EdX vs Coursera

June 12, 2020

EdX vs Coursera

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More options for receiving a quality education have come in the last several years. There have been new opportunities for people to take advantage of, regardless of where in the world users are. Students and knowledge seekers can receive instruction on subjects of their choosing. And this without the process of being formally accepted into accredited universities and paying exuberant fees.

These education platforms have become popular for their convenience, quality of courses and competitive pricing structures. Many students are turning to them to fulfill unique needs that traditional services might not always be able to provide.  

The options of these courses will appeal to those seeking further education. Or others who want to change career paths and offer an immersive outlet for those who just want to learn more about an interest. Two of these particular services, EdX and Coursera, are worldwide platforms from top universities that offer specialized experiences. They are extremely appealing to seekers of online learning. 

What is EdX

EdX is a platform founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It is a massive online education provider that offers degrees in a variety of fields such as engineering and computer science. This program offers over 2500 courses, and some are even free of charge. This program has partnered with many top-class institutions and organizations from around the world. Berkley, Boston University and The University of Texas Systems are two examples. Their courses provide quality resources. Industry-leading corporations and nonprofit organizations alike support this platform. Over 20 million students and counting have registered.

EdX aims to break traditional barriers in finding an education such as pricing and location. It is is a service that anyone can access if they seek to pursue interests in their many offered fields. 

What Does EdX Offer

EdX is for people seeking to expand their horizons into more specific fields. They primarily specialize in science and math-based courses. Popular subjects include Computer Science, Language, Data Science, Business & Management and Humanities featuring courses like programming, full-stack development, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, writing, business analysis, or literature. With the 2500+ courses in their repertoire, you will find something even if it’s in a more niche category.

Students have praised this platform for its transparent pricing structure. Users have the availability of free courses and flexible options. It’s easy to find the right program you’re looking for. You can narrow your search by availability, subject area, or level. All you need to know about each course, like how long it will take to complete, will be clearly defined so you can make your decision easier. 

There are hundreds of programs and even a few degrees from EdX courses. These include their Micro Bachelor Programs for Undergraduate Education, a program that allows users to earn real college credit at an affordable price. These credits are fully transferable and even stack with the credit you might already have obtained. The Micro Masters program is similar for deeper learning into graduate-level classes. The classes offered in these programs are taught by educators in prestigious universities. They can accelerate your path to obtaining a complete master’s degree.

Pricing And Length

Most of the EdX courses are free, but the ones you have to pay for are listed clearly and distinctly. For example, their paid Micro Bachelor courses average at around USD 166 per credit. Most fees for these courses range approximately USD 50-300 and typically offer certificates upon completion. EdX has also implemented a financial assistance program to aid those seeking more advanced material but unable to pay. Prices for each course are displayed prominently. You will have every detail you want to know laid out in a simple to find way. 

A majority of the intro courses offered by EdX are self-paced and run around 6-8 weeks in duration, with approximately 8 hours of course work per week. As the courses advance, they provide more timetables. But every course is self-paced, meaning you can set a schedule that will work for you. In a dedicated Course Tools section, you’ll find essential dates such as deadlines for work and the end date. 

EdX Pros and Cons

Pros

The significant advantages of EdX are transparency and affordability. Their subjects all have interesting allures that many will want to take up their free options to learn more. EdX also features a great selection of deals and discounts for their paid courses. It means that a topic out of your price range one day could be within your grasp the next day.

Cons

Some cons of EdX, however, are that not every course will offer a certificate or diploma. Some of these are just limited to specific fields like Computer and Data Science. If you are leaning into other areas, like Media or Architecture, you might not find all the resources available for most STEM classes. Another downside is that there are not as many options for interaction with peers as social interaction is an inherent sacrifice of online education platforms when compared to traditional outlets. It would have been nice for EdX to implement some options to help offer alternatives. 

EdX Summarized

To summarize, EdX is an excellent platform that you should take a look at if you are interested in pursuing education on newer subjects. There is always something unique to be found in its collection of high-quality courses. The free library is large enough to offer a diverse skillet for helping discover new interests. Those with interest in the fields of Science, Engineering, Math, and Technology will especially find a lot to chew on as these fields with the most attention. 

Thousands of courses all range from simple introductions to topics, deep dives into technical details, and fully-fledged programs made with the intent of advancing your degree and career. EdX features courses provided by prestigious universities and partners. These are world renown names like Georgetown University and Caltech, so you know for sure that you’re getting the best experience and education without compromise. 

What is Coursera

Coursera is another extremely popular option for students seeking an excellent online educational platform. They were founded by Stanford in 2012 and are a booming service with over 4,000 courses in many fields. They offer degrees and certifications, ranging from Bachelors to Masters that industry professions recognize and love to see.

Coursera partners with 200 top universities and companies, including Google, Amazon Web Services, the California Institute of Arts and the University of North Texas.

Over 60 million users have taken to this service and like it for its vast resources, easy to use interface, and prestigious connections. Their mission was a world where “anyone, anywhere, can transform their life by accessing the world’s best learning experience.” They have been making many strides to turn that dream into reality. Users will have access to high-quality career credentials, and industry leaders around the globe will recognize this.

What Does Coursera Offer

Coursera benefits all kinds of users with its array of diverse options. These options include online courses, some of which are free, others at low cost, that offer mobile support and deliver shareable certifications upon completion.

They offer specialized programs based on your chosen field that you can complete at your own pace. These courses will give you real-world applications of your studies and let you master new skills in just a few months.

Their most attractive options, however, would have to be their complete degree options. With these programs, you can earn a full 4-year degree from a top-class university at your own pace 100% online. They have over 20-degree programs, such as a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science from the University of North Texas, a Global Master of Public Health from Imperial College London or Master of Data Science at the National Research University Higher School of Economics.

Coursera also offers Master Track certificates, which separate portions of master’s degree programs into segments, so you can go hands-on with accredited skills that count towards your degree. 

Coursera Pros and Cons

Pros

One of Coursera’s strengths are the options for peer interactions. Online education typically does not factor in the human interaction side of a physical university. Still, Coursera attempts to mitigate that through peer assignments where you and fellow students can collaborate through various options.

Coursera is also popular for the intuitive user interface. All courses are easy to access, and the attractive layout makes finding every option and setting easy. You won’t have to look very far to check what you need to, as the interface is clean and approachable. They also have several video tools, interactive labs that offer fun challenges, and great mobile phone support in the event you want to take your education on the go.

Cons

Some of the downsides to Coursera, however, are that despite being cheaper on average, their subscription method of payment. Some of the payments are unclear, so it might be a little hard to tell how much you’re going to pay if you don’t do a little extra research. For example, a price could be listed as an amount per month, but the course itself could last much longer than a month, making you pay several times more of that amount to complete the class.

Another downside is that despite having such a massive and diverse range of courses, only a small handful offer complete degree options for Computer Science, Business, Data Science and Public Health. They also offer many more Masters programs than Bachelors, so you might need even further requirements to take full advantage of those options. 

Coursera Summarized

Coursera has partnered with many industry-leading institutions. That has led to a strong assortment of course options. Do you want to learn how to eat healthy? Take the Stanford Introduction to Food and Health course. Have you ever thought it would be cool to learn how detectives do their jobs? You can start with the Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination Course from West Virginia University. No matter how unique or niche the subject, you’ll probably find quality and engaging resources for it on Coursera. 

Coursera is a strong option for receiving your online education. They offer a larger number of courses and resources than anyone else, and you are sure to discover something that will suit your needs. Users get a wide array of advanced tools to make your experience as smooth as possible. Be sure to study the pricing structure of your choices carefully, and you’ll be all set to start an educational adventure.

EdX vs Coursera: How Do They Compare?

EdX has advantages when compared to Coursera in that they offer more resources and different options, such as cost and specializations. It has influenced many people to choose this service. While pricing is the biggest advantage, there are a few other factors that might lead to choosing EdX over Coursera as well. 

EdX features courses tailored to more specific fields. Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Humanities, and emphasized. Students in these fields will find more resources. More niche and technical subjects such as neuroscience or analytics, or any real deep dives into subjects are more likely to have tools in place at EdX. Many users of both services that EdX has a far easier billing process, and it’s easier to see what exactly you’re paying for and where it goes. 

Coursera has benefits when compared to EdX in cases that might draw you more towards this service. Their online degree program is the biggest advantage in this regard. They offer advanced access not seen anywhere else. EdX places more emphasis on STEM fields, but with Coursera, you’ll find more varied options in a variety of other fields, such as music. Coursera is the more popular of the two options, boasting a higher user base of students. It’s also notable that Coursera adds new courses on an almost daily basis. It might discover a platform for a new interest every day. On average, Coursera is the lowest cost option for the kinds of services offered. 

What Sets Them Apart

While both services are similar in the quality of education and layout of courses. What sets them apart from each other is that they emphasize different things.

Coursera focuses more on variety, having tons of courses in almost every subject you can imagine. EdX, on the other hand, goes for a deeper dive into STEM field courses among a few others, offering a more extensive array of technical details onto those given subjects. If you’re someone who wants to explore every nook and cranny of a given topic, or if you’re someone who wants to learn all they can about new fields, you might find a different experience depending on where you go. The types of degree programs and what institutions offer them differ on each platform as well. 

For example, EdX offers a Master’s Degree in Supply Chain Management from Arizona State University, and Coursera provides a Masters of Public Health from the University of Michigan. Every individual has unique needs and degree requirements based on their education status, but taking these online courses can help accelerate your path to those degrees regardless of what anyone’s situation might be.

Trying Them Both

Thankfully, both options provide enough free resources so you can try out both and see which one works best for you. The free courses provide excellent tours of each service, so you will know how everything works when you make your choice. Some of them don’t take very long to complete, and you can go at whatever pace you desire. This way, you get the ability to make an informed decision within a reasonable timeframe.

No rules are saying you can’t take advantage of both simultaneously. Each of these offerings is tailor-made for you to be as convenient as possible, and both services can be self-paced to mould around your schedule.

The diverse breadth of topics on each site provides alluring reasons to try both out. The best part is that you’ll be receiving a quality education in something new in the process. 

Resources They Provide

Both Coursera and EdX aim to provide everyone with a quality education, no matter the individual reason or circumstance. As such, both provide a wide variety of accessibility and financial aid options that are sure to benefit users who need them. Each accessibility option is easy to locate and well explained to ensure that the learner’s experience is as smooth as possible.

At EdX, all course videos include timed captions and feature a variety of languages. The platform works in conjunction with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines by the World Wide Web Consortium to provide common accessibility tools.

At Coursera, captions are also included, and you get the ability to download subtitles to read as a transcript. Screen reader compatibility is included to aid those with visual impairments. 

On both platforms, content is, for the most part, self-paced and accessible anywhere. Both include mobile compatibility for taking your work. At the same time, you commute or travel, and you can download courses to view offline in the event you are going somewhere without an internet connection.

Mobile apps from the Google Play Store and iTunes App Store give easy access, and the UI for each platform, be it through their mobile component or web pages, is easy to navigate. There is usually no limit to how many times you can re-watch a lesson to make sure you get the most out of it. Scrubbing through videos to get to specific sections is quick and easy. 

Professors and Instructors

Each instructor is a leading expert in their field and works at a world-rated institution. When you enroll in these services, you can be sure that they don’t just pick people off the street, every educator on that platform has years of experience in their subject and know exactly how to convey every little detail to you in the best way possible. 

If you want to see for yourself, check out Coursera’s Expert Network. This service connects media reporters with over 250 instructors from top-level universities to share their stories, opinions, and expertise on topics.

For example, an interview with Dr. David Boyd, Hymowitz Family Professor of the Practice of Global Health at the Duke Global Health Institute, shares how health systems around the world are handling the global Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. Professor John W Budd, Center for Human Resources and Labor Studies at the University of Minnesota, shares how the future of employment is likely to change. This expert network allows you to get a glimpse of the instructors you’ll be working with when you sign up for these platforms. Each professor is accredited, and everything you would need to know, like their bio, subjects, and learners reached, are all easily viewable. 

Both platforms have millions upon millions of users who have taken part in their courses. With such huge numbers, you’re sure to know someone who has taken at least one, or have a friend of a friend who did. Asking firsthand opinions from people in your social circle is a great way to tell if each service is right for you. We all learn best by doing. Each of the free courses offered to give us easy ways to take firsthand look at the tools by ourselves.

Enterprise Options

There are other options that Coursera and EdX provide that doesn’t just involve giving courses to teach students. Both platforms have enterprise and business options. They help companies to provide the best kind of training for their employees. These workforce training programs have industry-leading resources. The resources focus on transforming a company’s training and education process into something more advanced and efficient. These talent-driven courses are all curated to deliver quality experiences. They have options for businesses regardless of size and scale. 

EdX Enterprise

EdX for Business features customized plans and courses provided by industry giants. Companies can enroll easily, and courses are simple for every employee to access directly. These solutions directly integrate with existing educational platforms already in place. Businesses are provided with plenty of data and analytics so they can instantly see the results of where this investment is going.

EdX has partnered with companies such as Microsoft and RedHat. They also partnered with institutions like the University of Oxford to provide the best education possible via over 2,200 courses in various fields. Their fields include Professional Skills, providing courses on Excel and Leadership, Business and Management, providing classes on Economics and Personal Development and Data & Analytics, with Java, Machine Learning and Python all offered.

A company could have a team of 10 people or 10,000 and are sure to see massive ROIs from these services. Some companies that have taken advantage of these resources range from Goldman Sachs to MetLife to Sony Interactive Entertainment. 

Coursera Enterprise

Coursera for Business features curated collections of high-quality educational classes. The classes are all designed to bring a workforce the best resources possible. These programs are hands-on and allow employees to learn skills quickly and efficiently. The tools of these courses are in high demand. Even industry giants who have used these services to take their training procedures to new heights trust them.

Packages include their essential skills collections. These include examples like Business Skills for Engineers. Rice, UCI, and more, providing courses on AI for Everyone, Foundations of Everyday Leadership.

Also offered is Essential Skills for Data Science, from Google Cloud and Yandex, with Functional Program Design in Scala and Deep Learning in Computer Vision. These courses just scratch the surface of all these offerings. Businesses and employees alike are sure to appreciate every single one.

Conclusion

Both options offer distinct advantages in comparison to traditional educational institutions. Regardless of which one you choose—one of them being that every course is 100% tailored to your convenience. You decide when you want to begin and when you want to end. At a regular university, you would have to adjust based on semester times if the course you want is available.

Another advantage is that the internet is everywhere. Therefore, so are your classes. You no longer need to move to a different city or cancel your vacation plans to get to campus on time. Your coursework goes where you go. Be it a comfy couch at home or a beach in Hawaii. 

Finally, pricing is the most significant advantage that these platforms have. A typical 4-year University degree can cost you at a minimum of $25,000 with all additional costs. These online platforms reduce those costs significantly, and in some individual cases, eliminated. Most online courses don’t cost nearly as much.

Almost any user can take advantage of these services. Signing up is a simple process. For the most part, if users don’t have the proper credits, diplomas or SAT scores, they might not get accepted into certain Universities. But with these platforms, there are alternate and quality options.



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