Let’s Take a Step Back...What Are MOOCs Exactly?
If you’re picturing tutorial videos about home improvement or how to play the ukulele, think again. MOOCs are taught by industry experts and academics from top schools like MIT, Stanford and Harvard, but at a dramatically lower price point. The typical cost of a certificate from e-learning platform Coursera is roughly $49, whereas the average cost per credit hour from a university is $594.
MOOC providers typically generate revenue from monthly subscriptions or by charging for the certificate exams themselves. This streamlined model along with their web based platform, allows MOOCs to reach larger audiences than traditional universities ever could.
But an Online Certification Could Never Carry the Weight of a Degree...Right?
While it’s true that brick and mortar institutions maintain a centuries old pedigree, MOOCs are steadily chipping away at higher education’s lofty status. New identity verification methods like keystroke tracking and exam proctoring via video conference add credibility to web certificates, while executive staff from the Ivy League imbue e-learning with some of the academic gravitas it’s been missing. That being said, not all MOOC platforms are created equal. So here’s a list of our favorites to help you make the right decision for your continuing education:
- Coursera: It’s the biggest in the game boasting more than 2,000 available classes, as well as a brand new line of B2B products with Coursera for Business.
- EdX: Co-founded by Harvard and MIT, EdX offers numerous certificates including a micro-masters, which can be applied as credit towards a degree from either renowned institution.
- Udacity: The undisputed leader in tech, Udacity formed key partnerships with companies like Google, IBM and Mercedes to develop its nano-degree program.