Online learning can open up new possibilities for many. It gives individuals the chance to further their careers by learning new skills and knowledge at their own pace.
Many of us lead extremely busy lives and cannot fit traditional learning methods around our schedules.
With a smart device and internet access, anyone can access online learning and invest their time into learning new and high-demand skills that the workforce needs.
Waiting in a long line? That’s the perfect chance to brush up on your vocabulary or take a short quiz.
These new skills can be the advantage one needs to get a new job or promotion. As there are a number of these platforms out there, where do you even begin to look for a course?
In this article, we discuss all the benefits and features of the Coursera unlimited access subscription.
What Is Coursera?
Coursera is an online learning platform that provides users access to over 7,000 online courses, guided projects, and degrees.
The platform is partnered with over 275 leading universities and big corporations to deliver their learning materials.
Examples of these include Google, Johns Hopkins University, and Yale.
Well-respected instructors and professors from these institutions curate the course materials and teach them to students from the comfort of their own homes.
Students can sign up for any course they like and complete it in their own time.
Those who pay for the full course will gain access to graded assignments, extended projects, and other beneficial learning resources.
The paid-for courses also come with a certificate of completion.
What Is Coursera Plus?
Coursera Plus is an unlimited access subscription option that can be purchased on the site.
This entitles students to unlimited access to over 7,000 learning opportunities that can be paid for on a monthly or annual basis.
This subscription gives students access to 90% of the Coursera courses that are taught on the platform as well as unlimited certificates for each completed learning program at no additional cost.
The only things that aren’t included in the Plus subscription are certain Degrees, MasterTrack qualifications, and Professional Certificate Programs.
Click here to see the full list of what is included with a Plus account.
How Does It Work?
Coursera Plus works in the same way as normal courses on the platform.
Once you’ve signed up and chosen your payment method, you can begin learning by selecting your preferred courses and working your way through them.
Students can take on multiple courses at a time or may make their way through them one by one.
When choosing this option, gives individuals the opportunity to try multiple courses out without having to pay for each course.
Coursera does offer a 7-day free trial for their courses, offering a money-back guarantee if the student is unhappy, it is easy to forget these things and lose out on the course and the fee.
Having the peace of mind that you can try a number of courses before picking one to focus on is a great benefit of this subscription plan.
Different Types Of Courses
Let’s look at the different types of courses available on the Coursera platform.
Specializations are typically longer courses that are designed to help those taking them master a specific skill. Every specialization course includes a Capstone Project.
This is a hands-on project that makes use of the practical skills learned from the entirety of the course.
These could be practical questions, problem-solving tasks, or writing research papers. Each instructor will have the freedom to create this project to their own specification.
Capstone projects must be completed to get credit for the specialization. Without completing this, students will not receive their certificate of completion for the whole course.
Students must carefully read the course pages to ensure they meet the requirements of the course and will be able to get the most out of the material.
There is no use in an advanced-level student taking a beginner course.
These learning programs are similar to specializations, as they contain a number of related courses that equip students with hands-on experience in a particular skill.
Once the course has been completed, students will receive a certificate that can be shared with employers and put on CVs.
A great example of some of the professional certificates available on the platform is Google courses.
- Digital Marketing
- Data Analytics
- Project Management
- UX Design
- IT Support
- IT Automation
Obtaining job-ready skills from the experts over at Google is a great chance to set yourself apart from the competition. No prior experience is needed to enroll in these courses. (Check out ‘How To Get A Career With Coursera?‘)
Did you know that 75% of Google Career Certificate Graduates in the U.S. reported an improvement in their career trajectory within 6 months of completing the course?
MasterTrack courses are a semester-length series of courses that are available as a unit. Students cannot take individual courses that are part of a MasterTrack course.
Please note that MasterTrack courses are not always available with a Plus account.
If you would like to enroll in a MasterTrack program instead of creating a Plus account, the cost of these ranges between $2,000 and $5,000. (See ‘Coursera Pricing – Is it worth paying for this course?’)
Payments can be made in bulk or in installments depending on what the individual would prefer.
Anyone can study for their Bachelor’s Degree with leading universities online with Coursera. There are also a number of online MBA programs.
For those that are trying to balance earning a degree around childcare and current commitments, online degrees are a great option.
The degrees offer the same curriculum, the same degree, and the same experts as those who are on campus.
Those with a Coursera Plus account will not be able to enroll in online degree programs as they are more costly.
A vast number of free courses are also available on Coursera, these can be taken by anyone.
Although this won’t impact those with a Coursera Plus account, it’s worth noting that the site has a number of accessible options.
The free courses do not come with a certificate of completion or have access to certain features, but basic learning is available here.
Do You Get Lifetime Access To Coursera Plus?
Coursera doesn’t offer lifetime access to its courses. When you have a subscription plan, access is only available for the time that the subscription is active.
As a result, it’s best to download any course materials that you would like to keep as you go along.
Once your subscription has ended, you will be able to access the subscription and courses for a period of 30 days.
After this, you will no longer have access to any of the materials after this point.
The 30 days begin from the time you cancel your subscription.
Who Would Benefit From A Coursera Plus Account?
Anyone who wants to further their education and career would benefit from a Coursera Plus account.
In particular, those that are hoping to complete a specialization or university degree would benefit from a Plus account as they will need to complete more courses.
These plans can also benefit those that cannot afford a university education.
The average university student will spend around $102,828 to attend university and live on campus when attending a public university for four years.
Spending $399 a year to learn from top universities and institutions doesn’t compare to the costly possibility of a four-year campus-based degree.
How Much Does It Cost?
There are two different payment options to choose from with Coursera Plus, a monthly subscription or an annual subscription. The costs are as follows:
- Monthly subscription – $59/month and has a 7-day free trial.
- Annual subscription – $399/year and comes with a 14-day money-back guarantee.
Regardless of the subscription plan you choose, they can be canceled at any time.
Monthly subscriptions may vary depending on current promotions, therefore it’s important to read the fine print when signing up.
Different countries are subject to different rules when it comes to price. For example, India is only eligible for a monthly subscription to this service rather than an annual one.
Can You Get Financial Aid?
Financial aid and scholarships usually only apply to the individual courses themselves rather than plans such as Coursera Plus.
Currently, there is no financial aid option for the Coursera Plus subscription account.
However, certain institutions may offer to pay for their employees or students to take part in particular courses or subscription services as part of incentive programs.
If there is a particular course you are interested in taking but cannot afford, it would be better to apply for financial aid for the specific course rather than choosing the Plus route.
Please note that it may take up to 15 days for the financial aid to be approved.
Is The Coursera Unlimited Account Worth It?
It is difficult to answer this question, but one many are probably seeking the answer to. These accounts are mostly beneficial to those who can make them cost-effective.
If you are likely to only take one or two courses a year, then this subscription will not be right for you.
Those that are going to make use of the vast amount of content available on the site will greatly benefit from this subscription option.
Some people are more suited to online learning than others, therefore it’s important to consider this before making the investment.
Summary Of Coursera Plus
That’s a lot of information to take in, so here is a handy little summary to help you decide if this is the best learning route for you.
- You can learn anything – even if it’s not related to your current role, some things just tickle our fancy and we want to learn more about them. With Coursera Plus, you don’t need to feel guilty about spending extra money on courses that aren’t related to your job title!
- Save money – this can be a cost-effective solution for those that are planning on doing a lot of learning over the year.
- Flexible learning – all of Coursera’s offerings are completely online which means you can take on your next challenge from anywhere in the world.
- Take it at your own pace – don’t feel the rush and pressure that the rest of your life puts on you. These courses can be taken at your own pace and completed when you feel like it.
- Unlimited certificates – when you’ve finished a course, you will instantly get a certificate that can be shared to job sites such as LinkedIn or added to your CV to impress potential employers.
- Some courses require prior knowledge – always read the description page to ensure there is no prior knowledge needed for the courses you want to take.
- You have to make it worthwhile – it’s all very well signing up for the Plus account, but you need to do the work to make it cost-effective which can be hard for some.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will Coursera Know If I Cheat?
Coursera runs on an honor code, which means that they expect you to complete the work yourself.
This also includes not sharing your answers or work with other students.
Written assignments will be checked for plagiarism and there may be further action taken from this.
Plagiarized assignments will count as a fail if they are proven to be so. This could highly compromise those taking specialization courses.
What Happens After a 7-Day Free Trial In Coursera?
After the 7-day free trial, the course subscription will begin. Once the course has begun, the first payment will be automatically taken from your account.
Students that are unsatisfied with the learning provided must cancel their subscription before the end of the free trial or they will be charged.
The Bottom Line
Coursera Plus is an unlimited access subscription option available from the online learning platform, Coursera.
This means students can take as many courses as they like for personal and professional development on a yearly basis and receive an unlimited amount of certificates for completed learning.