There are many reasons you should start to upgrade your knowledge and toolbox of online education if you haven't done this yet. It seems that the Covid pandemic was the main trigger for the spread of online education, but its popularity was rising for some decades already.

Students complain that universities and colleges' fixed academic programs are not flexible enough to grasp the industry changes happening very rapidly. As a result, young people sometimes feel they waste time and effort to learn something, which ends up being outdated in the job market after graduation. 

Besides, most universities' costs put a hardly bearable financial load on students and their families, which sharpens students' attention on every missing or not up-to-date detail of the education they receive.

In response to this situation, there is a whole new industry of online learning platforms. Those platforms have a well-established relationship with the leading companies in the employment market, meaning those companies accept the certificates they provide as proof of qualification. 

So, it turns out online education transforms the ways of studies and the study-employment relationship. If there is a less costly yet working alternative for education that can also help you to be hired in the future, why not utilize it?

Please note that this article does not underrate the role of formal educational institutions by any means. It reflects and responds to the progressively developing trend of online education and provides you with a list of the best online learning platforms. 

Below, find the 5 of the best online learning platforms along with some relevant information you may find useful to start using them.


edX is founded by Harvard and MIT and has partnerships with most top-ranked global universities and leading companies. Throughout the whole time of operation, edX registered more than 20 mln. online learners. The topics you may explore in edX courses vary from data and computer science to leadership and communications.

Courses and programs

  1. MicroBachelors programs is a shorter, more simplified, and more affordable way to get a Bachelor level education to upgrade your career. The average price per MicroBachelor program is $ 166 compared to the industry average of $ 594.
    The top universities offer the programs keeping in mind the Fortune 1000 companies' needs and standards. The programs also come in with real university credits provided by the edX partnering Universities. You may use these credits later to apply for a Bachelor's program.There is no application process or admission requirements for taking the course.

  2. MicroMasters programs include a large list of graduate-level courses with a narrower scope of knowledge and skills, as it is in University Master's programs. Universities offer those programs, and unlike the MicroBachelors programs, you need to apply for them. If the application is approved, students may use it to get more accelerated and affordable Masters degrees. The MicroMasters programs are accepted by giant employers such as Walmart, IBM, Volvo, Adobe, etc.

  3. Professional certificate courses are designed to teach up-to-date skills relevant to the top requirements of industry-leading companies.

  4. XSeries courses are for deeper knowledge in different fields. They usually contain Expert instructions from the top Universities, such as Harvard, MIT, Columbia, etc.

  5. Online Master's Degree is an exclusive opportunity, that not all the online learning platforms provide. That's an opportunity to take a Master's degree with the same content and study length completely online and with reduced fees. At the end of the courses, you get the same degree certificate from the offering University. However, you do not need to move to the University location and spend extra resources. Also, you may freely regulate your study hours.

  6. Executive Education offers a series of more practice-oriented courses, as the studies are held with the industry leaders. 


Like edX, Coursera cooperates with 200+ top universities and industry-leading companies. The platform already had 70 mln + online learners, according to their latest statistics update. Coursera cooperates with universities and colleges to offer free or more affordable packages for students' qualifications. 

An example is a completely free Coursera for Campus package for students of Universities and Colleges. To be eligible for the free package, students should log in with their university domain emails. With Coursera for Campus, there is unlimited access to projects with consultation and an opportunity to choose one free learning course a year. 

For non-students, the programs and courses differ, with the majority of courses starting from $ 39.  

Courses and programs

  1. Guided Projects is the section where you can find free projects which you will complete under the guidance. They require a 1-2 hours commitment on average. That's a good opportunity to train your skills in practice and learn up-to-date working tools.

  2. There is a wide variety of free courses with convenient filter options to choose the ones closest to your needs. You may sort the courses based on the Universities that provide them, language, difficulty level, etc. An average commitment for courses is 4-12 hours. 

  3. Narrowing down the general course subjects, there is also a section for certain specializations. This collection of materials is useful if you want to master a specific job-related skill. To acquire a significant result, the average commitment for such courses is 1-3 months. Price starts at $ 39 per month.    

  4. You probably notice that new professions started to origin more often. Technological developments require new skills for workers, which are not quickly included in University academic programs. There is a section of professional certificates for such cases, where you can earn in-demand skills to enter newly emerging career fields. Price starts at $ 39 per month, with 1-6 months of average time commitment.

  5. MasterTrack certificates include courses that provide you with the separate top universities' Master's degree programs. Its purpose is to break the higher degree studies into the smaller, shorter, more affordable, and convenient pieces. The certificates start at $ 2000, requiring a 4-7 months commitment. By the completion, you receive the online certification from providing Universities and an opportunity to start a career as a full time, skilled worker. 

  6. Coursera is another of the few universities that offers University bachelor's and Master's degrees. Within 2-4 years and starting at $ 9000, you can earn an official Higher Educational Institutions' degree without the need for physical presence in the University or fixed scheduling of lessons. 


Masterclass differs from the above mentioned two platforms in the style of content it provides. It is less academic and more based on the transition of human experience. Masterclass consists of constantly updated video lessons from 100+ industry talents. The platform's convenience is that you can browse and watch or listen to the lessons from any device, anytime, both online and offline. 

In exchange for the $ 180 yearly membership, you have unlimited access to all the high definition video lessons and workbooks in pdf formats. Each of the classes contains, on average, 20 studies with 10 minutes duration each. 

The main class categories included in Masterclass are:

  1. Arts & Entertainment

  2. Home & Lifestyle

  3. Sports & Gaming

  4. Design & Style

  5. Science & Tech

  6. Community & Government

  7. Business

  8. Music

  9. Wellness

  10. Writing

  11. Food


Domestika is a leading online learning platform for creative professionals. It offers courses for the following categories:

  1. Illustration

  2. Photography and Video

  3. Craft

  4. Design

  5. 3D and Animation

  6. Architecture & Spaces

  7. Calligraphy and Typography

Domestika is a good choice if you want to master your skills in Adobe After Effects and Adobe Illustrator, Keynote, Blender, and other up-to-date tools in the sphere of Design and Marketing.

You may choose separate courses or course bundles to upgrade your creative talent with the industry's top knowledge and tools. During discounts, the price per course starts at around $ 10. 

You may also purchase Domestika PRO at $ 59 for improved access to the platform's content. The PRO package includes a 20% additional discount on all courses, free open courses, and other benefits


Mindvalley is an online platform openly positioning itself as opposed to traditional university education. Mindvalley covers a wide range of course topics related to human transformation, from parenting to physical wellness and yoga. 

The main competitive innovation of Mindvalley is their Quests, which they claim, transform people in a way that traditional studies never can do. Quests require everyday commitment and consist of community and daily microlearning materials.

Mindvalley provides education materials across the following categories:

  1. Mind

  2. Performance

  3. Body

  4. Soul

  5. Work

  6. Entrepreneurship

  7. Relationships

  8. Kids, teens, and parenting

The platform provides both free and paid courses. You can get a Mindvalley all access for the full convenience of the usage. The access fee is $ 99 a month in monthly subscription and & 41.60 a month (billed annually) in case of a yearly subscription. 


Udemy is a platform with the largest assortment of online courses for students and adult professionals. It offers a wide variety of courses for learners from one side and an opportunity to create their courses for instructors from the other side. In 2020, the platform had already connected 57 000 instructors and 35 mln learners with more than 130 000 courses.

The instructors can benefit from the Udemy tools and upload educational materials such as videos, PowerPoint presentations, PDFs, audio, ZIP files, and live classes for any topic. Udemy also offers Udemy for Business, enabling business people to access around 7000 targeted topics for their staff. 

The main categories of courses Udemy provides are:

The platform courses are available both paid and free, as it depends on the instructor of the course. Normally, you will be able to find paid courses starting at 9,99 $ price. 

The presented platforms are only a part of the variety you can benefit from. Although they all provide a wide variety of courses, there are platforms more specialized in certain spheres or teaching techniques. Having the platforms mentioned above as the top ones to start from, you can start your online education journey by exploring more opportunities. 

We live in an era with no excuse for poor education.

Published on Jan 09, 2021