If you are wondering is Coursera a scam then you are in the right place. I can assure you that this place is no scam. However, depending on your situation and your reasoning for taking a course at Coursera, this might not be a great choice for you.
I had been getting some questions about the legitimacy of this place so I finally got around to looking into it. In this short review I’ll be going over how Coursera works, what its like, the cost, who its best for, and ultimately whether or not I think its worth it.
- Website: coursera.org
- Cost: Free & paid courses available
- Legit?: Yes
Coursera is an online learning platform that partners with well-known universities all over and provides online courses that are open to anyone. You don’t have to be enrolled in any college to enroll in courses here.
They offer courses in hundreds of different specializations ranging from to math, to computer sciences, to social science, to arts, and everything in between.
Other sites you might be interested in: Udemy
How It Works
Its prettys simple how it all works. First you need to sign up as a member. Anyone can do this very easily and all you need to do is enter your name, email, and password.
After that you can browse around Coursera for the course you want to take. You can browse through the catalog of different subjects or you can search for specific subjects and courses in the search bar…
Upon finding a course that you are interested in, you can click on it to get more information. When you click on a course you will be shown a description of the course, the University responsible for creating the course, the instructor, ratings from past students, a detailed week by week syllabus, the level of difficulty, and more.
There is a lot shown here so you can really get to know the course before you take it.
If you want to take a course it is simple and you will see a button that you can click to enroll. Some courses are completely free and others have a free and paid version which I will go over more later.
What The Courses Are Like
Being that the courses offered at Coursera are brought to you by universities you would expect them to be well put together and very professional… and they are.
The coursework is described as an “interactive textbook”. There are video lectures, quizzes, and projects that you will be able to learn and be tested from. Additionally you will be able to interact with other people that are taking the course and debate ideas, get help, etc.
There aren’t really any complaints about the actual material that courses on Coursera have. The courses receive very good ratings on the Coursera.org website as well as on independent review sites where anyone can post anything. This means one thing… the course are good quality and people like them.
Some of the courses are free while others have both a free and paid version.
Usually it is the more “unimportant” courses that are free, ones that you will gain knowledge from but probably won’t help you land a job. The more important courses are the ones that you will see have a free and paid version. And the big difference between these two versions is the certification that you can receive after completion of the course.
With the free courses you will still get access to all the course material and learn everything but you won’t get the official certificate at the end that proves you took the course and passed it.
Who Coursera Is Best Suited For
Online courses like the ones offered at Coursera I would say are best for those that are self-motivated, somewhat independent, and good problem solvers. Coursera does provide very well laid out courses and you do have the ability to interact with others and get help if you are stuck on something, but it just isn’t the same as a physical class.
I’m not saying that you can’t take and pass a course here if you are not what I described above. I’m just saying people of this nature are best suited for these types of online courses.
It is also important to note that Coursera certificates aren’t going to get you a college degree and they will not carry as much weight as one either. So I wouldn’t take courses here if you are only interested in having a paper saying that you took the course. Its a good thing and can help land you that job you are wanting potentially, but I would just take the courses more for the knowledge you gain from them.
Overall there aren’t many complaints about Coursera which is obviously a good sign. However, there are some as there will be with anything. Some of the more common complaints I came across include…
Lack of Customer Service
If you decide to pay for a course and have a subscription issue then you are going to have a hassle getting it fixed. Coursera offers no phone support number and trying to get simple things worked out on the online chat is a pain in the butt. There are a fair number of people complaining about this and I feel their pain.
I have read through multiple reviews from people that claim Coursera charged them for a course when they did not even take it or charged them for something that they were unaware of.
I cannot personally confirm these complaints as being true but what I can say is that Coursera could do a better job at making their prices and how they work more understandable and known. So just be careful.
Coursera is not a scam by any means. They offer good quality courses that are brought to you by professionals who know what they teach. Its is an amazing deal for the money that you spend and the education provided. The only real downside as far as I see it is the certification that you receive upon completion of a class. This is good and all but it doesn’t amount to having completed a college course.
Anyway, this is it for my review and I hope I gave you a better idea of whether or not Coursera is right for you. Its legit and a good place but ultimately whether it is a good choice for you is your decision.
Questions, comments, concerns??? Leave them below in the comment section and I’ll get back to you soon 🙂