Guide to the Top Online Learning Websites
This guide provides an overview of the top pure online learning websites in the world, their traffic, and some important information about the types of courses they offer. This guide will be helpful for anyone looking to learning a new skill online, advance their career, and learn just about anything online!
List of Top 10 Online Learning Websites
Below is a list of the top pure eLearning sites, based on publicly available information from SimilarWeb. All figures represent total monthly website visits in May, 2018. Only companies that operate 100% online are included.
The top 10 eLearning sites by traffic are:
- Udemy 74.5M
- Khan Academy 51.8M
- Coursera 37.2M
- edX 22.4M
- Udacity 16.2M
- Lynda 15.2M
- FutureLearn 4.5M
- MasterClass 2.5M
- Corporate Finance Institute® 1.6M
- Open2Study 0.7M
Traffic: 74.5 million
Udemy is the top online learning wesbite, measured by traffic. It operates a platform where individuals or businesses can create their own courses and market them on Udemy’s platform. Popular topics include: development, business, IT, personal development, design, marketing, music, health, and more.
Udemy is known as a price discounter and while courses are listed in the $100-$2000 range they almost always 90% off. The quality of courses on Udemy varies significantly, as most of the teachers are making courses as a hobby.
#2 Khan Academy
Traffic: 51.8 million
Khan Academy is a nonprofit online learning website that offers free courses on a wide range of topics. It was founded in 2006 by Salman Khan and the organization produces lessons in the form of YouTube videos. Topics include: math, science, computing, arts, economics, test prep, and university lessons.
Khan academy became famous for offering free courses and receiving $1.5 million in donations from Bill Gates (read more here).
Traffic: 37.2 million
Coursera is one of the top online learning websites and has a model of partnering with universities and professors. The company offers courses, specializations, and online degrees. Popular subjects include arts, business, computer science, data science, physics, social sciences, language, and more.
Much of Coursera’s learning can be taken for free, but students must pay for certifications and degrees, which can cost up to $25,000.
Traffic: 22.4 million
edX was started in 2012 and offers massive open online courses (MOOCs) focused on university-level courses. edX is a non-profit and offers free and paid courses and certifications via its online platform.
Partner schools on the edX platform include Harvard (founder), MIT (founder), Berkeley, Brown, Colombia, Dartmouth, McGill, University of Pennsylvania, and many more.
Traffic: 16.2 million
Udacity operates an eLearning website that offers MOOCs and self-paced courses on a wide range of topics, with a heavy focus on computer science. Udacity offers individual courses and nano-degrees. Popular subjects are: artificial intelligence (AI), data science, programming and development, autonomous systems, and business topics.
Course prices range from free to around $2,000 for a nano-degree.
Traffic: 15.2 million
Lynda was a pioneer in the eLearning industry, founded in 1995. The website offers hundreds of courses on a wide range of topics including: software development, design, business, web development, photography, and more.
Lynda was acquired by LinkedIn for $1.5 billion in 2015.
Traffic: 4.5 million
FutureLearn is an online education wesbite owned by The Open University in England. It is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) eLearning platform that partners with both universities and industry professionals. Popular course categories include business and management, health and psychology, tech and coding, and teaching.
The platform offers courses, programs, and degrees that range from free to approximately £15,000 GBP.
Traffic: 2.5 million
MasterClass is a platform where students are taught by experts (or “celebrity” instructors) in various fields. The classes have a high production value and may feel closer to a documentary or a type of entertainment, as compared to more traditional courses.
Celebrity instructors include: Martin Scorsese, Malcolm Gladwell, deadmau5, Steve Martin, Samuel L. Jackson, Christina Aguilera, Serena Williams, User, Wolfgang Puck, and more.
#9 Corporate Finance Institute® (CFI)
Traffic: 1.6 million
Corporate Finance Institute® (CFI) was founded in 2016 as a joint venture with MDA Training Inc., a UK-based financial training company with over 20 years of experience delivering Analyst and Associate training programs at global investment banks. CFI’s courses are based on programs that have been delivered to BlackRock, Credit Suisse, HSBC, JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Merry Lynch, Bank of America, Citi, and more.
CFI provides the Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)TM certification program, the global standard for careers that require financial modeling and analysis in Excel.
Traffic: 0.7 million
Open2Study offer both free and accredited online courses and is backed by Open Universities Australia (OUA). The majority of students are based in Australia, however, courses are offered to students globally around the world. Course topics include: education, arts, humanities, science, and business.
How to Choose the Right Online Learning
Given the multitude of options available, it can sometimes be overwhelming when trying to choose the right provider of online courses. Below is a simple framework to help you decide where to the training and education that’s best suited to you, personally.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Why am I taking online courses?
- I just want to learn
- I need skills training
- I need a certification
- I need a degree
- What is my budget?
- How much time do I have?
- 1-10 hours
- 10-50 hours
- 50-100 hours
- 100+ hours
- How flexible is my schedule?
- I need to learn at my own pace
- I prefer to follow a set schedule
Based on your answers to the above questions, you can narrow down your search.
The descriptions provided in the list of top 10 eLearning companies above should help you find the right fit. For example, if you want to get a job as a financial analyst, you need a certification, have a budget of $500, and prefer to learn at your own pace, then CFI’s FMVA program would be a good fit. By contrast, if you want to learn physics, have $0 budget, and want to spend 20 hours learning, then Khan Academy could be a great fit.
Additional Online Learning Resources
Thank you for reading this guide to the top 10 online learning websites. This guide was created without prejudice as a helpful resource for anyone looking to learn more about the industry and find the right courses for them online.
To continue your educational journey, these additional resources will be helpful: