Online learning has seen unprecedented growth in the past couple of years. Especially after the onset of nationwide lockdowns and work from home policies, people have resorted to online courses because they can manage their studies well, and to upskill themselves.

Whether you are a content creator looking for an online course platform to sell your courses or a student looking to learn from online courses, you are in the right place.

In this guide, we will discuss five major platforms through which you can learn new technical skills and equip yourself for 2021.


Coursera is one of the most popular platforms for online learning. It has been in business for over ten years and offers thousands of online courses that anyone can enroll in for free. You can also enroll in one of the seventeen online degrees and more than two dozen programs with professional certifications in various fields.

Coursera launched an initiative called Coursera for Campus that allows member institutes to integrate Coursera courses into their own degree programs. During the pandemic, Coursera announced to make Coursera for Campus free for higher education institutes. Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller established Coursera in 2012.


EdX is a non-profit organization founded by MIT and Harvard University in 2012. EdX offers more than 3000 online courses in hundreds of subjects that are provided by more than a hundred and forty universities and organizations. As an auditor, students can enroll in most edX courses for free but to obtain graded assignments and a course completion certificate, a fees is required.


Skillshare is an online community that offers thousands of courses for people who are looking to acquire new skills in fields such as design, film, photography, marketing, development, etc.

Skillshare is a New York based company that is not affiliated with any colleges and does not offer any course completion certificates. The main focus is on teaching a practical skill than can help advance the students in their careers. 

Anyone with a set of skills can create a class on SkillShare. There is no application or approval process for teachers, and potential students should be aware of that.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a non profit organization started in 2008. Currently, the platform offers 10,000 classes for students in every grade and in major subjects such as math, science, computer programming, grammar, literature, history, etc.

The site has a traffic of around 18 million learners each month who are studying in more than 40 languages. The site also offers resources to teachers, tutors, parents, and free preparation for SAT and other admission tests.

As a response to the pandemic, Khan Academy created a list of suggested schedules to help parents and teachers ensure the learning process of students at home.


Udemy is an online platform where anyone can create a course. The company is a marketplace that brings together people with expertise in a topic and people who want to learn that topic.

Majority of the courses on Udemy are practical rather than theoretical but students can find relevant courses and expand their knowledge-base in any academic subject.

Sometimes the courses might not be as good as edX or Coursera. However, the majority of the offered courses are from graduate students or professionals who are experts in their fields.

For a time, Udemy hired professors to create free courses in an area of its website and named it as The Faculty Project but is no longer in business with only eight courses currently offered. According to Udemy, they have more than 100,000 courses on their website.

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