Learning Trends: Top Online Courses, Skills and Platforms

Learning Trends: Top Online Courses, Skills and Platforms

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Updated on May 23, 2024 15:18 IST

Have you ever wondered which skills are in high demand and where to learn them? Learning trends are shifting towards online platforms offering top technology, business, and personal development courses. Skills like coding, data analysis, and digital marketing are highly sought. Platforms like Coursera, Udemy, and edX lead the way in providing these valuable learning opportunities. Let's understand more!


There’s never been a better time to upskill with online courses than now. With more time on our hands during the pandemic combined with the fact that online course providers have gone all out to add more learning content, courses & certifications (a lot of them for free), the trend of upskilling online is picking up pace more than ever.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are giving students and industry professionals a chance to add to their skills and academic qualifications—whether they are looking to switch careers, have a better salary, or simply pursue a new hobby.

Learning at your convenience, significantly cheaper options and the opportunity to learn from even world-class universities from the comfort of your own living room are good reasons to opt for top online courses.

We at Shiksha Online bring you the latest trends in the upskilling world after analyzing 2700+ learner reviews we have received recently.

The highest-rated online learning platforms

Millions around the globe are turning to top online courses provided by e-learning platforms. The problem really is not a lack of resources but choosing the right platform for your needs. Some of the providers of top online courses offer many free courses, while others are paid. Others focus on live learning, self-paced study, and so on.

Choosing the right platform depends on your specific needs, not whether one is better than the other. Below are the most popular platforms and a few of their features for a quick glance.

Platform Avg Rating* Certifications & Course Best Features Areas of study
Google 4.3* Free courses by Google itself, as well as those offered through Coursera, Udacity, and edX You can earn a professional certification for job-ready skills straight from Google. In-demand IT jobs include IT specialist, DB Administrator, network engineer, etc.
Google offers free digital marketing certifications from Digital Garage.

Other courses include software development, machine learning, Google Cloud, Data, Python, Cybersecurity, and career development.
Coursera 4.2* You have to pay for the Certificate of completion.

The Audit option lets you opt for the course material for free.
However, it excludes certificates & graded assignments
Accredited certifications from top universities of the world like Stanford, Harvard, Duke, etc.

Offers individual courses, specializations, or even higher education degrees
Business, Arts & Humanities, Data Science, IT, personal growth, health, engineering, languages
Udemy 4.2* You need to pay a fee to access every course but the prices are affordable with frequent discounts.

You get a certificate of completion with every paid course
Volume – Udemy has over 150,000+ courses to choose from.

You get lifetime access to all the course material.
Self-paced courses
Design, Data science, Web development, programming languages, IT & Software, Finance, Marketing, Lifestyle, Music, Photography, etc.

*Ratings are based on verified learner reviews submitted on Shiksha Online

According to learners, Some other popular places to look for top online courses are Microsoft Certifications & Examinations, NPTEL (National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning), and Udacity.

Popular skills & top-rated courses

Our analysis shows that the following skills are the most sought-after among learners. We have also listed some of the top courses for these skills.


Python emerged as the uncontested winner in terms of the most popular skill. Python’s popularity can be attributed to the fact that it’s an easy programming language to learn with a simple vocabulary and an intuitive syntax. It’s high-level programming with a rich collection of libraries. Today, Python is almost everywhere, whether in automation scripts, building web applications, dealing with AI and Machine Learning workloads, or even developing video games.

Let’s find out a few highly recommended Python courses rated 4+ by learners

Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python) offered by Coursera

The course offered by the University of Michigan introduces the basics of the Python Programming language and is good for beginners as well. The course delivers its content with engaging video lectures accompanied by an eBook, which is a welcome addition per learner reviews.

Applied Data Science with Python Specialization offered by Coursera

A five-course specialization offered by the University of Michigan is best for people with a basic knowledge of Python and programming. The course is application-based and helps learners bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical implementation of statistical, ML, data visualization, and text analysis techniques with the help of Python libraries like pandas, scikit-learn, etc.

Python and Django Full Stack Web Developer Bootcamp offered by Udemy

The course is for anyone who wants to learn how to build websites using Python and Django. It’s recommended for complete beginners and Python developers looking to get into Web Development. The course also covers front-end technologies like HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

Apart from these top online courses, a few other Python courses have garnered attention and good reviews –

  • Python 101 for Data Science from Cognitive Class, in collaboration with IBM, is available FREE of cost. The course also provides free practice labs for hands-on experience and gives the student the chance to collaborate with other Data Scientists on projects.
  • Learn Programming with Python from Internshala is an online six-week training program that covers essential concepts in the building blocks of Python, object-oriented programming, the use of the SQLite database, and the development of GUIs for Python applications.

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing, as a career option, is creating new opportunities that were unheard of even 10 years ago. Studies show that four out of ten marketing roles demand digital marketing skills from professionals. One can choose from a wide range of skills to learn, such as SEO, SEM, audio/video production, mobile marketing, social media, content marketing, eCommerce, web development, etc.

Let’s look at the top online courses for Digital marketing recommended by learners.

Fundamentals of Digital Marketing by Google Digital Garage

The one course that stands out is Fundamentals of Digital Marketing, offered by Google Digital Garage.

About 64% of Digital Marketing course learners opted for this Grow with Google Programme, which has an average rating of 4.3.

The course is best suited for fresh graduates, professionals in their early career stages, and marketers. At the end of the course, you will earn a FREE certification from Google after passing a 40-question exam. The course content includes 26 modules created by Google trainers and 40 hours of bite-sized videos with practical examples and case studies.

The Complete Digital Marketing Course – 12 Courses in 1 by Udemy

Udemy’s ‘The Complete Digital Marketing Course – 12 Courses in 1’ also stood out amongst course reviewers, with most of them giving it a 5-star rating. Not just for beginners, the course is also ‘an eye-opener’ for those experienced in the field as well, according to reviews.

The course provides the right balance of marketing theories and online tools complemented with business case studies. It’s best for new business owners, website owners struggling to get traffic, and those looking at a freelancing career. You’ll learn SEO, YouTube marketing, Facebook Marketing, Google Adwords, Google Analytics, etc.

The reviews also revealed that one might find the course a bit slow. However, you have the option to enhance the speed of the course content to increase your pace.

Machine Learning

Machine Learning jobs are expected to be worth $31 billion by 2024 and will impact every industry—healthcare, Finance, Automobile, robotics, etc. Even as 2020 saw the onset of the pandemic and a downward spiral in hiring trends, companies continued to look for Artificial Intelligence professionals. According to Analytics Insight, AI jobs are expected to reach about 1.9 million in 2023.

Below are a few courses that reviewers preferred, and you could also consider them if you wish to start your Machine Learning career.

Machine Learning by Stanford University offered by Coursera

The very famous Andrew Ng teaches the course, and is one of the best for beginners. Offered by Stanford University through Coursera, it focuses on MATLAB-based programming instead of Python.

The course has weekly graded assignments & discussion forums to help with student questions and is spread across an 11-week duration.

It’s best suited for beginners as it starts with introducing Machine Learning and covers supervised & unsupervised Learning. Some of the skills you gain are logistic regression, Artificial Neural Networks, building recommender systems, applying machine learning algorithms, anomaly detection in large datasets, and so on.

Machine Learning A-Z: Hands-On Python & R in Data Science offered by Udemy

The course has been well-received by reviewers and deals with ML concepts such as regression, decision trees, random forest, KNN, etc., along with elaborations in both Python & R. The course is easy to understand for someone with limited coding knowledge. However, the technical and Math parts might be difficult to understand without a data science background, as reviewed.

A few not-so-popular course providers also received good reviews for their Machine Learning courses like Eckovation, Perfect Plan B (the learners also got to work on hands-on projects), iDime, and Mathworks.

Amazon Web Services

The most popular AWS Certifications are the Solutions architect–associate and Cloud Practitioner.

Amazon Web Services lets you take the Solutions Architect—Associate certification exam, and clearing the exam means you have explored AWS Services in depth. The course covers disaster recovery, Fault tolerance, Serverless deployments, Compliance enforcement, Autoscaling, etc.

The Cloud Practitioner certification is open to people from both technical and non-technical backgrounds and introduces one to the fundamental AWS Cloud Concepts.

Check out this video from our Course Review series to better understand these certifications and how they can impact your career.

You can also prepare for the course on the AWS website or by taking training courses on Udemy, Simplilearn, and Edureka.

Closing Remarks

The trend to keep learning and upskilling with the help of learning platforms is here to stay. As we have seen in our observations, Python, Digital Marketing, Cloud technologies, and Machine Learning are some of the most picked-up skills. Learners are also opting for web development, Java, skills in Data Science (like data exploration, R, Deep Learning, etc.), Project Management, and so on.

We will continue to bring you more insights and trends in the Upskilling ecosystem and top online courses as the year advances, and we will be able to cover more skills as we go along!

About the Author

This is a collection of insightful articles from domain experts in the fields of Cloud Computing, DevOps, AWS, Data Science, Machine Learning, AI, and Natural Language Processing. The range of topics caters to upski... Read Full Bio