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Written by:
Martin Barrett
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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 grades or assignments, and therefore no proof of completion.

Full degrees will cost several thousand dollars but are likely to still be more affordable than traditional college courses.

Khan Academy

Is payment necessary? – no, everything on Khan Academy is free
Free trial – not applicable
Refund period – not applicable
Cheapest subscription option – not applicable
Number of free courses available – all courses are 100% free

Plans – there are no payment or subscription plans for Khan Academy, as everything they offer is 100% free for everyone.

While using Khan Academy, learners will never have to worry about needing to pay for anything on the platform. Not only that, but you won’t have any advertisements to disrupt your learning or make things difficult.

All courses are free to use and widely available.

Which Comes Out On Top?

Although both online learning platforms have the potential to be accessible and free, Khan Academy is the clear winner when it comes to prices.

There are no ads and no payments to choose from as there are no tiers or price plans.

Coursera, on the other hand, does have a free option, but it is limited. With that free option, you can have access to dozens of in-depth courses, but they will not be accredited or certified.

With that being said, the free courses that Coursera offers will still be very beneficial for older students and learners. So, there is a lot to consider on both sides depending on who the online platform would be used by.

Accessibility And Availability – What You Need To Know

Coursera Vs Khan Academy

In this section, we will be looking at aspects related to both online learning platforms’ accessibility and availability.

This will look into how easy the site is to use and navigate, the format of the learning material, homework, and mobile app access, among other things.

There’s no point in having an online learning platform with thousands of courses to take if the site itself is not accessible or easy to use.

Things like offline availability and the supported languages will play a crucial role in deciding which option is best for you.


Easy to use? – site is intuitive and easy to use and navigate
Learning material format – written, gamification, and short video clips
Are courses available offline? – yes, paid courses can be downloaded to be accessed while offline
Discussion board availability – yes
Is homework given? – yes, homework is delegated to learners by professors
Grades given for work? – yes
Mobile app access? – yes. Coursera has a mobile app that can be used on Android, iPhone, and iPad devices
Ability to connect with the lecturer? – yes, Coursera allows learners to connect with their professors via email, chat, or another method for communication and aid
Language availability – 10 language options are available

Coursera is available in the following languages, and language settings can be changed in account settings:

  • Arabic
  • Russian
  • Chinese (simplified and traditional)
  • German
  • Japanese
  • French
  • Korean
  • Portuguese (Brazilian)
  • Spanish
  • English

Khan Academy

Easy to use? – Khan Academy is very easy to use and navigate, with an intuitive setup
Learning material format – written and video material
Are courses available offline? – yes, courses can be downloaded for offline access
Discussion board availability – yes, a discussion board is available for students to ask and answer any questions they may have
Is homework given? – yes
Grades given for work? – yes
Mobile app access? – yes, Khan Academy has an app that is compatible with iPad, iPhone, and Android devices
Ability to connect with the lecturer? – no, lecturers cannot be contacted on this online learning platform
Language availability – 56 language options are available

Khan Academy is available in the following languages, and language settings can be changed in account settings. These languages have full sites:

  • čeština (Czech)*
  • Türkçe (Turkish)*
  • বাংলা (Bangla)*
  • Português (Brazilian Portuguese)*
  • Português europeu (European Portuguese)*
  • Français (French)*
  • 한국어(Korean)*
  • Español (Spanish)*
  • English *
  • Dansk (Danish)*
  • Polski (Polish)*
  • norsk bokmål (Norwegian)*
  • հայերեն (Armenian)*
  • български (Bulgarian)*
  • Српски (Serbian)*
  • Deutsch (German)*
  • 简体中文 (Simplified Chinese)*
  • ქართული (Georgian)*

These languages currently have demo sites:

  • हिंदी (Hindi)*
  • ဗမာ (Burmese)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Română (Romanian)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Қазақ (Kazakh)
  • Кыргыз (Kyrgyz)
  • Bahasa Indonesian (Indonesian)*
  • ગુજરાતી (Gujarati)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • मराठी (Marathi)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • монгол (Mongolian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • Lietuvių (Lithuanian)
  • ខ្មែរ (Khmer)
  • O’zbek (Uzbek)
  • русский (Russian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • ਪੰਜਾਬੀ (Punjabi)
  • Azərbaycanca (Azerbaijani)
  • Latviešu (Latvian)
  • অসমীয়া (Assamese)

These languages have temporary lite sites before they become demos:

  • ไทย (Thai)
  • Zulu (Zulu)
  • isiXhosa (Xhosa)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • داري (Dari)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • українська (Ukrainian)
  • Kiswahili (Swahili)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • BahasaMalaysian (Malay)

* Please note that any language with an asterisk (*) beside it is also available on the mobile app, while those without it are not yet supported.

Which Comes Out On Top?

Khan Academy is the winner when it comes to accessibility and availability. While both online learning platforms are easy to use and intuitive, Khan Academy has worked tirelessly to add over 50 languages to their sites to make them as accessible as possible.

Although this platform has no option for students to get in touch with lecturers, it was everything else that Coursera does.

Languages are a crucial part of the comparison, and Khan Academy doesn’t disappoint with an incredible 56 language options. Coursera, on the other hand, only has 10 language options.

Suitability – Who Would Benefit From Each Platform?


Coursera is an online learning platform that primarily targets young and working adults. The courses available on the site typically lean toward work skills, which topics such as data analysis, business and management, and much more.

Because of this, working people, or those who are going to college, are likely to get the most out of the platform.

There are beginner-friendly courses, as well as courses on arts and humanities, among others. However, with the number of online degree courses available, the target audience for this platform is clear.

The courses offered here are a good fit for any adult who is looking to learn their desired skills. Everything is flexible and 100% online, which allows everyone to participate equally than in more traditional learning environments.

With the option for certified courses, this site can also help learners get the skills needed for their dream job.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy’s target audience is students up to the college level. This online learning platform offers courses in a multitude of school subjects such as math and science from pre-K levels and guides students through everything they need to know to excel in school.

Because of this, the platform will not be suitable for young and working adults, as the skills you learn are not specialized or high-level.

School students who wish to step up their knowledge and skills of the topics covered in curriculums will likely benefit from Khan Academy.

The platform can also help students prepare for important tests that will take them into the next phase of their lives.

Which Comes Out On Top?

There is no way to compare these two online learning platforms in this category. They effectively cater to opposite crowds, with Khan Academy focusing on children’s learning, and Coursera on young and working adults.

Both have their place and play an important role in education at different levels. Khan Academy students are likely to move on to using Coursera as they reach the end of their studies, so there is no winner.

Which One Is Best?

Overall, there is no best between Coursera and Khan Academy. As we mentioned above, they cater to very different audiences and offer virtual courses in different subjects at varying levels.

If you are a parent or a school-aged child, then Khan Academy will be an excellent tool to help with school.

However, if you are getting towards college, or are a working adult, Coursera will be more beneficial due to the extensive searchable video lessons and courses and the option to take online degrees.

Final Thoughts

Both Coursera and Khan Academy are excellent online learning platforms in their own regard. They have extensive online courses and information and are equal in many areas. However, because they cater to different populations, there can be no fair comparison between them. When looking for a platform for you, look for generally more positive reviews that can help you find what you need.

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