17 Best Coursera Courses & Certifications of 2021

Looking to jump-start your career?

Our online-learning experts have come up with this list of the 17 best courses on Coursera in 2021. It includes certifications, specializations and training. These online courses are an excellent way to prepare yourself for a new job or promotion than furthering your education.

So here are the best Coursera courses of 2021:

  1. Programming Foundations with JavaScript, HTML and CSS
  2. Blockchain Revolution for the Enterprise Specialization
  3. Python Data Structures by University of Michigan – Best Coursera Python Courses
  4. Introduction to the Internet of Things and Embedded Systems by U.​C. Irvine
  5. Neural Networks and Deep Learning by Deeplearning.ai
  6. Object Oriented Programming in Java by U.C. San Diego
  7. Best Coursera Courses for Machine Learning – Stanford
  8. Version Control with Git
  9. Design Patterns
  10. R Programming
  11. Introduction to Software Product Management
  12. Best Coursera Courses: Google IT Support Professional Certificate by Grow With Google
  13. Developing Android Applications with App Inventor
  14. Multiplatform Mobile App Development with Web Technologies: Ionic and Cordova
  15. Big Data Applications: Machine Learning at Scale by Yandex
  16. Project Management: The Basics for Success
  17. Algorithms Part I & Algorithms Part II

With a huge collection of online courses and specializations on topics like machine learning, data science & blockchain, Coursera has gained a lot of popularity over the past few years.

The online courses in this list include both paid and free educational classes on some of the most in-demand technology topics.

Below Are the Best Coursera Courses

1. Programming Foundations with JavaScript, HTML and CSS

Programming Foundations with JavaScript, HTML and CSS Programming Languages from Duke University

This Coursera web development course from Duke University will teach you foundational programming concepts like functions, for loops, conditional statements and how to solve problems like a programmer.

You’ll learn the basics by building a web page where others can upload their images and apply image filters that you create using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. 

​Learn Javascript Programming Basics

This web design course on Coursera is also the first course in the Java Programming and Software Engineering Fundamentals Specialization that will take deeper into the ins and outs of Java programming.

At the end of this course you’ll also be able to think critically about how to solve a problem using programming as well as best practices for making a web page interactive with JavaScript commands like alert, onClick, onChange, adding input features like an image canvas, button, and slider.

If you’re looking for specializations within Javascript check out our list of the best React JS courses and certifications.

Rating:  4.6 out of 5

​This course goes from fundamentals, slowly but surely building up, using not only theory but a lot of practical tasks too, the tasks that are structured and well thought-of, propelling the student to develop a deeper understanding of the concepts.

Click here to enroll now for this course.  

This is one of the best courses on Coursera in terms of popularity. It offers students a solid understanding of all the key concepts. If you’re interested specifically in Javascript, you can check out our list of the best Javascript certifications and courses available online.

2. Blockchain Revolution for the Enterprise Specialization

Blockchain courses

Are you a software developer interested in learning about Blockchain technologies?

While they’re are dozens of courses to choose from, this is one of the top selling Coursera courses on Blockchain. This course will enable you set a strong foundation on Blockchain technology as it is used in enterprise level businesses.

Several experienced blockchain developer instructors will lead you through a series of videos that describe high-level concepts and strategies on building blockchain business networks.

​Students also get hands-on experience modeling and building blockchain networks as well as create your first blockchain application.

Best Blockchain Technology Fundamentals Course

When you complete this Coursera Blockchain certification course, you should understand what a blockchain business network is, how to build and model a simple blockchain solution, and the role of the developer in creating blockchain applications.

Rating: 4.4 out of 5.0

​Great introduction to the blockchain world. Good examples and use cases provided. This course is more focused on the business applications of blockchains rather than building code. It’s a bird’s eye view of the ecosystem, it’s constituent parts, and the players involved.

Click here to enroll now for this course

3. Python Data Structures by University of Michigan – Best Coursera Python Courses

python data structures from the University of Michigan

This Coursera Python programming course from the University of Michigan is one of the best and most comprehensive ​out there for learning the core data structures of the Python programming language.

Students will move past the basics of procedural programming and explore how you can best use the built-in data structures of Python such as lists, dictionaries, and tuples to perform increasingly complex data analysis.

​Want to get more in depth with Python?  Check out our list of the 12 best Python courses and certifications on the web.

Data Tools

This Python programming language course, which is course 2 in the Python for Everybody Specialization, will cover Chapters 6-10 of the textbook “Python for Everybody” and is based on Python 3, which is the future of the Python language.

Rating: 4.9 out of 5.0

​The level of detail and varied resources in this course were great. You have access to really well-done written material in a physical or e-book, you have the course videos, which are engaging and dynamic, and the instructor is animated and “real” for lack of a better word; he explains stuff rather than just giving a demo of the capabilities of the language. And then you have quizzes and real exercises to practice. It’s the exercises that really help me, because I learn by doing. These were difficult enough to provide a challenge, but not impossible or frustratingly complex.

Python Data Structures is one of the top-rated Coursera courses, but it’s also one of our favorites in the Python space.

Click here to enroll now for this course.

4. Introduction to the Internet of Things and Embedded Systems by U.​C. Irvine

Introduction to the Internet of Things and Embedded Systems by University of California, Irvine

The explosive growth of the “Internet of Things” is changing our world and the rapid drop in price for typical IoT components is allowing people to innovate new designs and technology products at home.

In this first class in the Introduction to Programming the Internet of Things (IOT) Specialization from the University of California Irvine on Coursera students will learn:

  • The importance of IoT in the society and in business
  • The current components of typical IoT devices and trends for the future
  • IoT design considerations, constraints and interfacing between the physical world and your device
  • How to make design trade-offs between hardware and software.

​Specialization Program

Through this Coursera IoT course you’ll also cover key components of networking to ensure that you understand how to best connect your device to the Internet.

Rating: 4.6 out of 5.0

I feel like I learned ALOT more than I had actually anticipated going into it. Looking forward to the rest of the online courses in this series. Ian Harris is great! Love how he structures the content & the examples he uses. Had to pause a video just to call a friend to talk about the prospect of reducing traffic with network communication between vehicles.

The University of California at Irvine is known for providing some of the best technology classes in the world. It’s no surprise that this is one of the more popular courses on the Coursera platform.

Click here to enroll now for this course.

5. Neural Networks and Deep Learning by Deeplearning.ai

Neural Networks and Deep Learning Classes

If you want to break into cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence and machine learning technology, this Coursera deep learning course will help you do so.

Deep learning engineers are highly sought after in the business world, and mastering deep learning will give you the best chance to expand your career opportunities. Deep learning is also a new “superpower” in the field of computer science that will let you build AI systems that just weren’t possible a few years ago.

​Deep Learning Specialization from Coursera

In this neural networks course by Deeplearning.ai, which is the first course in the Deep Learning Specialization, students will learn the foundations of deep learning as well as be able to build, train and apply fully connected deep neural networks

This course also teaches you how Deep Learning actually works, rather than presenting only a cursory or surface-level description of the technology. So if you are looking for a job in AI, after this Coursera AI course you will also be able to answer basic interview questions.

Rating:  4.9 out of 5.0

​Fantastic introduction to deep NNs starting from the shallow case of logistic regression and generalizing across multiple layers. The material is very well structured and Dr. Ng is an amazing teacher.

Click here to enroll now for this course.

6. Object Oriented Programming in Java by U.C. San Diego

Object Oriented Programming in Java Course on Coursera

Object Oriented Programming in Java is one of the most popular online courses on the Java programming language that uses data visualization. It is presented by the University of California at San Diego.

This intermediate Java course is ideal for students who want to become professional software developers or who want to improve their programming skills to implement that cool personal projects.

I’ll recommend that you take this computer science course if you have previous experience in software development or a background in computer science as it’s course 3 in the Object Oriented Programming in Java Specialization.

​Training with Algorithms

By learning the fundamentals of Object Oriented Programming, students will learn how to best leverage the power of existing Java libraries, how to build graphical user interfaces, and how to best use some core algorithms for searching and sorting data.

And the most interesting part about this Coursera course is that it embraces project-based learning, so you’ll dive right into the project immediately! This is still one of the more popular courses on the platform.

Click here to enroll now for this course.

7. Best Coursera Courses for Machine Learning – Stanford University

Best Machine Learning Coursera Course 2019

Machine learning is the science of getting computers to act without being explicitly programmed to perform each specific task.

Machine learning technology has given us self-driving cars, practical speech recognition, effective web search (think Google), and a vastly improved understanding of the human genome …and many researchers also think it is the way to make progress towards human-level AI.

​Master Powerful Machine Learning

In this Coursera course taughy by Standford University, students will learn about the most effective design techniques, and gain practice implementing them and getting them to work for yourself. 

This popular course on machine learning also draws from numerous case studies and applications, so that you’ll also learn how to apply learning algorithms to building smart robots (perception, control), text understanding (web search, anti-spam), computer vision, medical informatics, audio, database mining for business purposes, and other areas.

Stanford University has always been at the forefront of new technology and this course is no exception. It is considered one of the best machine learning courses out there.

Click here to enroll now for this course.

8. Version Control with Git

Version Control with Git by Atlassian

Git is an open source software originally created by Linus Torvalds that manages team files for large and small projects hence allowing the team to continuously improve its product.

It is used by most technology companies, and is a basic requirement for many modern programming and IT jobs.

Version Control with Git is one of the most popular courses on Coursera, providing you with a solid, hands-on foundation for understanding the Git version control system.

​Fundamentals of Git

In this top Coursera course, students will not learn everything there is to know about Git, but you will build a strong conceptual understanding of the technology, and afterward will be able to confidently dig deeper on any topic that interests you.

So after this Git course by Atlassian you will “know just enough Git to be dangerous”.

Click here to enroll now for this course

9. Design Patterns

Design Patterns by University of Alberta Most Popular Coursera Courses

This Coursera computer science course will enable you extend object-oriented analysis and design by incorporating design patterns to create interactive applications.

Through a survey of established design patterns, you will gain a foundation for more complex software applications.

​Specialization Course

At the end of this design patterns course, which is course 3 in the Coursera Software Design and Architecture Specialization, students will identify problematic software designs by referencing a catalog of code smells.

They are then challenged in the Capstone Projectto redesign an existing Java-based Android application to implement a combination of design patterns…

…finally, you will also critique a given Java code-base for code smells.

Click here to enroll now for this course

10. R Programming

The Coursera R Programming Course by Johns Hopkins University

R is a popular programming language that is mostly used for data analysis within the field of data science.

One of the most popular online courses on Coursera relating to Data Science, it is the second course in the Coursera Data Science Specialization. This online course provides a rigorous introduction to the R programming language, with a particular focus on using R for developing software in a data science setting.

​Powerful Analytics & Data Science

In this R programming course students will learn how to program in R and how to use R for effective data analysis in a business setting. It is an important step in a successful career as a data scientist.

You will also learn how to install and configure software necessary for a statistical programming environment and describe generic programming language concepts as they are implemented in a high-level statistical language.

This Coursera R course covers practical issues in statistical computing which includes programming in R, reading data into R, accessing R packages and writing R functions while using working examples.

Want more options?  Check out our list of R certifications and programming courses available online.

Click here to enroll now for this course

11. Introduction to Software Product Management

Introduction to Software Product Management by University of Alberta

This Coursera computer science course highlights the importance and role of software product management.

Product Management Basics

This online course also provides an overview of the Software Product Management Specialization, as well as its goals, structure, and expectations. This course explains the value of process, requirements, planning, and monitoring in producing better software.

As a software developer, upon successful completion of this software product management course, you will be able to:

  • Relate software product management to better software products
  • Recognize the role of a software product manager in a business environment
  • Reflect on how Agile principles will improve your own projects

Click here to enroll now for this course

12. Best Coursera Courses: Google IT Support Professional Certificate by Grow With Google

Google IT Support Professional Certificate Cloud Computing Coursera

This five-course certificate, developed by Google, includes innovative curriculum designed to prepare you for an entry-level role in IT support.

Modern Fundamentals

A job in IT can mean in-person or remote help desk work in a small business or at a global company like Google. If you’ve been tinkering with IT or are new to the field, you’re at the right place.

​The program is part of Grow with Google, a Google initiative to help create economic opportunities for all Americans.

Through a mix of video lectures, quizzes, and hand-on labs and widgets, the program will introduce you to troubleshooting and customer service, networking, operating systems, system administration and security. 

Professional Certification

And the interesting part is that by dedicating 8-10 hours a week, you can complete the entire certificate course in about eight months. You can also skip through content that you might already know and speed ahead to the graded assessments.

Click here to enroll now for this course

13. Developing Android Applications with App Inventor

Developing Android Apps with App Inventor Coursera Android Development courses

This Coursera development course will give you hands-on experience in developing interesting Android applications. These tools can be useful in both a personal or business setting.

You do not need any previous programming experience to take this course as it is suitable for anyone with any level of computing experience.

​Programming in MIT App Inventor

MIT App Inventor will be used in the course. It is a blocks-based programming tool that allows everyone, even novices, to start programming and build fully functional Android applications.

I’ll however encourage you to use your own Android device for hands-on testing and exploitation through this development course.

Click here to enroll now for this course

14. Multiplatform Mobile App Development with Web Technologies: Ionic and Cordova

Multiplatform Mobile App Development with Web Technologies - Ionic and Cordova Coursera Web Development Specialization

This Coursera app development course focuses on developing multiplatform Android and iOS applications using Web technologies like HTML5, CSS and Javascript.

In particular you’ll make use of the Cordova hybrid application framework to develop and target multiple mobile platforms with a single code-base.

This is possible thanks to the Ionic framework (Ionic Ver 3.x), one of the most popular mobile application frameworks, that is built with mobile-optimized HTML5 and CSS based components and Angular.

​App Development Specialization

Throughout this course, which is course 5 in the Full Stack Web and Multiplatform Mobile App Development Coursera Specialization, you will also learn about UI development with Ionic and then using Cordova’s modules to access the native mobile platform’s capabilities from Javascript.

In order to benefit the most from this popular Coursera course by Hong Kong University, you need prior knowledge of Bootstrap 4 and the AngularJS framework. You can also find our top Javascript certifications here.

Click here to enroll now for this course

15. Big Data Applications: Machine Learning at Scale by Yandex

Big Data Applications -Machine Learning at Scale Big Data for Engineers Specialization by Yandex

Machine learning is a trending technology that is quickly transforming the world of technology around us and Google isn’t the only one using it. This course from Yandex is a deep dive into this advanced and highly sought after technology.

In order to be a successful big data scientist you need to know what kinds of problems can be solved with machine learning, and how they can be solved.

Don’t know where to start with a career in machine learning technology? Well you’ve come to the right place.

This is the best Coursera Machine Learning course that will give you the strong foundation you need to break into a career in this in-demand field.

​Make Data-Driven Decisions

During this data science course from the Big Data for Data Engineers Specialization you will, among other things how to:

  • Identify practical problems which can be solved with machine learning
  • Build, tune and apply linear models with Spark MLLib, as well as,
  • Construct your own recommender system.

Click here to enroll now for this course

16. Project Management:  The Basics for Success

This training program teaches you  the most important aspects of team leadership and project management.  

Activities revolve around working in a leadership role in project-oriented business environments.  It covers the responsibilities, methodologies, and skills necessary to properly manage the various stages of the product cycle with a focus on planning and control to ensure a successful outcome.

Once completed you should have a working knowledge of successfully operating in a project environment.

For Affiliate Marketers

This course is also a solid resource for those looking to get into affiliate marketing as it teaches standard operating procedures, tracking projects and employees and more. If you’re interested in learning more, check out our list of the best affiliate marketing courses.

Each student will learn the following:

  • leadership and building a team for high-performance.
  • monitor project deliverables and determine progress.
  • effectively communicate status and performance of project goals and deliverables.

Click Here to Enroll Now for this course

17. ​Algorithms Part I & Algorithms Part II

Princeton University's Algorithms course

​Algorithms Part I and II from Princeton University teaches the essentials every serious programmer needs to know about algorithms and data structures.  It focuses on applications and performance analysis of Java implementations.

​Professor Sedgewick steadily presents each algorithm and data structure with dynamic visualization. The animations built into this online course ​offer a clear explanation of exactly how the algorithms process data and solve ​problems.

​This highly popular course delves into the implementation of algorithms by using the Java programming language. A Java library is provided in which all the algorithms have been implemented. The library offers concise code that is well-built and efficient.

​A novice or intermediate level of knowledge on Java is very helpful in getting the most from this course. ​It teaches many java specific techniques including: generics, iterator, object equality, immutability, and testing.  ​

​To pass the course each student must complete a weekly programming assignment​. The assignments are clearly written and offer challenging problems which are rewarding to solve. Expect you to spend 3-5 hours for per assignment (80% to pass).

Part I of the online course covers basic data structures, sorting, and searching algorithms.

Part II focuses on graph and string processing algorithms. ​There is no certification upon completion.

​Click Here to Enroll in Part I and Here to Enroll in Part II


Are Coursera Specializations Worth the Money?

With thousands (2700+ at last count) of popular courses covering a wide variety of topics, Coursera specializations are VERY worthwhile.  They offer more than 250 specializations and 4 accredited degrees making their online courses very worthwhile.

Coursera certifications and courses are recognized by business leaders as an effective means of education for students to learn new languages and access topics that are crucial in the business world.

​Are There Free Online Courses on Coursera?

For the most part all the online courses on the Coursera platform are free to audit.  But if you want credit and certification you’ll need to pay for the classes. That said, there is still a great deal of value in auditing their most popular courses to get your hands on the knowledge.

Does Coursera Charge Per Course?

Coursera typically charges per course or per specialization.  A specialization may contain several popular courses on a variety of topics within that specialization.

Which is better edX or Coursera?

​Coursera and edX offer many similar classes.  ​Instructors determine which information they feel is the most important to cover so the courses will be different based on these parameters.  Reading through the course syllabus should give you a good idea as to which courses are best for your needs.

​Master the Fundamentals

In conclusion, this list of the best Coursera courses only scratches the surface of what is available on their platform. You can find hundreds of other popular courses for programmers and data science enthusiasts excited in taking their computer science careers to the next level…

…however, it is a great place to start.

It is also important to note that with new courses being added almost weekly, Coursera’s top courses are set to expand beyond their traditional specialty in computer science-related disciplines.