Coursera's new annual subscription, Coursera Plus, grants members unlimited access to over 90% of its online classes for $399 a year

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  • Coursera Plus is a $399 annual subscription that grants members unlimited access to over 90% of the e-learning platform's online courses (over 3,000 classes) for a year.
  • Members can earn unlimited professional certificates, which they can add to their résumé and LinkedIn profile.
  • If you're planning to take multiple online courses throughout the year, the upfront investment could be worth it.
  • If you purchase Coursera Plus and change your mind, you can get a full refund within 14 days of your payment.
  • See more: 6 places to take free and affordable classes online

Coursera, a popular e-learning platform with thousands of online courses, now offers an annual subscription called Coursera Plus.

Users pay an upfront annual fee of $399, and they get access to thousands of courses. For anyone looking to learn a new skill, take multiple classes per year, or earn a certificate they can add to their LinkedIn profile, it could be a good value.Advertisement

The new subscription is technically a pilot for the company. However, if Coursera decides to end it, it has already guaranteed that members will be notified and will still have access to their subscription until the end of their first year.

What is Coursera Plus, and what's included with the subscription?

Coursera Plus is Coursera's unlimited annual subscription. It's $399 for the year and gives members unlimited access to over 90% of the platform's course catalog. You can access more than 3,000 classes taught by top instructors of prestigious universities (Colombia, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Penn, Princeton, Yale) and companies (Google Cloud, Goldman Sachs, VMware). Specializations and professional certificates are also included for everything from data science and business to health and personal development.

Once you're a member, you'll see a badge that says Coursera Plus on all the classes included in your subscription. You can browse a few of Coursera's most popular courses here, or skim the list of classes included with membership here.

Coursera Plus does not include degrees or MasterTrack certificates, and some professional certificates are excluded, like those offered by Amazon Web Services and IBM.

How many certificates can you earn with Coursera Plus?

According to the company, you earn a certificate for every course, specialization, or professional certificate you complete. You can share your certificate on your LinkedIn profile, with your employer, and on your CV and résumé.

Does Coursera Plus save you money?

It depends. Anyone can audit Coursera's courses for free, but you don't get access to all of a class' features, like graded homework and verified certificates of completion that you can add to your CV, résumé, or LinkedIn profile.Advertisement

If you plan on paying for full access to multiple courses, Coursera Plus may save you money depending on what they are and how much each one costs. But, if you only take one or two paid courses per year, you're probably better off without it.

If you're enrolling in a specialization, which is essentially a bundle of related courses designed to help you master a specific topic, then Coursera Plus may save you money - especially if you take longer to complete your specialization than its estimated time frame (which is three months on average) or plan to enroll in multiple specializations and/or other classes in the same year.

Most Coursera specializations are subscriptions, so you pay a monthly fee for access to all of the courses in your specialization until you've completed every course or you've canceled the subscription, rather than a one-time fee for a year of access. When you pay for a specialization and finish it, you get a specialization certificate as well as course certificates for each course you completed within it.Advertisement

Comparative price breakdown: Coursera Plus subscription vs. specialization subscriptions

A Coursera Plus subscription is $399 for the year, which breaks down to $33.25 a month. On average, a specialization ranges from $49-$79 a month and takes three months to complete, according to Coursera. The average cost is $147-$237 for a specialization without Coursera Plus; you'd pay $99.75 over the same time frame with Plus.

But, if you don't plan on taking other courses and complete the specialization's courses in three months, you may save money by doing it a la carte. If you want to take your time completing it, are going to take multiple courses throughout the year, or are interested in a specialization subscription with a longer time frame (some can take up to a year to complete), you are a good candidate for Coursera Plus.

What happens to any specialization subscriptions you're already enrolled in when you subscribe to Coursera Plus?

You'll need to cancel those subscriptions so you aren't charged twice; they won't be automatically canceled. Find step-by-step instructions to canceling an existing subscription here. Advertisement

According to the company, none of your progress will be impacted by canceling previous subscriptions.

Can you get a refund?

You can receive a full refund within 14 days of your payment, but if you earned a certificate using Plus during those 14 days, it would be revoked.

To get a refund, visit your My Purchases page within 14 days of purchase and submit a refund request. The company says your refund will be processed immediately and without questions.Advertisement

Can you ask your employer to reimburse your Coursera Plus fee?

If your employer offers educational reimbursements that include online-learning programs, you should be able to. You'll receive an email receipt that you can submit to your employer for reimbursement. But, you should check with your employer before purchasing to be sure.

Sign up for Coursera Plus here for $399 per year

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