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Written by:
Martin Barrett
Last Updated:
Coursera vs khan academy

Coursera Vs Khan Academy: Which Is Better?

Coursera vs Khan Academy: which is better? The answer depends on who you are and what you need! We will cover everything you need to know about the two online learning platforms in this article.

By the end of it, you should know exactly which option will be best for you and your needs. (See also other Coursera Alternatives You’ll Love)

Let’s dive in.

Coursera Vs Khan Academy: Which Is Better?

There is no winner between Coursera and Khan Academy for one simple reason – they cater to completely different populations!

Coursera is fantastic for college-age students and people starting their working life, while Khan Academy is a good option for students in school.

At Coursera, you can pay for fully online accredited courses and degrees. Khan Academy’s purpose is to help students excel in school in order to move on to higher education.

Overview Of Online Learning Platforms


Number of users – 45 million users worldwide
Course level – beginner and advanced
Languages – 10 language options


  • Timetables are flexible
  • Services are professional
  • Learners can get degrees
  • Plenty of feature options


  • Some courses may be too difficult for beginner-level students
  • A more expensive option
  • Instructors may be camera shy for some courses

Khan Academy

Number of users – 5 million users worldwide
Course level – beginner
Languages – 56 language options


  • The online\ learning platform is 100% free
  • Content is very reputable and high quality
  • There are no advertisements to disrupt learning
  • Plenty of course options available


  • Courses could benefit from visual improvements
  • Courses on some topics are lacking and could be improved upon

What Do They Offer? The Basics Of Each Platform

Coursera Vs Khan Academy

Here, we will cover all the basic information that you need to know about both online learning platforms before moving on.

The information given here can give you the first insight into choosing a good online learning platform for your personal needs.


Number of courses – 3.9k courses are available
Course types – wide variety available for all interests
Degree courses? – yes
Progress checker? – not available
Language changing – done in the account settings
Certification for completion? – yes
College or university credit – yes
Exam needed to pass courses – yes
Accredited certification – yes
Free? – paid

Coursera is a popular online learning platform that learners can pay for via subscriptions and monthly or annual payments. (Check out ‘How Do You Take Coursera Courses For Free?‘)

This platform has a very wide range of course options available for beginner and advanced learners. With almost 4k courses, there will be something here for everyone’s interests.

This online learning platform offers degree courses that can go towards college or university credit to help students achieve their dreams.

Not only that, but every course that gets completed is accredited, so learners never have to worry about future employers not recognizing their hard work.

Although there are no progress checkers for this site, the platform uses gamification to keep students engaged.

There are a number of language options available, which we will cover later, language settings can be changed in account settings to suit needs and preferences.

Khan Academy

Number of courses – 2k courses are available
Course types – wide variety available, primarily school-related
Degree courses? – no
Progress checker? – yes
Language changing – done in the account settings
Certification for completion? – yes
College or university credit – no
Exam needed to pass courses – yes
Accredited certification – no
Free? – yes

Khan Academy is a 100% free, popular online learning platform that targets the learning of students and young people.

There are over 2k courses available, which cover a wide variety of school-related topics such as science and math.

The courses offered by this online learning platform are not accredited, and they do not go towards college or university credit. However, this is unlikely to be an issue as the courses are primarily for younger age groups.

Because of this, there are no degree courses like Coursera offers, but there are progress checkers for students and parents to make use of.

This online learning platform also offers specialization, which is offered to students upon completing courses.

This is excellent for beginner-level courses like the ones that Khan Academy offers, as it allows learners to explore more of what they love.

Which Comes Out On Top?

There are a number of things to consider in this category. It’s important to note first and foremost that Coursera is not free, while Khan Academy is 100% free and contains no ads.

Khan Academy relies on donations from the community to keep their platform up and running, so you can have undisturbed learning.

Ultimately, the answer to which online learning platform comes out on top in this category depends on the learner’s needs.

Khan Academy is without a doubt the winner if the student is younger and is learning school-level topics.

Coursera is ideal for older students who are going to university, or even those who have already finished school. It offers degree-level courses and has accredited teaching that can be used in a workplace environment.

So, there is no winner between them, as they cater to completely different groups of people!

Course Types – What Courses Are Offered?

Coursera Vs Khan Academy

The types of courses that an online learning platform offers will play a huge role in whether you decide to sign up or not.

Depending on your own personal needs and interests, the courses that are available will need to suit you and your intentions or goals.

In many cases, online learning platforms will lean towards particular fields, such as more STEM-specific courses or the arts. Other platforms may have a wide range of courses that cover all the bases.


Below are the types of courses that learners can find at Coursera. These courses may be available at differing levels to suit different preferences and needs.

Music & Arts – yes
Math & Logic – no
Health – yes
Social Sciences – yes
Business & Management – no
Data Science – yes
Engineering – no
IT & Software – yes
Personal Development – yes
Philosophy – yes
Languages – yes

With its thousands of courses, Coursera covers a wide variety of topics. Their online learning degrees are beneficial to anyone, and are categorized into the following fields:

However, there are also thousands of non-degree courses that cover all the other bases, including dozens of art and philosophy courses.

Many of the courses are offered for free, such as this one. These courses can be beginner-friendly, or suitable for more advanced students who wish to get university-level learning.

Khan Academy

We have listed the topic categories that are available for students to learn at Khan Academy.

The courses listed are available at different levels to suit grades or years, as this online learning platform’s goal is to help those who are in school-level education.

Music & Arts – yes
Math & Logic – yes
Health – yes
Social Sciences – yes
Business & Management – no
Data Science – no
Engineering – no
IT & Software – yes
Personal Development – yes
Philosophy – yes
Languages – no

Khan Academy works very differently from Coursera. Because this online learning platform is geared toward children, courses are split into grades or years.

For example, they have Pre-K to 8th-grade courses, then high school and college courses to suit the needs of particular age ranges.

While the majority of Khan Academy videos are for those in middle and high school, there are also a variety of courses suitable for college-age students.

Topics such as economics, arts, humanities, and computing all have college-level courses to boost students’ learning.

Which Comes Out On Top?

This is a crucial aspect when considering which online learning platform is better, as the two offer vastly different course types. Not only that but the age range that the platforms are geared toward will play a huge role.

Coursera will be better for older students and learners, while Khan Academy is a great option for school-age learners and parents who wish to be involved in the learning process.

With that being said, Khan Academy would benefit from having language courses to support students’ education.

The same goes for topics like engineering or business and management, especially for high school and college-age students.

Coursera, while not suitable for the majority of younger learners, has a range of industry and work-level subjects that are beneficial to young and working adults.

Like the previous “which comes out on top” section, there is no clear winner in this area because the platforms are geared towards helping different groups of people.

Coursera for adults, and Khan Academy for children and teenagers.

Pricing – Everything Money-Related

In this section, we will take a look at everything you need to know about the costs associated with both of these online learning platforms. This includes whether there are free trials, refunds, and all the subscription options, if applicable.

We will also look at whether the online learning platforms offer any free courses that students can make use of, or if they are all paid for.


Is payment necessary? – no. Free, non-certificated courses are available
Free trial – yes, a 7-day free trial
Refund period – 14-day refund period
Cheapest subscription option – free
Number of free courses available – over 2k courses can be taken for free on this platform

Plans – there are several plan options available on Coursera, and are as follows:

  • Free – dozens of courses can be accessed for free, but there is no certification upon completion
  • Guided Projects – starts at $9.99 per month
  • Professional Certificates – starts at $39.99 per month
  • Coursera Plus – costs $399 per year
  • Full Degrees – start at $9,000 per full degree

Coursera has a range of courses that are free to take, but they do not come with accreditation or certificates. In order for learners to get the certificates, they must pay for the course and the certificate.

Learners may also have the chance to pay one-off payments rather than subscriptions for courses or specializations they wish to take.

Prices vary greatly depending on what you would like to get out of the online learning platform.

Auditing is a good way to access the courses for free, but you will not get gra