly.

  • VIP Instructors
  • Highly Engaging Content
  • Money-Back Guarantee
  • No Free Classes
  • No Certificates

Individual Plan: $120 USD billed annually.

Duo Plan: $180 USD billed annually.

Family Plan: $240 USD billed annually.

  • Free Trial
  • Affordable
  • Project Focused Learning
  • No Accredited Certificates
  • Course Quality

Skillshare Premium Monthly: $29 USD.

Skillshare Premium Yearly: $99 USD.

  • Free Courses
  • Career Focused
  • No Udacity App
  • Limited Topics

Individual Plan: $249 USD a Month OR $846 USD for a 4-Month Plan.

Team Plan: $2,390 USD annually.

Team Pro: $3,830 USD annually.

Enterprise: Custom Priced.

Coursera Alternatives In Detail

If you want to dive deeper into Coursera’s competitors, keep reading on to learn more about the alternative platforms.

1. edX

Just like Coursera, edX has courses curated by top-notch universities like MIT, Berkeley, and Harvard. With accreditation in its corner, edX lets you go all the way and earn official degrees through its programs.

edX is a top alternative to Coursera
edX is a top alternative to Coursera

You’ll find over 4,000 courses, and plenty of them are free if you opt for the audit mode. Whether you like to learn at your own pace or prefer some guidance, edX has both self-paced and instructor-led courses to match your style. If you’re aiming for that shiny edX completion certificate, you’ll need to budget for it, with prices ranging from $50 to $300. But hey, it’s worth it if you want something to frame and show off to friends, family, and your LinkedIn network!

Why Choose edX over Coursera?

When it comes to Coursera alternatives, edX has been my top pick. Why? Well, just like Coursera, edX collaborates with prestigious universities and organizations, meaning you can earn verified certificates after successfully finishing one of its courses or programs. But here’s what makes edX stand out for me: its focus on university-style courses. You’ve got options like MicroMasters, XSeries, and even full degrees. I also like how many of the programs stick to a more traditional academic calendar, giving it that familiar classroom vibe. So, if you’re looking for something that feels a bit more like a true university experience, edX might just be your perfect match!

Read Our Detailed edX Review

2. Datacamp

DataCamp, founded in 2013, is a top alternative to Coursera when it comes to data science and analytics education. With 480+ self-paced courses as well as skill and career tracks. These tracks are carefully curated to help you build comprehensive skills and knowledge that align with your career goals.

Datacamp is a data-centric alternative to Coursera
Datacamp is a data-centric alternative to Coursera

Its courses have a strong emphasis on hands-on learning, ensuring you’re not just passively absorbing information but actively applying your newfound skills. Whether you’re looking to advance in your current role or considering a career change, DataCamp offers the right resources to support you on your learning journey.

Why Choose DataCamp over Coursera?

DataCamp emerges as a strong contender, particularly for data science enthusiasts. While Coursera offers a wide range of subjects, DataCamp narrows its focus to data science and analytics, providing highly specialized training in these fields. DataCamp’s certifications are recognized and designed to prepare you for real-world data jobs, and in my opinion, it excels at this more effectively than Coursera. If an immersive, data-centric experience with immediate real-world application iswhat you want, then DataCamp is a top alternative worth exploring!

Read Our Detailed DataCamp Review

3. MasterClass

MasterClass is like the VIP version of Coursera, largely because of the famous faces leading its courses. With over 200 MasterClasses covering a diverse range of topics like Food, Design & Style, Business, and Home & Lifestyle, there’s something for everyone. One of my favorite courses was Gordon Ramsay’s cooking class, where I learned directly from the master himself. You’ll also find other renowned instructors like Annie Leibovitz and Aaron Sorkin sharing their expertise.

MasterClass is an alternative to Coursera
MasterClass is an alternative to Coursera

When you sign up, you can choose from three different subscription plans, starting with the Individual plan at just $10 a month (billed annually). Plus, every plan includes a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if it doesn’t meet your expectations, you can request a refund within 30 days of purchasing.

Why Choose MasterClass over Coursera?

MasterClass is best known for its high-profile celebrity instructors who bring an engaging and inspiring teaching style to the table. While Coursera provides formal certificates, MasterClass doesn’t offer accredited certificates, but this isn’t necessarily a drawback. The courses are so captivating that learning feels less like a task and more like an experience, thanks to polished video content and a wide range of creative topics. Plus, the MasterClass app is incredibly intuitive, letting you seamlessly access classes wherever you are. If you value learning from the best in their fields and prefer a more relaxed, enjoyable experience, MasterClass would be the right alternative over Coursera.

Read Our Detailed MasterClass Review

4. Skillshare

Skillshare stands out as the creative alternative to Coursera. It offers over 34,000 classes in creative categories like animation, illustration, music, and photography. For me, it’s a treasure trove of inspiration. I like how the monthly subscription is flexible, at $29 per month, or you can commit to an annual plan for $99 a year, which is a real bargain for creative exploration.

Skillshare is a creative alternative to Coursera
Skillshare is a creative alternative to Coursera

After signing up, you’ll get a free trial with full access to all the classes, which lets you explore freely. Just make sure to cancel within the first 14 days if you decide it’s not for you. It’s a platform that feels like a community, letting you learn and grow in creative fields in a way that just feels right.

Why Choose Skillshare over Coursera?

Skillshare focuses only on creative topics, whereas Coursera offers a much broader range of categories. While Coursera offers more structured courses with assignments and graded projects, Skillshare emphasizes project-based learning that allows you to flex your creative muscles directly. With a single subscription plan, Skillshare is also more affordable, providing unlimited access to the entire platform. This way, you can dive into courses on illustration, design, photography, and more without the worry of added costs. If you’re seeking a creative, hands-on learning experience, Skillshare provides a practical and budget-friendly alternative to Coursera.

Read Our Detailed Skillshare Review


5. Udacity


Udacity stands out as an alternative platform to Coursera as it specializes in technology subjects, that are geared towards helping learners find a job in the technology industry. It collaborates with leading technology companies such as Google and Microsoft.

Udacity is a technology focused alternative to Coursera
Udacity is a technology focused alternative to Coursera

Udacity provides two subscriptions plans, the monthly and the four monthly plan, which gives you full access to its platform and over 80 Nanodegree programs. It typically takes learners anywhere from 2 to 6 months to complete a Nanodegree program.

Why Choose Udacity over Coursera?

When looking for Coursera alternatives, Udacity is another top contender. Here’s why: Unlike Coursera, which has a broad range of subjects, Udacity zeroes in on tech. Whether it’s data science, programming, or AI, Udacity specializes in these cutting-edge fields. Plus, they’ve partnered with tech giants like Google and Microsoft, so you’re learning directly from the best. Their exclusive subscription plans let you immerse yourself in their “Nanodegree” programs at your own pace. If you’re seeking specialized skills and industry-ready projects, Udacity might just be the tech-centric alternative you’re looking for!

Read Our Detailed Udacity Review

Last Thoughts: Coursera Alternatives

After diving deep into the world of Coursera alternatives, it’s clear that there’s no shortage of alternative e-learning platforms out there to help you level up. Each one brings something special to the table, whether it’s university-style education, creative workshops led by celebrity instructors, or hands-on training for the tech enthusiasts among us.

Ultimately, finding the right Coursera alternative is all about knowing what works best for you. Each platform has its own flavor and focus, but they’re all driven by one goal: helping you grow, one lesson at a time.

Key Takeaways:
Identify your learning style
Assess your learning goals
Consider budget
Community and networking
Try out the platform


A strong alternative is edX. Like Coursera, it offers the option to audit courses for free and partners with prestigious institutions, ensuring its courses are accredited. edX emphasizes university-style learning and delivers high-quality courses that can help you reach your educational goals.

Both edX and Coursera partner with prestigious universities and organizations, allowing you to earn verified certificates. The key differences lie in their focus: edX provides a more university-style learning experience, with many programs offering credits toward a university degree. In contrast, Coursera focuses on professional training, emphasizing industry-relevant skills through its diverse course catalog.

Coursera still offers a significant amount of free content through its audit option, where you can access course materials without paying. However, this option doesn’t include graded assignments or a certificate.