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Written by:
Martin Barrett
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Masterclass Vs Coursera

Masterclass Vs Coursera (detailed comparison 2023)

Masterclass and Coursera – two giants in the online education industry which draw in hundreds of students every year from all over the world.

Whenever anyone wants to check out online learning, these are two platforms they will almost definitely visit at some point. 

But which one should you sign up for?

Here, we are going to be comparing Masterclass and Coursera to see which of these two massive online learning platforms comes out on top. This way, you can find the right choice for you. 

So, let’s dive into Masterclass Vs Coursera detailed comparison! 

Who Are Masterclass And Coursera? 

First, let’s learn a little bit about the background of each company and their values. This is so we can understand a little bit about each one before we start comparing the two together in different areas of interest. 

About Masterclass

Masterclass is an online learning platform which allows students to access hundreds of lessons through video media. 

This means that Masterclass is kind of like a streaming service but instead of TV shows and movies, students can watch informative videos teaching a range of topics from some of the world’s best – chefs, actors, business leaders, professional writers and musicians, sports stars, and much more.

These videos are structured as classes and you get to watch some of the world’s best work on projects stretched over 30 days.

Masterclass was founded back in 2014 and officially launched in 2015 with just three instructors and three classes.

Now, Masterclass offers over 150 classes with famous instructors including Bill Clinton, Mariah Carey, RuPaul, Helen Mirren, Hans Zimmer, Gordon Ramsey, Neil Gaiman, and Tony Hawk. 

About Coursera

Coursera is an online learning company which works alongside hundreds of universities and companies to offer online courses which are both flexible and job relevant.

Their courses range in accreditation from official certifications and degrees in a wide range of subjects, and their students can be found all around the world. 

Coursera was first founded in 2012 by two professors from Stanford University. Before long, Princeton, University of Michigan, and University of Pennsylvania soon began to offer online courses through Coursera.

Today, there are an estimated 150 different universities which all offer over 4,000 courses all through Coursera. 

So, Coursera definitely has an impressive background. It’s easily one of the largest online course providers and is recognized by massive companies and universities as a valid platform where employees and students can earn degrees and certifications. 

Masterclass Vs Coursera

So, now we know a little about each company and their background – so let’s start comparing Masterclass and Coursera in different areas that are important to consider when choosing the right learning platform for you. 

Course and Instructor Quality 

One of the key areas of interest when it comes to signing up to an online learning provider is the quality of their courses and instructors.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how many courses a platform may provide – if they’re all super short and don’t contain any useful information you can learn from, then they’re all useless to you. 

So, looking at the quality of each course and its instructors are important. So how does Masterclass and Coursera fare in this area? 

Well, Masterclass certainly has the quality instructors nailed down.

There’s no denying that they have some of the best instructors in each field – such as British entrepreneur and billionaire businessman Richard Branson talking about how having certain skills led him to build his business empire, or how world-renowned Margret Atwood discusses how writers build plots and narratives using structures while analyzing case studies.

The information they give with each lesson is definitely solid but regarding course quality, we have to raise concerns relating to the medium. 

Each Masterclass lesson is basically a pre-recorded short lecture from some of the brightest and best in each field.

Each course also comes with a workbook with resources, but that’s about it – no projects, no way to apply each lesson’s teachings to your own work and ask for feedback from the instructor themselves.

There’s no face to face interaction, no support, no personal guidance. 

Some people do prefer to learn this way but we can’t help but think about how much better the quality of each course would be if there was more support given to students to actually apply what they learned. 

With Coursera, it’s a little different.

Their instructors are also some of the best – such as professors and experts in their individual fields, or company bosses who have worked with the methods and softwares they are teaching about for years.

Courses are also provided through top universities and companies, with plenty of research and experience to back the content of their courses. 

The courses themselves differ on resources and structures in each individual case.

Whereas one course may offer students the opportunity to work on an individual project and access to 24 hour email support, others are taught purely through lectures and readings. 

So, Masterclass has better consistency when it comes to the overall quality of their instructors and courses.

But, Coursera can offer more in terms of course resources and learning opportunities, and matches (if not excels) Masterclass’s instructor quality with qualified professionals and experts – making it our victor for this category. 

Masterclass Vs Coursera


Another incredibly important area to consider is accreditation. 

Universities and companies love to see their employees engage with additional learning in their spare time.

However, they’re less likely to believe you unless you have some kind of certification to prove you completed an online course, and some certificates have more credibility than others. 

Masterclass does not offer any kind of accreditation which means that you won’t be able to add any evidence to your resume – not even a Masterclass certificate for completing the course! 

Considering the way Masterclass works – as a more laid-back learning platform with fun videos and celebrity instructors – their courses are not really about providing its students with qualifications to add to their resumes.

Masterclass’s courses provide learners with information, skills, inspiration, and arguably entertainment.

The courses are designed to ignite a passion for certain topics in its students, not to give them a shiny qualification they can add onto their resumes. 

Coursera, however, is completely different. Almost all of their courses are certified or accredited, acknowledged by employers and universities alike, and you can even earn fully fledged degrees through their platform.

If you want to earn qualifications that can boost your employability, then Coursera is the platform for you. 

Ease Of Use

A lot of people take up online learning due to its flexibility and ease of use. However, not all online courses allow students to take the course in their own time, and this can have a serious impact on whether or not a course is right for a person. 

Masterclass perfectly encapsulates the flexibility of online learning. You can sign up at any time and do not need any previous qualifications. You just pay your price, and you can start your course at any time.

The resources will be made immediately available to you and you can complete the course at your own pace. What’s more is that you can access Masterclass’s resources from any smart device.

You can watch your lessons on your smart TV, yoru phone, a laptop – anything with a screen and internet connection.

Coursera’s courses are far more structured. Although many allow students to go at their own pace, some courses are tied to a time frame or involve weekly Q&A sessions that restrict the student’s time.

Ultimately, however, this does come down to which course you choose! 

Overall, Masterclass just beats out Coursera in terms of flexibility but both services are easy to sign up to, feature easy to navigate dashboards, and offer great customer support. 


In terms of cost, both Masterclass and Coursera use different payment models. 

Masterclass is run like a subscription service, where an annual fee of $180 will allow you access to all of the courses available on Masterclass. If you just want to purchase a single course, then they are priced individually at $90.

It’s pretty affordable for access to so much information! 

Coursera, however, is much more difficult to price. As the courses available vary in length, difficulty, offer different types of accreditation, and are created by different institutions, they all vary widely in price. Some only cost as little as $25 – others cost thousands of dollars. 

Overall, Masterclass is clearly the more affordable option here but some may argue that Coursera’s higher average price per course is worth it for the accreditation that comes with it. 


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Masterclass And Coursera: Which Should You Sign Up To?

Both Masterclass and Coursera are extremely popular online learning platforms where students can access a ton of information, but they work towards very different goals and styles of learning. 

Masterclass is clearly more laid-back and entertaining, using star power and experience to bring quality to their lessons.

Its subscription based model and the reliance on video media which can be viewed anywhere at any time makes it feel more like a streaming service for learning – and that’s pretty much how it’s meant to be used.

There’s no accreditation but those who are passionate about hobbies, interests, or their career can still find meaningful information and advice from the leading figures in each field. 

Coursera, however, offers accreditation and university-backed courses to teach their students how to work at a job. Their goals are towards employability, specific skills, and training up individuals to be great at certain professions. 

So, which one should you sign up to? 

The answer comes down to why you want to learn in the first place. If it’s just for fun or so you can work on your hobbies, then Masterclass may be the better option.

If you want additional qualifications to boost your employability and change careers, then Coursera is the right platform for you. 

Although our personal winner would be Coursera, whether or not it is the right platform for you all comes down to which learning style better suits your needs.

So check out the information above once more and think carefully about your decision. Good luck!

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