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Deciding Between edX and Coursera? Find the Best Learning Platform with our Ultimate Guide!

The question isn't “to learn or not to learn?” but “where to learn?”. As edX and Coursera stand on the battleground of online education, we offer you a front-row seat in the comparison of these Harvard and Stanford-sponsored online learning platforms. Let's take a look at their course diversity, the offers, and the pricing.
by Chris Allmer | Nov 20 2023

Between work, personal life, and the ever-present clock, it can seem impossible to continue education. But here’s some good news: comparing online learning platforms like edX and Coursera can offer you a way to chase those educational dreams from the comfort of your home.

We at Blinkist believe in lifelong learning, which is why we’ve thoroughly compared these two learning platforms in our article, edX vs Coursera, to help you make the best choice. Because, believe us, there’s always room and time to grow and learn.

Exploring the Top Online Course Providers: What Are edX and Coursera?

At their core, teaching platforms like edX and Coursera are digital hubs that offer courses across a wide range of subjects. They collaborate with universities and top institutions worldwide, bringing world-class education straight to your devices. 

Both of these giants launched in the early 2010s with the promise of changing education, breaking down traditional barriers, and making it accessible to all.

EdX was founded by the illustrious Harvard University and MIT and was built on the philosophy of empowering individuals everywhere. Today, it’s a trusted platform serving learners from all corners of the globe. Through its partnerships with top-tier institutions, edX offers everything from bite-sized lessons to advanced MicroMasters programs. 

Coursera, which emerged during the same era, was the creation of Stanford professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller. Their mission? To offer anyone, anywhere, access to the world’s best education. Today, Coursera works with over 270 top universities and companies. 

Whether you’re aiming for a career change or just want to satisfy your curiosity, both edX and Coursera are dynamic platforms and have the right courses for you.

EdX vs Coursera: The Facts

Feature edX Coursera
Founded 2012 2012
Number of Courses 4,000+ 7,000+
Top Partner Institutions 250+ leading institutions like MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, etc. 275+ universities and companies like Stanford, Google, Yale, etc.
Pricing Model Free courses with paid certificates; professional education courses are paid Free courses with paid certificates; subscription model for specializations
Types of Certificates Verified, Professional, MicroMasters Course Certificates, Professional Certificates, MasterTrack
Mobile Access Available for Android and iOS Available for Android and iOS
iTunes Rating 4.7/5 (7.2k ratings) 4.8/5 (114.8k ratings)
Languages English, Arabic, French, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Turkish, Vietnamese English, Arabic, French, German, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, Ukrainian
Refund 14-day money-back guarantee 14-day refund on courses & annual subscriptions
Free Trials There are no free trials, but edX offers access to free course material 7 day free trial


What does Coursera offer?

Founded with a mission to transform lives through learning, Coursera offers over:

  • 7,000 + courses,
  • hands-on projects
  • certificate programs
  • Online master’s degrees

By partnering with top-tier universities and world-renowned companies, Coursera bridges the gap between academia and the professional world, ensuring learners are equipped with the most job-relevant, in-demand skills.

Course Offerings

Ranging from foundational courses like Programming and Business Finance to specialized topics in Data Analysis and UX Design, Coursera covers a plethora of disciplines tailored for today’s fast-evolving industries.

Popular Courses

Students on Coursera tend to gravitate towards fields like Computer Science, Data Science, Business, and Information Technology. Notably, popular courses cover areas like Python programming, Machine Learning, Business Strategy, and Cloud Computing.

Unique Features

  • With the Coursera mobile application, you can do anything you want. From downloadable content for offline studying and audio-only courses to a user-friendly interface optimized for various devices, the app ensures a seamless learning experience.
  • Plus, for a global audience, video subtitles are available in languages such as Arabic, French, Spanish, and more.

How Much Is Coursera?

Coursera Pricing Overview

  • Individual Courses: You can access many Coursera courses for free.
  • Guided Projects: These begin at $9.99 each.
  • Specializations & Professional Certificates: These start from $39.99/month.
  • Coursera Plus Subscription: This costs $399/year. With it, you get access to many courses, specializations, and professional certificates.
  • Full Degrees: These are more comprehensive and start at $9,000.

Let’s break it down:

Coursera’s subscription costs
Guided projects Starting at $9.99
Individual course $49 – $79/month
Professional certificates Starting at $49/month
MasterTrack certificates Starting at $2,000
Degrees Starting at $9,000
Coursera Plus Subscription $399/year*

*Prices might change, so it’s always good to check Coursera’s website for the most up-to-date information.

What does edX offer?

edX stemmed from the vision of its founding partners, Harvard and MIT. With the noble objective of democratizing learning, edX’s platform now hosts over 50 million avid learners and offers:

  • 6,000 courses
  • MicroMaster programs
  • Certificate programs
  • Online master’s degrees

Course Offerings

From the technical nuances of programming languages like Python, Java, and C++ to the intricate world of finance, economics, and entrepreneurship, edX caters to a wide range of academic interests and professional needs with free online courses with certificates.

Popular Subjects

edX’s curriculum is diverse and expansive. From Computer Science, exploring areas such as artificial intelligence, big data, and cybersecurity, to Business & Management, mastering concepts in marketing, IT, and more. And for those with a linguistic passion, edX provides courses in languages like Spanish, Mandarin, and even sign language. If you are really into languages, maybe this Blinkist article about the two big language learning platforms Babbel and Rosetta Stone is something you want to check out.

Unique Features

  • edX’s free app ensures that geographical constraints or time limitations never impede one’s learning journey. Whether it’s streaming a course on cloud computing while commuting or downloading a module on Python for offline viewing, flexibility is at the heart of the edX experience.
  • Beyond just video content, edX believes in a holistic learning approach. This includes essential course announcements, handouts, and a plethora of resources.

How Much is edX?

edX Pricing Overview

  • Free Courses: edX offers the majority of its open courses for free under the audit track. 
  • Verified Track: The fees for this track vary, generally ranging between $50 and $300.
  • Special Courses: Courses under categories like Boot Camps, Professional/Executive Education, and Bachelors/Masters usually come at a higher price compared to the standard open courses.

Let’s break it down:

edX’s subscription costs
Certified Programs $500-$1,500
MicroBachelor Starting at $500
MicroMasters Starting at $600
Master’s Degree Starting at $10,000

EdX offers a financial assistance program. Eligible learners who can demonstrate financial need might receive up to 90% off the fee for the verified track.

*Prices might change, so it’s always good to check edX’s website for the most up-to-date information.

While edX and Coursera are reshaping the future of education, there’s another aspect of learning that shouldn’t be overlooked – the art of learning itself. That’s where Blinkist steps in with its bite-sized insights. Have you ever wondered how to tap into the full potential of your brain’s learning capabilities?

The “Simplexity” podcast, hosted by Alyson Stoner and featured by brain coach Jim Kwik has the answers. In this 13-minute audio summary, you can explore the complexities of learning to learn and understand why curiosity may just be your brain’s best friend.

edX vs Coursera: The Pros and Cons

​​After exploring the special features and pricing details of edX and Coursera, let’s bring everything we’ve discovered into focus. In this section, we’ll weigh up these two educational heavyweights, breaking down the pros and cons to give you a clearer picture of what each platform has to offer.

The Pros

Coursera edX
Partnerships with prestigious organizations like Stanford or Google Partnerships with prestigious organizations like Harvard or Microsoft
1,700+ free courses More than 200 completely free courses
With over 7,000 courses, Coursera provides a broader selection, covering more disciplines and specializations edX offers a substantial financial assistance program, providing up to 90% off for learners who demonstrate financial need
Various language options make Coursera’s courses more accessible to a global audience. You can choose from MicroBachelors and MicroMasters programs, which are unique to edX and more affordable

The Cons

Coursera edX
The courses can be very complex; you either should have experience in the field or choose a beginner-friendly course Some edX courses may be challenging for beginners and require prior knowledge or experience in the field.
Even though individual courses are free, obtaining professional certificates or degrees requires payment. The free individual courses just provide you with a certificate of completion
Some users may find the subscription model for specializations costly, especially if they prefer a pay-per-course system. edX supports fewer languages, which may limit accessibility for non-English speakers.


While we’ve provided a detailed overview of Coursera’s diverse pricing options, choosing the right online learning platform can still be a challenging decision. If you’re weighing your options and considering alternatives like Skillshare or Udemy, we have a valuable resource for you.

Our comprehensive article, ‘Skillshare vs Udemy,’ offers an in-depth analysis of these platforms. It covers everything from course varieties to cost implications, helping you find the platform that resonates with your learning style and budget.

edX vs Coursera – Our Final Recommendations

Navigating the bustle of work and personal commitments can often hinder our educational ambitions. Despite the challenges, continuing education online with platforms like edX and Coursera can complement your work and personal lives. 

edX could be your academic ally, with its prestigious partnerships and deep dives into complex subjects. It’s perfect for those who are serious about mastering a field, and with more affordable programs like MicroBachelor, it’s accessible, too.

Take the first step towards mastering your chosen discipline now, and click here:

Ready to Learn? Start Your Journey with edX now!

Coursera is the ace up your sleeve for a diverse range of more than 7,000 courses tied closely to what today’s employers are seeking. Just remember that those sought-after certificates will have a price tag. But they can change your life for good:

Invest in Your Future – with Coursera!

Whichever path you choose, whether it’s Coursera for business or edX for technology, there’s no better moment to embrace online learning solutions than now.

In our online learning platform comparison of edX vs. Coursera, it’s all about you, your needs, and your motivation. You know, your educational journey is just a click away, so why wait?

Start your free 7-day trial

This article includes affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission if you make a purchase through them. Rest assured, our opinions remain unbiased.
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