edX Review 2022 – Learn Skills and Get an Online Degree

Updated on July 10, 2022

Online learning is all the rage now. Its popularity has grown remarkably over the last few years. If you’re looking for the best online learning platform to learn your desired skill, there are a lot of options out there. Hence, making the right choice one can be challenging.

edX is one of the oldest and most popular online learning platforms. It is the perfect choice for students looking to receive accredited certificates for completed courses. But, some courses do have a hefty price tag. To determine whether edX suits your needs, continue reading this comprehensive edX Review.

edX
Rating: 4.6/5

Verdict

Great variety of topics, programs, online degrees, and accreditation – all reasons why edX is one of the most popular online learning platforms. They have a big learning community and experienced instructors you can learn a lot from.

Pros:
  • University-level courses for free
  • Partnerships with well-known institutions
  • Accredited certificates
  • edX Mobile app
Cons:
  • Limited course topics
  • Courses aren't always available
  • Lack of engagement at discussion forums
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edX Review

edX Homepage

The edX homepage

The creation of this platform is quite similar to how Coursera was launched. The platform was founded in 2012 by two professors from Harvard and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). They had a specific goal in mind – to provide online university-level education worldwide.

Since then, edX has become one of the most popular online learning platforms on the course marketplace. Especially among those looking to learn a subject or new skills in the science field, including engineering, data science, computer science, math, business, management, and humanities. A year after being founded, edX had over one million users. Amazing, right?

Together with Udacity, edX is considered one of the pioneers of MOOCs (massive open online courses). It currently offers over 3,600 online courses and more than 300 programs from 160+ world’s best and most prestigious organizations (like Microsoft) and universities (like MIT, Harvard, and Berkeley University). And, courses are led by more than 15,000 subject matter experts.

edX Stats

Let's take a look at some interesting edX stats that might help you decide whether this platform is a good fit for your needs.

StudentsCoursesCategoriesLanguages
42M
3.6K
36
5

What Is edX?

edX is an American massive open online course (MOOC) provider hosting online university-level courses in various disciplines worldwide, including some free of charge. What sets edX apart from its competitors is that it is a non-profit and open-source organization.

Besides offering online courses, edX also offers Master’s Degree, MicroMasters, MicroBachelors programs, Professional Certificate Programs, and a Global Freshman Academy. So, if you are looking for a higher education course, edX may be what you are looking for.

What’s also worth mentioning, every edX course is created and led by the institution partnered. In other words, the platform doesn’t have a say in course’s content and design. As edX is partnered with world-class institutions only, you can expect top-quality content and instruction.

Is edX Accredited?

As edX has partnered with world-class universities across the globe, it means that the certificates of completion the platform provides are fully accredited. Adding your certificates to your CV or on your LinkedIn profile may help you to significantly improve your career.

edX Features

In this section, we're taking a look at edX's main features and what the platform offers to their users. ALl of the factors below should give you a pretty good idea if edX has everything you're looking for to start your online learning journey.

For BusinessCertificationCourse Previews24/7 SupportFree CoursesFree TrialMobile AppOffline UsePromotionsRefunds

edX Compared to Others

Sometimes, it might be difficult to choose the best platform before you can compare it to other platforms that offer similar features. Check how edX compares to other popular platforms.

How Does edX Work?

Knowing the generalities about an online learning platform, like who created it, is it a MOOC or a course marketplace, the type of certificates it offers, etc. – may be helpful in the selection process. However, to choose the perfect online learning platform that meets your requirements, you must understand how it works. As part of this edX review, we’ll go through all essential aspects of how edX works. So, let’s get started!

The Front Page

If users like the front page, they are very likely to continue exploring and eventually end up using the platform. Otherwise, they will immediately abandon the website. So, the first impression does play an huge role. And, what gives off the first impression? – The smoothness of the user interface, navigation, and everything in between.

When it comes to edX, visiting their main page seems like opening a university website. But, as edX offers university-level courses, the design is a perfect match. In addition to the overall look, the front page is quite simple, offering the only necessary information and features without overwhelming the user with any trivia or popups.

Right from the main page, you can learn about the sections of the edX course library, top courses list, the search bar, a partner list, etc. – all of the information a potential student would like to know. So far, so good.

Opening an edX Account

The layout and design of the platform are so clean and intuitive, meaning that opening an account with edX is super straightforward. Here are the 3 steps you need to go through to register an account on edX:

  • Visit the www.edx.org website and click on the ‘Sign Up’ button in the top right corner;
  • Click on the ‘Create an Account’ button and enter your personal information like email, name, surname, username, password, and country;
  • Click on the ‘Create Account’ button, and you’re ready to go.

Browsing all Available Courses

As soon as you finish your registration process, you can start browsing all available courses edX offers and find one that fits your preferences. Luckily, the user interface is very intuitive and well-organized so that you can easily navigate around and find what you’re looking for.

The easiest way to browse available courses is by clicking on the ‘Explore all Courses’ button on the front page. You will instantly notice a great range of categories to choose from. edX has more than 30 categories.

But, if you know exactly what you want to learn, you can enter keywords in the search bar. Or, you can use the filters and pick a subject, partner, program, level, language, availability, and learning type and get potential matches.

Choosing a Potential Course

Once you’ve selected a potential course, you will land on the course page, where you will get the general information needed about the course.

To be more precise, you will be provided with the partner institution offering the course, a short description, an introductory video, course duration, price, language, a ‘what you’ll learn’ and ‘about the instructors’ sections. Pretty much the standard stuff you would expect.

On the downside, besides the numerous positive edX reviews, some are stating that the testimonial section is quite sloppy as it consists of several lines of plain text with the ‘learner’ tag attached at the end – no photos, no styles.

Completing a Course

edX offers both self-paced and instructor-paced classes, yet most of them can be followed when you prefer. All courses include weekly learning sequences featuring short videos, interactive learning exercises, and tutorial videos similar to group discussions. In addition, many courses allow you to download videos and transcripts for offline viewing, which is quite convenient when commuting without internet access.

Self-paced courses allow students to learn and work at their speed with assignments and exams that don’t have a due date. Such courses should usually be completed 3 to 12 months after the course has been opened to learners.

On the other hand, instructor-paced courses have assignments and exams at pre-set dates and course material made available at specific times. In general, these courses take from 8 to 12 weeks to complete.

At the end of a course, students have a chance to purchase a verified certificate.

Downloading Your Certificate of Completion

Before we even explain how you can download your certificate of completion, you must understand the two types of certificates edX offers.

The primary type is called Honor Code Certificate, and you can earn it for free. The second type is a Verified Certificate which includes your photo and ID and typically costs about $50 and sometimes more, depending on the course.

If you’ve earned a certificate, you can view it on your dashboard, your course’s Progress page, and your edX profile, and download a PDF version or print it by clicking on the printer icon in the upper right corner.

edX Pricing

When it comes to pricing, the most important thing to understand is that edX offers two types of courses – verified and unverified ones. So, when students enroll in an edX course, they have to choose between:

  • Audit this course – the unverified free version of the course;
  • Pursue the Verified track – the verified paid version of the course ($50 to $300).

But, edX does not only offer standard courses but professional education courses, which, of course, come with a price tag. Here’s the list of these courses with their approximate cost:

  • Master’s Degree – an accredited program led by prestigious universities – $10,000 to $25,000;
  • MicroMasters – a 25-50% of the full Master’s degree program – $600 to $1,500;
  • MicroBachelors Programs – specifically created for adult learners looking to further their education – $500 to $1,500;
  • Professional Certificate Programs – created by industry leaders to close the skills gap in a particular career path – $150 to $1,500;
  • Global Freshman Academy – an excellent option for students to earn college credit for freshman year – $200 a credit.

edX offers a great variety of courses with different pricing based on the type of course or program. Plus, if you’ve decided to pursue the Verified track and purchased a course, and for whatever reason, you don’t want to take the course, edX offers a 14-day refund policy. The refund will be processed immediately, and you can get your money back within 5 – 10 days.

Are edX Courses on Sale?

Unfortunately, edX courses aren’t on sale, meaning that the platform doesn’t offer any special promotions or discounts. However, it does offer up to a huge 90% discount on the verified certificates to students who can’t afford to pay the total price.

To apply, you need to enroll in the audit track of the course chosen and fill in the financial assistance application provided on the edX website. Within four days, you will receive an email letting you know if you qualify for financial aid.

Does edX Have Free Courses?

As already mentioned in this edX review, edX offers courses free of charge. In other words, you can audit a course for free, but you won’t have access to all course material and graded assignments or be able to get a verified certificate upon completion.

edX for Business

edX for Business

The edX for business page

Like other top online learning platforms, edX provides individual courses and enterprise training – an eLearning solution explicitly built with businesses in mind. With edX for Business, organizations can upskill and train their employees entirely online by gaining unlimited access to 1,200+ self-paced courses and professional certificates in the most in-demand business topics.

There are two different plans on the edX for Business platform including:

  • for Groups (best suited for teams or smaller organizations, designed for 30 learners or more) – $349 per student, per year;
  • for Enterprise (for large organizations) – custom pricing depending on the number of learners.

All learning pathways provided on the platform are curated for each business and team separately. And, thanks to the well-organized administration and learner dashboards, you can get insight into learner progress and take advantage of the services available to close any skill gaps. Until now, many industry leaders have used edX for Business to train their workforces, including Mercedes-Benz, Hilton, Goldman Sachs, BCG, MetLife, Allianz, and many more.

With edX for Business, you will:

  • Build and accelerate the workforce of the future;
  • Learn skills taught by the world’s leading experts;
  • Unlock the potential within your organization;
  • Dive-in and provide specific learning experiences;
  • Collaborate to engage employees;
  • Upskill everyone, at every level and skill.

Most of the edX courses are in English. Yet, there are some courses in other languages like Chinese, French, and Spanish with English subtitles provided. edX has publicly announced their plan to expand its language options. So we can definitely expect courses in more languages to be introduced in the platform.

edX Courses Review

edX Course Preview

The edX course preview

You now know about the edX pricing model, how it works and what it is. But what about the most critical aspect of any online learning platform – the courses?

As edX is a university-based platform, users are guaranteed the highest quality of courses and programs. And, although there aren’t courses on specific topics (we’ll discuss that a bit later), the platform does offer courses on more than 30 topics, including:

  • Architecture,
  • Art & Culture,
  • Biology & Life sciences,
  • Business & Management,
  • Chemistry,
  • Communication,
  • Computer science,
  • Data analysis & Statistics,
  • Design,
  • Economics & Finance,
  • Education & Teacher training,
  • Energy & Earth sciences,
  • Engineering,
  • Environmental studies,
  • Ethics,
  • Food & Nutrition,
  • Health & Safety,
  • History,
  • Humanities,
  • Language,
  • Law,
  • Literature,
  • Math,
  • Medicine,
  • Music,
  • Philanthropy,
  • Physics,
  • Science,
  • Plus more.

As you can see, students interested in STEM subjects can significantly benefit by choosing edX because the selection of courses in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics topics is significantly higher compared to other topics.

Free Courses

As already mentioned in this edX review, edX is one of the few platforms that offer the majority of its course library for free, meaning that users can choose the free learning option offered – Audit the Course. In other words, you can get access to the same courses that also come as a paid option. Still, you won’t get access to all the learning materials, graded assignments, or be able to get a verified certificate unless you pay for it.

Paid Courses

We can all agree that edX provides a great range of learning options to choose from. So, users can take multiple different types of programs and courses, including:

The Verified Track

All edX courses consist of online classes and readings, short videos, interactive learning exercises, homework assignments, student discussion forums, and online quizzes and exams. They all provide excellent core knowledge for entry-level students in any subject and can last anywhere from a couple of weeks to a few months, or even over a year. Plus, they are primarily self-paced, so you can learn whenever it is convenient for you.

Master’s Degree

This is probably one of the most appealing aspects of choosing edX – earning a legitimate Master’s degree (currently offered in 12 different subjects) from a world-class university entirely online. Plus, the online Master’s degrees are equally recognized as their on-campus versions and can take from one and a half to three years to complete. And even though they don’t differ in value, they differ in price, with the online degree being much cheaper than the on-campus one.

MicroMasters

edX’s MicroMasters programs offer graduate-level courses enabling students to meet specific career goals by providing in-depth learning. There are currently 59 different MicroMasters programs which typically last between one and two years. Then, once you complete the program, you are eligible to apply for a full Master’s program. And, you can use your MicroMasters credit toward your degree, usually granted by the university that offers the program on edX.

MicroBachelors Programs

The MicroBachelors programs are the newest learning option offered by edX, launched in January 2020. At the moment, there are eleven different MicroBachelors programs available and can take anywhere from three to six months to complete. Luckily, anyone can enroll in these programs and receive transferable college credits. What’s more, they are self-paced, and there’s around-the-clock personal coaching to help students keep on track.

Professional Certificate Programs

Learners who are already working in their preferred field and wish to improve their skills and subject knowledge to further their careers will significantly benefit from the Professional Certificate programs offered by edX. Depending on the subject and your commitment, the programs can be completed at your own pace and can take between three and six months to complete.

Global Freshman Academy

The Global Freshman Academy is a program offered by Arizona State University (ASU) and edX, providing individuals of all backgrounds with the opportunity to take the exact courses taught at the on-campus ASU. Through the program, learners can earn transferable credit and pay tuition only if they earn the grade needed.

Are edX Courses Useful?

There’s no doubt that edX is a platform for dedicated learning. If you want to study some of the topics offered on edX and wish to take university-level courses, you will find its courses useful, especially if you are looking to earn a verified certificate upon completion.

Are edX Courses Worth It?

Using edX only as an educational tool won’t cost you a thing since you can register and get free access to most of its courses. But, if you want to prove to your future employers that you have completed an edX course, you will have to pay for the certificate, typically about $50. So, is it worth the money? Most definitely! The quality you get exceeds the price tag.

edX Pos

The main advantages of edX include:

  • University-level courses for free;
  • Partnerships with well-known institutions;
  • Accredited certificates;
  • edX mobile app.

University-Level Courses for Free

One of the best things about edX is that it is a MOOC provider meaning that you can get access to thousands of courses completely free of charge. What’s even more convenient is that all edX courses are created by partner universities, meaning that you can enroll in university-level courses for free. Amazing, right?

Partnerships with Well-Known Institutions

EdX offers courses affiliated with MIT, Harvard, Cornell, UC Berkeley, and many other prestigious universities. By taking an edX course, you can ensure you learn from the best without spending thousands of dollars to enroll at the actual brick-and-mortar institution.

Accredited Certificates

Earning a certificate upon completing a course is very beneficial, but if it isn’t accredited, you won’t enjoy the best benefits it may offer – being valued by potential employers. Luckily, edX offers verified and fully accredited certificates that businesses and organizations across the globe recognize.

edX Mobile App

Last but not least, edX brings courses from the world’s best universities and industry-leading companies to your mobile device. For example, with the EdX: Courses by Harvard and MIT app, users can learn on their schedule, stream online classes, download videos to watch offline, and much more.

edX Cons

The main disadvantages of edX include:

  • Limited course topics,
  • Courses aren’t always available,
  • Lack of engagement at discussion forums.

Limited Course Topics

Although edX offers a broader range of topics than Coursera, it still doesn’t offer courses on many topics like filmmaking or baking, which can be found on Skillshare or Udemy. On the other hand, edX specializes in higher education, business, and the sciences.

Courses Aren’t Always Available

Here’s something edX has in common with Coursera – there are some waiting periods before the courses are available, and you can start learning. In fact, edX archives courses for more extended periods, meaning that you can sometimes wait for weeks before a course begins. But, remember that you can watch an archived course but not get access to the other features until it becomes active.

Lack of Engagement at Discussion Forums

Finally, lack of engagement is also one of the main edX disadvantages compared to other online learning platforms like Udacity. In other words, both professors and students engage less in discussion forums than on other platforms, although such forums do exist on edX.

edX Review: Is edX Legit?

Is edX is a legit online learning platform or not is probably one of the most important topics we have to address in this edX review.

Being founded by MIT and Harvard University experts with headquarters in Cambridge, MA, and one of the oldest MOOC platforms available, you can rest assured that edX is legit. It is a non-profit organization with more than 42 million learners and over 160 prestigious institutions partnered.

So, don’t worry – you’re safely investing in your knowledge!