Looking to learn something new or level up your skills? You’re in luck! Online learning platforms make it super easy to pick up a new skill or topic, all from the comfort of your home. But with so many options out there, how do you know which one is the best fit for you? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. In this easy-to-read guide, we’re diving into the top online learning platforms out there. Whether you’re aiming for a promotion, acing your exams, or just exploring a new hobby, we’ll help you find the perfect platform to meet your goals. Ready to jump in? Let’s get started and unlock a whole new world of learning!
In this article, we will countdown the top 10 best online learning platforms available in 2023. We evaluated each platform based on its course catalog, instructor quality, affordability and user experience. If you’re looking to level up your skills and knowledge, these online learning sites should be at the top of your list.
Founded in 2012 by Stanford professors, Coursera is one of the largest online learning platforms on the web. It partners with over 200 leading universities and companies to offer courses in dozens of topics and disciplines. Coursera’s course catalog contains over 4,000 courses in subjects like technology, business, arts and humanities.
Coursera is best known for its Specializations – programs that allow you to master a skill or subject through a series of courses. Specializations combine hands-on projects and peer-graded assignments to reinforce your learning. Upon completion, you earn a shareable Course Certificate.
The platform also offers Guided Projects, where you can gain practical experience in about 2-3 hours. For a more intensive learning experience, Coursera has full online degrees as well as a Coursera Plus subscription plan.
- 4,000+ courses from leading universities like Yale, University of Michigan and Imperial College London
- 180+ Specializations and Professional Certificates
- Coursera Plus subscription offers unlimited access to 3,000+ courses and Specializations
- Course certificates and Specialization certificates upon completion
- 14 online degrees in subjects like computer science, business, and public health
Founded by Harvard and MIT in 2012, edX is home to over 2,500 courses from 140 institutions worldwide. It offers high-quality courses in both academic and professional topics – from computer science and business to humanities and social sciences.
edX courses come in many flavors:
- MicroMasters provide a pathway to earn a credential from top universities that counts toward a full master’s degree.
- Professional Certificate Programs allow you to gain job-ready skills in fields like marketing, IT and business.
- XSeries Programs let you take a series of courses and capstone to master specific skills.
Most edX courses are self-paced but some follow a fixed schedule with weekly deadlines. Upon completing a course, you can pay a fee to receive a verified certificate that you can add to your resume or LinkedIn. edX also offers discounted courses for learners in developing countries.
- 2,500+ courses from leading schools like MIT, Columbia University, Microsoft and IBM
- MicroMasters, Professional Certificates and XSeries
- Self-paced and instructor-led courses
- Verified Certificates available
- Affordable option for developing countries
With over 213,000 online courses, Udemy is one of the best online learning platforms for learning new skills online. It offers courses in topics ranging from programming and design to personal development.
Unlike academic platforms like Coursera and edX, Udemy is open to instructors from any background. As a result, course quality and teaching styles vary widely. But the upside is that many courses are highly practical and tailored specifically for career skills.
Popular course topics include coding, photography, marketing, business analytics, health and fitness, music and more. Udemy offers both free and paid courses at affordable prices. Paid courses frequently go on sale for as low as $9.99, so you can pick them up for a steal.
Udemy offers a 30-day money back guarantee so you can get a refund if a course doesn’t meet your needs. With over 57 million students worldwide, Udemy is a great choice for career-focused learning.
- 213,000+ courses in dozens of categories
- Courses range from free to $200 (frequently discounted)
- No admission requirements – anyone can enroll
- 30-day money back guarantee
- 62+ million students worldwide
4. LinkedIn Learning
With over 16,000 courses, LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda) is a leading online learning platform geared towards professional development. It specializes in teaching business, creative and technology skills through video courses.
LinkedIn Learning works directly with experts to create on-demand video tutorials that mimic a one-on-one learning experience. Course lengths range from 30 minutes to several hours so you can learn at your own pace. With a premium subscription, you can access the full course library as well as practice tests to reinforce your knowledge.
Popular courses cover in-demand skills like leadership, software development, marketing, design, project management and more. LinkedIn Learning is a great choice for anyone looking to get ahead in their career and stay relevant in a rapidly evolving job market.
- 16,000+ expert-led courses in business, tech and creative skills
- Bite-sized video lessons from industry experts
- Practice exercises and quizzes
- Course recommendations based on your goals
- Mobile app allows learning on the go
- Integrates with LinkedIn profile and newsfeed
Skillshare takes an approach to online learning that emphasizes creativity, inspiration and community. The platform offers over 35,000 video-based courses taught by industry experts across dozens of creative disciplines.
Skillshare has courses in topics like illustration, graphic design, photography, creative writing, animation, filmmaking, interior design, and more. Its instructors include successful artists, designers, and entrepreneurs who share practical insights from the field.
Most courses use a project-based curriculum where you learn by doing. Skillshare is designed to inspire creativity and collaboration through its community features. Members can share work, give feedback and interact in class discussions.
Skillshare offers an affordable annual subscription. There are also thousands of free courses available without a subscription. For creatives looking to turn their passion into a career, Skillshare is a great place to start.
- 35,000+ courses in creative disciplines like design, photography, writing, film and more
- Project-based, hands-on learning
- Courses taught by industry experts and successful creatives
- Community features to share work and get feedback
- Annual subscription provides unlimited access
- Thousands of free courses available without subscription
6. Khan Academy
Khan Academy offers free online courses in math, science, humanities and test prep for all ages. Its founder, Salman Khan, created the first lessons by tutoring his cousin remotely using Yahoo Doodle. Today, Khan Academy serves over 120 million learners worldwide.
Khan Academy’s core subjects include math (arithmetic through calculus), grammar, science, history, AP courses, SAT prep and more. Lessons consist of video tutorials and practice exercises. The platform is especially popular for its math courses which build skills incrementally from basic addition through college-level calculus.
For learners needing help or motivation, Khan Academy offers mastery challenges to help track progress as well as points and badges to motivate learning. Parents and teachers can also monitor student progress through the platform. Resources are available in over 36 languages.
Khan Academy is an excellent (and free) resource for supplementing schoolwork or preparing for college admissions tests. Its friendly teaching style and gamification make learning fun and accessible for all.
- 10,000+ free video lessons and practice exercises
- Courses in math, science, humanities from elementary through post-secondary
- Resources for test prep (SAT, LSAT)
- Available in over 36 languages
- Tools for mastery tracking and motivation (points, badges)
- Monitor progress through teacher/parent accounts
- Customized learning plans
For anyone interested in data science or analytics, DataCamp offers top-rated courses in R, Python, SQL, data visualization and more. DataCamp is a specialized online learning platform specifically focused on data skills for business.
DataCamp offers both self-paced and guided learning paths to help you master data skills at any level. Their unique course format combines video lectures with hands-on coding challenges that provide practical experience. Courses take a project-based approach centered around real-world examples and case studies.
Popular course tracks include data analyst, data scientist, data engineering, machine learning scientist, and more. DataCamp also offers enterprise training solutions for businesses looking to upskill their data teams. Their platform makes it easy to assess proficiency and track progress.
With over 6 million learners worldwide, DataCamp is the leading online learning platform for data science and analytics. It offers the most hands-on, practical way to build in-demand data skills.
- 500+ courses in R, Python, SQL, Power BI, Tableau
- Self-paced and guided learning paths for any skill level
- Project-based curriculum with hands-on coding challenges
- Enterprise training solutions for upskilling data teams
- Proficiency assessments and progress tracking
- Over 6 million learners worldwide
- Specializations in data science, data analytics, data engineering, machine learning
Treehouse is an online learning platform focused on teaching technology skills like coding, web development, design and business. It takes beginners from zero experience to job-ready with its extensive library of over 1,000 courses.
Treehouse courses use video combined with interactive code challenges. This learn-by-doing approach ensures you gain practical experience that sticks. Courses are organized into specialized TechDegrees that align with tech career paths like full stack developer, digital marketer and iOS developer.
The platform also offers business and marketing courses to help entrepreneurs or small business owners skill up. Treehouse prioritizes teaching real-world skills that translate directly to work. Its TechDegree programs even include a job guarantee.
With affordable pricing and expert teachers, Treehouse is a great choice for launching a career in tech.
- 1,000+ courses in coding, web development, design and business
- TechDegree programs aligned with tech careers like web developer and data analyst
- Project-based, interactive courses with hands-on coding
- Business and marketing courses for entrepreneurs
- Job guarantee with TechDegree programs
- Affordable subscription plans
MasterClass offers online courses taught by celebrities and industry leaders across a variety of fields. It features over 180 instructors including big names like Gordon Ramsay, Serena Williams, Neil deGrasse Tyson and more.
Courses focus on sharing first-hand knowledge and insights straight from top experts. Subjects range from cooking and sports to photography, acting, writing and beyond.
Each course includes 10-25 video lessons totaling 2-6 hours of content. Lessons capture intimate, behind-the-scenes access to each instructor. Courses are optimized for learning through case studies, demonstrations and assignments.
MasterClass offers an All-Access Pass for unlimited course viewing as well as an annual gift subscription. For aspiring professionals or hobbyists, learning from A-list instructors provides unique motivation and inspiration.
- Courses taught by 180+ industry leaders and celebrities
- All-Access Pass provides unlimited course viewing
- Lessons capture intimate, insider access to top experts
- Case studies and assignments optimize for learning
- Annual gift subscriptions available
- Inspiring way to learn directly from the best
Pluralsight is an e-learning platform focused on teaching creative and tech skills for professionals. It offers over 1,500 courses across key topics like cloud computing, machine learning, design, IT ops and more.
Pluralsight courses consist of video content combined with knowledge checks to test understanding. With a premium subscription, you gain access to the full course library and over 3,500 hours of content.
Popular features include skill assessments, learning paths, channels, mentoring and custom enterprise plans. Skill assessments use adaptive testing to gauge proficiency in key software and tools. Channels allow you to focus your learning in specific areas like Azure or Design.
Pluralsight offers flexible plans for businesses and teams starting at $299 per month. With world-class instruction and skill measurement tools, Pluralsight provides end-to-end professional development.
- 1,500+ courses in tech, creative and business skills
- 3,500+ hours of video content
- Skill assessments and mentoring
- Learning paths aligned to tech roles
- Channels for specialized focus areas
- Enterprise training and development plans
Online learning has opened up education like never before. Whether you want to gain professional skills, switch careers or just learn for fun, e-learning makes education accessible.
The platforms in this list represent the best destinations for online learning in 2023. From leading universities like MIT and Harvard to celebrities like Gordon Ramsay, there are courses taught by the world’s top experts.
Online programs like Specializations, Professional Certificates and MicroMasters also provide structured pathways for mastering new skills and subjects. And features like hands-on projects, interactive code challenges and expert feedback ensure you gain practical abilities.
With flexible, affordable options for learning anytime, anywhere, there’s never been a better time to invest in yourself and your career. The only limit is your imagination!