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Online Learning Platforms

The 6 Best edX Alternatives & Competitors for Online Courses

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By Vanda Heuring

edx alternatives

Are you looking for edX alternatives and competitors that will let you take online classes from anywhere in the world? Wondering what other websites like edX are out there?

These days, there’s no shortage of great online course providers. There are dozens of platforms and apps out there that let you take video classes on demand in just about every subject you can imagine, including photographyPhotoshoptime managementvoice overpublic speakingproofreadingAWS, database administration, animationvideo editing, transcriptionteaching, personal development, and more.

One of the most popular online course websites out there right now is edX. The company works with world-class universities to offer you courses that used to be accessible only to their full-time students. The edX course library boasts over 3,800 courses in business, leadership, software development, and IT disciplines.

One of the great things about edX is it lets you audit many of its courses at no cost at all, and you only pay if you want to earn a certificate for completing the course.

As we said in our edX review, the site “makes online learning attainable for just about everyone.”

But while edX is a great educational platform that offers many perks to its students, it might not be the best match for everyone. There’s simply no one-size-fits-all course website out there, which is why you might be looking for alternatives to edX.

Fortunately, there are lots of fantastic edX alternatives that offer world-class courses and vast online learning opportunities in just about any subject you can think of.

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What is edX?

edX | Free Online Courses by Harvard, MIT, & more | edX edX | Free Online Courses by Harvard, MIT, & more | edX

edX is an online learning platform offering courses from some of the world's most prestigious universities and organizations on a vast array of subjects.

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edX is a prominent online learning platform founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012. It offers a vast array of courses, programs, and degrees in various fields, allowing learners worldwide to access high-quality education.

Whether you’re interested in enhancing your skills, earning certifications, or pursuing advanced degrees, edX provides options for learners of all backgrounds and goals.

One notable aspect of edX is its commitment to affordability and inclusivity. Many courses are available for free with the edX pricing model, and the platform offers financial aid to make education accessible to a broader audience.

Additionally, edX provides certification programs, MicroMasters programs, and even bachelor’s and master’s degree options, making it a versatile platform for personal and professional development.


Drawbacks to edX

While edX is undoubtedly among the best online course sites going today, it’s not the perfect platform for every aspiring learner.

One complaint some learners have is that the community aspect is a bit lacking compared to some other sites.

While edX offers a diverse range of courses, it may not have as many options in niche or specialized subjects compared to other platforms that focus on specific niches. Some learners may also find edX courses to be less flexible in terms of pacing and deadlines. Some edX courses have set start and end dates for their sessions, which may not align with the schedules of all learners.

In certain fields, such as coding and programming, hands-on practice is essential for skill development. edX courses may not always provide as much practical experience and hands-on project work as some learners desire.


What are the Best edX Alternatives?

Below are our top 7 alternatives to edX that offer a bigger variety in course selection, come with a more affordable price tag, or have a different course presentation than edX does.

1. Skillshare

Great Choice
Skillshare Skillshare

Skillshare is the ultimate website for learning just about anything imaginable. You can explore 30,000+ online classes across countless categories, from business to hobbies and more.

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Skillshare is a solid online course platform that is innovative in delivering quality content to its students. It offers over 34,000 different courses and you can select from over  11,000 instructors, which leads to a high-quality content presentation since students can truly “shop around” for the best instructor. Healthy competition elevates all of them.

Skillshare offers a novel and unique way of learning, somewhat like YouTube, but with access to subject matter experts in many different areas you’d want to learn about. You don’t have to commit to a full program; you can “sample” courses to find interesting subjects.

If you are serious about acquiring a new skill, simply use their search engine to find the course that will help you learn it. Whether it’s coding with C++ or creating your first website using HTML, Skillshare has a class or Learning Path series of classes for you. From novice to expert, you can start where you are and build from there.

Skillshare lets you try out their courses without risks with your first month free. After that, you can continue to learn with an annual Premium Membership. This includes student support, as well.

Skillshare pricing is very affordable at about $165 a year, and you can try Skillshare free for one month to see if it’s right for you while you explore all the courses on their online learning platform.

Our Skillshare review has more details.


2. Masterclass

MasterClass MasterClass

With MasterClass, you can learn from some of the world's most recognized experts and celebrities. Classes include business, cooking, photography, acting, design, and so much more.

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Masterclass is a more flashy option when it comes to online learning. This is mostly because you are truly learning from the masters: world-class experts are available to you at your fingertips, teaching you what they have learned over the years, through their failures, successes, and growth.

While some of their courses are “bite-sized” (think: learning power-hour or a short Pomodoro session style learning), others are several hours long, and you can listen to the audio lectures while you drive or work out. You can learn about Crypto and Blockchain investing, or simply subscribe to top artists, leaders, or chefs to help elevate your skills in a specific area. Masterclass is a great fit for students who love to learn visually and audibly, and the platform resembles TV streaming services, such as Hulu or Netflix.

Masterclass does not offer many technology-focused courses, as it is geared more toward business, leadership, and creativity; however, individuals like the Sims creator Will Wright share their success strategies that you can glean from if you are toying with the idea of game design.

Masterclass pricing is affordable, with three different monthly plans to choose from. The Individual Plan starts at $10/month and the Family Plan costs $20/month, allowing you to stream courses on up to 6 devices at a time.

If you want to learn more before you sign up, check out our full Masterclass review.


3. Coursera


Coursera is a top contender when it comes to advancing your career or learning a new computer programming language. This platform is well laid out and offers clear navigation, from your starting point (novice to expert), to course selection, and ultimate learning goal.

Most courses take anywhere from 1-3 months, depending on your educational goal. You can explore different programming languages before you commit to mastering a specific one. You can also expand your skillset by adding more programming languages, such as HTML or Java to your repertoire, making you more marketable in the workforce.

Coursera is great regarding the scalability of your goal: you can earn a completion certificate or an online degree, going all the way to Mastertrack™, which helps you college credits towards your Master’s degree.

There are thousands of free courses too and with a Coursera Plus subscription, you can get certificates credited by universities when you finish classes.

Coursera pricing includes two paid plans for its users

  • A monthly plan of $59
  • A yearly subscription of $399

Click here to learn more.


4. Udemy

udemy review

Udemy is another top choice for online learning, as it offers over 185,000 courses on pretty much any subject. Especially great for younger learners or beginners of any age, Udemy is user-friendly and fully searchable. While you can increase your mastery of any subject, you can enroll in boot camps to help you get started on a specific subject, such as learning HTML, Python, or SQL.

Each course and instructor have student feedback and an overall score, indicating the population and impact of each course so that you can decide which instructor to choose as you select your class. Most courses consist of several sections, lessons, and over 20 hours of total learning time.

Udemy is great for work teams, adults who want to advance their careers, or pretty much anyone who wants to learn a new skill or gain knowledge in a particular area.

Udemy pricing is offered on a per-course or subscription basis. To read more, check out our Udemy review with tons of details on the platform.

Click here to get started with Udemy.



5. CreativeLive

creativelive logo

CreativeLive offers courses for those who love being creative and creating things, whether art, music, digital products, or even writings. Whether you are a budding artist or your New Year resolution is to be more creative, making room for creativity helps you with overall mental well-being and inspires you toward greatness in other areas of your life.

CreativeLife doesn’t only keep you inspired and motivated, it also provides you with access to other artists who can help you tap into your giftedness, or simply provide you with the tools and a framework to take your creativity to the next level.

This platform is great for freelancers, emerging artists, or those who want to start cultivating a new hobby. Some of the courses offered by CreativeLive include Graphic Design, Web Design, Branding, and Adobe Illustrator.

While CreativeLive offers live sessions, the company understands that most busy individuals might not be able to attend the live sessions as they are streamed.

If you’re with not attending live and prefer to watch the course content at your leisure, you have full access to downloads and offline content.

With CreativeLive pricing starting at only $13/month, it’s a great way to stay creative and be inspired to create things on a regular basis.

Click here to learn more.


6. Udacity

udacity review

Don’t let the fact that Udacity is listed last fool you. This online course platform is a solid contender when it comes to offering great quality online courses while balancing price and quality. It’s absolutely one of the best edX alternatives available.

In addition, Udacity’s biggest strength is that it offers industry-accepted certificates upon successfully completing your course or program. So if this is important to you and your prospective employer, Udacity might be your fit.

With Udacity, you can get started as a novice and an expert. For example, when it comes to coding, you can choose your programming language and the level you want to learn at. If you are a rookie at Java coding, there are beginner boot camps for learners like you. If you are ready to take your Python skills to the next level, perhaps a 2-4 month-long Nanodegree in that field is the right choice.

While Udacity pricing for its Nanodegree programs can be pretty costly, their certifications are highly regarded in many fields and can go a long way to helping advance your career.

See our Udacity review for more info on the

Click here to learn more.


What to Consider When Choosing an Alternative to edX

Now that you have looked at the major online course platforms available, how do you make the best choice?

Choosing an alternative to edX can be a big decision, so let’s dive into some important things to keep in mind:

  • Course Variety and Specializations: First, think about your specific interests and goals. Does the edX alternative platform offer courses in your desired field or specialization? You want to make sure it caters to your learning needs and career aspirations.
  • Course Quality and Instructors: Look into the quality of the courses and the credentials of the instructors. Are the instructors experts in their fields? Do they come from reputable institutions? High-quality instruction is essential for a valuable learning experience.
  • Certification and Accreditation: If you’re pursuing certifications or degrees, check if the alternative platform provides recognized certificates or degrees.
  • Cost and Financial Aid: Consider your budget. Some platforms offer free courses, while others charge fees. Also, check if they provide financial aid or scholarships if your budget is a concern.
  • User Experience and Interface: The platform’s ease of use matters. A user-friendly interface can make your learning journey smoother and more enjoyable.
  • Flexibility: Consider the flexibility of the platform. Does it offer self-paced courses, or are they scheduled with fixed start and end dates? Make sure whichever edX alternatives you look at align with your schedule and learning pace.


A Final Word on the Best edX Competitors

edX is one of our favorite websites out there for taking online courses, but there are certain scenarios where you might want to check out a different course platform.

The good news is there are lots of great websites like edX that also offer great online courses in a variety of subjects.

Hopefully, our guide above can get you started in the right direction to find the right online course site for your specific needs.

Remember, there is no single best edX alternative. Your individual needs and preferences are what determine which one is right for you.

What’s your favorite edX alternative? Share your thoughts by commenting below.

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