By The Numbers: MOOCs in 2019

By The Numbers: MOOCs in 2019

Now in its eighth year, the modern MOOC movement has reached 110 million learners, excluding China1. In 2019, providers launched over 2,500 courses, 11 online degrees, and 170 microcredentials.

Here’s how the top-5 MOOC providers look like in terms of users and offerings:

Learners Courses Microcredentials Degrees
Coursera 45 million 3,800 420 16
edX 25 million 2,640 292 10
Udacity 10 million 200 40 1
FutureLearn 2,4 10 million 880 49 23
Swayam 2,3 10 million 1,000 0 0


For Class Central‘s complete analysis keep reading. For our previous years’ analyses, follow the links:


By the end of 2019, 13.5K MOOCs have been announced or launched by over 900 universities around the world. In 2019 alone, around 2.5K courses were launched by 450 universities.

Online Degrees

2017 2018 2019
Coursera 4 11 16
edX 1 9 10
FutureLearn 4 18 23

In 2018, we saw the top MOOC providers announce a large number of degrees: 30 overall!

I called this the second wave of MOOC Hype and 2018, the year of MOOC-based of degrees.

But in 2019, only 11 new degrees were announced, most by Coursera and FutureLearn.

Interestingly, a MOOC-based degree seems to have been either canceled or postponed: edX’s Data Science Master — offered by the University of California, San Diego — isn’t listed on the provider’s page anymore.

The total number of MOOC-based degrees has now grown to 50. This number includes Georgia Tech’s online master’s degree in computer science (OMSCS), which is offered on Udacity and has over 9,000 students.

You can find a comprehensive list of MOOC-based master’s degrees here.


Type Provider 2018 2019
Specializations Coursera 310 400
Professional Certificate Coursera 0 13
MasterTrack Coursera 3 6
Professional Certificate edX 89 123
MicroMasters edX 51 56
XSeries edX 29 40
Professional Education edX 62 73
Nanodegrees Udacity 35 40
Programs FutureLearn 23 32
Academic Certificates4 FutureLearn 14 17
Programs Kadenze 19 20

The total number of MOOC-based microcredentials has now crossed 800. In 2019, more than 170 new microcredentials of 10 different types have been launched. In 2018, only 120 microcredentials were added.


Overall, the distribution of courses across subjects has remained quite similar to last year. Forty percent of courses belong to the categories that are the easiest to monetize: business and technology.

[1] We decided to leave China out of our analysis this year because, as we learned more about Chinese online education, we realized that the metrics we’d like to present are: (1) sometimes unavailable, (2) sometimes available but impossible to validate to the extent we’d like, (3) sometimes reflect a view too narrow to adequately capture the overall state of MOOCs in China.

[2] For platforms with session-based courses, we counted the total number of distinct courses offered in 2019.

[3] This is the first year that Swayam is included in Class Central’s analysis. This year, NPTEL and Swayam were merged, which is one of the reasons behind the rapid growth of the Indian MOOC provider.

[4] Graduate and Postgraduate Certificates are listed under microcredentials, instead of under degrees.

This article is just one of our 2019 MOOC Roundup Series. Find the whole series here. You’ll discover everything about MOOCs in 2019 — from the most popular classes, to overviews of MOOC platforms developments, to looking at the future of MOOCs.