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30 of Coursera’s most popular courses right now, offered by Yale, UPenn, Johns Hopkins, Google, IBM, and more

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Summary List Placement

With the number of e-learning options out there, it can be hard to know where to start. One good place to look is Coursera, one of the best-known online learning platforms out there. Coursera offers over 3,000 online courses and longer programs, many of which are free to audit or test out with a short trial.

Since there are so many class offerings, below are the 30 most popular Coursera courses around the world right now, according to the company.

The list includes individual courses as well as specializations and professional certificate programs, which represent a series of related courses bundled together to help students master a specific skill or interrelated concepts.

Rather than offer courses that are free to audit with a one-time fee to enroll, specializations and professional certificate programs typically offer a free week-long trial and are billed monthly afterward. Since they contain multiple courses, they can take anywhere from a few months to more than a year to complete. So, the faster you complete each program, the more money you’ll save.

If you’re looking to take just one course included in a specialization, you can usually do that too. And, if you expect to spend more than $399 on your months-long program, consider the Coursera Plus annual subscription — just make sure your courses are included in the 90% of classes it gives you access to.

These are Coursera’s top 30 most popular courses right now:

Google IT Support Professional Certificate

Offered by: Google

Length: 5 courses

Google’s IT Support professional certificate includes courses designed to prepare beginners for an entry-level role in IT support.

Students are introduced to troubleshooting, customer service, networking, operating systems, system administration, and security through video lectures, quizzes, hands-on labs, and widgets.

You can also earn a CompTIA and Google dual credential when you complete the Google certificate and pass the CompTIA A+ certification exams.

Free 7-day trial; $49 per month after trial ends

IBM Data Science Professional Certificate

Offered by: IBM

Length: 11 months (5 hours per week)

IBM’s professional certificate includes nine courses that give beginners job-ready skills and techniques.

The program covers a range of data science topics, including open source tools and libraries, methodologies, Python, databases, SQL, data visualization, data analysis, and machine learning. Students practice in the IBM Cloud using real data science tools and data sets.

Upon completion, students have a finished portfolio of projects and hands-on assignments. In addition to a professional certificate from Coursera to add to your resume and LinkedIn, you’ll also receive a digital badge from IBM recognizing proficiency in Data Science.

Free 7-day trial; $39 per month after trial ends

Machine Learning

Offered by: Stanford University

Length: 60 hours

It’s widely understood that machine learning is the key to achieving human-level AI. This class shows students how machine learning impacts their day-to-day lives, teaches them effective machine learning techniques, and gives them practical tools to apply machine learning to real problems.

Free to audit; $79 for certificate

Deep Learning Specialization

Offered by: DeepLearning.Ai

Length: 4 months (5 hours per week)

This specialization is designed for students looking to break into Deep Learning and teaches theory as well as real-life industry applications. Over five courses, students cover the foundations of Deep Learning, understand how to build neural networks, and learn how to lead successful machine learning projects.

All ideas are practiced in Python and TensorFlow, which are taught as part of the program. Students work on case studies from healthcare, autonomous driving, sign language reading, music generation, and natural language processing.

Free 7-day trial; $49 per month after trial ends

Python for Everybody Specialization

Offered by: The University of Michigan

Length: 8 months (3 hours per week)

This specialization builds on the Python for Everybody course and introduces fundamental programming concepts including data structures, networked application program interfaces, and databases using the Python programming language.

In the fifth course, students complete a Capstone Project in which they apply what they’ve learned to design and create applications for data retrieval, processing, and visualization.

Free 7-day trial; $49 per month after trial ends

The Science of Well-Being

Offered by: Yale University

Length: 19 hours

The Science of Well-Being is an online version of Professor Laurie Santos’ Psychology and the Good Life course, which became the most popular class ever taught within Yale University’s 317-year history in 2018. The class helps quantitatively increase your own happiness and build more productive habits. You can find out more in our full review here.

Free to audit; $49 for certificate

Indigenous Canada

Offered by: The University of Alberta

Length: 21 hours

The University of Alberta’s Faculty of Native Studies takes students through Canadian Indigenous history, culture, and current issues through an Indigenous lens. Topics include exchange-based relationships like the fur trade; environmental issues; land claims; activism, and legal rights.

Free to audit; $49 for certificate

IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate

Offered by: IBM

Length: 11 months (3 hours per week)

In this eight-course professional data analysis program, students learn how to use Excel, Python, and SQL to perform tasks such as data mining, data wrangling, and creating data visualizations and ecosystems. By the end, students will have analyzed real-world datasets, built interactive dashboards, and started a portfolio to show to employers.

Free 7-day trial; $39 per month after trial ends

Facebook Social Media Marketing

Offered by: Facebook

Length: 7 months (2 hours per week)

In six courses, students learn how to create compelling advertising to attract a target audience, build and troubleshoot ads in Facebook Ad Manager, and establish a growing social media presence. Successful completion of the program earns students both the Coursera and the Facebook Digital Marketing Associate Certification.

Free 7-day trial; $49 per month after trial ends

Financial Markets

Offered by: Yale University

Length: 32 hours

This course is an overview of the ideas, methods, and institutions involved in financial markets, with an emphasis on financially-savvy leadership skills. Students receive an introduction to risk management and behavioral finance principles to understand the securities, insurance, and banking industries in the world.

Free to audit; $49 for certificate

Google IT Automation with Python Professional Certificate

Offered by: Google

Length: 8 months (5 hours per week)

Intended for beginners, this six-course program teaches students how to automate tasks with Python scripts, use Git and Github for version control, and troubleshoot real-life IT problems. Students who complete the program have the option to share their information with potential employers like Walmart, Sprint, Hulu, Bank of America, Google, and more.

Free 7-day trial; $49 per month after trial ends

Introduction to Psychology

Offered by: Yale University

Length: 15 hours

This course is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the scientific study of thought and behavior. It explores topics like perception, communication, learning, memory, decision-making, persuasion, emotions, and social behavior. Coursework also examines how those mental elements develop in children, how they differ across people, and how they’re affected by illness and injury.

Free to audit; $49 for certificate

Excel Skills for Business Specialization

Offered by: Macquarie University

Length: 6 months (5 hours per week)

This specialization focuses on developing advanced Excel skills for business. Students practice the skills they learn in workbooks, quizzes, and challenges, and use spreadsheet software in a variety of business contexts.

Free 7-day trial; $49 per month after trial ends

DeepLearning.AI TensorFlow Developer Professional Certificate

Offered by: DeepLearning.Ai

Length: 4 months (5 hours per week)

TensorFlow is one of the most popular, open-source machine learning frameworks that can be used to build and train powerful models. Full of hands-on projects, this four-course program teaches students applied machine learning skills and can even help them prepare for the Google TensorFlow Certificate exam.

Free 7-day trial; $49 per month after trial ends

IBM Cybersecurity Analyst Professional Certificate

Offered by: IBM

Length: 8 months (4 hours per week)

Whether you’re entering the workforce or switching careers, this IBM certificate program teaches you the skills you need to move into a cybersecurity career. Beyond getting an overview of data protection best practices, students gain internet safety experience through hands-on projects and virtual labs. 

Free 7-day trial; $49 per month after trial ends

AI For Everyone

Offered by: DeepLearning.Ai

Length: 6 hours

This relatively short course is centered around the non-technical side of AI, meant to provide, as the name suggests, everyone with basic knowledge of what AI does, how to use it in an organization, and how to handle ethical questions that inevitably crop up. The intention is for people who aren’t engineers to gain a deeper understanding of AI.

Free to audit; $49 for certificate

Graphic Design Specialization

Offered by: CalArts

Length: 6 months (3 hours per week)

This four-course specialization focuses on the fundamental skills of graphic design: process, historical context, and communication through image-making and typography needed to “make and communicate” in graphic design. Students apply what they’ve learned in future interface design, motion graphics, and editorial design. 

In a final project, students complete a branding project for a professional portfolio.

Free 7-day trial; $49 per month after trial ends 

Modern and Contemporary Art and Design Specialization

Offered by: MoMA

Length: 7 months (3 hours per week)

Led by New York’s Museum of Modern Art, this four-course program is a great way for students to gain some art history knowledge while being stuck at home. Courses are divided into modern art; photography; contemporary art, and fashion, and provide important historical and cultural context for the pieces discussed. You can read a full review of the modern art class here.

Free 7-day trial; $39 per month after trial ends

Learn SQL Basics for Data Science Specialization

Offered by: The University of California, Davis

Length: 4 months (5 hours per week)

Learners with no prior knowledge can use this course to learn how to use SQL to filter, sort, and summarize data, as well as manipulate strings, dates, and numerical data for data analysis. By the end, students present a statistical analysis project proposal and leave with a deeper knowledge of how to use SQL to analyze complex data.

Free 7-day trial; $39 per month after trial ends

Improve Your English Communication Skills Specialization

Offered by: Georgia Tech

Length: 5 months (3 hours per week)

Meant for those who want to boost their business interactions, this course teaches students the skills they need to feel more confident in writing emails, speaking at meetings and interviews, giving presentations, and networking online. The Capstone lets students practice with their peers and receive feedback.

Free 7-day trial; $49 per month after trial ends

Psychological First Aid

Offered by: Johns Hopkins University

Length: 6 hours

Mental health awareness is of extra importance right now, and this relatively short online course teaches students how to apply the RAPID model (Reflective listening, Assessment of needs, Prioritization, Intervention, and Disposition) in emergencies, whether they happen at work, school, home, or their communities.

Free to audit; $49 for certificate

Natural Language Processing

Offered by: DeepLearning.Ai

Length: 4 months (6 hours per week)

Ideal for intermediate AI learners, this course teaches Natural Language Processing (NLP) to help algorithms manipulate human language through logistic regression, naïve Bayes, word vectors, recurrent neural networks, dynamic programming, hidden Markov models, word embeddings, and more.

Free 7-day trial; $49 per month after trial ends

Applied Data Science with Python Specialization

Offered by: The University of Michigan

Length: 5 months (7 hours per week)

In five courses, this UMich specialization takes early-level Python programmers through statistical, machine learning, information visualization, text analysis, and social network analysis techniques to expand their Python skills. Learners will go over popular Python toolkits such as pandas, matplotlib, scikit-learn, nltk, and networkx to get better at data analysis.

Free 7-day trial; $49 per month after trial ends

Introduction to Finance and Accounting Specialization

Offered by: The Wharton School, UPenn

Length: 5 months (2 hours per week)

Taught by one of the best-known business schools in the world, this four-course program walks students through the fundamentals of finance all the way through investment and financial accounting, where learners read financial statements and gain an understanding of the language and grammar of accounting.

Free 7-day trial; $79 per month after trial ends

UI / UX Design Specialization

Offered by: CalArts

Length: 4 months (5 hours per week)

Instead of focusing on marketing or programming alone, this program prioritizes UI and UX through a design and visual communications lens. Students learn up-to-date best practices in UX design and use them to build visually gratifying and comprehensive web apps and digital experiences.

Free 7-day trial; $49 per month after trial ends

Cloud Architecture with Google Cloud Professional Certificate

Offered by: Google Cloud

Length: 3 months (6 hours per week)

Ranked as one of the top-paying IT certifications of 2019 by Global Knowledge, this Google Cloud specialization prepares aspiring cloud architects for the Professional Cloud Architect certification exam. Students learn about Google Cloud Platform’s infrastructure and platform services and practice with hands-on Qwiklabs projects.

Free 7-day trial; $49 per month after trial ends

Leading the Modern Day Business Specialization

Offered by: BCG + The University of Virginia

Length: 4 months (2 hours per week)

Employing design thinking, this course guides students through selecting and fine-tuning their business ideas into ones that generate measured growth. Learners will gain experience in incorporating useful analytics in their product programs and find new ways to digitize their organizations.

Free 7-day trial; $49 per month after trial ends

Managing Emotions in Times of Uncertainty & Stress

Offered by: Yale University

Length: 10 hours

Another one of Yale’s online mental health resources, this somewhat short course is intended for school staff and feels especially relevant to living through the current pandemic. Teachers, principals, counselors, and non-teaching school employees can better understand how stress impacts students and find ways to accommodate deeper feelings of uncertainty.

Free to audit; $49 for certificate

Data Science Specialization

Offered by: Johns Hopkins University

Length: 11 months (7 hours per week)

Made for those who are completely new to data science, this program covers how to use R to clean, analyze, and visualize data; manage data science projects with GitHub; perform regression analysis, least squares, and inference with regression models, and overall form a clearer understanding of the data analysis pipeline.

Free 7-day trial; $49 per month after trial ends

Business Foundations Specialization

Offered by: The Wharton School, UPenn

Length: 7 months (2 hours per week)

This specialization includes six related courses to improve literacy in business so you can switch careers, start a business, optimize an existing one, or apply to business school. In five courses, students focus on the fundamentals of marketing, accounting, operations, and finance. In a final capstone project, they develop a go-to-market strategy to address a real business challenge.

Free 7-day trial; $79 per month after trial ends

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