When it comes to choosing an online learning platform, you are exposed to a number of options to choose from. Every platform offers a number of courses, but it’s always a hurdle to choose the best out of so many.
One of the most prominent global online learning platforms is Coursera, which offers a wide range of online courses and degrees from leading universities and companies.
Coursera Plus is a subscription plan that gives you unlimited access to over 90% of the learning programs in the Coursera catalog. So then again, the question pops in our mind, in comparison of Coursera vs Coursera Plus, which one is better? Is it worth spending more?
In this thorough analysis, we are going to give a detailed review of Coursera and Coursera Plus that will help you choose a plan best fits your goals.
So let’s find out.
Coursera: An Overview
Before we start our Coursera vs Coursera Plus comparison, let’s give you a quick overview of both plans.
Coursera is a global online learning platform that offers anyone, anywhere, access to online courses and degrees from leading universities and companies. It was founded in 2012 by Stanford University computer science professors with a vision of providing life-transforming learning experiences to learners all around the world.
Courser offers thousands of courses in a variety of subjects, including business, computer science, data science engineering, humanities, languages, and more. Courses are taught by top professors and industry experts. Also, most courses offer a variety of learning activities, including video lectures, readings, quizzes, and assignments.
Other than that, Coursera offers a group of courses known as Specializations that are designed to help you learn a specific skill. For example, you can take a specialization in machine learning, data science, or web development. It also offers a number of online degrees, including master’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and professional doctorates.
Courses are available on a variety of devices, including computers, smartphones, and tablets. You can also download courses for offline viewing.
These laudatory features and many other reasons make Coursera worth it for everyone in the online learning world.
Coursera Plus: An Overview
Coursera Plus is a subscription plan offering you unlimited access to over 90% of the learning programs in the Coursera catalog. It includes courses, specializations, guided projects, and professional certificates. It is a good option for learners who want to take a variety of courses on different topics.
With Coursera Plus, you can take as many courses as you want, as often as you want. This gives you the flexibility to learn at your own pace and explore different areas of interest. You can start, pause, and complete courses based on your schedule and interests.
With access to specialization and professional certificates that are designed to help you develop specific skills and knowledge, it can be a great way to advance your career or learn new skills for a new career.
Coursera Plus also includes access to guided projects, which are hands-on learning experiences that allow you to apply what you have learned in the courses to real-world problems.
Coursera Plus can provide cost savings for learners who plan to take multiple courses or explore different subjects. Instead of paying for each course separately, you pay a single subscription fee and gain access to the entire Coursera Plus catalog. Coursera Plus charges monthly or annual subscription fees. You can try Coursera Plus for a free trial of 7 days.
Coursera vs Coursera Plus: Comparison
Coursera vs Coursera Plus, the questions still lingers in our head. So which one to go for? Let’s find out with this comparison.
Access to Courses
Coursera allows you to enroll in individual courses for free. You can pay separately for each course if you want a certificate upon completion. The cost of individual courses varies, and some courses offer financial aid to eligible learners.
On the other hand, Coursera Plus is a subscription plan that offers unlimited access to a vast catalog of courses. Learners can access and complete as many courses as they want without additional charges, including the ability to earn certificates.
Access to Specialization
The key difference between Coursera and Coursera Plus Specializations is the payment structure. Coursera Specializations can be purchased individually or through a subscription within the specialization itself, whereas Coursera Plus Specializations are included in the Coursera Plus subscription, allowing you to access them at no additional cost beyond the subscription fee. Hence
Coursera Plus can be cost-effective for learners who plan to explore multiple specializations and take advantage of the entire Coursera catalog.
Here, it is also the payment structure that differentiates Coursera vs Coursera Plus certificates.
Coursera certificates are earned on a course basis, and some courses offer free certificates, which are known as “Audit Certificates,” and others require payment, known as “Verified Certificates.”
Coursera Plus certificates are earned through the Coursera Plus subscription, which covers the cost of certificates for the courses and specializations included in the subscription.
Both types of certificates can be valuable for showcasing your skills and knowledge, but Coursera Plus offers a more cost-effective way to access certificates if you plan to take multiple courses.
Cost and Subscription Plan
Coursera charges on a per course or per specialization basis, while Coursera Plus offers unlimited access to a wide range of content for a fixed monthly or annual fee.
Here is a table that summarizes the cost difference between Coursera and Coursera Plus:
|Platform||Monthly subscription||Annual subscription|
|Coursera||Free to audit courses, or $29-$99 per month||Free to audit courses, or $29-$99 per year|
|Coursera Plus||$59 per month||$399 per year|
If you are interested in taking a single specialization, Coursera Plus will save you money in the long run. For example, the Machine Learning Specialization costs $499 per year to purchase individually. With Coursera Plus, you would have unlimited access to all specializations for $399 per year.
However, if you are only interested in taking a few courses, Coursera may be a better option for you. For example, if you are interested in taking two courses for $49 each, you would pay $98 per year on Coursera.
In Coursera vs Coursera Plus, the best way to decide which platform is best for you is to consider your individual needs and budget.
Coursera Plus vs Coursera Specializations
Coursera and Coursera Plus Specializations are both great options for online learning but there are some key differences between which will help you decide so let’s list them down!
- Specializations: Coursera Specializations are bundles of related courses designed to help learners master a specific skill or subject area. Specializations often include multiple courses that build upon each other.
- Cost: Coursera Specializations can be purchased individually or through a subscription within the specialization itself. The pricing varies depending on the content and institution. Subscribing to a specialization often offers cost savings compared to purchasing each course separately.
- Access: When you enroll in a Coursera Specialization, you can access all the courses within that specialization. You can complete the courses at your own pace and receive certificates for each course. Access typically lasts as long as your subscription to the specialization is active.
- Certificates: Upon completing all the courses within a Coursera Specialization, you earn a Specialization Certificate. This certificate validates your proficiency in the subject covered by the specialization.
- Ideal For: Coursera Specializations are ideal for learners with a specific skill or subject area they want to focus on and prefer a structured series of courses.
- Subscription model: Coursera Plus is a subscription plan offered by Coursera. It provides learners with unlimited access to a wide range of courses for a fixed monthly or annual fee.
- Cost: Coursera Plus is priced on a subscription basis. The cost depends on whether you choose a monthly or annual plan.
- Access: With Coursera Plus, you have unrestricted access to all the courses, specializations, and professional certificates that are included in the Coursera Plus catalog. You can enroll in and complete as many courses and specializations as you want during your subscription period without additional charges.
- Ideal for: Coursera Plus is suitable for learners who plan to take on multiple courses, explore various topics, and earn certificates without worrying about individual course or specialization costs.
Coursera Plus vs Coursera Business
Coursera Plus and Coursera for Business are distinct offerings provided by Coursera, each catering to different types of users and purposes. Here’s a Coursera vs Coursera Plus for Business:
- Business and Corporate Users: Coursera for Business is tailored for organizations, companies, and businesses that want to provide online learning opportunities for their employees. It is not intended for individual learners.
- Enterprise Solution: Coursera for Business offers enterprise-level solutions, including custom learning programs, analytics, and administrative tools to help businesses meet their workforce development and training needs.
- Pricing: The pricing for Coursera for Business varies based on the specific needs and size of the organization. Pricing is typically negotiated with Coursera directly, and it is not available for individual purchase.
- Access: Organizations that subscribe to Coursera for Business can provide access to a curated selection of courses and specializations to their employees. Access is typically managed and administered by the organization’s training or HR department.
- Certificates: Employees who complete courses on Coursera for Business can earn certificates of completion. These certificates can be used for skill development and professional growth within the organization.
- Ideal For: Coursera for Business is intended for businesses and organizations looking to upskill their employees, improve their workforce’s skill sets, and invest in professional development and training.
- Individual Learners: Coursera Plus is designed for individual learners who want to access a wide range of courses, specializations, and professional certificates on Coursera for their personal or professional development.
- Subscription Model: Coursera Plus operates on a subscription model. Subscribers pay a monthly or annual fee to access the entire Coursera Plus catalog.
- Cost: As of my last update, Coursera Plus was priced at around $59 per month for a monthly subscription or approximately $399 per year for an annual subscription. The pricing may vary depending on your location and specific promotions.
- Access: Subscribers to Coursera Plus can enroll in and complete as many courses, specializations, and professional certificates as they want from the Coursera Plus catalog without additional charges beyond the subscription fee.
- Certificates: Certificates for courses, specializations, and professional certificates within the Coursera Plus catalog are included in the subscription fee. Learners can earn certificates for all the courses and specializations they complete during their subscription period.
- Ideal For: Coursera Plus is ideal for individual learners who plan to take multiple courses, explore various subjects, and earn certificates without worrying about individual course costs.
Verdict: Coursera vs Cousera Plus
Finally, we come to the final verdict of Coursera vs Coursera Plus, so who wins here?
If you are interested in taking a few courses, Coursera may be a better option for you. However, if you are interested in taking multiple courses or completing a specialization, Coursera Plus is where you should sign up.
As far as the budget is concerned, Coursera Plus has a monthly or annual subscription fee so you need to factor that into your budget but if you are tight on budget, you may want to start with the free audit option or purchase individual courses as needed. Other than that, your learning style matters too.
For example, if you are self-motivated and disciplined, Coursera Plus may be a good option for you. But, if you need more structure and support, you may want to consider taking courses individually or purchasing a specialization.
Ultimately, it is not just Coursera vs Coursera Plus, but it is more about your unique circumstances, such as your goals and budget. It is a good idea to review the specific courses, specializations, and certificates you are interested in and the ones that perfectly align with your needs and calculate the potential costs of both options.
Moreover, you can explore free courses and audits to get a feel for the platform before making a decision.
So, step up your learning game with Coursera and its amazing plans.