A software engineer’s review of Coursera

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A software engineer’s review of Coursera

Emmanuel is a recent graduate from Berea College who works at Morgan Stanley as a software engineer. In his own words, he shares how Coursera sparked his love of learning.

My learning journey with Coursera has been a long and fruitful one. It consisted of hours spent trying to figure out Andrew Ng’s labs, redoing various quizzes after 8-hour wait periods, going on the forums to join in conversations, and working on real-world projects like chatbots, recommendation engines, and my first product road map.

Why does Coursera hold a special place in my heart? Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t be able to take courses from top universities or companies like Google. Coursera provides anyone with access to education that used to be reserved for a select few. Coursera democratizes education.

I’ve completed over 100 courses and Specializations on Coursera. Here are a few of my favorites:

Learning on Coursera gives me the opportunity to experiment with subjects that interest me at my own pace. I’m given the chance to tackle topics that might intimidate me in a traditional school setting.

Connecting with the Online Community

One of the things I absolutely love about Coursera is the supportive online community. Most people assume that online courses lack human interaction, but this is not true for for Coursera. With real people reviewing projects and giving authentic feedback, fellow students opening discussions and answering questions in the forums, and course instructors sending out meetup invites and other resources — these things that set Coursera apart. Coursera has brought human interaction to online learning, and that’s what really keeps me coming back here to learn.

A Pathway to the Future

My courses taught me skills that I wouldn’t have learned at my liberal arts college and helped me stand out during the recruitment process. That helped lead me to an MBA.

My certificates allowed me to demonstrate my love of learning and set me apart as a candidate when I applied for jobs. Now, I’m starting my first job at Morgan Stanley as a software engineer!

Through courses from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, I found out about the Future Year Scholars Program. This program helped me get admitted into the MBA degree program with deferred enrollment, which is thrilling! 

I’ve learned a lot on Coursera, but the most important takeaway from this experience was being reintroduced me to a childlike joy of learning where I’m excited whenever I find out I don’t know something. I hope to always be learning.