If you want to further your career or education and learn from the comfort of your home, you’ll need to choose a quality online learning provider.
Today, we’re going to explore the ins and outs of two high-profile competitors, Coursera vs Hubspot.
We’ll take a deep dive into their course content, certifications, cost, pros and cons, and more, so you can choose the right provider for you.
What is Coursera?
Coursera is a powerful online learning platform established in 2012. Since its inception, Coursera has gained one of the most stellar reputations in the business, and it now has a user base of approximately 113 million people.
When you sign up for Coursera, you’ll gain access to thousands of guided courses and learning platforms.
A Coursera course can look great on your resume, and if you’re trying to climb the professional ladder, it’s an excellent way to demonstrate to future employers that you’re committed to learning more, and capable of managing your time efficiently.
Coursera course providers are often universities or renowned companies, and you’ll be guided through your course by knowledgeable educators and professionals. Some of Coursera’s most prestigious providers include:
- Ashoka University
- Association of International Certified Professional Accountants
- Berklee College of Music
- CFA Institute
- Case Western Reserve University
- Dartmouth College
- Goldman Sachs
… and many more.
When you learn with Coursera, you’ll be studying remotely, and you’ll be free to dip in and out of your studies as and when it suits you.
Courses can take anywhere from 15 hours to 7 months to complete (depending on your course, ambitions, and level of study), and your courses can be used to count toward your formal education, to improve your resume, or you can simply study for fun, so it’s easy to say Coursera’s target audience is pretty wide.
Once you’ve completed and passed your course, you’ll receive a Coursera certificate which can be shared online or downloaded as a PDF file.
To be eligible for a certificate, you’ll need to provide some ID, pay the appropriate fee, and pass the thresholds required by the course.
Although some certifications are free, those with a price tag can set you back anywhere between $9-$2000. This will depend on the course you’re studying.
Although most potential employers see any extra educational endeavors as admirable, Coursera certificates are not officially accredited.
However, if you’re studying toward a college degree, you may be able to turn your Coursera certificate into college credit.
Some Coursera courses, such as IT Support and Data Analytics, have been deemed credit-worthy by the American Council of Education (ACE).
Once you complete a course with an ACE recommendation, you may be able to receive as many as 12 credits toward your degree. Note: this is not available for all courses, and it depends on the policies in your college.
Courses Available on Coursera
Whether you want to advance your career, work toward your degree, or study for fun, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.
Although most courses have advised schedules and deadlines, it’s not essential that you follow them, as most Coursera courses are self-paced.
However, if you’re studying toward a degree, you may have a stricter schedule. For more information, consult the appropriate course instructor or contact Coursera services for more information.
You’ll find a Coursera course to cover almost any field. Here are some of the most popular courses you can study on Coursera:
- Data Science (Specialization)
- Social Psychology (Course)
- Google IT Support (Professional Certificate)
- Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills (Course)
- Introduction to Financial Accounting (Course)
- Programming for Everybody: Getting Started with Python (Course)
- English for Career Development (Course)
- First Step Korean (Course)
- Write Professional Emails in English (Course)
The Structure of a Coursera Course
When you study with Coursera, you’ll have access to a multitude of courses.
Most Coursera courses are available as either courses, guided projects, specializations, professional certificates, or MasterTrack certificates. Let’s take a closer look at what these mean below:
Courses are an affordable way to gain knowledge on a variety of subjects. Coursera courses can take between 4-12 hours to complete, and in most cases, gaining your certification is free.
However, some courses will require a fee of up to $49 to release your certificate. Coursera courses are not usually accredited, and they’re not as detailed as specializations.
Courses are an excellent way to improve your knowledge of a professional program, skill, or topic, but they’re not usually as in-depth as more advanced courses.
A guided project is a way to learn valuable and professionally-relevant skills. You can study a guided project on anything from software and machine learning to basic business skills.
Guided projects are a hands-on learning experience that allows you to practice while you study, and they’re most popular for learning software like Python and Google Sheets.
Guided projects usually take up to two hours to complete, and you can release your certificate for $9.99.
A specialization is a more in-depth way to master an in-demand skill. With a Coursera specialization, you can study a collection of related courses to help you navigate, and eventually master a topic.
Some specializations can include up to ten courses, but the average is around four or five.
Specializations are usually available on a subscription basis, and they can take you anywhere between 4-6 months to complete. You can expect to pay around $40 for a specialization certificate.
A professional certificate is an ideal way to get yourself workplace ready or learn a new skill that can take your career to the next level.
With a Coursera professional certificate, you’ll study for between 4-7 months, and your course will provide you with plenty of hands-on experience along the way.
Once you’ve completed your professional certificate, you’ll pay around $39.99 for your certificate.
A Mastertrack certificate is a certificate made up of multiple courses. Each Mastertrack certificate is a grad-level program that will give you either a certificate or qualifying college credit upon completion.
Mastertrack certificates are the longest (and often the toughest) courses on Coursera, and they’ll take you between 4-7 months to complete.
Once you’ve finished your Mastertrack certificate, you’ll pay anywhere between $2000 to release your certificate.
How Much Does Coursera Cost?
Although Coursera boasts a selection of free courses on its platform, you’ll have to pay for most of them. Here’s a rough guide to Coursera’s pricing model:
- Courses and Guided Projects start at $9.99
- Specializations and Professional Certificates start at $39.99 a month
- Full Degrees start at $9,000
- A Coursera Plus subscription will cost you $399 a year
You can pay for courses upfront or in some cases, in installments.
What is Coursera Plus?
Coursera Plus is an annual subscription that will give you access to around 3,000+ courses in the Coursera catalog including courses, specializations, and professional certificates. Coursera plus does NOT cover degree courses.
If you want to study more than one course, specialization, or professional certificate, Coursera Plus offers pretty great value for money.
Coursera Plus will cost you around $59 a month – considering the average course costs around $45 to study, as long as you’re doing more than one, you’ll be getting your money’s worth!
Coursera: Pros and Cons
Now we know the ins and outs of Coursera, let’s explore its pros and cons.
- Extensive Course Catalog: When you sign up for Coursera, you’ll have access to almost 4000 courses. These include courses, specializations, certificates, and degrees.
You can study anything from psychology and data science to English or Korean, too, making it a great platform for both professional development and further education.
- Affordable: Although some certificates can be expensive to release, Coursera still offers great value for money, especially if you’re subscribed to Coursera Plus and studying more than one course.
- Prestigious Partners: Coursera has plenty of prestigious partners, from leading universities and world-renowned businesses. You’ll be learning from knowledgeable instructors and get the best experience possible.
- Accessible: Most Coursera courses are self-paced, and you’ll be working remotely. This makes Coursera an accessible option for all learners, as you can work from anywhere.
- Certificates are Expensive: Depending on the course you’re studying, certificates can be expensive to release, and not all of them are accredited.
- Some Beginner Courses are Misleading: Although you’ll find many courses marketed to beginner learners, these often require some foundational knowledge.
Instructors can move through complex terminology pretty quickly, too, which can be stressful for those who are completely new to a topic, like web development.
What is Hubspot?
Software giant Hubspot is a cloud-based CRM that can help customers with the sales process, leads, marketing, and more.
Hubspot was founded in 2006, and 10 years later, Hubspot launched its very own Hubspot academy.
This online training platform aims to provide its users with an abundance of free online training on inbound sales certification, customer service, inbound marketing, inbound methodology, and more.
Although Hubspot as a whole has experienced some pretty impressive successes, today, we’ll be focusing on Hubspot Academy.
Hubspot Academy is one of the most popular online learning platforms out there, and for good reason.
Although most providers charge for their courses, you can gain a Hubspot Academy certification completely free.
Yes, really! Every single course is free to take, and you’ll get a free certificate at the end of it, too. Free knowledge, free training, and free certification. It’s every online learner’s dream.
Hubspot Academy focuses on teaching the ins and outs of inbound marketing, and other aspects of digital marketing.
Your Hubspot academy course will feature plenty of how-to videos, narrated videos, and practical activities.
It’s great for sales and marketing teams to use when they want to freshen up their knowledge.
Like most other learning providers, your Hubspot Academy course can be completed remotely, and it’s entirely self-paced, so you can dip in and out of learning whenever you like.
There’s also no limit on how many courses you can enroll in at once – just make sure you’re not biting off more than you can chew, and ensure you can keep up with your learning.
Note: Hubspot Academy is NOT a replacement for formal education. Hubspot Academy courses are geared toward professional development.
Whether you want to improve your knowledge of skills in your field or learn new skills to help you venture onto a different career path, Hubspot Academy is there to help you.
Hubspot Academy certifications are NOT accredited, but they do demonstrate a commitment to your professional development, which many employers will value highly.
The average Hubspot Academy course can take anywhere between one hour and seven hours to complete. The length of your course will depend on how complex the topic is, and how much information you need to learn.
Because Hubspot is self-paced, you can take as long as you need. Even if your course is only an hour long, you can take as long as you need to get it done and log in and out of learning when you like.
Hubspot Academy courses are accessible on a computer, mobile device, or tablet, you can learn on the go, whenever you like.
When you receive a Hubspot Certification, you won’t have to pay to release it. Your certification is completely free to access, and when you’ve completed the final exam, it can be downloaded as a PDF file.
Your certification can be linked to your resume, or even displayed on your Linkedin profile to show to prospective employers. However, your certification won’t last forever.
Certifications are valid anywhere between 13 and 25 months. After this time, you’ll have to retake your test to keep your accreditation.
This is a great way to ensure you’re keeping up to speed with the latest changes and developments in your career field or chosen software, plus, it’s completely free, so you won’t have to pay anything to retake your certification!
Courses Available on Hubspot
Hubspot Academy aims to teach its learners the ins and outs of inbound marketing and digital marketing, so you won’t find any topics outside of this area.
However, Hubspot still has a pretty diverse range of courses on offer. Here are some of the Academy’s most popular courses:
- The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Course
- Inbound Marketing
- Linkedin Marketing for Business
- Business Analytics Course
- Excel for Marketers
- Digital Marketing
- Designing Effective Google Ads Campaigns
- Digital Advertising
- SEO Training Certification Course
- SEO II
- Content Marketing Certification Course
- Content Strategy
Although each course will have its own completion length, how long it takes to complete is down to you. You can dip in and out of each course as you wish, and take as long as you need to complete it. (See ‘How To Use Coursera For Business?‘)
You’ll learn plenty of new things, gain more in-depth knowledge, and get the chance to develop in-demand practical skills.
The Structure of a Hubspot Course
If you enroll in a Hubspot Academy Course, you’ll work through a series of videos, quizzes, and practical exercises. Each course starts with an introduction video; once watched, you’ll be ready to dive into the rest of the content.
For example, the SEO Training Certification Course boasts 6 lessons with 26 videos, 5 quizzes, and a total study time of 3 hours and 51 minutes.
Each lesson (you can think of this as a course chapter) contains a selection of videos, ranging from 2 minutes to 15 minutes long.
Once you’ve watched the videos in each lesson, you’ll be asked to take a short quiz so that you can test your knowledge.
When you’ve worked your way through each lesson and reached the end of your course, it’ll be time to take the final exam.
The final exam (sometimes a practical task) will take you approximately one hour to complete, and you have as many chances to take it as you like! However, once you’ve started your exam, you can’t stop and start as you would with the course. You’ll need to take it all in one go, so be ready to commit.
If you successfully pass the final exam, you’ll be given your very own Hubspot Academy certification to confirm that you’ve taken (and completed) the course. Your certification will be available to download immediately as a PDF file. It’s that simple!
How Much Does Hubspot Cost?
Here’s the best bit… Hubspot Academy is completely free. Learners are always looking for the most accessible and cost-effective ways to improve their skills, and this is why Hubspot Academy is booming.
You won’t have to pay a penny to learn any of these in-demand skills, and you can do it all at your own pace!
Although Hubspot Academy certifications aren’t officially accredited, they’ll demonstrate a solid commitment to your professional development, and teach you some invaluable skills along the way.
This is something that most employers will value highly, so if you’re interested in inbound or digital marketing, it’s absolutely worth taking one of these online courses. After all, they’re completely free, so what have you got to lose?!
Hubspot: Pros and Cons
Now, let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of learning with Hubspot Academy.
- It’s Free: This is the biggest pro of them all: Hubspot Academy courses are completely free. That’s right, you won’t pay anything to study!
- Employers Recognize Them: Although your certificate isn’t accredited, most employers DO recognize them. Certification shows a real desire and commitment to education and your career, which is invaluable to have on your resume. (Check out ‘Can You Put Your Coursera Certificate On Your Resume?‘ for more details!)
Plus, many universities and businesses are encouraging their students and employees to enroll in Hubspot Academy courses – so, if you had any doubt about their value, you can rest assured that these courses are absolutely worthwhile.
- Self-Paced: You can access your course from anywhere, and learning is completely self-paced. Although most courses are pretty short, you can take as long as you like to complete them, which is great if you have other commitments while you’re studying.
- Quality Course Materials: Although the course structure is pretty simple (videos and quizzes), the content is good quality and very in-depth. Plus, you can even access additional resources like Ebooks to support your studies!
- Not Accredited: One of the biggest drawbacks of Hubspot Academy courses is that they’re not accredited. However, employers still recognize these certifications, so although they don’t *officially* count toward anything, they’re worth the commitment.
- Limited Subjects: Hubspot Academy is dedicated to inbound marketing and digital marketing only. So, unlike other diverse online learning providers, you’ll be quite limited on what courses you can take.
Coursera vs Hubspot: Which Is Better?
Well, the answer to this question is not so clear-cut. Honestly, it depends on what you want to learn, and what your budget is.
Hubspot Academy is geared toward digital marketing and inbound marketing learning only. So, if you want an online learning provider that can give you broader scope, these guys aren’t for you. It’s used mainly for a company’s growth and by sales professionals.
However, if you want to learn more about one of these topics, you might be better off choosing Hubspot over Coursera.
Hubspot is completely free, with quality learning materials, and you can enroll in as many courses as you like! You can learn many of the same things in a Coursera short course, BUT you’ll have to pay for it.
You’ll learn from industry professionals on both platforms, so if you opt for Hubspot, you won’t be jeopardizing your learning experience.
However, if you want a shot at an accredited course (or more advanced subjects), you may want to choose Coursera.
With Coursera, you’ll have the option to study toward an actual degree (depending on your course), and earn real qualification points for a variety of subjects.
Although you’ll have to pay a pretty large fee, you can do this completely remotely, and entirely self-paced. In our opinion, it’s worth the investment – especially if you want to study from home and in your own time.
The Bottom Line
Coursera and Hubspot Academy are both incredible online learning providers with their own pros and cons. Although Hubspot is completely free and employer-recognized, you’ll have a limited range of topics to learn about, and you won’t have the chance to study toward an actual degree like you can with Coursera.
However, if you want to learn all about digital marketing, inbound marketing, or business analytics, we’d highly recommend Hubspot – you’ll save cash, learn from industry professionals, and still get all the great benefits of remote learning!