Coursera Reveals Most Popular Online Courses of 2016

Programming, data science, machine learning, English, and learning fundamentals are among most sought after skills

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--()--Coursera, the global leader in online education, today announced the Most Popular Courses and Most Popular Specializations of 2016 based on enrollments from its 23 million registered learners. The annual lists reveal a distinct interest in building specific professional and personal skills – from coding to communications – to land some of today’s hottest jobs.

This year, courses teaching technology and data related skills emerged as some of the most popular, and accounted for 50 percent of the most in-demand courses, including Stanford’s Machine Learning. Coursera also saw a similar trend with this year’s Most Popular Specializations – series of courses designed to go deeper in a specific career field.

Courses targeted at improving English in a business context appeared on the list for the first time this year alongside other courses that teach non-technical professional skills. Learning How to Learn, a course that has helped millions hone the basic mental tools needed to master subject matter, from the University of California, San Diego, was the most popular course in 2016. The course continues to be the platform's most popular of all time.

“We see a strong preference for skills in the cutting edge technology professions like data science and computer programming. But we also see a desire for personal betterment reflected in the choice of topics such as modern psychology and learning fundamentals,” said Rick Levin, CEO of Coursera.

See below for a full list of Coursera’s most popular online courses and Specializations for 2016:

Most Popular Courses of 2016

  1. Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects - University of California, San Diego
  2. Machine Learning - Stanford University
  3. Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python) - University of Michigan
  4. R Programming - Johns Hopkins University
  5. Speak English Professionally: In Person, Online & On the Phone - Georgia Institute of Technology
  6. Grammar and Punctuation - University of California, Irvine
  7. Seeing Through Photographs - The Museum of Modern Art
  8. The Data Scientist’s Toolbox - Johns Hopkins University
  9. Buddhism and Modern Psychology - Princeton University
  10. Mastering Data Analysis in Excel - Duke University

Most Popular Specializations of 2016

  1. Data Science - Johns Hopkins University
  2. Python for Everybody - Duke University
  3. Excel to MySQL: Analytic Techniques for Business - Duke University
  4. Business Foundations - University of Pennsylvania
  5. Academic English: Writing - University of California, Irvine
  6. Career Success - University of California, Irvine
  7. Business Analytics - University of Pennsylvania
  8. Improve Your English Communication Skills - Georgia Institute of Technology
  9. Big Data - University of California, San Diego
  10. Digital Marketing - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

About Coursera

Coursera is an online education company that offers courses and learning experiences from the world’s top universities and education institutions including Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, University of Virginia, and University of Michigan. Coursera has more than 23 million registered learners worldwide who can access over 1,800 courses and Specializations in dozens of topics including business, technology, social sciences, health, and art. Coursera empowers learners around the world to achieve their career, educational, and personal enrichment goals throughout their lives. Coursera is backed by leading venture capital firms such as Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, New Enterprise Associates, GSV Capital, International Finance Corporation, Laureate Education Inc., and Learn Capital.

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Charlotte Crawford


Charlotte Crawford