Ever wanted to pursue courses and degrees from the world’s top universities and institutions but had to drop the plan because of the endless constraints that come with it? Then edX is the answer! In our in-depth edX review we’ll be taking a close look at all of the platform’s qualities and unique features – which make it one of the best online course platforms – letting you know exactly what it has to offer.
Now as we all know, most of the top universities are way too expensive for the average individual, not to mention that it’s not always possible for an individual to quit everything and move across the world in pursuit of higher education or even professional education. There can be a personal constraint as well. There are only so many scholarships available that help with the educational investment and there are only a handful of these meted to students.
What do you do in such a case? You might be a bright student who wants to pursue a Harvard-level education but has no means to do it. Herein enter the online learning platforms like edX. Keeping up the pace of advancement of technology and to make world-class education affordable and accessible to students across the world, these platforms have come up as an excellent alternative, offering courses in all types of domains.
edX is one of the most popular and well respected names in this category. It’s an online learning portal that offers courses in all domains from top universities and colleges from around the world. The massive online open courses (MOOCs) as they are called are available for enrollment around the year and can be studied by anyone anywhere. It has a huge catalog of courses from institutes like Harvard, MIT, UCLA and many more eminent institutions.
In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at edX, review it and tell you everything you need to know about the platform so that if you are looking to accelerate your career or trying to learn something new and are confused about how to go about it, this review will help you make a decision.
What is edX?
edX is an online learning platform that was launched by Harvard and MIT and presently hosts about 20 million learners. It is probably the only online learning platform that is both non-profit and open source and works at such a massive scale. The platform was launched with the intention of eliminating the hurdles of location, costs and accessibility in the domain of education. It offers a plethora of courses from the leading universities in every domain from computer science and engineering to humanities and language. The board of directors of the company include prominent personalities from the education space and the top universities.
There are individual courses on a wide range of subjects and then there are programs and degrees that include professional certification and degrees. edX also recently launched its highly distinct MicroMasters program that’s meant for graduate-level students who are looking for career advancement.
edX Courses and Programs
There are 31 subjects – and always growing – overall, under which there are a huge number of courses, programs and degrees. The course list ranges from data science and programming to art, design and culture to finance, literature and everything else under the sun. Here’s a list of some of the main subjects covered by edX:
- Business & Management
- Computer Science
- Data Analysis & Statistics
- Economics & Finance
- Food & Nutrition
- Health & Safety
- Philosophy & Ethics
This list is not even the complete picture of the subjects offered by the platform. Under each of these subjects, there is again a wide range of courses that students can choose from.
edX also offers several tracked programs and degrees for professionals who are looking to take their career to a new level. There are four types of programs offered by edX:
- MicroMasters Program
- Online Professional Certificates
- Master’s Degrees
- Bachelor’s Degrees
- Global Freshman Academy
One of the most distinct offerings by an online learning portal, the MicroMasters Program by edX is a series of graduate-level courses taught by some of the most renowned universities and schools from across the world. These programs have the core objective of advancing your career and make you a more sought-after candidate. The certificate offered under the MicroMasters programs are considered relevant and valid by employers as well and are appreciated for the learning outcomes they offer.
One of the biggest advantages of a MicroMasters program is that a student enrolled in the course can apply to the university that’s teaching the course. They can pursue a fast tracked, less expensive master’s program from that university.
The MicroMasters Programs are recognized by industry leaders like Walmart, IBM, GE, Volvo, Adobe, Fidelity Investments, Ford, PWC and many more. The programs are designed keeping the needs of the job in mind. Some of the universities partnered with edX for this program are:
- Boston University
- University of Maryland
- Columbia University
- UC San Diego
There are a number of courses offered under this category. Some of the programs include:
- Supply Chain Management
- Data Science
- Digital Product Management
- Artificial Intelligence
- MBA Core Curriculum
- Sustainable Energy
- Design Thinking
- Emerging Automotive Technologies
- Business Fundamentals
- Marketing in a Digital World
These are just a few of the examples. Pursuing a MicroMasters program does not guarantee a job, an interview or acceptance into a master’s program of the university offering the credit for the course, but definitely polishes your skills and teaches you everything there is to know about the course so that you can stay at the top of your field and prepare well for the job you want. The program equips you with the right tools and skills to excel at your job.
Online Professional Certificate Programs
The Online Professional Certificate Programs are a wide variety of courses that are designed by some of the top universities and industry stalwarts that work to train you in the most in-demand fields of the present-day world. Some of the universities and industry leaders that have partnered with edX for these certificate programs are:
- Harvard University
- The University of California, Berkeley
- University of Pennsylvania
- Columbia University
There are over 100 courses that are offered under the Online Professional Certificate Program. You can easily find the program of your choice and interest from the huge catalog and study at your own pace since the schedule is highly flexible and made to fit your busy life. You earn a certificate at the end of the program that you can showcase on your resume and LinkedIn profile that demonstrates your skills in that area.
At first glance, this might sound dubious. How can you get a master’s degree without actually enrolling in the institutions and attending classes? The master’s degree programs on edX are offered by top-ranked universities and are fully accredited by these institutions. They are completely online and cost almost half of what it would cost you to study the same program at the campus itself. The program offers the same rigor of curriculum as is offered to the students at the campus, including live projects, projects and case studies and peer learning.
The universities that currently offer master’s degree on edX include:
- Georgia Tech
- The University of Texas at Austin
- Indiana University
- Arizona State University
- University of Queensland
- Boston University
- Curtin University
Some of the master’s degree programs include:
- Master’s in Business Administration (Boston University)
- Master’s Degree in Computer Science (The University of Texas at Austin)
- Master’s Degree in Supply Chain Management (Arizona State University)
- Master’s Degree in Data Science (University of California, San Diego)
Most of these degrees are completed in one to three years are extremely affordable as compared to the same programs at the campuses of these institutions. They offer full flexibility to study as and when you want to. A lot of new degrees programs are also being added constantly.
Just recently, edX has added a new section to their arsenal of options: online bachelor degrees (so far, only micro-bachelor degrees that ca be completed in person at the relevant university). We’ve just recently heard about this and will continue to update this category but so far these are the ones you can enroll in:
- IT – Information Technology (Western Governors University)
- Computer Science (New York University)
Global Freshman Academy
This is a unique offering on edX in association with the Arizona State University. It aims to offer an opportunity to students from all sorts of backgrounds to study the same courses as those by students who are enrolled at ASU. The credit earned is transferable to any ASU course and you only have to pay the tuition fee if you get the score that’s required.
There is no application fee or selection process in this track. You can simply enroll today and start learning right away. The credit earned through this program can be transferred to ASU or any other university that accepts these credits. Currently, there are three programs under the Global Freshman Academy category:
- Introduction to Human Communication
- College Algebra and Problem Solving
XSeries programs are offered in interesting and in-demand fields with an objective to offer deep learning in these fields and a certification to demonstrate your skills. The programs are created and offered by experts in the field and top universities of the world. The instructions are provided by professors from universities like Harvard, Columbia, MIT and more. The course content is extremely high-quality and challenging that gives you a comprehensive understanding of the subject. You can enroll and start learning any time and from anywhere in the world.
Institutions and Partners
edX partners with the best institutions and schools in the world to offer students with a world-class learning environment and curriculum. In terms of course creation, it partners with all types of organizations, including academic institutions, corporations, non-profit foundations, NGOs and even the government to bring to you the best content.
The edX charter members include the top names in the field. Some of the names include Harvard, MIT, Boston University, Delft University, Arizona State University, University of British Columbia, Cornell, Brown University, IIT Bombay, ETH Zurich and many more. The list is evident in the diversity of the institutions that edX hosts, with schools across continents and domain specializations. These institutions together offer more than 2,4oo courses and teach more than 20 million learners from all over the world.
While the motto of edX to make education and learning as affordable as possible for every individual, the courses and programs offered do not come for free if you want to gain a real credit or a certification. There are two types of courses that an individual can enrol for on edX – verified and unverified. The latter is absolutely free of cost. The curriculum remains the same and is offered by the top universities. However, you do not get a certificate or credit for the course. The verified courses can range a bit high on price but offer a certificate on the course completion from the university.
Different programs have different fees. The pricing of MicroMasters programs and master’s degree programs differ significantly. A master’s degree on edX can cost up to $25,000 as well, which in isolation might feel expensive but objectively remains pretty affordable when compared to an on-campus education at the same university. A MicroMasters program can be priced up to $2,000 depending on the course and the university that’s offering the program.
The pricing is a sensitive topic when it comes to online learning platforms and remains so for edX as well. However, the price is offset by the extremely high-quality content that the platform offers and the credentials an individual gains by doing a course from a university like Harvard or MIT.
edX for Business
In an attempt to support businesses, edX has also launched enterprise solutions in the form of edX for business. Under this, the platform delivers 0n-demand eLearning solutions to businesses to upskill their teams in the areas and subjects that are relevant for the business. The courses are designed by top institutions with an aim to train the teams to take on new challenges.
Final Thoughts on edX
edX is undoubtedly one of the most popular and extensive online learning platforms presently. It has access to some of the best resources, having partnered with the cream of academic fraternity. The content is of extremely high quality and students get access to some of the most advanced curriculum while sitting in remote locations.
Some of the programs work excellently for professionals seeking to fast track their careers and learn new skills without leaving their jobs. The flexibility of the courses allows them to work around their schedule and study at their own pace. There are university-level courses that grant enough credibility to the credits and are recognized by prominent employers in the industry.
The platform is easy to use and there is a strong support system. The price might seem a bit high to some for the master’s programs, but the quality far exceeds the cost.