Coursera vs LinkedIn Learning (2024) What’s Right for You?

Last Updated on February, 2024

In the ever-changing world of online learning, picking the right platform for your career or learning is a significant choice. Two major players in this field are LinkedIn Learning and Coursera, each offering a variety of courses.

Whether you are an individual improving your skills or a business investing in employee development, this article is a guide to help you understand LinkedIn Learning and Coursera in depth.

In this detailed comparison, we look at different aspects like course quality, pricing, and certificates and explain the key differences between the two platforms.

Quick Summary

Both Coursera and LinkedIn Learning provide flexible learning options, such as a variety of courses, subscription and payment plans, and diverse learning formats like videos, quizzes, and assignments, to accommodate individuals with different learning needs and preferences.

One of the main differences between the two platforms is the cost structure. LinkedIn Learning offers a subscription model, while Coursera offers a variety of pricing options, including a subscription service (Coursera Plus), individual course purchases, and financial aid for select courses.

Both platforms offer high-quality courses and instructors, making it important for individuals to consider their specific learning needs and goals before choosing one over the other.

Coursera Vs. LinkedIn Learning in a Nut Shell

coursera vs linkedin learning

This table provides a detailed comparison of Coursera and LinkedIn Learning, highlighting their differences in various aspects.

FeaturesLinkedIn LearningCourses
Average course rating4.54.7
Number of Users27+ million92+ million
Number of courses17,000+ across 30+ categories 90,000+ across 11+ categories 
PricesIndividual courses- $35 Average Monthly subscription- $39.99 Annual Subscription- $299.99Individual courses- $49.99 Monthly subscription- $59 Annual Subscription- $399
Accredited certificatesNoYes
FeaturesHigh-quality video content Downloadable learning resources Tailred to both mobiles and PCsHigh-quality video content Downloadable learning resources Accredited certification Education up to masters level
SpecializationPersonal and Professional development courses University-quality education
ProsBroad scope of topics Course completion certificateVariety of free courses Accredited certificates
ConsCertificates not accreditedMore expensive than LinkedIn
Suitable forProfessionals looking to grow their career Anyone looking to learn new skills  Students looking to market their skillsThose who want to earn certificates with accreditation. Anyone looking for a promotion/job change.

About Coursera and LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning

linkedin learning logo

LinkedIn Learning, formerly called lynda.com since 1995, was acquired by LinkedIn Learning and has grown to serve over 27 million users with 17,000+ courses.

Specializing in in-demand professional skills, it offers a subscription model that provides access to a vast library of 16,000+ online courses. This platform caters to those interested in management and technology, allowing convenient learning from the comfort of home.

Think the LinkedIn Learning is the platform for you but want to learn more? Check out our full LinkedIn Learning review.

Coursera

Established in 2012, Coursera stands out for its certified courses led by professionals from elite institutions like Yale, Stanford, and Google. With 9,000+ courses spanning various categories, it accommodates both professional and creative disciplines. 

coursera learning platform logo

Coursera’s flexibility allows users to buy individual courses, access free content, or subscribe monthly or annually. With 92+ million users, it is a popular choice globally, particularly for those interested in technology and programming.

Coursera offers the unique advantage of learning directly from prestigious universities, including the University of Michigan and Yale, making it an excellent platform for skill development.

Coursera vs. LinkedIn Learning: Top Statistics

StatisticsCourseraLinkedIn Learning
Registered students92 millionOver 27 million 
Global presenceFour offices worldwide33 offices worldwide
Workforce779 employeesOver 16,000 employees
Revenue36% yearly increase36% yearly increase
Total registered usersOver 100 millionOver 100 million

Coursera Vs. LinkedIn Learning: Courses

There are a variety of different course types offered on both platforms.

LinkedIn Learning Courses

a screenshot of linkedin learning containing all technology courses offered

LinkedIn Learning stands out for its quality, offering courses created by respected industry professionals known for success in their fields. While it provides a rich learning experience, LinkedIn Learning has a narrow variety of course types compared to Coursera.

Course structure: Primarily video-based, courses are designed by experts to provide a guided learning experience.

Navigation: During sign-in, set your interests and industry preferences. You can browse topics, search for keywords, or take courses to receive recommendations. Recommendations get personalized over time, the more you use LinkedIn Learning.

Best LinkedIn Learning Courses:

Coursera Courses

a screenshot of coursera courses catalog

Coursera offers a comprehensive selection of over 9,000 courses across eleven categories. With diverse learning pathways, users can choose from short courses to complete degree programs, providing flexibility in learning. 

Coursera also offers unique learning pathways:

  • Courses: 4-12 hours to gain knowledge.
  • GuidedProjects: 1-2 hours for practical skills.
  • Specializations: 1-3 months to master related skills.
  • Professional certificates: 4-7 months for job readiness.
  • MasterTrackcertificates: 4-7 months for Master’s level learning.
  • Degrees: 2-4 years for a full degree.

Course Structure: Incorporates video lectures, quizzes, assignments, and additional resources for an immersive learning experience.

Navigation: Start by signing up for free using your email address. You can then search for specific subjects, explore different learning paths, or browse by subject.

Coursera also suggests programs based on your browsing history. 

Coursera Vs. LinkedIn Learning Course Structure

The way courses are structured differs on both platforms. 

Coursera 

Coursera offers a diverse range of courses structured in various formats, including:

  • Courses: Ranging from 4-12 hours provide in-depth knowledge of specific topics.
  • Guidedprojects: Practical skills focused, taking 1-2 hours to complete.
  • Specialization: Mastery of related skills in 1-3 months.
  • Professionalcertificates: Job-ready skills in 4-7 months.
  • MasterTrackCertificates: Learn at the masters level, earning credits toward a full degree in 4-7 months.
  • Degrees: Full bachelors or master programs taking 2-4 years.

Each lesson typically includes video lectures, quizzes, assignments, and additional resources. Learners engage with peers and access supporting materials, making the learning experience comprehensive.

LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning organizes its courses differently:

  • Individual courses varying in length provide valuable insights.
  • Monthly or annual subscription access to all available courses.

LinkedIn learning has learning paths that curate sets of courses on specific skills for a holistic learning journey

Courses are primarily video-based, complemented by downloadable resources. Users can tailor their learning paths based on interests and industry. The LinkedIn Learning platform offers flexibility, allowing users to start, stop, and resume courses at their own pace.

Conclusion: Both online learning platforms prioritize a video format for learning, enhancing accessibility and engagement. Choose based on the desired depth and duration of your learning journey.

Coursera Vs. LinkedIn Learning: Enrollment Options

Both platforms have different enrollment processes for both free and paid courses.

a screenshot of the coursera plus subscription plans

Coursera

  • Audit free courses.
  • Apply for financial aid for free access.
  • Coursera Plus subscription for $399/ year.
  • Pay for individual classes and programs.
a screenshot of the linkedin subscription plans for individuals

LinkedIn Learning

  • Monthly or yearly subscription for access to 14,000+ courses
  • Purchase individual courses as needed

Both Coursera and LinkedIn Learning provide diverse enrollment options catering to different learning preferences and financial considerations.

We’ll discuss this in detail in the cost section.

Coursera Vs. LinkedIn Learning: Quality and Instructors

Quality of content and credentials of instructors are two key aspects you should consider before making a choice between these platforms.

LinkedIn Learning 

Any member of the LinkedIn learning community is allowed to apply for the position of instructor.

Instructor backgrounds range from senior lecturers to real-world professionals actively practicing in their fields. Teaching quality varies among instructors, including many highly respected professionals such as Michael McDonald, Dina Shapiro, and Brad Batesole.

Courses on LinkedIn Learning undergo evaluation before being featured on the platform. LinkedIn Learning has an average course rating of 4.5, indicating positive reception from learners

Coursera 

Coursera has institutional partnerships with 250+ top universities and institutions.

Instructor quality is exceptional as it includes Nobel prize winners, bestselling authors, academics from prestigious universities, executives, and industry experts from leading companies.

The partner institutions include Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Stanford, Oxford, and MIT, as well as companies such as IBM, Google, and Meta.

Instructors are experienced in both traditional classroom lectures and adapting to remote learning, ensuring effective educational delivery. The average course rating is 4.7/5, highlighting the high quality and effectiveness of the courses.

Conclusion: LinkedIn Learning’s teaching quality is featuring a mix of industry professionals and university lecturers. On the other hand, Coursera offers high-quality education, with renowned instructors from prestigious universities and industry leaders

Coursera Vs. LinkedIn Learning: Costs

FeatureLinkedIn LearningCoursera
Per Course$35-$40Courses: Starting from $49
Guided projects: Starting from $9.99
Specializations and professional certificates: Starting from $39 per month
Degrees: Starting from $9000 per month
Monthly Subscription$39.99/month$59/month (Read More about Coursera Pricings.)
Annual Subscription$239.88/year$399/year
Free TrialOne-month 7-day free trial on subscriptions, specializations, and professional certificates
Refund Policy30-day refund policy on individual courses14-day refund policy

Conclusion: LinkedIn Learning offers flexibility with a variety of instructors and a subscription model. Coursera provides a comprehensive range of learning pathways with diverse pricing options, including a subscription service (Coursera Plus).

Coursera Vs. LinkedIn Learning: Certificate Value

a screenshot of the coursera courses that provide professional certificates

Certification might be necessary for some learners but not required for others. Therefore, it is important to know what kind of certificates are offered by each platform and whether or not they are accredited. 

LinkedIn Learning

  • Certificate offered: Certificate of completion for paid courses.
  • Accreditation: Not an accredited institution. LinkedIn Learning offers certificates that do not serve as evidence of formal accreditation.
  • Recognition: Certificates offer recognition for course completion but lack the formal accreditation associated with academic institutions.

Coursera

  • Certificate offered: Certificates offered by top universities or companies. 
  • Accreditation: Certificates provide official recognition from accredited institutions. 
  • Recognition: Offers formal acknowledgment of completing online courses from reputable universities or companies. 

Conclusion: Both platforms allow users to display certificates on their LinkedIn profiles. However, Coursera certificates hold additional value because they are awarded from accredited institutions. 

Coursera Vs. LinkedIn Learning: Features

There are multiple features offered by both platforms that enhance the learning experience. 

LinkedIn Learning

  • Course Offering: 17,000+ online courses across 30 categories, including professional, creative, and wellness topics.
  • Teaching Application Process: Aspiring teachers must apply, and applications are reviewed for openings.
  • Subscription options: Individual courses are available for separate purchase, or you can get access to the entire course library by paying a monthly/annual subscription fee.
  • Learning format: Accomplished professionals deliver courses or video lessons with downloadable resources available.
  • Flexibility: You can start or stop streaming courses at any time, and your progress is automatically saved. You will also get recommendations based on your LinkedIn profile. There are resources available for offline learning, and LinkedIn is supported on multiple devices. 

Coursera

  • Course Offering: 9,000+ Coursera courses focusing on professional skills.
  • Teaching Application Process: Coursera collaborates with prestigious institutions like Harvard, Yale, and Google. Therefore, all courses are taught by academics, professionals, and industry executives.
  • Subscription options: Individual paid courses are available for separate purchase, or you can get access to all available courses by paying a monthly/ annual subscription fee. 
  • Learning format: Video lessons with downloadable resources are available, and you have unlimited access to 90% of courses.
  • Flexibility: Coursera has Adobe-guided projects for hands-on experience with Adobe software. You can create a personalized schedule for certain courses with assigned tasks and deadlines. 

Coursera Vs. LinkedIn Learning: Pros and Cons

It is important to analyze both the advantages and disadvantages of platforms to make an informed choice.

LinkedIn Learning Pros and Cons

Pros

Instructors with real-world experience.
Direct integration with LinkedIn
Well-structured courses for online and offline viewing.
Diverse course categories.
Variety of courses offered.
Course completion certificates.
Self-paced learning with no deadlines.
30-day free trial.
Courses are available in over seven languages.

Cons

Pricing is subject to change.
Certificates are not accredited.
Limited subjects in the course library.
Courses on LinkedIn Learning can be short.

Coursera Pros and Cons

Pros

Opportunity to earn accredited certificates from top organizations.
More free courses.
Learning paths and subscription options are available.
Instructors from leading universities and institutions.
Strong focus on professional skills development.
A community forum for interaction.
High course ratings.
Extensive course catalog.
Multiple language transcriptions are available. 

Cons

Higher cost compared to LinkedIn Learning
Limitations in mobile app functionality for assignments and quizzes.

Both platforms offer valuable features, but the choice depends on individual preferences, budget considerations, and the specific learning goals of the user. 

Coursera Vs. LinkedIn Learning: Suitability

Both platforms are tailored to meet the needs of certain individuals. Therefore, it is important to understand which platform is more suitable for you.

LinkedIn Learning is suitable for:

  • Professionals and enthusiasts who are looking to enhance existing skills.
  • Individuals in tech and business eager to upskill.
  • Those interested in personal development and professional career development.
  • Graphic designers/other types of designers looking to learn new software.
  • Individuals who do not necessarily need an accredited certificate.

Coursera is suitable for:

  • Students who are looking to earn certificates from world-class universities and institutions.
  • Learners who are seeking open-source but good-quality education methods.
  • Anyone hoping for a new job or career change.
  • Busy individuals looking for high-quality education at flexible times.
  • Anyone wanting accredited University certificates.
  • Students who want to get a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree online.

Alternatives to LinkedIn Learning and Coursera

If Coursera and LinkedIn do not suit your requirements, here are a few alternatives you could try.

edX

edx online learning platform

Overview:

  • Founded in the same year as Coursera.
  • Partnerships with leading universities like MIT, Harvard, and Oxford. 
  • Offers courses, programs, and degrees across various subjects.
  • Large global student community.

Learning Type:

  • Provides diverse learning pathways.
  • Courses and programs tailored to specific skills.
  • Variable pricing for each course, no fixed plans.

Strengths:

  • Academic focus with partnerships with prestigious institutions.
  • Global recognition of certificates.
  • Broader range of subjects and learning options.

Udemy

udemy online learning platform banner

Overview:

  • Subscription-based online platform.
  • Offers a vast catalog with over 204,000 courses.
  • Allows individuals to create and offer courses.

Learning Type:

  • Covers a diverse variety of topics, from basic to advanced.
  • Courses focusing on employee enhancement. 

Strengths:

  • Extensive course options across diverse subjects.
  • Flexibility in choosing courses based solely on your individual needs.
  • Widely used for both personal and professional development.

MasterClass

masterclass online learning platform

Overview:

  • Unique learning platform offering classes hosted by globally recognized individuals.
  • Emphasis on experiences and practical insights.
  • Subscription-only platform.

Learning Type:

  • It is focused on experiential learning.
  • Classes are hosted by renowned figures in their respective fields. 

Strengths: 

  • High-quality and immersive learning experiences.
  • Access to classes hosted by experts.
  • Subscriptions provide access to all the content available on MasterClass.

Coursera Vs. LinkedIn Learning for Business

When it comes to catering to the learning needs of businesses, both LinkedIn Learning and Coursera offer solutions for various team sizes.

LinkedIn Learning for Teams:

a screenshot of the linkedin subscription plans for teams and organizations

LinkedIn Learning for Teams is designed for small teams of up to 20 users. It is priced at $379.88 per user yearly. It provides a free course demonstration, allowing businesses to explore its features further before committing to a payment structure. 

The payment is based on a per-seat per-year model. This plan offers access to 5,000 courses, 100 skill sets, and 1,900 guided projects.

Coursera Courses for Teams:

a screenshot of the coursera team plan

Coursera’s team plan is priced at $399 per user yearly. The plan is suitable for small teams and lets you access a broad range of academic disciplines.

It offers a comprehensive learning experience for team members, covering a wide array of skill sets and guided projects. 

For larger teams, both Coursera and LinkedIn Learning provide customizable solutions. Such plans include special features like job-based learning tools, authoring tools, dedicated account managers, and user analytics.

Coursera Vs. LinkedIn Learning: User Opinions

Here are a few testimonials from real-time users of the two platforms taken from discussion forums like Quora and Reddit. 

It is a personal choice. LL courses are mini-courses. Most Coursera courses are full-length, and you may take a few weeks to complete each class. Still, I have enjoyed learning on both platforms and on several other MOOC platforms – like edX and Khan Academy. I suggest you try out both and find out for yourself. You may also like both platforms! In short, both are great learning platforms. (Quora review of LinkedIn Learning vs Coursera)
Ultimately, the choice between LinkedIn Learning and Coursera depends on your individual learning requirements and preferences. You might consider exploring both platforms and evaluating the course offerings, instructional approach, user reviews, and course syllabi to determine which platform aligns better with your goals. Additionally, consider factors such as cost, flexibility, and the availability of multiple courses that match your specific areas of interest or professional aspirations. (Quora review of LinkedIn Learning vs Coursera)

Quora Use
r
Coursera, in my experience, has a more traditional academic approach, vs. LinkedIn Learning which has a more skills-based policy. The content on LinkedIn Learning is satisfactory, but Coursera’s content goes a lot deeper, given its educational system. (Reddit review of LinkedIn Learning vs Coursera)

Conclusion: LinkedIn Learning is usually just overviews and not a lot of depth in the course materials in general. Coursera is more in-depth and detailed. (Reddit review of LinkedIn Learning vs Coursera)

Other comparisons you might want to read:

FAQs

It depends on your online learning goal. LinkedIn Learning offers a subscription model and a variety of courses for developing professional skills. Coursera, on the other hand, specializes in accredited certificates from prestigious institutions. Both platforms have their strengths, so the choice should be based on your individual needs.

Yes, LinkedIn Learning Certificates hold professional value, but they may not carry the same weight as accredited certification from academic institutions.

Yes, LinkedIn will accept a Coursera Certificate as it is recognized and accredited, which adds credibility to the acquired skills and knowledge from the course.

LinkedIn Learning has a larger selection of professional development courses, while Coursera covers a wider range of subjects, including short courses and complete degrees.

Conclusion

When deciding between Coursera and LinkedIn Learning, it’s important to align your choice with your specific online learning goals. 

If you want to earn certificates accredited by renowned universities and a diverse range of courses, Coursera is the better fit.

If you are looking for professional development courses and require a vast library of courses, LinkedIn Learning’s courses are more suitable.

However, both these online learning platforms offer unique features and cater to different preferences, so it might be better to explore both platforms to meet all your online learning needs.

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Carlos Eduardo
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Carlos Eduardo
Hey there, I’m Carlos Eduardo, the Founder and Author of Scorebeyond. Delving deep into 20+ years of education transformation through innovative e-learning, I’ve poured my expertise into this platform. My enduring legacy continues to drive the path towards a future empowered by knowledge!

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