15+ Best Coursera Courses & Certifications Online in 2023

coursera free courses

Just like Edx, Coursera is today one of the most popular online learning platforms, boasting over 100+ million learners, 1000+ of courses, and partnerships with 275+ renowned public universities across the globe.

You’d be hard pressed to not find a great course for your industry here. However, while this success is great, it adds to the challenge when it comes to finding the best Coursera courses to take. 

There is a huge pool of courses to choose from, including industries like software development, marketing, business, and healthcare, and this might discourage you from actually getting started, thanks to the overwhelm.

In this article, therefore, we are going to look at the best Coursera courses and certifications to take in 2023.

Most of these certifications are widely recognized, and can even get you university credits in certain institutions. Heck, there are complete degree programs run entirely on Coursera.

Let’s get started.

1. Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python)  
2. Learn SQL Basics for Data Science Specialization  
3. Excel Skills for Business Specialization 
4. IBM Full Stack Software Developer Professional Certificate  
5. Web Design for Everybody: Basics of Web Development & Coding  
6. Graphic Design Specialization 
7. Neural Networks and Deep Learning    
8. Project Management Principles and Practices Specialization 
9. Google IT Support Professional Certificate   
10. Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate  
11. Blockchain Basics   
12. Marketing in a Digital World  
13. Getting Started with Power BI Desktop  
14. Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills   
15. IBM Cybersecurity Analyst Professional Certificate    
16. Full-Stack Web Development with React Specialization   
17. AWS Fundamentals Specialization 
18. Learning Linux for LFCA Certification Specialization   
19. DevOps, Cloud, and Agile Foundations Specialization 
20. Penetration Testing, Incident Response and Forensics  
21. Microsoft Azure Fundamentals AZ-900 Exam Prep Specialization 
22. IBM Data Engineering Professional Certificate  
23. Aerial Robotics  
24. An Introduction to Programming the Internet of Things (IOT) Specialization 
25. Introduction to Psychology  

1. Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python)  

If you’d like to launch a successful career in tech then it is imperative that you should learn how to code, and fast.

What’s a better way of getting your hands dirty with code than by sitting down with some great Python course?

This Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python) is one of the best Coursera courses for picking up the basics of computer programming using Python. You’ll learn how to construct a program with just a few instructions in this language.

I’d particularly recommend this course to complete beginners to programming because the intrustors do not assume any previous development experience.

In fact, it covers chapters 1-5 of the popular textbook, “Python for Everybody”.

You’ll begin by installing Python to your local machine, so that you can run your programs. Then you’ll proceed to learning the basics of Python like variables and operators. There are also lessons on storing and retrieving data using functions and loops.

2. Learn SQL Basics for Data Science Specialization  

Today, it is hard to come by an application with a sizable user base that does not implement some kind of authentication, allowing users to create accounts and login.

Any feature that requires remembering user details, like login information requires some kind of storage, and this is where SQL comes in handy.

SQL is a very popular database software used by software developers and data scientists to store, retrieve and manipulate large amounts of data in record time.

This is one of the best Coursera specializations for mastering the workings of SQL databases so that you can easily integrate them into your applications. It mainly targets the SQL queries used in data analysis so I’d recommend it if you are eyeing a career in data science.

It embraces a hands-on learning approach where you’ll work through SQL projects with data science applications while learning the SQL basics, data wrangling, SQL analysis, AB testing, and distributed computing with Apache Spark.

3. Excel Skills for Business Specialization 

If you’d like to master Excel for business applications then you’re at the right place.

This Excel Skills for Business Specialization is the best Excel course to show you the ropes of advanced Excel functions, and features that will transform you into an Excel expert, able to analyze and present complex data in charts and graphs.

Besides, it is a very highly valuable skill to add to your portfolio.

In this Coursera specialization, you’ll develop very advanced Microsoft Excel skills for business use cases. 

It is a four part specialization where you’ll design data rich spreadsheets and professional dashboards, while performing complex calculations on the data using advanced Excel features and techniques.

In addition to that, you’ll also learn how to manage huge datasets, extract meaningful information from these datasets, and present this data using beautiful charts and graphs.

There are also lessons on data validation, and automation in spreadsheets.

4. IBM Full Stack Software Developer Professional Certificate  

If you’d like to kickstart a career in web application development then this IBM full stack software development professional certificate will set you on the right track.

It is one of the best Coursera certifications that’ll help you master cloud native and full stack web application development through a practical, hands-on approach to teaching and learning.

Once you take this course you’ll learn how to develop apps using front end technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript while leveraging frameworks like React and Bootstrap. For the back end of your applications, you’ll use JavaScript and Python, with frameworks like Node.js and Django.

Along this full stack development course you’ll also pick up skills in deploying and scaling web applications using cloud native technologies and tools like containers, microservices, serverless functions, and popular tools like Kubernetes and Docker.

Finally, you’ll build a GitHub portfolio where you can display your projects so you can land the job of your dreams.

5. Web Design for Everybody: Basics of Web Development & Coding  

This is another one of the best Coursera specializations in 2023 for launching a successful career in web development.

In this web design for everybody specialization, you’ll learn the basics of web development by coding responsive websites, thereby building a great portfolio, using HUML5, CSS3 and JavaScript.

So you’ll get to master how to write syntactically correct code in HTML5 and CSS3, while making your web pages interactive using JavaScript.

With these skills you’ll be able to build professional enterprise websites that work seamlessly both on desktop and mobile devices, including tables and large screen browsers.

The end result is a great professional portfolio of projects that demonstrate your web development skills in such a powerful way that most startups would be rushing to hire you so you can put your talent and skills to work towards something bigger.

You’ll also be able to add visuals and audio to your sites, thereby making them access to the physically impared.

6. Graphic Design Specialization 

How would you like to make compelling designs for your projects?

Let’s take a step aside from development courses and talk about design.

This graphic design specialization on Coursera will teach you the fundamental principles of great graphic design, so that you can implement it towards your branding project.

Taught by Michael Worthingon, and a few other professional instructors, this course will teach you how to communicate effectively through image-making and typography. So you’ll learn everything you need to know when it comes to interface design, motion graphics, as well as editorial design.

In addition to that, there is a capstone project where you’ll get to apply the skills learned in each of this 4 part course to build a great looking branding project suitable for use as a professional portfolio.

Once you finish this specialization, you’ll have the core set of skills needed to pursue formal studies in design, or launch a career in motion graphics.

7. Neural Networks and Deep Learning    

This is the first course in the Deep Learning specialization.

It is one of the best Coursera courses in 2023 for learning the core concepts of artificial neural networks and deep learning from expert AI developers.

This course equips you with knowledge of the main trends behind the rise of deep learning, so that you can build, train and apply your own deep neural networks. In the process you’ll also learn how to efficiently implement vectorized neural networks, as well as how to identify the key parameters in an artificial neural network’s architecture.

Once you explore the capabilities of deep learning, as well as the challenges and consequences they present through this foundational program, you’ll be ready to participate in developing cutting edge AI technologies that solve real problems.

I’d recommend this course if you’d like to level up your career in tech by taking a definitive step forward into the world of artificial intelligence.

8. Project Management Principles and Practices Specialization 

Effectively managing your projects is the most reliable way to ensure you deliver products and services on schedule, while maximizing on the resources available and keeping the costs down.

How do you ensure your projects are delivered on time, and within budget?

In this project management course, you’ll learn how to complete your projects on time and on budget, while guaranteeing customer satisfaction.

It is the best Coursera course in 2023 for project management because it embraces a hands-on approach to learning, which is more effective when it comes to picking up strong technical and practical skills in professional project management.

The instructor takes you through a series of lectures that help you acquire a working knowledge of the fundamentals of effective project management, skills you can immediately apply in your projects.

Finally, you’ll know how to identify and manage project scope, create a viable project plan, while allocating budgets and resources accordingly.

9. Google IT Support Professional Certificate   

How do you acquire the skills you need to land an entry level IT job?

There is a high demand for professionals in the IT support sector, so preparing yourself for a career in IT is definitely setting yourself up for a rewarding and fun adventure.

This IT support professional certificate by Google is one of the best ways to fast track your career in IT support and land a well paying job. Here, you’ll find a series of 5 courses that prepare you for entry level jobs at Google, Walmart, Best Buy, among others.

In addition to that, this certification course also prepares you for the popular CompTIA A+ certification exams, a highly coveted industry standard certification for IT professionals. So you technically earn a dual completion credential.

What’s more, since this program is ACE approved, you’ll also get up to 12 college credits, which is actually equal to 4 associate degree courses, just for completing this course.

10. Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate  

What’s the shortest path to a professional career in data analytics?

As a data analyst, your job involves collecting, transforming, and organizing data in order to draw useful insights that form the basis of data driven business decision making and predictions.

This is one of the top Coursera certification courses in 2023 that’ll provide you with the in-demand skills you need for an entry level job in data science. You’ll learn key data analysis skills and techniques for data cleaning and data visualization using tools like SQL, R programming, and Tableau software.

In fact, in just under 10 hours of study per week, you can learn one-on-one from Google employees, how a foundation in data analytics helped them launch their own careers, all in just 6 months.

Your final project involves a case study directly related to data analytics that you can use to demonstrate your skills to potential clients or employers.

11. Blockchain Basics   

Blockchain is disrupting many sectors of the economy today.

It forms the foundation of decentralized finance and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, that have taken the power away from centralized, bureaucratic financial institutions.

However, most people still find it a pain to define what blockchain really is, and how it works to realize these wonders.

This Blockchain Basics course, which forms part of the Blockchain specialization by the State University of New York, is the best Coursera course to teach you the fundamental Blockchain concepts that you need to work with technologies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

You’ll begin by exploring the both Bitcon and Ethereum protocols so that you can lay the foundation for developing Blockchain applications.

Through this course you’ll learn how to create nodes on your personal Ethereum blockchain, create accounts, mine coins, transfer your Ethers as well as check your actual balances from your digital wallet.

Other lessons cover peer-to-peer networks, distributed ledgers, and proof of work.

12. Marketing in a Digital World  

Even though big social media platforms like Facebook have made spreading marketing messages easier, they’ve also made marketing more complicated, thanks to the competition for attention of users on these platforms.

In this course, you’ll learn how digital tools like the Internet and smartphones are redefining the world of digital marketing by switching up roles and responsibilities between businesses and their customers.

This is one of the best Coursera certifications in 2023 for learning how the use of digital marketing tools is allowing customers to play a more active role in product conception and development.

You’ll also see how customer feedback that you receive from these platforms can actually drive your pricing and promotion initiatives.

So by the end of this course you’ll have obtained a new set of amazing tools and concepts to immediately integrate into your marketing campaigns to enhance your digital marketing efforts.

It is part of the iMBA and iMSM programs.

13. Getting Started with Power BI Desktop  

Another great way to learn and pick up new skills is through practical projects.

Through these projects you’ll get to put to practice the skills you’ve learned by working on a real world project, under the guidance of an instructor.

In this project based course, you’ll learn the basics of Power BI desktop, by analyzing credit card data defaults.

Microsoft Power BI is an amazing and free business intelligence software developed by Microsoft that lets you transform and visualize data in different ways, so that you can easily derive useful business insights from it.

It really makes creating interactive reports and dashboards very easy and fun.

I’d recommend this Coursera course to you if you’d like to up your data analysis and presentation skills using the Power BI suite of tools.

It is also very beginner friendly, so you don’t need previous experience as a data analyst to take this course.

14. Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills   

Like I said earlier, Coursera is not just about tech skills.

Here is another one of the most popular Coursera courses that will load you up with some ninja negotiation skills that you can immediately apply in the world of business and leadership.

In fact, you’ll realize that we negotiate pretty much every day. Be it with friends, family members or even at work with our employers.

So it is a very important skill to have if you want to at least have your way in most of the projects that you set out to pursue.

This course teaches you how to use negotiation for business success by winning profitable contracts, as well as how to leverage great negotiation skills to advance in your leadership career faster and successfully.

Basically you’ll learn how to plan your negotiation strategy, the key negotiation tactics, and how to close a deal.

The video lessons are also pretty short, so no boring hour-long lectures.

15. IBM Cybersecurity Analyst Professional Certificate   

Contrary to software development, where certifications are not held in high regard, industries like cyber security require certifications to consider you competent enough to even get an entry level position.

So if you’d like to launch a career in cyber security then this is the right place to be.

In this IBM cyber security analysts professional certification, you’ll get prepared to launch a career in cyber security by building job ready skills in under a year.

Great cyber security analysts have to master system and computer network fundamentals, endpoint protection, and data security.

This course will also introduce you to key data regulatory compliance practices, and cyber threat intelligence topics that are critical in today’s dynamic cyber security landscape.

By the time you finish this cyber security certification course on Coursera you’ll have competent skills to handle cyber attack incident responses and digital forensics. You’ll get hands-on experience through real world case studies using industry specific tools.

16. Full-Stack Web Development with React Specialization   

Since JavaScript is the most in demand programming language for web development, I thought it would be great to add another full stack web development course, for those wanting to launch a career in development.

This is one of the best Coursera certifications that specialize in getting your React.js skills up to speed.

In this course, you’ll learn both front-end development as well as hybrid mobile app development. This is because the React framework, some call it a library, has both web and mobile implementations.

You’ll start off by learning front-end development using React and Bootstrap 4 CSS framework, while implementing the back end with a NoSQL database solution like MongoDB, and NodeJS, before proceeding to building the mobile app counterpart that renders this a multi-platform solution.

However, in order to follow this course, you should at least have some basic knowledge of HTML, CSS and JavaScript because the basic concepts are not explained.

17. AWS Fundamentals Specialization 

Cloud computing is becoming an integral part of most organizations’ business growth strategy.

This is because today, most businesses run applications that are very resource intensive, so leveraging the immense processing power that these cloud computing solutions provide, is the clear way to keep costs down while delivering excellent services.

Amazon AWS is definitely one of the best cloud services providers.

In this course you’ll get an overview of the features, benefits and main capabilities of Amazon’s AWS cloud services. It is composed of 4 courses that dive deep with you into the core AWS services, the key AWS security concepts, as well as effective strategies for migrating from an on-premise solution to the AWS cloud.

So you’ll gain an in-depth understanding of how to develop serverless apps with AWS.

Just like other hands-on practical courses, this specialization involves completing some labs and exercises that help you put what you’ve learned to practice.

18. Learning Linux for LFCA Certification Specialization   

What does it take to master the Linux operating system?

If you’d like to become an information technology professional then learning the Linux OS to a mastery level is inevitable, because most organizations servers and networks systems run on the Linux operating system.

In this Coursera specialization you’ll learn how to become proficient in Linux programming so that you can explore a career in IT.

You’ll begin by lessons on creating security backups and redundancy, then proceed to securing the perimeter of your company network and systems, then crown it off by lessons on how to manage a computer system that has the Linux OS installed on all nodes.

At the end of each course in this specialization, you’ll also have the opportunity to test your learning through graded quizzes, as well as code writing practices in a lab setting.

The main topics include creating file and directory links, updating packages, and applying permissions.

19. DevOps, Cloud, and Agile Foundations Specialization 

The term DevOps is derived from a fusion of development and operations.

If you’d like to become more Agile, while innovating at scale, then DevOps brings the cultural change that your organization has to adopt.

It makes your life much easier because it facilitates delivery of software and services at the speed the market demands, something that will make you stand out from the competition in a dog eat dog economy.

So I find this one of the best Coursera specializations in 2023 for picking up foundational concepts in DevOPs, cloud computing, Agile and Scrum, all in one go.

The topics you’ll cover in these certification courses include DevOps culture and benefits, key cloud computing fundamentals, the well known Agile philosophy, coupled with Scrum methodologies.

So if you’d like to become a DevOps engineer, a software engineer, an exceptional application developer, or a cloud specialist then this course provides you with the skills, tools and technologies you need.

20. Penetration Testing, Incident Response and Forensics  

Becoming a cyber security analyst worth his salt involves learning a ton of skills to at least an intermediate level, before following them through with thorough practice.

This course forms part of the Coursera cyber security analytics professional certification that turns any beginner into an analyst.

However, the focus of this particular course is in penetration testing, incident response and digital forensics.

Here, you’ll learn the different stages of penetration testing, how to properly gather data for your penetration testing runs, as well as the most efficient penetration testing tools that lead to fewer false positives.

When it comes to incident response, you’ll explore the different phases, the kind of documentation to collect, as well as key incident response policies to adhere to.

You’ll also master the key steps of the digital forensics process.

What’s more, once you complete this training you’ll be eligible for an IBM digital badge for penetration testing, incident response, and digital forensics.

21. Microsoft Azure Fundamentals AZ-900 Exam Prep Specialization 

In cloud computing, there are three big names that are always mentioned in the same sentence: Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, and Google Cloud, and each one of these provide their own proprietary proficiency certifications.

Like I already mentioned, cloud computing is permeating almost every business today, because of immense storage and processing power needs.

This is the best Coursera course that will provide you with the fundamental knowledge and skills, as well as the confidence you need to start your Microsoft Azure certification journey in 2023.

Since the contents of this program are directly aligned to the AZ-900 exam, it is a great way to prepare for the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals AZ-900 certification exam, a certification that prepares you for a very rewarding career in cloud computing.

Here you’ll learn core Azure solutions, management tools, network security, data governance, and regulatory compliance, among others.

Once you complete this specialization you’ll also receive a discount to the Azure certification exam.

22. IBM Data Engineering Professional Certificate  

How do you get an entry-level data engineer position?

If you’d like to develop job-ready skills, proficiency in tools, and an outstanding professional portfolio for an entry-level data engineer position, then this professional certification is what you are looking for.

By taking this course, you’ll get to fully immerse yourself into a data engineer role while acquiring the critical skills and techniques you need to work with a huge collection of tools and databases.

Basically, you’ll master the process of designing, deploying, and managing both structured and unsecured data.

So in addition to being able to perform the key tasks of a data engineer, this course teaches you how to use Python and Linux scripts to extract, transform and load data.

What’s more, you’ll get a chance to work with both relational, SQL databases like MariaDB, as well as non-relational databases, like MongoDB, to perform operations on big data, while also leveraging engines like Hadoop and Apache Spark.

23. Aerial Robotics  

Does a robotics engineer role sound exciting?

Aerial robotics, a branch of robotics engineering, focuses on creating aerial vehicles that can operate autonomously in cluttered indoor and outdoor environments.

This Coursera course will prepare you for a robotics engineer career by providing you with a thorough understanding of the mechanics of flight, as well as the design of quadrotor flying robots.

Some of the topics you’ll cover include developing dynamic models, deriving controllers, and synthesizing planners so they can operate in a three dimensional environment.

You’ll also explore the challenges that using noisy sensors for localization and maneuvering present, especially in a complex three dimensional environment. All this learning takes place through real world examples of actual applications in the growing drone industry.

However, in order to follow along this course, I’d recommend you brush up your rusty skills in linear algebra, calculus and differential equations, as well as tools like MATLAB and Octave.

24. An Introduction to Programming the Internet of Things (IOT) Specialization 

Robotics, embedded systems and the internet of things (IoT) is another combo that happily sits together in the same sentence.

If you’d like to create and deploy your own IoT devices then you are looking at the best Coursera course for IoT programming.

In this certification course you’ll learn exactly what you need to know to design, create, and deploy your own IoT devices, using Arduino and Raspberry Pi.

So you’ll basically dive, to a mastery level, into the concepts and techniques of using embedded systems, Raspberry Pi, and Arduino to build programmed devices that can actually control the physical world.

What’s more interesting is the final capstone project.

This project involves applying the skills you’ve learned to design, build, and exhaustively test a microcontroller-power embedded device. In fact, by just including this project in your portfolio, and showing it off to potential employers, you raise your chances of landing a junior role in embedded systems programming.

25. Introduction to Psychology  

Okay, put down your programmers’ hat for a moment so  we can talk about something different… psychology.

This introductory course to human psychology, by Yale University, is one of the most popular courses on Coursera, boasting close to a million learners, and taught by the renowned psychologist, Paul Bloom.

By taking this amazing course, you’ll get to answer some of the most common questions that humans pose, like: what most people are afraid of, what our dreams really mean, the reality of racism, as well as the true source of happiness.

So through a scientific study of the human thought process and behavior, guided by the instructor, you’ll be able to answer not only these questions, but a couple more.

Other topics you’ll explore here include perception, communication, human memory, decision making processes, emotions, and variant social behavior, as well as how illness and injury affect each one of these.


The great thing about Coursera is that most of these courses can be taken for free, and only pay if you want a certification.

So why not get started today with one of the best Coursera courses in this list?

If you are looking for a career in tech, be it in software development, data analysis, artificial intelligence or robotics, Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python) is a great place to start. It provides the fundamental programming concepts that you can carry with you into any of these fields.

However, if you are more into business and management and are wondering how to make the most of your contracts, without leaving money on the table, Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills is what you are looking for. It will make your work life more productive as you’ll get to work very well with people.

Have you taken any of these courses before?

Please share your experience in the comments below.

Josh Hutcheson

E-Learning Specialist in Online Programs & Courses Linkedin

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