Coursera is an online learning platform founded by two Stanford University computer science professors. It offers thousands of online courses in partnership with over 200 of the world’s leading universities and companies, including Yale, Princeton, UPenn, Google, IBM, Amazon, Facebook, and more.
The site offers individual courses as well as bachelor’s and master’s degree programs that reduce barriers to higher education. There are also professional certificate programs designed to aid workers in securing new roles or promotions.
Many Coursera courses are free to audit, but students don’t get access to things like graded homework assignments or certificates of completion when they’re auditing a course. Courses that are part of longer programs or specializations are usually free to try with a seven-day trial.
FREE OR CERTIFICATE? Coursera allows you take most online courses for free. To do so, you must enroll to “audit” the course. You will not be allowed to take the course exams or receive a final grade. To fully enroll in a course, you must purchase Coursera’s Certificate program. If you’re looking to learn something new and don’t need the certificate, consider auditing a course or two and see what you think.