Friday, May 3, 2013

5 reasons why you should sign up for Coursera

Coursera is an education company that partners with the top universities and organizations in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free. I did 5 of them in the past (Artificial Intelligence, Model Thinking, Game Theory, Algorithms and Cryptography) and I'm doing another two right now (Gamification and Interactive Programming in Python). If you don't know it yet, go give it a try. I promise you will love it. And here's why:

1. It's free

It's crazy, but you really don't have to pay for it. You can sign up and follow any course you want. They do have a paid "Signature Track", but it's totally optional. It gives you an official certificate when you finish a course, if you're interested.

2. 300+ courses to choose

There's no way you don't find anything interesting there. There's over 20 categories ranging from computer science, through mathematics, statistics, economy and finance, to more humanistic subjects such as art, social sciences, or education.

3. Top universities and professors

Have you ever dreamed of studying at Stanford, Princeton, Rice or Duke? Now it's possible. All the greatest minds and teaching talents are there for you. Now you have no excuses that the classes are boring. They are far from it.

4. Great content quality

The courses use video lectures, online quizzes, peer reviewed written assignments and other online tools created for the sole purpose of teaching you particular skills. Believe me, the overall quality is great. You have deadlines concerning watching the lessons and completing online excercises, but otherwise you're free to choose your own study place and time.

5. 3.2 million users can't be wrong

It's not a spelling mistake. More people have signed up for Coursera classes so far then the whole population of Rome. Do you think they had a reason for this? Of course they did! It's a great oportunity to get additional knowledge in subjects that have always interested you - no matter what they are. Even if you don't speak English very well, there are subtitles in Spanish, French, Italian, and Chinese. The courses don't usually require much prior knowledge, so you can begin with a basic acquaintance with the subject. If you are still unwilling to spend your free time on spontaneous education, remember that you can get a certificate and brag about it in your CV (that's what I did and it really interested most of my interviewers).

To get a closer look at Coursera, you can watch this short video:

If you still need convincing, listen to Daphne Koller, one of the founders, as she expains the idea in more detail:

Ready to sign up? Go to Coursera and let me know if I was right.

P.S. I'm not a Coursera affiliate nor have any business connection with it. I honestly think it's a great education platform and if I sounded a little overexcited it's only because I believe everyone can benefit a great deal from it.


  1. I came to know the site recently. I bookmarked few courses and will check them out soon. For now I'm busy making android games.

    1. It's definitely worth signing up for some class if you have time to spare. I understand your motivation though. I should probably prioritize better as well, since the courses I'm taking eat up quite a chunk of my time.

      I visited your blog and it looks great. Good luck with your apps. I'll be your regular reader.

  2. A FREE version of Unofficial Android Coursera application. Get it at
    Let's learn together!

    1. Great idea! I hope you don't get yourself into trouble because of copyright issues. Did you take a look at Coursera's policy?