Coursera Plus For A Year's Worth Of Study
Written by Sue Gee   
Friday, 07 January 2022

If your New Year's resolutions include gaining new skills or obtaining credentials to further your career, having a $100 discount on an annual Coursera Plus subscription sounds like a really good deal. It gives you unlimited access to the majority of Coursera's content - that's over 7,000 courses from world-class universities and companies.

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If you have time to devote to it, it is easy to become an online course junky. Not content with a single course, members of the I Programmer team have been known to enroll on two, three or even four at a time. This was fine when such courses, "MOOCs" as we referred to them back then, were free. But not such a good idea nowadays when to gain full access to the most online courses requires payment. A year-long Coursera Plus  subscription normally costs $399 (compared to $59 per month if you want a shorter commitment but there's a limited-time offer of $100 off the annual subscription until January 13th, 2022 open to anyone who hasn't previously subscribed to Coursera Plus.

Not everything in Coursera's catalog is included in Coursera Plus. In particular, it doesn't cover degrees or MasterTrackā„¢ Certificate programs or any of the professional certifications offered by IBM.

Having unlimited access to the more than 7,000 courses that are included means that where there are similar courses from multiple providers you don't have to take pot-luck as to which one with suit you better - you can enroll in two or more alternatives and take advantage of the different perspective on offer.

While you might imagine that this freedom would lead to high drop out rates but the Coursera FAQ's suggest the opposite is true:

Based on our data and research, we typically see higher completion rates among Coursera Plus learners, and we are hearing directly from learners that having a Coursera Plus subscription increases their motivation to learn more.

Coursera Plus also appears to motivate some instructors to extend their range of offerings. The one and only new course we covered on Coursera in 2021 was the Postgre SQL For Everybody Specialization  from the University of Michigan devised and is taught by Charles Severance, a.k.a. Dr. Chuck, who is well known as the instructor for the Python for Everybody Specialization. 

Is it a problem that there are so few new courses being added to the Coursera catalog? The answer has to be only if you've already done so many that there's little choice left. If you go to the list of courses on Coursera Plus you'll find 2924 categorized as Computer Science, 2356 as Data Science and 1080 as Information Technology which makes for a very wide choice for most programmers. As well as a wide range of topics, there's also a choice of formats. Coursera is often characterized as having a more academic approach than others. While this is true, alongside its Specializations and Professional Certificates which take several weeks or months it also offers short Guided Projects which typically take 2 hours or less to complete. Costing $9.49 each, Guided Projects focus on specific skills and have a standard format with a split-screen delivery in which learners work alongside the instructor.

Since we first introduced them, when there were "over 150" to choose from, the number of Guided Projects available has mushroomed, all of them led by subject matter experts who have experience in the skill, tool or domain of their project. There are now 2345 of them, 776 of which are in Computer Science,  511 in Data Science and 264 in Information Technology. Among the latest there's Docker for absolute beginners and Python for Data Analysis: Pandas & NumPy. These projects sound like an ideal way to get started with any unfamiliar topic and attract good ratings from those who have completed them.

In September 2021 we carried the news that gaining certification is associated with higher salaries. The finding came from an O'Reilly survey that looked at the impact of training and certification on remuneration. With regard to training, those spending more than 100 hours on training (19% of respondents) had an average salary increase of $11,000, exceeding the average salary increase across all respondents by nearly 20%.

In more recent news we reported that reimbursing employees for professional development, including certifications was among the perks being offered by companies looking to attract new hires and to retain existing employees. Coursera is generally well-regarded by employers and Coursera issues a receipt for a Coursera Plus subscription suitable for submitting to your employer - who will probably also be encouraged by the 25% discount available until January 13th.  

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More Information 

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Coursera Plus Offer

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Postgre SQL For Everybody - New On Coursera Plus

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Last Updated ( Friday, 07 January 2022 )