edX vs Coursera (2024) Which E-Learning Platform is Better?

Last Updated on April, 2024

In online education, edX and Coursera stand as two titans. Both platforms offer quality courses, accredited certifications, and affordable prices

So now, do you need clarification about which one to choose? I am here to help you with that. 

This article compares edX and Coursera based on the courses, instructors, price, popularity, customer support, languages, etc. At the end of the article, you’ll know which platform to sign up with.

If you’re ready, let’s get started.

Quick Summary

When deciding between edX and Coursera, it is important to consider personal learning goals, the experience and teaching style of the instructor, the quality of the course content, and one’s own preferred learning style.

Both platforms offer high-quality courses, accredited certifications, and partnership with reputable universities, but their differences lie in pricing models, course offerings, and user interfaces.

Coursera has a larger number of users and courses compared to edX, but edX offers courses in a broader range of disciplines. Customers should consider their learning goals, preferred learning style, and budget while choosing between the two platforms.

edX Vs. Coursera: In a Nutshell

Here’s a quick side-by-side comparison of edX and Coursera if you need to gather information swiftly:

AspectedXCoursera
OverviewFounded in 2012 by MIT and Harvard scientists. Partnerships with 250+ universities. Offers 4,000+ courses in 25+ disciplines.Founded in 2012 by Stanford professors. Partnerships with 300+ universities. Offers 5,800+ courses across 11 categories.
Courses Offered4,000+ courses in over 25 disciplines. Includes professional certificates, Bachelor’s, Master’s, and doctoral degrees.5,800+ courses across 11 categories. Offers short courses, professional certificates, degrees, and master track certificate courses.
Free CoursesOffers audit track option. Free access to course videos.Offers over 2,800 free courses with limited access to course materials.
InstructorsInstructors from major universities.Professors and industry experts.
PricingIndividual course prices range from $50-$300. Degree programs range from $299-$10,000.Individual course prices range from $49-$79. Subscription plans available ($59/month or $399/year).
CertificatesVerified certificates available for paid courses ($50-$100).Verified certificates available for paid courses ($30-$100).
LanguagesPrimarily English. Some courses available in other languages.Courses available in multiple languages (English, German, Spanish, French, etc.).
User InterfaceOrganized platform, accessible via web or app.User-friendly interface accessible via web or app.
Customer SupportFAQs, chatbot, email support.FAQs, community forum, email support.
Popularity81 million learners, 250+ partnerships.124 million learners, 300+ partnerships.
Ideal ForIn-depth knowledge, skill development.Wide range of courses, step-by-step learning.
Business OptionsBusiness plans available.Team and enterprise plans available.
AlternativesSkillshare, Udemy, Masterclass.Skillshare, Udemy, Masterclass.

Both platforms offer high-quality courses and certificates, but their differences lie in pricing models, course offerings, and user interfaces. Choose based on your learning goals, budget, and preferred learning style.

edX Vs. Coursera: Overview

edx vs coursera

Before going into detail, let’s get an overview of edX and Coursera.

edX Overview

edX was founded in 2012 by two scientists from MIT and Harvard. Their main aim was to provide education to everyone anywhere in the world.

edX first partnered with Stanford University in 2013, and now it has collaborations with over 250 leading universities and higher education institutes, 81 million users, and 15,000 instructors.

edX offers 4,000+ online courses in more than 25 disciplines—Natural Science and Humanity courses of edX rank at the top. 

edX has also developed various learning pathways such as short courses for quick learning, boot camps for developing new skills, and micro bachelors to earn academic credit for graduate programs. 

edX is not a subscription-based online learning platform. You can access the learning program for free, but to earn a certificate, you must pay.

Want to learn more about edX? Here’s my honest review.

Coursera Overview

Two Stanford Computer Science professors, Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, founded Coursera in 2012. With more than 129 million users, Coursera is currently considered a massive online learning course provider.

Coursera provides 5,800+ courses across 11 different categories. It has partnerships with 300+ reputable universities and companies. 

Coursera mainly focuses on courses on on-demand professional topics, but there are courses related to creative disciplines. It has short courses, degrees, and Master’s programs. 

Coursera provides many online courses for free, but to earn a certificate, you have to pay. You can purchase individual courses or a subscription plan.

Want to learn more about Coursera? Here’s my honest review.

edX Vs. Coursera: Online Courses

Both edX and Coursera offer short courses to degree-level courses in various disciplines. Let’s look into it in detail.

edX Courses

a screenshot of the edx course catalog

edX offers 4,000+ courses in over 25 different categories and many subcategories.

Below are the main disciplines offered by edX:

  • Architecture 
  • Art 
  • Biology
  • Business Administration
  • Chemistry
  • Business Communications
  • Computer Programming 
  • Data Analysis
  • Design 
  • Education
  • Environmental Science
  • Natural Science
  • Nutrition
  • Healthcare
  • History
  • Humanities
  • Language
  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Social Science

EdX has different learning pathways, including professional certificates, Bachelor’s, and Master’s. Professional certificate programs are courses designed to receive more formal credentials in high-demand fields.

Executive education courses are designed to improve critical skills required for your career. Micro masters and Micro bachelor courses help you to earn credit towards undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Prestigious universities offer Bachelor’s, Master’s, and doctoral degrees.

How will you find a course from the pool?

You have an advanced filter categorizing courses based on the subject, level, availability, language, and partner university/institution. Most edX courses focus on improving a specific skill.

Best edX Courses

Coursera Courses

a screenshot of coursera course catalog and categories

Coursera offers over 5,800 courses in 11 main disciplines and subcategories.

Below are the 11 main disciplines:

  • Data Science
  • Business
  • Computer Science
  • Information Technology
  • Language Learning
  • Personal Development
  • Health
  • Physical Science and Engineering
  • Social Sciences
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Math and Logic

Coursera also has different learning pathways.

I have summarized them for you here.

  • Short or long courses to gain knowledge in a specific area.
  • Professional certificates for different career paths.
  • Degree programs, where you can earn a full degree from an accredited educational institution. 
  • Master track certificate courses to earn credit towards a full Master’s degree.
  • Guided projects and specializations to master practical skills.

Like edX, Coursera has an advanced filter based on skills, job title, level, language, duration, type, and creator. You can use the filter to find out the most suitable courses quickly. 

Summary: Coursera provides more courses than edX, but edX covers more subject areas than Coursera.

edX Vs. Coursera: Free Courses

edX offers the audit track option for almost all of its courses. Now, what is an Audit Track?

a screenshot of the audit track option for a edx course

It means you can watch the course videos for free, but you won’t get access to the additional learning resources, assignments, exams, and certifications. 

Coursera offers more than 2,800 courses for free. You can access the video lectures and some learning material when you take a free course. You can’t take exams or assignments or earn a certificate. If you wish to gain a verified certificate, you can upgrade later. 

How Can You Find Free Courses on Coursera?

a screenshot of the coursera free courses

Go to the “explore” button, and you’ll have the “Take a free course” option. You can filter the courses by skills, subject, level, etc.

Following are the best free courses on Coursera right now:

  • Build a free website with WordPress
  • Introduction to Microsoft Excel
  • Investment Risk Management

Coursera Project Network offers all three of the above courses. 

Summary: You can access video lessons of any course for free in edX without the learning material and certification. Coursera offers multiple courses for free with some learning resources. Neither Coursera or edX issue certificates for free.

edX Vs. Coursera: Instructor and Course Quality

Both edX and Coursera are two of the best-quality online learning platforms, as they collaborate with top educational institutions and Ivy League universities worldwide. 

a screenshot of the schools and partners of edx

edX has partnerships with over 250 universities, including Harvard, Berkeley, Boston University, Google, the University of Cambridge, and many more. So, the professors of these educational institutions create the edX courses. 

These instructors have years of experience in lecturing and are experts in their respective fields. edX provides descriptions of each instructor, their expertise, and social media links. 

In addition, edX has some standard guidelines for courses, which are constantly reviewed and updated. 

Coursera has collaborations with 275+ higher educational institutions. Some of these include Stanford University, Duke, Illinois, John Hopkins University, and Google. 

a screenshot of the schools and partners of coursera

The professors of the above institutions create the courses, and some instructors of Coursera are Nobel prize winners, best-selling authors, and C-suite executives from the world’s best companies.

All Coursera courses undergo beta testing to ensure their quality. It means subject experts and enthusiasts test and review the courses before making them public. 

Coursera also includes a bio about the instructor along with ratings. You can go through them when selecting a course to follow. 

Summary: edX and Coursera partner with the world’s major universities and companies. So, both platforms offer high-quality courses.

edX Vs. Coursera: Pricing

Now, let’s get into the most crucial part. Which online learning platform is more affordable? edX or Coursera? 

Keep reading to find out.

edX Cost

If you want to improve a particular skill and don’t need a certificate, you can do it completely FREE on edX. 

edX is not subscription-based. Hence, you’ll have to buy each course individually, and if you want a certificate, you’ll have to opt for the paid version.

The price of individual courses varies according to the learning pathway, course duration, and the University offering the program.

Generally, an individual edX course costs between $50-$300, and the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs can cost around $299-$10,000.

Coursera Cost

a screenshot of the coursera plus subscription plans

Coursera offers numerous courses for free. Again, you’ll miss out on the certificates and some course materials in the free classes.

You must choose paid courses if you want the full learning experience.

Coursera has subscription plans and the option to pay for individual courses. A single Coursera course costs around $49-$79, while the price of advanced degree and master programs varies between $2,000-$9,000. 

Coursera Plus is where you can purchase subscriptions. The subscription plan gives you unlimited access to 7,000+ courses and certificates of varying levels and subject areas.

Note that degrees and master track certificates don’t come under Coursera Plus subscriptions.

A monthly subscription costs $59 per month. You have a 7-day free trial and can cancel it anytime. 

The price of an annual subscription is $399 per year. There’s a 14-day money-back guarantee policy. So, if you are not satisfied, you can cancel the plan and get your money back.

Learn more about Coursera cost in this article.

Summary: Both edX and Coursera have almost the exact pricing. Coursera provides flexible payment options.

edX Vs. Coursera: Certifications

Certificates are essential to demonstrate the skills that you’ve learned—edX and Coursera issue certificates for their paid courses. 

Are they worth it? Let’s find out.

edX Certificates

a screenshot of an edx certificate

The educational institution offering the course issues the edX course certificate. As edX partners with high-quality institutions, you get an accredited certificate after completing a course. 

To receive a verified certificate, you must select courses from the verified track, which means you’ll have to pay first and then gain access.

If you opt for a free track course, you must upgrade to a verified track before the period expires in order to get a certificate.

The cost of the certificate varies from $50-$100. It depends on the course, and you’ll find more information about the certification in the “earn a certificate” section. 

edX certificates consist of your legal name, course name, logo of the partner university, instructor’s signature, and certification ID. 

Coursera Certificates

a screenshot of a coursera certificate

Similar to edX, a Coursera certificate is issued by the partner university/institution that offers the course. You get accredited certificates because Coursera has partnerships with reputable universities and institutions.

The Coursera certificate includes your name, course, logo of the partner institution, instructor’s signature, and a verification URL. The verification URL proves the authenticity of the Coursera certificate

You won’t get certificates for free courses. You must pay for them. The cost of the Coursera certificates varies between $30 and $100, depending on the course. 

Summary: edX and Coursera offer verified certificates. You can use them in resumes as a formal recognition of your skills. They can increase your chances of getting a job.

edX Vs. Coursera: User Interface Design

user interface of edx online learning platform

As a learner, you expect online learning platforms to be easily navigable and without bugs. So, how user-friendly are the edX and Coursera interfaces? Let’s find out.

Registering for edX is a simple process. You can sign up with your Facebook, Microsoft, or Google account. If not, you can enter your full name, email, and country of residence to sign up for edX.

Once you log in, the platform is organized and smooth to navigate. You’ll find the courses under different topics and learning goals. If you want to take a course from a particular university, there’s a school/partner tab. 

The career resource center tab has resources on career tips, career paths, and quizzes to help you gain technical knowledge. You can access the edX platform using any browser on your desktop or laptop. If you want mobile access, there’s an edX app. 

Now, let’s talk about Coursera.

user interface of coursera online learning platform

Like edX, Coursera also has a simple registration process that you can complete instantly. You can sign up for Coursera with your Facebook, Google, or Microsoft account. If you don’t like this method, sign up by entering your full name, email, and password.

The Coursera platform is user-friendly and easy to navigate. Under the explore tab, you can find all the courses available in different disciplines. 

You’ll also find the degree courses, master programs, and professional certificate courses available in the explore tab. There’s a drop-down menu to change the language. You can access Coursera on any browser. There’s an app for Coursera for mobile use. 

Summary: edX and Coursera have user-friendly, organized platforms.

edX Vs. Coursera: Customer Support 

edX has supportive customer service. 

a screenshot of the edx help center

When you go to the Help Center, you’ll find plenty of articles answering user’s most common questions. These FAQs are divided into different topics such as courses, payments, refunds, certificates, credits, etc.

There’s a chatbot on the page as well. You can chat with the edX support system through the live bot, or you can send an email to [email protected] with your query. 

Coursera also has a similar support system to edX. You can find the help tab at the bottom of the page. 

a screenshot of the coursera help center

The Help Center consists of articles answering the most common questions of the learners. These questions are categorized into various topics such as account & notifications, course content, enrollment, Coursera policies, etc. 

You have a search tab to search for your query quickly. There’s a link to the Coursera community where you can discuss your challenges with fellow learners. 

Summary: edX and Coursera have supportive customer service. Coursera gives access to the community, while edX doesn’t have this feature. Generally, Coursera and edX respond to queries within 24 hours.

edX Vs. Coursera: Languages

English is the primary language of edX. Most of the courses are taught in English. Few courses are offered in other languages, such as Spanish, French, or Chinese.

In contrast, Coursera has courses in many different languages, such as English, German, Spanish, French, Chinese, Korean, etc. 

edX Vs. Coursera: Similarities and Key Differences 

What are the similarities between edX and Coursera?

  • edX and Coursera collaborate with the world’s most prestigious universities and companies.
  • Offer high-quality courses.
  • Both platforms are organized and easy to navigate.
  • Well-experienced professors conduct the lessons.

What are the key differences between edX and Coursera?

  • edX offers fewer courses than Coursera.
  • edX offers courses in a broader range of disciplines than Coursera.
  • The number of users is much higher in Coursera than in edX.
  • edX doesn’t have subscription plans, while Coursera provides different subscription plans.
  • edX courses are primarily available in English, while Coursera has courses in many different languages. 

edX Vs. Coursera: Which is More Popular?

edx learning platform
coursera learning platform logo

edX was founded in 2012 as a non-profit organization. At present, edX has over 81 million learners and 4,000+ courses. It has partnered with 250+ leading institutions. Since 2021, edX has been a part of a for-profit organization. 

Coursera was also founded in 2012. It has over 124 million registered learners and offers over 5,800 courses, degrees, and professional development courses. 

Coursera is an online learning platform focusing mainly on partnering with universities and leading companies. So, it has more than 300+ collaborations. Finally, Coursera is more popular than edX because it has twice the number of users and courses as edX. 

What is the Best Online Learning Platform?

We discussed edX and Coursera in detail. Now, which is the right online learning platform for you? The answer to this question depends on your individual goals and needs. 

For example, if you want to learn and earn certificates continuously, Coursera Plus is a better option than edX. If you prefer to earn a certificate from a specific university, select the platform partnered with that institute. 

Consider your learning style and whether the course content aligns with what you want to learn. Research about the course instructor, ratings, expertise, and years of experience. 

Finally, consider your budget. Coursera and edX have many courses available in your chosen field. So, you’ll easily find one that suits your budgetary needs.

Is edX or Coursera the Best for Business?

edX and Coursera rank at the top in providing digital professional services to companies. They have various affordable plans for businesses. 

a screenshot of the edx plans

edX has business plans for small, medium, and large companies. If you have a small team, you can purchase group coupons. Group coupons give multiple enrolment codes for a single course.

Business plan pricing is customizable depending on the number of team members. So go to the business tab and contact edX through it to purchase business plans. 

Coursera has two business plans: The Team Plan and the Enterprise Plan.

The team plan is suitable for companies with 5-125 learners. It costs $399 per year for a single user. The team plan gives unlimited access to all Coursera courses, graded assignments, professional certificates, and technical support.

a screenshot of the coursera team plan

An enterprise plan is suitable for companies with over 125 users. It gives access to all the features of the team plan and some additional features, such as LMS integration and a dedicated customer service manager for your consulting services. 

There’s no fixed price available for the enterprise plan. You can contact sales at the Coursera business tab for pricing information.

edX Vs. Coursera: Pros and Cons

edX: Pros and Cons

Pros

Access to many free online courses with quality content. You can learn at your own pace.
Instructors from the world’s major universities conduct the lessons.
Offer courses in various disciplines.
Accredited certificates to improve your career success.
Gain a world-class university learning experience from your home. 
Cover professional and personal development courses. 
Affordable prices.

Cons

There’s no subscription plan, so you must purchase each course separately. 
There is a lower number of courses compared to some other online learning platforms like Coursera.

Coursera: Pros and Cons

Pros

Access to many free courses.
Earn a verified certificate from the world’s top universities.
Opportunity to learn from experienced instructors.
Flexible, affordable payment options.
Availability of courses in many languages.
Learn online in your native languages, as Coursera has subtitles in many languages.

Cons

The prices are confusing as many payment options and learning pathways are available.

edX Vs. Coursera: Who is it Ideal for?

edX ranks higher for the courses offered in Natural Sciences and Humanities. edX also offers courses in a wide range of subjects. edX follows a unique learning approach with three steps: Experience, Practice, and Apply. 

So, edX is perfect for someone who wants to gain in-depth knowledge of a particular area and develop skills based on it. 

Next, edX has free track courses where you can learn any class for free. If you aim only to develop a particular skill and don’t need a certificate, then edX is perfect for you.

Moreover, edX lessons will provide a traditional university learning experience from the comfort of your home. If you like this type of learning style, choose edX. 

Coursera focuses on providing a large number of courses in each category. If you are a beginner and want to learn from scratch, Coursera is the best platform. It has step-by-step courses to master a new skill. 

Unlike edX, online lectures in Coursera are fast-paced. If you want to learn new skills faster, then choose Coursera.

If you are a continuous learner and want to take many courses at an affordable price, Coursera Plus is ideal.

edX Vs. Coursera: Alternative Online Learning Platforms

There are many other online learning platforms other than edX and Coursera. I’ve chosen three such edX vs. Coursera alternatives with standout features.

Skillshare

Skillshare is an online learning platform specially designed for creatives. It has over 25,000 courses and 600,000 registered users.

Skillshare offers courses on creative topics such as design, photography, illustration, freelancing, and many more. 

Skillshare is a subscription-based platform. So, you can only purchase individual courses, monthly or annual subscriptions.

You have a 7-day free trial to decide whether Skillshare suits you. 

skillshare learning platform logo

With a subscription plan, you get unlimited access to all the popular courses, course material, and assignments. Skillshare doesn’t offer certificates. 

Skillshare is an open platform. So, anyone can record and upload courses, but industry experts conduct most courses.

Udemy

Udemy is another popular online learning platform aimed at developing skills. It has over 210,000 courses and 67 million learners. 

Udemy offers courses in business, technology, computer science, and many more disciplines.

Udemy’s payment option is like Coursera. There are subscription plans and the opportunity to purchase courses separately. 

Like Skillshare, anyone can upload courses to Udemy aligning with its guidelines. Most of the courses are shared by industry experts. 

udemy learning platform logo

Udemy offers a completion certificate, but you can’t use it as a formal qualification as Udemy is not an accredited learning institution.

Masterclass

Masterclass is another unique online learning platform. It focuses more on gaining experience than academic learning. 

Masterclass offers hundreds of video courses taught by the best in the field.

For example:

  • Daniel Pink teaches sales and persuasion.
  • Sara Blakely teaches self-made entrepreneurship.
  • Gordon Ramsay teaches cooking. 

There are different types of membership plans, with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. A membership plan gives you access to all the courses.

MASTERCLASS LOGO

Other comparisons you might want to read:

FAQs

No, both edX and Coursera issue certificates from accredited institutions, making their certificates of equal value.

Yes, Coursera provides free course access and the option to purchase individual courses. Both platforms offer courses of similar quality. However, with a larger selection of courses, Coursera is slightly better than edX.

Coursera and edX certificates are equally good on a resume, and can be utilized as formal qualifications.

Yes, they are worth it because their courses offer high-quality content that will improve your knowledge and skills. Additionally, their certifications can increase your job opportunities and chances of being promoted.

Yes, you can get a job with an edX or Coursera certificate, especially if the course is relevant to the job and demonstrates specific skills or knowledge.

edX Vs. Coursera: Which is the Best Online Learning Platform for You?

We had a detailed comparison of edX vs Coursera. Both platforms offer quality courses, affordable prices, and verified certificates. So the choice depends on your individual needs. 

Consider your learning style, your main aim, which new skill you want to learn, and your budget. 

Check for course reviews and instructor expertise and ratings. You can also sign up for the free trial and decide which online learning platform works best. 

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Carlos Eduardo
Author
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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