Another free site for you to check out containing over 300 courses on a variety of topics, with plenty to keep aspiring entrepreneurs busy. As well as introductory courses they also offer specialist topics like big data or environmental conservation.
Price: Free, $49 – $99 for verified certificate
As most courses are free, unless you decide to purchase a certificate on completion they provide an excellent opportunity to get some experience in a new field. It allows you to start learning about a subject free of charge so you can find out whether it is worth a further investment of your time. So essentially, edX offers a great introduction into a subject, from highly qualified professors from top universities.
The site offers a broad range of subjects, particularly in the sciences though there are also a good amount that focus on entrepreneurship and innovation. While they lack the volume of courses in comparison to other sites like Udemy or Skillshare you can be more confident in the quality of each course. Their courses are very well-structured with high quality and intellectually challenging content.
Some of the courses are extremely demanding and difficult to complete with a requirement to submit your own projects in order to pass. This rigorous approach makes each course more worthwhile and means the experience is more reflective of attending the university. Many courses are online versions covering exactly what students are taking at these very colleges, and they even include all the same material, homework and quizzes.
It can be incredibly expensive to enroll in college and have no idea what you want out of it. Therefore EDX is a useful platform for learning the skills required to build a business allowing you to pick and choose which elements of a course are most relevant. You should focus on extracting only the details that are useful to your personal situation.
“Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”
Unlike a traditional MBA programme you can get access to the same resources without the pressure of the long hours and deadlines. Ideally you should use the site to explore your options without having to invest a large amount of money.
As mentioned before the site does not have quite the range of options of other similar sites like Coursera, with a current offering of around a hundred courses from which to choose. Outside of the sciences, the edX catalogue has gaps. Those looking specifically for business resources will find a reasonable amount of material however like other sites that use university courses they approach everything from a theoretical standpoint. This is fine for gaining an overview but not the specific skills a more experienced entrepreneur may be looking to develop. It is useful as a resource to dip into but there will come a point when you need to start consulting more advanced information.
Discussions and forums could be better organized, as there is little contact between students and professors. The tests are also graded by online software, so lacks the personalised feedback offered by a traditional course. On top of this although edX offers various certificates for passing their courses it is still unclear how these are regarded by other universities and employers so at the moment are not a direct substitute for actually attending the university.
In spite of these flaws the opportunity to get a similar education as those paying thousands for the same material is an attractive proposition. It’s affordable with many resources offered entirely free of charge. Be aware that some do charge a fee and while on the whole the site provides good value it would not be able to meet all of your educational needs.
About to buy an online course? STOP and read our exclusive guide on the ten ways to quickly assess if a course is worth your time