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Are Coursera Courses Worth The Effort?

MOOC-platforms like Coursera attract millions of students signing up for free, or low-cost, online courses. But what about their value for the student? Are Coursera courses worth it?

By  Marina Carnwath

Thu Jun 18 2020



They’ve been the looming game-changer on the horizon of business education for the last few years. Students taking MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) number 110 million, and counting, around the globe.

Now, with many people working and studying online, free or low-cost online business courses—offered by providers like Coursera, Udemy, and edX—have seen enrolment boom. But is the hype justified?

How do MOOCs compare to business school degrees? Are Coursera courses worth the effort?

Coursera | Cost benefits

The benefits of taking a MOOC are obvious: flexible learning hours at a fraction of the cost of a traditional business degree.

While MBA degrees can cost upwards of $100,000, Coursera’s verified certificates start from $49. These certificates include ID verification, serving as proof that it was you who submitted the assignments.

Coursera courses also come packaged under specializations which you pay for on a subscription basis, usually costing between $39 and $79 per month.


Perry Timms, adjunct professor at Hult International Business School and CEO of his own HR enterprise, says the MOOC stands out for the way it democratizes education. “It’s a low-cost way for people to try out a course to fit their needs.”

Students revel in these benefits. Coursera-enthusiast Alex Chu recalls how he considered going to business school to pursue a Master’s in Business...

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