edX is an online platform where you can attend all kinds of online classes and courses, offered by top-leading universities such as Harvard, Berkeley, and Boston Universities. Over 160 universities are edX member universities.
There are over 3,000 courses on edX, and most of them are free. Others, however, come at hefty prices, especially programs such as the Microbachelor’s, Online Masters, and other programs that offer specific certificates.
However, one common complaint about edX is that once you get to a certain level in some topics, there is a lack of good content to take you to a more advanced level.
And while they have a good selection of content overall, there may be some specific topics you want to delve deeper into, such as coding, for which there are better options.
Today, I will show you the top 12 edX alternatives for online self-learning. Whether you are an adult learner who never went to a university or a college student who would like to take their college classes to the next level, these edX alternatives will help you gain a wealth of knowledge.
Let us get into it.
Coursera is a website that is very similar to edX in that it offers a wide range of courses on a wide range of topics, with courses offered by well-known universities and schools. In addition, it offers a nice selection of certificates and specializations.
Once you sign in, you will see many courses and programs you can take.
For example, you can see that there are now 425 data science courses available, 1095 business courses, 688 computer science courses, 471 health courses, and so on. They also show you courses and programs based on previous courses you viewed on the site.
Coursera seems to have a wider selection of courses than edX, with over 5,100 Coursera courses and specializations compared to edX’s 3,000+.
In addition, Coursera offers more than 40 types of online certificates and more than 25 different online university degrees. Some universities offering degrees through Coursera include the University of Michigan and the Imperial College of London.
Like edX, Coursera has a business program, called Coursera for Business, which is designed to help train and teach teams using materials from leading universities. Again, it seems to have more courses than edX for Business, with over 4,000 courses available.
In addition, Coursera has 1,000+ guided projects you can use to train your team. Coursera for teams allows you to set up training programs with curated content for teams and track their progress.
Coursera has the advantage of having a lot of content. However, the downside is that although there is a ton of free content on Coursera, many courses are not free.
Nevertheless, most courses cost a small monthly fee as opposed to a large one-time fee. If you finish the course in a month, you won’t have to pay any extra.
Also, financial aid is often available for Coursera courses offered by leading universities such as Harvard.
Udacity offers a wide range of “nanodegree” programs. For example, it offers nanodegrees in:
- Artificial Intelligence programs such as AI for healthcare
- Cybersecurity programs such as Security Analyst
- Data Science programs such as Predictive Analytics for Business
The difference between edX and Udacity is that Udacity focuses more on digital skills, such as programming, development, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, cloud computing, autonomous systems, product management, and more.
As such, Udacity might be a better choice if you are looking for more in-depth content in those types of digital skills.
Most of the programs also include real-world projects from industry experts to help you practice the skills you are learning. In addition, you will get access to a technical mentor, so you can ask questions, as well as career services such as resume optimization and LinkedIn profile optimization.
In addition, once you enroll, you will be able to browse job listings from Udacity’s Enterprise and Government partners.
Those career services can help increase your chances of landing a good job.
Udacity also offers services to business and governmental organizations to help train teams and employees.
While many courses are free, the nanodegree programs can be a bit on the expensive side. However, you will get a wealth of knowledge, real mentoring, and real projects to practice with, making it all well worth it.
3. LinkedIn Learning (Formerly Lynda)
LinkedIn Learning, which used to go by the name Lynda, is another excellent resource for studying online. There is a huge selection of content and courses available on all sorts of topics, from many instructors.
The selection of courses at LinkedIn Learning is much larger than that at edX. While edX has over 3,000 courses, LinkedIn Learning has over 16,000 courses, with over 60 new courses added every week!
Courses are available not just in English but in other languages as well, including Spanish, German, French, Mandarin, Japanese, and more.
The courses at edX are a bit more “academic” than those at LinkedIn Learning. Nevertheless, all courses at LinkedIn Learning are taught by industry experts from the LinkedIn team, and the entire program is backed by LinkedIn, so you know it’s pretty good.
You can view the LinkedIn Learning content library here, which includes courses on topics related to business, technology, and much more.
There are also certification programs offered. These certification programs are offered in collaboration with companies and organizations such as Amazon Web Services, Autodesk, and CompTIA.
LinkedIn Learning is free for the first month. That will give you access to all courses on the platforms, so if there is a specific course you are interested in, you can take it for free as long as you finish it within your first month.
After that, LinkedIn Learning will cost $19.99/month if you pay annually and $29.99/month if you pay monthly. Prices are subject to change, so do check the subscription page for updated pricing information.
LinkedIn Learning also offers solutions for businesses and governments (for team training) and higher education organizations. Educators can upload their own content to be available side by side together with existing LinkedIn Learning content and track their students’ progress.
Pluralsight is an online learning platform for advanced learners and teams that uses a subscription model. For the purpose of this article, we’ll focus mostly on the “Skills” plans, which are designed to help learners study new skills.
There are over 2,500 courses in the basic Standard library, which includes career paths to help learners and teams study specific skills. Some topics covered in the library include software development, IT operations, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and many other skills that are in high demand.
The expanded library includes over 7,000 courses. It is available on the premium plans, and it includes courses on more advanced and complex topics.
Pluralsight is a good alternative to edX to practice and improve your skills in specific paths. Paths curate content to help you learn skills in a specific order and gradually expand your knowledge.
Also, the courses include sandboxes, so you can practice what you learn. The skill assessments help you figure out where your knowledge is lacking and which courses are right for you.
Pluralsight is also a good alternative to edX when preparing to take certain industry certifications and exams. There are courses specifically designed to help you prepare for such certifications.
Individual plans, which you can view on the pricing page, are $19/month for the core library and $29/month for the expanded library (yearly plans come with a discount of 30 percent). Team plans for businesses and corporations start at $399/year per user.
Flow is a separate Pluralsight product that gives insights into your team’s coding and engineering work to ensure everything is going smoothly.
Overall, Pluralsight is a better alternative to edX if you want to learn advanced skills in digital topics such as web development, IT ops, design, software development, and more. However, beginner courses are also available.
Udemy has the largest selection of courses from all edX alternatives yet, with a massive library of over 155,000 courses, with many new courses added every single day. That’s a lot compared to edX’s 3,000+ courses.
The difference is that while courses on edX tend to be offered by universities and colleges, most courses on Udemy are taught by private instructors. Some are industry experts, such as Seth Godin, while others are entrepreneurs and people who are simply educated in a particular subject.
Anyone can create and sell a course on Udemy, which is why there are so many courses available.
Courses can be as short as 30 minutes long or over a dozen hours long. Many courses come with additional resources, such as PDFs or private Facebook groups for a community.
Many Udemy courses are free, so you can learn about a lot of topics without paying any money. While most courses are not free, and you have to buy each one separately, Udemy runs promotions regularly.
These site-wide promotions make courses available for as low as $10. During these promotions, try to snatch up as many courses as you can.
However, it also has courses for every other topic under the sun, such as yoga, meditation, exercise, cooking, gardening, and even obscure topics you would not think of.
Udemy is less “academic” than edX, but it sure has a lot more courses. Also, all the courses on Udemy are yours forever, so you can take your time studying them.
The Udemy mobile app makes it easy to watch video course content on your phone. You can even download video content or entire courses for offline access to catch while you are on the go with no Wi-Fi.
Skillshare has a lot more courses than edX, with over 25,000 courses compared to the 3,000+ on edX.
The courses on Skillshare are taught by industry experts, entrepreneurs, professionals, and educators. The courses cover a wide range of topics, from business-related topics such as marketing to more mundane topics.
The benefit of Skillshare is that you don’t have to pay for each course you buy. Instead, you pay a single monthly fee to get access to all the courses on the site.
Some topics available to learn on Skillshare include:
- Web development
- UX design
- Graphic design
- Fine art
- Film and video
- Creative writing
- Business analytics
- Leadership and management
- And a lot more
Classes and courses come in all lengths. Some are only around half an hour long, while others go more in-depth and last for around 10 hours or more.
Although most courses on Skillshare require a premium subscription, you don’t need to pay to view all the courses. Many courses are free, meaning you can view them on a free account, without signing up for premium.
Codecademy is THE learning platform for learning how to code. It has a wide range of courses on all kinds of programming languages and coding-related topics, making it an awesome alternative to edX for those looking to learn how to code.
Over 50 million people have joined Codecademy to learn how to code. Here are some of the languages you can learn on Codecademy:
- Any many others
Other subjects for which there are courses available on Codecademy include:
- Developer tools
- Game development
- Computer science
- Web development
- Data visualization
- Machine learning
- And other related topics
As you can see, although Codecademy focuses mainly on coding, other related topics are covered as well.
In addition to all those courses, there are cheat sheets and projects you can work on to practice the new programming skills you just learned.
The best part about Codecademy over other alternatives is that you can learn how to code for free. However, although the free plan gives you access to the core library, upgrading to the premium plan will give you access to:
- Premium content
- Unlimited mobile practice
- Special quizzes
- Practice exercise
- Real-world projects to practice with
- Step-by-step guidance
- Certificates of completion
In addition, there is a plan for teams, which will give you access to features such as team performance reports.
Codecademy has “paths” that curate a set curriculum for a specific career path, such as computer science or data science.
In addition, Codecademy gives a discount to students who sign up for an annual plan at 35% cheaper than the normal price. For individuals (not students), prices start at just $19/month for the premium annual plan and $39/month if you pay monthly.
Again, you don’t need to pay to get an excellent education from Codecademy. Always check the pricing page for updated pricing information.
freeCodeCamp is another excellent edX alternative for those looking to learn how to code for free. Everything is free on freeCodeCamp, like the name suggests, unlike edX.
You can earn certifications in topics related to coding, such as:
- Responsive web design
- APIs and microservices
- Front end development libraries
- Scientific computing with Python
- Machine learning with Python
- Information security
There are tons of guides and courses on freeCodeCamp, and they are all free.
SoloLearn is yet another edX alternative for learning how to code by yourself. It is free to use, so if you are interested in learning how to code by yourself, consider choosing it as an edX alternative.
On SoloLearn, you can study languages such as C#, Python, Java, C++, and many others.
One of the reasons to choose SoloLearn over edX is the teaching style it uses. Instead of long lessons, it uses bite-sized lessons to help you learn and master a little at a time until you can write code easily.
The lessons contain quizzes as well, allowing you to test your knowledge and figure out where you need to improve.
SoloLearn has both an Android and an iOS app, which makes it a great resource for learning code if you are often on the go.
The SoloLearn community forum is a great place to hang out, chat with other SoloLearn learners, and discuss coding issues.
Although SoloLearn is free, there is a premium plan as well. The Pro plan gives you access to a lot more practice options to improve your skills.
It is very affordable as well, at just $69.99/year or $12.99/month, with a free trial that lasts for two weeks. Always check the SoloLearn pricing page for updated pricing information.
10. Khan Academy
Khan Academy is a wonderful online learning platform. Unlike edX and its other alternatives, every single course is free.
Also, unlike edX, it covers classes for all grades in the school system, from before the first grade all the way to the college level. As such, it is a great alternative for children and high school students and their parents.
At the same time, Khan Academy has many college-level courses, making it a good, free alternative to edX if you would like to study topics such as:
- College Art History
- College Macroeconomics
- College Computer Science Principles
- College Statistics
- College Calculus
And so on.
For kids and high school students, Khan Academy covers all topics under the sun, including:
- Arts & Humanities
- Reading & Language Arts
- And much more
There are also life skill courses, such as:
- Career preparation courses
- Personal finance
- Emotional and social learning
In addition, there are various test prep courses.
Despite the name, Wikiversity is not an actual “university.” Instead, it is an open education project by the Wikimedia Foundation to provide learning resources covering all kinds of topics in multiple languages.
Wikiversity is a sister project of Wikipedia, which is also run by the Wikimedia Foundation. Other notable projects include Wikimedia Commons and Wikibooks.
For example, in English, there are over 28,000 online resources you can use for free. Some topics for which there are free resources include:
- Social science
- And more
For example, the Science portal includes projects like the Astronomy Project. There are many other portals as well, such as:
- Biomedical Science
- Green Chemistry
- And many others
Click on “Portals” on the home page to access all the portals.
You can also click on the “Courses” option. From there, you can choose science courses, medicine courses, mathematics courses, engineering courses, and many others.
Wikiversity is always free, and nothing is paid, unlike edX. It is an open education program, so you can study at your own pace using the provided resources, without ever being bound to a specific schedule.
The final edX alternative we will be looking at is Treehouse, which is a good alternative to edX if you want to learn code. However, coding is not the only topic that is covered.
For example, you can learn programming, design, and a lot more.
Treehouse offers both courses and “Tech Degrees.” The Techdegree boot camps focus on guided learning paths to help you master a specific skill.
The boot camps generally last between three and nine months, depending on how much time you put in, and cost $199/month. After you complete the course, you will get a “techdegree” certificate.
However, you can also opt for standalone courses. That is a lot cheaper, with all courses being available under a $25/month subscription, with a seven-day free trial (the homepage should have updated pricing information).
Coursera is the best edX alternative if you are looking for courses on a wide range of topics offered by respected universities and taught by professors.
There is a larger selection of courses available and many courses are free or very affordable.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.