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Online learning is growing faster than ever — we compared 4 of the top platforms leading the way

 
online learning platform comparison main
  • The rise of online learning platforms has democratized education, allowing people to learn just about anything from home. 
  • However, there are countless types of online classes and platforms to choose from, which can be overwhelming.
  • To make it easier, we compared and broke down the differences between four of the most popular online learning platforms: Udemy, LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, and Skillshare. 
  • Read more: The 20 fastest-growing skills in the freelance job market, according to Upwork — and the online courses you can take to learn them
Thanks to online learning platforms, a physical classroom is no longer the only place to gain an education. You can now learn anything, from photography to computer science, from anywhere. The democratization of education has helped break down traditional barriers of access like high costs and location, resulting in a more skilled and informed workplace and citizenry. Not to mention that online classes are a great way to gain new skills and stay engaged while many of us are spending more time at home due to self-isolation guidelines surrounding the novel coronavirus.
These days, there are countless types of classes and online learning platforms to choose from. You could spend years absorbing the differences in coding languages, strategizing how to most effectively leverage email marketing tactics for your small business, or in a very meta twist, learning how to learn — and then move on to a different platform and do it all over again.

To help you make sense of the different models, we compared four popular online learning platforms: Udemy, LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, and Skillshare.

We looked at pricing, types of courses offered, what you're getting in each course, and the teachers who will be guiding you through it all. We also found the top courses from each platform so you can get an idea of why specific students flock to each site.
Keep scrolling to find a platform that will suit your particular needs, whether you want to gain the skills necessary for that next promotion or you just love learning for the sake of learning.
SEE ALSO: The 20 fastest-growing skills in the freelance job market, according to Upwork — and the online courses you can take to learn them

Udemy



Udemy is the world's largest marketplace for online learning, offering over 100,000 courses across a large range of categories. Its mission is "to improve lives through learning." 

Course categories:
  • Development, IT & software, business, office productivity
  • Design, marketing, photography, music
  • Lifestyle, personal development, health & fitness 
  • Teacher training, academics, language, test prep
Pricing: 
  • Pay-per-course. There is no loyalty or subscription program.
  • Some classes are offered for free
  • Paid classes range from $10 (when discounted) to $200 per course
What you get:
  • Full lifetime access to the course
  • Learning tools: videos, articles, PowerPoint presentations, audio, assessments, and online discussion boards 
  • Certificate of completion depending on the course 
Teachers:
  • Experts in their field who create and manage the course
Apps available on:
  • iOS, Android, and Apple TV devices 
Corporate or team programs available for:
  • Business 
Languages:
  • The website is localized for 16 languages to make it easier for non-English users to browse courses offered in both English and their native language. 
Popular courses:
  • Web Developer Bootcamp | 550,110 students enrolled, 4.6 stars from 165,691 ratings 
  • Machine Learning A-Z: Hands-On Python & R in Data Science | 631,914 students enrolled, 4.5 stars from 118,156 ratings
  • JavaScript: Understanding the Weird Parts | 143,897 students enrolled, 4.7 stars from 37,111 ratings
  • Angular 4—The Complete Guide | 376,788 students enrolled, 4.6 stars from 116,770 ratings
  • Learn and Understand AngularJS | 82,794 students enrolled, 4.4 stars from 18,478 ratings 

Use Udemy if: 

  • You like choosing from a variety of options for nearly every topic imaginable
  • You don't plan to take a lot of classes in the same time period. The cost of individual classes can add up quickly without promotions.
  • You are an expert who would like to share your skills and make some money. 

Browse and sign up for courses on Udemy.




LinkedIn Learning



LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda) is a LinkedIn-owned online learning platform that offers over 15,000 courses, with more being added almost weekly. They seek to help users "learn from industry experts, and connect with a global network of experience." 

Course categories:
  • Business
  • Technology
  • Creative
Pricing: 
  • Free 30-day trial 
  • Monthly subscription plan, from $29.99 per month
  • Yearly subscription plan, from $19.99 per month
What you get:
  • Unlimited access to LinkedIn Learning's entire course library
  • Personalized course recommendations
  • Offline viewing with the mobile app
  • Access to LinkedIn's Premium Career features
Teachers:
  • Experts in their field who create and manage the course
Apps available on:
  • iOS, Android, Windows 8, and Apple TV devices 
Corporate or team programs available for:
  • Academic, business, and government 
Languages:
  • Courses are offered in English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Mandarin, and Portuguese.
Popular courses:
  • Photoshop CC 2020 Essential Training | 26,644 views
  • Online Marketing Foundations | 241,761 views
  • Jodi Glickman on Pitching Yourself| 340,955 views 
  • Management Tips Weekly | 150,247 views 
  • The Practicing Photographer | 67,976 views 

Use LinkedIn Learning if: 

  • You would like to supplement your current professional or educational experience.
  • You plan to consistently take courses in order to make the subscription worth it.
  • You are an expert who would like to share your skills and make some money. 

Start your free trial on LinkedIn Learning.




Coursera



Coursera partners with top universities and organizations to offer more than 3,900 academic courses on its online learning platform. In addition to courses, it offers specializations and online degrees. Its mission is "universal access to the world's best education."

Course categories:
  • Arts & humanities, social sciences
  • Business, computer science, data science, math & logic
  • Life sciences, physical science & engineering 
  • Language learning
Pricing: 
  • Free or pay-per-course for expanded access. Applications for financial aid are available. 
  • $29 to $99 per course
  • $39 to $79 per month for specializations (series of courses culminating in a Capstone Project)
  • $15,000 to $25,000 for an accredited master's degree 
What you get:
  • Free users get access to course materials like videos.
  • Paid users also get access to assignments, and will receive a final grade.
  • Certificate of completion for courses and specializations, or a degree certification. 
Teachers:
  • Instructors from top universities and other educational institutions around the world
Apps available on:
  • iOS and Android devices
Corporate or team programs available for:
  • Business and government 
Languages:
  • Video subtitles are available in over 30 languages.
Popular courses:
  • Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects | UC San Diego, 4.8 stars from 55,506 ratings
  • Machine Learning | Stanford University, 4.9 stars from 133,395 ratings
  • Programming for Everyone (Getting Started with Python) | University of Michigan, 4.8 stars from 95,887 ratings
  • R Programming | Johns Hopkins University, 4.6 stars from 16,705 ratings
  • Grammar and Punctuation | UC Irvine, 4.7 stars from 9,389 ratings

Use Coursera if: 

  • You want access to the minds of the world's top universities without having to pay for the costs of higher education. 
  • You need a scheduled pace to keep you moving and motivated, rather than going at your own pace. 
  • You would like to complete an online master's degree. 

Browse and sign up for courses on Coursera.




Skillshare



Skillshare is an online learning platform that offers over 20,000 classes, projects, and workshops. Its mission is "to provide high-quality, personalized learning to millions of students worldwide." 

Course categories:
  • Animation, design, illustration
  • Lifestyle
  • Business
  • Photo & Film
  • Writing
Pricing: 
  • Free 30-day trial 
  • Many classes are free to access
  • Monthly subscription plan, $19 per month
  • Annual subscription plan, from $8.25 per month. Need-based, small business, and student scholarships are available.
What you get:
  • Unlimited access to Skillshare's entire class library
  • Offline access to classes
  • Learning tools: videos and projects
  • Discounts on creative services like Shutterstock, Adobe Premier Pro CC, and Squarespace for Annual subscribers
Teachers:
  • Experts in their field who create and manage the course
Apps available on:
  • iOS, Android and Apple TV devices 
Corporate or team programs available for:
  • Academic and business
Languages:
  • Does not apply
Popular courses:
  • Typography That Works: Typographic Composition and Fonts | 68,093 students
  • Hand Lettering Essentials for Beginners | 68,223 students
  • Logo Design with Draplin: Secrets of Shape, Type and Color | 77,963 students
  • Getting Started with Email Marketing | 45,938 students
  • iPhone Photography: How to Take Pro Photos On Your iPhone| 67,253 students

Use Skillshare if: 

  • You are a creative who wants to learn new skills or brush up on current skills.
  • You like to apply your learning to hands-on projects. 
  • You are an expert who would like to share your skills and make some money. 

Start your free trial on Skillshare.






* This article was originally published here Press Release Distribution

SOurce - https://www.businessinsider.com/best-online-classes-for-freelancers

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