If your New Year’s resolutions involve acquiring new skills or gaining credentials to advance your career, getting a $100 discount on an annual Coursera Plus subscription sounds like a really good deal. It gives you unlimited access to the majority of Coursera’s content – over 7,000 courses from world-class universities and companies.
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If you have the time to devote to it, it is easy for an online course to become unwanted. Not content with one course, I Programmer team members have been known to score in two, three, or even four at a time. This was fine when such courses, “MOOCs” as we referred to them at the time, were free. But this is not a good idea nowadays when full access to most online courses requires payment. A one-year Coursera Plus subscription usually costs $399 (compared to $59 per month if you want a shorter commitment but there is a limited-time offer of $100 of annual subscription through January 13, 2022 open to anyone who hasn’t previously signed up for Coursera Plus.
Not everything in the Coursera catalog is included in Coursera Plus. In particular, it does not cover degrees, MasterTrack™ certification programs, or any of the professional certifications offered by IBM.
Unlimited access to over 7,000 built-in courses means that if there are similar courses from several providers, you don’t have to take risks as to which one suits you best – you can sign up for two or more alternatives and take advantage of the different perspective on offer.
While you might imagine that this freedom would lead to high dropout rates, the Coursera FAQ says the opposite is true:
Based on our data and research, we typically see higher completion rates among Coursera Plus learners, and hear directly from learners that having a Coursera Plus subscription increases their motivation to learn more.
Coursera Plus also appears to motivate some coaches to expand their offering. The one and only course we covered on Coursera in 2021 was Postgre SQL for everyone’s specialty from the University of Michigan created and taught by Charles Severance, aka Dr. Chuck, known as a teacher of Python specialization for everyone.
Is there a problem with adding too few new courses to the Coursera catalog? The answer should only be if you’ve already done so much that you are left with few options. If you scroll through the Coursera Plus course list, you’ll find 2,924 categorized as Computer Science, 2356 as Data Science and 1080 as Information Technology, making it a very broad choice for most programmers. In addition to a large selection of themes, there is also a range of formats. Coursera is often described as having a more academic approach than others. While this is true, along with their professional majors and certifications that take several weeks or months, they also offer short mentor projects that typically take two hours or less to complete. Costing $9.49 each, the guided projects focus on specific skills and have a standard format with split screen connectivity where learners work alongside the instructor.
Since we first introduced it, when there were “more than 150” to choose from, the number of guided projects available has mushroomed, all led by dedicated professionals with expertise in the skill, tool, or field of their project. There are now 2,345 of them, 776 in computer science, 511 in data science, and 264 in information technology. Among the newer there are Docker for beginners and Python for data analysis: Pandas & NumPy. These projects seem like a perfect way to get started on any unfamiliar topic and attract good reviews from those who have completed them.
In September 2021, we broke the news that certification is associated with an increase in salaries. This finding came from an O’Reilly survey that looked at the effect of training and certification on pay. In terms of training, those who spent more than 100 hours in training (19% of respondents) received an average salary increase of $11,000, which exceeds the average salary increase among all respondents by about 20%.
In the latest news, we reported that compensation of employees for professional development, including certifications, was among the perks offered by companies looking to attract new employees and retain existing employees. Coursera is generally well respected by employers, and Coursera issues a receipt for an appropriate Coursera Plus subscription to present to the employer – which will likely also be encouraged by the 25% discount available through January 13th.
Coursera Plus offer
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