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8 Best Online Learning Platforms: Top E-Learning Courses to Jumpstart Your Career

Best Online Learning Platforms - USA

The internet has been hailed as a revolutionary tool for learning. In recent years, the emergence of online course platforms has allowed its full potential to be realized. These platforms offer a variety of educational and entertaining opportunities to help individuals acquire professional skills or enhance their personal lives.

It is not surprising that the top-rated online learning platforms offer the best courses. Among these online learning platforms, MasterClass emerged as the best overall. However, some of the best online learning platforms specialize in certain areas of study, so it is worth considering other options if you have specific interests or learning goals.

>>Check the best membership plans on MasterClass

Best Online Learning Platforms

  • MasterClass – Best online learning platform overall 
  • Coursera – Best online learning platform for free university courses
  • Udemy – Best online learning platform for professional development
  • Udacity – Best online learning platform for tech expertise
  • Pluralsight – Best online learning platform for programming skills
  • SkillShare – Best online learning platform for creative skills
  • Picmonic – Best online learning platform for medical students
  • Lecturio – Best online learning platform for student nurses

1. MasterClass – Best Online Learning Platform Overall – 4.9/5



  • You may get a full refund if you request it within 30 days.
  • Learn to cook, play an instrument, and care for yourself while focusing on your growth and development.
  • Hundreds of high-quality courses are available for a single yearly cost.
  • You may take lessons from the likes of famous people, seasoned professionals, and actual masters.


  • There needs to be more immediate value to furthering one’s career or academic credentials.

MasterClass Overview

MasterClass is one of the best e-learning platforms, offering 180+ programs across 11 different areas, such as photography, cuisine, writing, acting, music, sports, and more. You may take as much time as you want learning any of these programs. Plus, there are over 150 A-list celebrities and VIPs serving as instructors.

The instructors have abundant expertise and are eager to impart their wisdom. Classes are designed to be open to those with minimal background. Every course includes roughly 20 video tutorials that last around 10 minutes.

Each lesson’s outstanding production values and cinematic quality add to MasterClass’s ability to keep students interested and engaged. Regularly, it introduces brand-new courses designed to teach valuable skills and arouse latent interests.

MasterClass is one of the best e-learning platforms, with three subscription tiers and yearly fees beginning at $180. You may get your money back if you sign up for MasterClass and decide you don’t like it during the first 30 days.

Who Is It For?

MasterClass’s target audience is difficult to nail down. Anyone with a sincere interest in a certain field, whether photography or recreating restaurant-quality meals in the comfort of their kitchen, may find something of value on the MasterClass platform.

Its courses are for students with no prior knowledge and those with extensive expertise in the field. MasterClass is one of the best e-learning platforms because of the celebrity instructors it employs. This includes illustrious instructors such as Anna Wintour (teaching innovation and leadership) and Brandon McMillan (teaching dog training).

Pricing: 4.9/5

MasterClass has yearly membership options for single users, couples, and families. The individual plan is the least expensive at $180 per year (or $15 per month).

With the Duo plan, you pay $240 yearly (or $20 per month) for access by two devices. The Family plan, which allows for six devices to be used simultaneously and costs $276 per year (or $23 per month), is the last option.

If you decide during the first 30 days that this service is unsuitable for your needs, you may get a full refund.

Courses: 4.9/5

MasterClass courses are not as demanding as those given by universities. However, they are well-organized, cover intriguing subjects, and are taught by real professionals. MasterClass sessions emphasize practice over theory.

Quality of the Coursework: 4.9/5

These classes are taught using a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on activities. Most, if not all, of the advertised online courses have little to no formal curriculum. The chance to get personal training from a MasterClass instructor is available via the Sessions by MasterClass feature, which is included with the standard membership.

Extras: 4.9/5

MasterClass does not award credentials of any kind. Depending on your subscription level, you may see lectures offline or through mobile apps.

Overall Score of MasterClass: 4.9/5

>>Check the best membership plans on MasterClass

2. Coursera – Best Online Learning Platform for Free Courses – 4.85/5



  • Get recognized in your field, further your education, and even graduate.
  • There is a vast range of courses that are completely free of charge.
  • It’s affordable and no-cost education in several fields, including language study, business management, and software development.
  • Gain knowledge from faculty and staff at hundreds of top institutions and businesses.


  • The cost is comparable to a regular college degree or certification program.

Coursera Overview

When it comes to the best online learning platforms, Coursera is among the well-known learning platforms. It provides access to thousands of classes and various educational programs, ranging from degrees to professional certifications to guided projects.

It develops its online courses and instructional programs in collaboration with prestigious institutions and organizations. Coursera is one of the best e-learning platforms, offering a range of pricing options from free to single-course purchases to subscriptions that run monthly or annually.

It offers courses adaptable to busy professionals’ schedules and at prices that won’t break the bank. Coursera Plus and individual courses may be tried risk-free for 14 days, and payments are refundable two weeks after purchase.

Who Is It For?

Coursera is one of the best e-learning platforms for students and professionals to access high-quality education and recognized certificates and degrees from top universities. The platform is also utilized by over 100 Fortune 500 companies, 6,000+ colleges and universities, and various government institutions.

If you are interested in teaching an online course and earning money, it is generally most advantageous to be affiliated with a reputable academic institution or well-respected business. However, it is still possible to teach an online course even if you do not fit into these categories.

Coursera’s mission is to make high-quality education accessible to anybody who wants it, making it one of the best e-learning platforms. They collaborate with leading institutions, scholarly organizations, and government bodies all across the globe. Most courses are free. However, certification and degree programs need payment.

Pricing: 4.7/5

Coursera is one of the best e-learning platforms. It offers a range of options for learners, including free individual courses and paid options such as Guided Projects (starting at $9.99), Specializations and Professional Certificates (starting at $39 per month), MasterTrack Certificates (starting at $2,000), and online degrees (starting at $9,000 and ranging up to $50,000).

The platform also has a subscription plan called Coursera Plus, which costs $59 per month or $399 per year.

Courses: 4.9/5

Coursera is one of the best e-learning platforms, where you can take classes on various topics, such as data analytics, or even enroll in a new course. Professionals teach all online courses, and the professors are from prestigious universities.

Quality of the Coursework: 4.9/5

Given the high volume of courses taught by university faculty, most courses utilize the best e-learning platforms to adhere to a standard format.

Extras: 4.9/5

As one of the best e-learning platforms, Coursera has many features that make it stand out, including a vibrant community that is always willing to provide help and assistance. Additional materials are available for teachers to develop their online lessons. Both Android and Apple iOS versions of the app are available.

Overall Score of Coursera: 4.85/5

>>Get the best discounts and prices on Coursera

3. Udemy – Best Online Learning Platform for Professional Development – 4.8/5



  • Learn business skills, get professional credentials, or prioritize personal growth.
  • More than a dozen languages are supported for instruction.
  • It highlights computer-related topics such as coding, web design, and more.
  • Wide range of affordable online courses.


  • No college credit can be awarded for Udemy courses.
  • Yet to be acknowledged by conventional organizations.

Udemy Overview

Udemy is the most popular online education marketplace, with over 200,000 courses available at low cost. It features 11 distinct subject matter areas, including Business, Design, Music, and more.

Individual teachers develop, record, and post courses on Udemy, and students pay a flat fee for their preferred Udemy courses.

Certificates will be issued upon completion of Udemy courses but may not be validated by an external party. Paid Udemy courses come with a 30-day money-back guarantee; you may access the materials forever. There are also several beginner-level Udemy courses available for no cost.

Who Is It For?

Those in the learning and development industry or who run their businesses but lack the resources to produce their courses often turn to Udemy Business. Thanks to Udemy’s low prices and extensive online courses focusing on various abilities, almost anybody can find something to improve their knowledge base.

Udemy is the best option when it comes to online training for broadening employees’ professional horizons. However, there is no assurance that the training will offer a one-to-one fit for your staff if they require highly specialized skills exclusive to your company. 

Pricing: 5/5

Since you can’t use Udemy courses to earn credit, they don’t have to charge the same rates as universities. Udemy courses may cost anything from $15 to $20, although the average is closer to $20. You may enroll in specific classes for a monthly fee.

Courses: 4.7/5

If you’re looking to expand your business and programming horizons, one of the best e-learning platforms to go to is Udemy. A few credentials at the expert level are attainable through a wide range of Udemy courses.

Quality of the Coursework: 4.7/5

Udemy is one of the best e-learning platforms where individuals can create and offer courses. For this reason, the quality of Udemy courses may vary depending on the instructor.

Extras: 4.8/5

Udemy is one of the best e-learning platforms, with mobile applications for Android and iOS. This gives you easy access to your Udemy courses. Plus, you can keep studying anywhere you go. On top of that, the platform will guide you through creating your Udemy courses to sell if you have a particular area of expertise.

Overall Score of Udemy: 4.8/5

>>Get the best prices on Udemy courses

4. Udacity – Best Online Learning Platform for Tech Expertise – 4.7/5



  • In-depth learning is possible in the context of a longer program.
  • Computer programming, other technical subjects, and commercial acumen are emphasized heavily.
  • Nanodegree programs combine academic study with practical experience.
  • Get assistance with your studies from mentors and tutors available on demand.


  • Despite the high cost, you may not even get real college credit.

Udacity Overview

Udacity is a massive open online course (MOOC) platform that offers a range of high-quality programs called nanodegrees. These nanodegrees typically consist of four to 10 courses that provide in-depth knowledge on a particular subject.

Udacity’s course offerings are focused primarily on technology and business, though the selection may be narrower than some other platforms. The lessons on Udacity are designed to be hands-on and provide practical skills that can be applied in a professional setting.

Who Is It For?

Udacity is among online learning platforms for anybody interested in learning or improving their knowledge and abilities in computer science, business, data science, and more. You may study on your own time and seek guidance from mentors whenever you need it; the online courses focus on real-world projects applicable in the workplace.

Pricing: 4.6/5

There are 189 free courses available at Udacity. You can purchase nanodegree programs at Udacity in either a monthly payment plan for $399 or an All Access plan for a flat monthly rate. Nanodegrees may cost anything from $600 to $1300.

Courses: 4.7/5

Udacity offers online courses you can’t find on all the best online learning platforms. This includes AI and cloud computing programs. However, they have fewer options than other providers.

Quality of the Coursework: 4.7/5

Udacity is one of the best e-learning platforms. However, the quality of the online courses depends on the instructors’ qualifications and the platform’s abilities since it does not provide traditional university education.

Extras: 4.8/5

Udacity discontinued its app a few years ago, but they assured us they were creating a substitute. The mentor program could be a unique addition, as it links learners to tutors that can answer queries within a few hours. Plus, you will receive job search guidance if you register for a nanodegree course.

Overall Score of Udacity: 4.7/5

>>Check the best prices on Udacity

5. Pluralsight – Best Online Learning Platform for Programming Skills – 4.65/5



  • Lecture videos that go right to the point.
  • The rate at which you may learn new technological abilities is up to you.
  • Develop your competence in guided laboratories where you get constant feedback.
  • Improve your performance by identifying problem areas with the Role Q and ISkill IQ tests.


  • There is a lack of certification options.
  • Too much emphasis on technical proficiency.

Pluralsight Overview

Pluralsight is among the best e-learning platforms that offer online courses in various technological fields, including but not limited to Machine Learning, Software Development, Cloud Computing, and many more. It provides several options for learning and improving one’s abilities, such as Skill Assessments, Courses, Labs, Hands-on Learning, and Certification Preparation.

Pluralsight is one of the best e-learning platforms, as all its courses are asynchronous, so you may study whenever it’s convenient for you. Individuals may choose between Pluralsight’s Standard and Premium plans, which have a free trial period.

Like most online learning platforms, the company offers three business and team plans: Starter, Professional, and Enterprise. Each plan supports anything from two to ten people. Pluralsight is an option to explore if you are interested in fostering future-ready skill sets.

Who Is It For?

As one of the best e-learning platforms, it provides access to two separate online course libraries: a Core library with over 2,500 courses and an Expanded library with over 7,000 courses. These courses are broken down into three tiers; beginner, intermediate, and advanced, just like most online learning platforms.

This is one of the best e-learning platforms for those looking to gain skills relevant to the technological field, such as information and cyber security, software development, and IT operations.

In doing so, it prioritizes ensuring that every one may take advantage of technological advancements to learn valuable skills for the future. The Pluralsight platform is meant to assist both people and companies.

Pluralsight is one of the best e-learning platforms and has partnered with major companies like Microsoft and Adobe to produce and develop its courses.

Pricing: 4.7/5

You may subscribe to Pluralsight monthly or annually, depending on your budget. Access to the core collection of 2,500 courses is included in the $29/month Standard plan, while access to all 7,000+ courses is included in the $45/month Premium plan.

The Standard and Premium plans may be paid annually for $299 and $449, respectively.

There are also three team options in addition to the individual plan; the Starter plan (for two people minimum) costs $399 per year, the Professional plan costs $579 per year, and the Enterprise plan costs $779 per year.

You may cancel your subscription anytime during each plan’s 10-14 day free trial period.

Courses: 4.6/5

Courses on Pluralsight are excellent if you want to learn more about computer science, user interface design, or related subjects.

Quality of the Coursework: 4.7/5

Since Pluralsight is one of the best e-learning platforms aimed at working professionals, they expect you to be highly driven to finish your training. Assessments, short lectures, and hands-on experiments are part of the curriculum.

Extras: 4.6/5

If you’re looking for one of the best e-learning platforms, the Pluralsight iOS app is a great choice. You can learn with the app whenever you have a spare moment to view a video lecture or complete a lab.

Overall Score of Pluralsight: 4.65/5

>>Get the best prices on Pluralsight

6. SkillShare – Best Online Learning Platform for Creative Skills – 4.6/5



  • You may give it a try risk-free for a week.
  • Spend time honing your business savvy, interpersonal abilities, and other essential professional skills by enrolling in relevant courses.
  • Offers financial aid to those who need it.


  • No completion certificates are available on SkillShare.

SkillShare Overview

SkillShare is among the best online learning platforms that offer more than 34,000 different programs for creative professionals and business owners. This site is one of the best e-learning platforms, with several sub-sections dedicated to various artistic disciplines such as music, creative writing, animation, UI/UX design, marketing, and many more.

The premium plan costs $167.88 per year (or $13.99 per month), with a free trial available to new users.

Full access to all online courses and business features is included in SkillShare for $159 per user per year for the team and company plan. It’s flexible enough to grow with your team or company, no matter how big or small you are.

Scholarships and financial assistance are available to qualified students on SkillShare, and yearly subscriptions are refundable within seven days.

Who Is It For?

SkillShare may be a useful platform for your employees to develop their skills if you are a business that employs design or visually creative professionals. The platform offers a wide range of relevant courses that may benefit your team.

It is also a terrific approach to seek inspiration via connection since it is among the few best online learning platforms that allow users to share their work and interact with other students and professors.

To be considered for teaching opportunities on the best e-learning platforms, a person must possess a high level of expertise in the creative sector and business-related fields like marketing, leadership, business analytics, and management.

Pricing: 4.6/5

Premium membership on SkillShare costs $167.88 per year, or $13.99 per month, with a single payment. If you’re interested in the premium features of SkillShare, you can try it out risk-free with a 14-day trial.

There are now three different team and company plans available on SkillShare. The annual cost of the Starter plan is $159 per user, while the Enterprise plan for groups of 20+ and the Revive plan for 51+ people are also charged individually.

Courses: 4.6/5

The best e-learning platforms offer classes in coding, design, the arts, and other useful topics. However, there aren’t any courses at the university level that lead to professional certification.

Quality of the Coursework: 4.5/5

As is common with many online course platforms, the quality of the courses on SkillShare may vary depending on the instructor. To assist with finding high-quality courses, SkillShare includes ratings and tags to identify top instructors.

Extras: 4.7/5

Android and iOS users may download SkillShare’s applications. Scholarships covering enrollment for a year, a select number of courses at no cost, and corporate training are also available.

Overall Score of SkillShare: 4.6/5

>>Check the best discounts and membership plans on SkillShare

7. Picmonic – Best Online Learning Platform for Medical Students – 4.5/5

Picmonic Logo


  • Presents concepts and terminology in bite-sized movies rather than via traditional lecture formats.
  • Discover complex medical ideas via engaging plots and simple metaphors.
  • Make your study guide to help you prepare for exams.
  • Picmonic is a visual mnemonic device designed to aid memory for long lists of information.


  • It’s meant to supplement education rather than replace it.

Picmonic Overview

Picmonic is one of the best e-learning platforms that use a “learn-review-quiz” methodology popular among medical students with a focus on visual and auditory learning.

Picture mnemonics help students remember “hard-to-learn information and concepts” by using memorable characters and storylines.

Its methods can boost memory by 331% and performance on tests by 50% while reducing the strain of learning [1].

Who Is It For?

Picmonic was created with the needs of future medical professionals in mind. The following academic disciplines are its primary focus:

  • Paramedics.
  • Pharmacy Students.
  • Physicians (Medical Students).
  • Physical Therapists.
  • Physician Assistants.
  • Nurse Practitioners.
  • Occupational Therapists.

Moreover, it contains material that is useful for:

  • College.
  • K-12.
  • Law.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Pricing: 4.8/5

A yearly membership to Picmonic costs less than $50, making it a very affordable option.

Courses: 4.2/5

However, Picmonic only provides partial courses. They provide more of a study guide or a tutoring service that emphasizes memorizing important topics and terminologies.

Quality of the Coursework: 4.5/5

Each film has several mnemonic techniques to aid comprehension and memorization. Multiple-choice questions evaluate knowledge retention.

Extras: 4.5/5

Each user may get detailed reports on their progress and study habits. You may enter an upcoming exam date to generate a personalized study plan. Mobile applications for iOS and Android make education accessible at any time.

Overall Score of Picmonic: 4.5/5

>>Get the best prices on Picmonic

8. Lecturio – Best Online Learning Platform for Student Nurses – 4.5/5



  • The timing of the video lessons is synchronized with your actual class times.
  • If you need help grasping a certain idea, try looking at related areas.
  • Benefit from guidance and assistance as you pursue your nursing education.
  • Plug in your course schedule and due dates to get your study schedule.


  • Only nursing students will find this platform helpful.

Lecturio Overview

Lecturio, founded in 2008 in Germany, is a complete resource for students and professionals in the medical field. Options for supplementary preparation for the USMLE Steps 1 and 2, as well as the MCAT and the MBBS, are provided.

One may watch video lectures, memorize materials with recall questions, reinforce knowledge with articles from the course textbook, and perform final preparation with practice questions that mimic those on the exam.

Those thinking about using this service to prepare for the MCAT may create an account immediately and begin without providing any financial information. There are 20 hours of video content and 1,000 questions available for you to attempt.

Who Is It For?

Lecturio is one of the best e-learning platforms focused on medical education and used primarily by students studying medicine, nursing, physician assistant training, and pre-medicine. It is also accessible to anyone interested in learning about the core medical sciences.

Pricing: 4.8/5

Lecturio offers free 20% of its video lectures and quizzes, with the option to upgrade to Lecturio Premium for access to the full range of resources. Premium plans start at $30 per month or $120 per year.

Courses: 4.2/5

Lecturio’s courses are geared towards student nurses taking college courses and are intended to provide additional support and resources rather than being standalone courses.

Quality of the Coursework: 4.5/5

Students in the nursing program may use the lectures and practice questions provided by Lecturio to augment their formal education. Handouts accompany these lectures, and learners can test their knowledge with quiz questions to ensure they’re getting the most out of the best e-learning platforms.

Extras: 4.5/5

Lecturio strives to make all its material accessible and straightforward. One of the best features of Lecturio e-learning platforms is that it will synchronize the progression of the course with the dates of your classes, ensuring that you stay caught up.

Overall Score of Lecturio: 4.5/5

>>Check the best discounts and price plans on Lecturio

What Are Online Learning Platforms?

Digital sites where instructors may advertise, sell and distribute their e-learning programs are called online learning platforms.

They are often known as “marketplaces for online courses.” Such sites provide students with a place to study without fear of retaliation from professors or other students, much as those found in conventional educational institutions.

The best online learning platforms provide various tools, such as video lessons, homework, tests, discussions, peer feedback, and certificates of accomplishment.

The phrase “online learning platforms” thus serves somewhat as a catchall for corporations and individuals. All the tools and materials that students need are centralized in one place, and you can use them to create courses, list them online, promote them, and collect payments from them.

How We Chose the Best Online Learning Platforms

Dozens of the best online platforms provide training, certification, and higher education opportunities online; all you have to do is do some research. We researched and compared more than a dozen industry leaders to compile a list of the best online learning platforms available to today’s students. To achieve this we:

  • Sampled courses and other study materials.
  • Examined student feedback on sites like Trustpilot, G2, and Facebook Reviews.
  • Reviewed websites and catalogs to learn about the courses and resources offered by various institutions.

We also looked at the four factors below to rank the best online learning platforms.

>>Get the best prices on MasterClass


Many students choose the best online learning platforms because they can study whenever and wherever is most convenient. On-demand, adaptable virtual meetings, self-paced lectures, and asynchronous assignments are features that make the best e-learning platforms accessible and convenient.

We also assessed the time it would take to finish each provider’s courses. To ensure that students could study with low time commitments, we prioritized courses you could complete in weeks to months in all the best online learning platforms.


One further perk of taking classes on the best online learning platforms is saving money compared to getting a two- or four-year degree elsewhere. Even though these classes are less expensive, we still wanted to ensure they provided the best e-learning platforms for a worthwhile education.

To ensure that students receive the necessary tools, information, and assistance, we compared what the best online learning platforms provide regarding course materials, course completion documentation, access duration, and more.

Student Satisfaction

A single institution can’t conduct quality assurance on all the best online learning platforms. That’s why we sought feedback from people who should know best—students taking classes from these best e-learning platforms.

We searched social media sites like Reddit and review sites like Trustpilot and G2 for comments from students on their interactions with instructors and other support staff members. After that, we reviewed the overall quality of their education from these best online learning platforms.

Faculty and Course Developers

We looked into who is responsible for creating and leading the courses offered by these online learning platforms. Some of them, like Coursera and Udacity, provide students with access to courses taught by famous academics from some of the world’s best institutions, including Kyoto University, MIT, the University of Toronto, and many more.

Other online learning platforms, such as MasterClass, collaborate with market leaders to provide courses that major in-demand skills in various fields.

What to Consider Before Joining the Best Online Learning Platforms

Choosing the best online course might be difficult because there are lots of them available. With that in mind, We compiled a list of recommendations to aid you in choosing the best choice possible from the many online learning platforms.

Course Filters

All the best online learning platforms have a filtering option that allows you to zero in on the exact details of the course you’re interested in. The filtering features on certain online learning platforms, like Udemy, are more in-depth than others. The platform offers filtering features like Review Scores, Video Length, Main Category, Subcategory, Difficulty, etc.

Type of Course

Several of the best e-learning platforms specialize in various aspects of education. If you look at Udemy courses, for example, they range from finance to cake decorating, sports, and everything in between.

Coursera is also one of the best e-learning platforms which provides various authorized educational options, from individual classes to the whole undergraduate and graduate degrees.

In contrast, MasterClass has A-listers and other VIPs as instructors in its professionally made and interesting video lectures.

>>Discover the best personal development courses on MasterClass

Read Reviews & Ratings

Reviews and ratings from former students provide valuable insight into the quality of most online learning platforms or a specific course.

Using the best e-learning platforms will provide you with an in-depth look at the course and its content through the eyes of previous students and is a great opportunity to get first-hand feedback. Coursera and SkillShare, for example, both use a graphical evaluation system that is easy to understand.

Course Information

We all want to peruse a course description before settling on a program of study (e.g., the syllabus, reading material, course duration, quizzes, etc.).

While this information is available on all course management systems, some are more thorough than others. The entire course outline is downloadable as a PDF from online learning platforms like Udacity. This is an excellent feature if you want to take time to study the course before committing to it.

Free Trials

If you’re interested in signing up on one of the best e-learning platforms, finding one that offers a free trial is a great way to familiarize yourself with the service and the available courses. It’s hard to find fault with a program that gives you a free trial period to test its lessons before committing to them.

SkillShare, for example, provides you with a whole month of free access, whereas Pluralsight only gives you two weeks.


Keep in mind that certain online learning platforms do not offer a refund before committing financially to a subscription plan or a course.

If you aren’t satisfied with an online course or membership plan within 30 days, you may get your money back from MasterClass and Udemy, two of the most lenient online learning platforms.

MasterClass is one of the best e-learning platforms that refund money quickly and without any problems. We found the platform pretty impressive, and as a result, most of its members often resubscribed to it.


The cost of different online courses might vary widely. An individual online course may cost as little as $19.99, while whole degree programs can cost upwards of $25,000. This pricing structure also reflects the dedication to the course that you have shown.

When comparing a two-year intense degree program costing $25,000 with a one-time payment of $19.99 for a three-week self-paced course, it’s easy to see how one could feel less financially constrained by the former option. 

Coursera is one of the online learning platforms that provide a wealth of free online courses for those who aren’t yet ready to commit monetarily to a course. You can also consider some free beginner-level Udemy courses.

>>Get the best discounts and prices on MasterClass


It’s crucial to learn as much as possible about the person teaching the online course you’re interested in taking on any online learning platform. They must possess the necessary qualifications and expertise to carry out the course effectively.

For the best online learning platforms like Udemy and SkillShare, each teacher has their unique pedagogical style.

On MasterClass, there are more than 150 celebrity teachers, including Chris Voss, Anna Wintour, Gordon Ramsay, and many more. Motivating yourself to study because one of these stars is an idol of yours is a good idea.

Differences Between Free and Paid Online Courses

Most of the online learning platforms we’ve included here also provide free options alongside their paying memberships, like some beginner-level Udemy courses. Paying for an online course often grants extra privileges, such as seeing more course materials, assignments, grades, and completion certificates.

Money invested in an online course may also incentivize students to do well and graduate. There are circumstances when a free online course might be enough. Students should consider their options before enrolling in a course so that they may choose the best one for them.

At the same time, people need to read the small print before signing up for a class on any online learning platform to ensure they are aware of all the costs involved.


An important advantage of paid programs on the best online learning platforms is that they often give proof of completion that graduates may use to their advantage when looking for work or furthering their education.

However, there are situations when a certificate of completion is unnecessary, such as when a student is only interested in the subject matter. Students picking between a free and paid course should consider whether they require certification.

Length of Access

Another major distinction between paid and free courses is the duration that students can access course resources.

Students typically have extended or unlimited access to course materials for paid courses. 

Free course participants sometimes have less access to course resources than those who pay.

Students who need additional time to finish a course or who wish to review previously covered material may decide it’s money well spent. A free course might be enough if that’s not the case.

Limited vs. Full Access

Only students who pay get access to a course’s complete set of features. Most businesses will charge you extra to access grading systems, quizzes and examinations, hands-on projects, and certifications. 

Some students may be content with just the minimum a free course supplies. In contrast, others may want to pay for the full, comprehensive experience.

>>Join MasterClass for high-quality online courses

How Do You Build and Sell a Course?

The rapid rise of online learning platforms has allowed anyone to participate in the expanding field of online education as a student and an instructor. 

The first stage is deciding what kind of course or lecture you want to give, which might be anything from a full semester at a university to a simple one-time event.

Also, prospective instructors must be completely honest about their skill set and background knowledge when evaluating whether or not they are qualified to be the course instructor on any of the best online learning platforms. 

Learners will value your expertise more if you have a degree in the topic, particularly if it’s a graduate degree or the terminal degree in the field (Ph.D.).

Earning a doctorate in this field demonstrates extensive research and study, making you qualified to instruct at any accredited institution or online school.

Some areas, like manicuring, may accept a license or certificate in place of a bachelor’s degree.

Furthermore, with the widespread availability of content, individuals with practical experience in a particular area may also be qualified to teach. This includes people who have worked successfully in the field for many years or have mastered a task through personal experiences, such as a stay-at-home parent who wants to teach laundry skills.

Determining the best online learning platforms for your course requires identifying your qualifications and the course you want to create. For instance, Harvard’s online education site will only accept your writing if you are a Harvard professor.

Since online learning platforms are abundant, the next step is to locate one. You could begin by examining the online learning platforms mentioned above. However, keep in mind that some are more suited to more serious courses while others are searching for lighter fare.

Once you have determined the site you want to contact, you should do so since most of these online learning platforms have useful links for those who wish to become the next professional educator.

Best Online Learning Platforms FAQ

Get answers to your inquiries about the best online learning platforms here. All bases are covered here.

Which Is the Best Free Online Learning Platform?

Among the best online learning platforms for free learning, Coursera is the most popular. The website provides access to over 2500 free courses from major universities such as Yale and Stanford, with options to subscribe to a premium version of the course at any time.

What Is the No 1 Online Learning Platform?

The number one online platform is undoubtedly MasterClass because it gets a perfect score in every category. The lecturers have recognized authorities in their specialties. They also put a lot of thought into developing each of their courses and the quality of production is excellent. MasterClass teaches you both practical skills and theoretical concepts.

>>Discover the best discounts and prices on MasterClass

What Online Courses Are in Demand?

The rapid expansion of the technology sector is a major factor in the soaring popularity of the best coding apps and other technical courses. Employment for software developers, for instance, is expected to increase by an average of 25% between 2021 and 2031. Compared to the median of all occupations, that’s a significant increase (20%) [2].

However, popular coursework varies by industry. Suppose you want to start a career in marketing, for example. In that case, an SEO program is a perfect option since search engine optimization is among the most in-demand talents in marketing.

Which Certificate Course Is Best?

Ultimately, your goals should guide you toward the most appropriate certificate program. You can take a broad certification program, then specialize later based on your interests.

Suppose you want to get into social media marketing, for instance. In that case, you may get your foot in the door by taking a digital marketing certification course to familiarize yourself with the fundamentals of the field. After you’ve mastered social media, you may become certified in it.

What Is the Best Free Online Course Platform?

MasterClass and Udacity are excellent resources for professional development training. We advise Coursera for anyone looking for theoretical university-level courses.

Which Online Learning Platform Can I Get Free Courses With a Free Certificate?

Coursera and Udemy both provide free courses with certificates. The cost of a course certificate varies widely among other best online learning platforms.

Is an Online Certificate Worth Anything?

Definitely! An online certificate is a worthwhile investment. It will make you more marketable to potential employers, and better prepare you for the responsibilities of your dream job. Moreover, earning a credential online involves time and dedication, which any business values.

Can You Get a Job With an Online Course?

Yes, it’s possible to get a job with an online course. However, you must demonstrate your competence via a certification, a body of work, and a personal project.

Nowadays, a bachelor’s degree isn’t a requirement for most jobs, and more companies are eager to hire people with unconventional educational histories. By taking advantage of the many available online courses, you may develop a skill set that is on par with any competitor.

Last Thoughts About Online Learning Platforms

Overall, we hope you find this guide helpful in learning about the many online learning platforms. MasterClass and Coursera are among our top picks. However, you may want to consider some factors before choosing the best online platform that suits your needs. 

Things to think about include whether or not the courses are within your budget, provide a wide variety of subjects, are self-paced, or you need an instructor.

Finding the proper e-learning community and course might take effort, but you won’t regret it once you do. Don’t be left out of the worldwide community forming around online education. Read more about a variety of topics on Philadelphia Weekly.

>>Join MasterClass to access exclusive online classes

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  1. Yang, Adeel, et al. “The Picmonic(®) Learning System: Enhancing Memory Retention of Medical Sciences, Using an Audiovisual Mnemonic Web-Based Learning Platform.” Advances in Medical Education and Practice, vol. 5, 2014, pp. 125–132, doi:10.2147/AMEP.S61875.
  2. “Software Developers, Quality Assurance Analysts, and Testers.” Bls.gov, 9 Sept. 2022, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm.
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