Mooc Statistics: Market Report & Data

Highlights: The Most Important Mooc Statistics

  • Only 5.5% of MOOC learners finish their courses on average.
  • MOOCs had 110 million students worldwide in 2019.
  • Just 12% of MOOC learners come from low-income countries.
  • People at companies comprise 50% of the clientele for the MOOC platform Coursera.
  • The average MOOC attracts around 43,000 students.
  • Around 8% of MOOC students are teachers.
  • 61% of MOOC learners are employed full-time.
  • As of 2020, 75% of MOOC users were non-students.
  • In 2020, the MOOC industry reached over $5.16 billion in market size.
  • edX has reported a 59% completion rate for students who sign up for a verified certificate.
  • Approximately 80% of MOOC participants have a bachelor's degree or higher.
  • According to Coursera, over 60% of their users take MOOCs to help their career.
  • 35% of Coursera's users are from developing countries.
  • Over 4.8 million people have signed up to learn computer science through MOOCs.
  • Coursera's machine learning course is the most popular MOOC of all time with over 2.4 million enrollments.
  • Of the 34% MOOC learners who are over 30, most have a Bachelor's degree or higher.
  • In emerging economies, the course completion rate for MOOCs is even lower, at under 1%.
  • EdX MOOCs receive an average user rating of 75 out of 100.
  • There were 16,000 MOOCs in 2019 worldwide.

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In today’s digital age, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have become an increasingly popular means of learning new skills and concepts. This blog post focuses on MOOC Statistics, a fascinating and critical field of study. Fans of numbers and data know that statistics illuminate patterns, predict outcomes, and support significant decisions, making it an essential part of our lives. By exploring some popular statistics MOOCs, we aim to inspire readers, whether they are complete beginners or seasoned professionals, to delve more profoundly and understand how statistics contributes to different fields like economics, healthcare, business, and more.

The Latest Mooc Statistics Unveiled

Only 5.5% of MOOC learners finish their courses on average.

Peering into the intriguing world of MOOCs, one statistic often prompts a double take – a scant 5.5% of students, on average, actually complete their courses. Woven into the narrative of this online educational phenomenon, this figure highlights a curious paradox. Despite the broad accessibility and affordability of MOOCs, its success seems stunted by a significantly low completion rate. Through this lens, we are encouraged to delve deeper into the myriad factors influencing student engagement and persistence, thus anchoring the examination of MOOC effectiveness and value within the realities of actual learner experiences.

MOOCs had 110 million students worldwide in 2019.

Painting a vivid landscape of the global reach of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), the 110 million students worldwide in 2019 proudly underscore the popularity and wide acceptance of this innovative educational platform. This concrete figure acts as a testimony not only to the soaring interest in MOOCs but also to the undeniable trend of digitizing education. As an extraordinary example demonstrating the democratization of learning beyond geographical boundaries, it offers a convincing argument to educators, investors and policy makers alike, subtly whispering about the enormous potential of MOOCs to transform traditional learning systems and impact countless lives across the globe.

Just 12% of MOOC learners come from low-income countries.

Illuminating disparities in global education, the statistic ‘Just 12% of MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) learners hail from low-income countries’ paints a stark picture of the digital divide. With an overwhelming majority of MOOC learners coming from more affluent nations, this data engenders a profound reality check: the democratizing potential of technology to revolutionize education is yet to be fully realized. It underlines the urgent need to bridge the digital chasm, drive technology dissemination, and enable broader access to MOOCs, ultimately making high-quality education truly universal in a blog post delving into MOOC statistics.

People at companies comprise 50% of the clientele for the MOOC platform Coursera.

The above statistic signifies a pivotal shift in the corporate world where businesses are placing digital education at the forefront of their employee training programs. With Coursera, a popular Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) platform, hosting 50% of its clientele from companies, it illuminates the growing integration of MOOCs into corporate training, suggesting an evolution in conventional learning methods. This further underlines the potential of MOOCs to transform the way corporations enhance their workforce’s skills and knowledge, illustrating a significant trend in the context of a blog post about MOOC statistics.

The average MOOC attracts around 43,000 students.

Unveiling the magnetic allure of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), the statistic that an average MOOC entices approximately 43,000 students further illuminates the boundless reach and potent impact of this online educational platform. In a world invariably trending towards digitization and remote learning, such a large figure not only substantiates the burgeoning popularity of MOOCs among learners all over the globe, but also underscores the potential for high-quality education to transcend traditional physical boundaries. Given the scope of this audience, it’s vital for educators, course designers, and policymakers to harness and leverage this data in shaping the future of MOOCs, thereby transforming online education into an effective pathway for knowledge acquisition and personal development.

Around 8% of MOOC students are teachers.

Delving into the world of MOOC statistics, one finds a curious nugget of information: a substantial 8% of students engaged in MOOCs, also known as massive open online courses, are presumably imparting knowledge themselves, identifying as teachers. This casts an intriguing light on the educational ecosystem, hinting at a vibrant cycle of learning and teaching. Teachers, traditionally regarded as information purveyors, resort to MOOCs for continued, self-directed learning, thereby positively influencing their own pedagogical methods and classroom practices. Therefore, this statistic underscores the transformative potential of MOOCs in fostering a culture of lifelong learning, even among educators, thereby creating ripples of enriched knowledge dissemination across the educational landscape.

61% of MOOC learners are employed full-time.

Diving into the realm of MOOC Statistics, we uncover an intriguing fact – a full 61% of MOOC learners are engaged in full-time employment. This snippet of information serves as a testament to the flexibility and accessibility of MOOCs, highlighting their ability to facilitate lifelong learning irrespective of one’s professional commitments. As a focal point in a blog post on MOOC Statistics, this statistic certainly pierces through as a strong rebuttal to the idea that professional responsibilities curtail opportunities for education, acting as a beacon for individuals aspiring to balance their careers with the pursuit of knowledge. So, we can see that MOOCs are not just an educational refuge for students but a vibrant learning platform embraced by full-time working professionals worldwide.

As of 2020, 75% of MOOC users were non-students.

The 2020 statistic of 75% of MOOC users being non-students offers an insightful revelation to the shifting landscape of online education. It underscores the growing appeal of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) for working professionals, unemployed individuals and those outside the traditional education environment, propelling them beyond the typical scope of academic population. It gives substance to the idea that MOOCs are becoming central for upskilling, reskilling, lifelong learning and professional development, therefore heavily influencing the strategies of MOOC providers & content creators for their course offerings. This surge in non-student participation serves as a meaningful indicator for discussions around the future directions and implications of MOOCs in the realm of global digital education.

In 2020, the MOOC industry reached over $5.16 billion in market size.

The striking revelation that the MOOC industry tipped the scales at a hefty market size of $5.16 billion in 2020 forms the crux of our understanding of the industry’s ever-burgeoning growth and influence. Set against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent embrace of digital learning platforms, this enormous figure underscores not only the heightened adaptability and acceptance of MOOCs, but also sheds light on its potential to revolutionize the educational landscape. In the context of this blog about MOOC statistics, the $5.16 billion narrative becomes a testament to the evolution of online learning, shaping the digital education market, and a prediction of its future trajectory.

edX has reported a 59% completion rate for students who sign up for a verified certificate.

Shedding light on the efficacy of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), one can’t overlook a fascinating highlight- a reported 59% completion rate by edX for students who enroll for a verified certificate. This number is vital, enhancing the credibility for edX’s online courses as it signifies a majority of dedicated learners who are keen to complete their chosen courses. Further, this statistic intensifies the overall discussion on MOOC statistics, re-defining perceptions of online learning’s effectiveness and reinforcing edX’s position as a formidable provider in the MOOC landscape.

Approximately 80% of MOOC participants have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Delving into the educational demographics of MOOC participants, a striking revelation uncovers that a vast majority, an estimate of roughly 80%, are already in possession of a bachelor’s degree or higher. This figure points to the profound inclination of individuals with existing higher education to further expand their knowledge and skills, reinforcing the perception of MOOCs as an optimal platform for continuous learning. Such data gives weight to the emerging narrative around MOOCs; as tools not just for accessing basic education but as prominent avenues for advanced learning and professional development.

According to Coursera, over 60% of their users take MOOCs to help their career.

Undeniably, the Coursera factoid showcasing that above 60% of their users are leveraging MOOCs to boost their career paints an impactful picture of the role MOOCs play in advancing professional development. It serves as evidence that online learning is not merely a passing trend or a refuge for curious minds, but instead, it has evolved into an indispensable tool for career progression. This transformational shift underscores the increasing trust and recognition from both users and employers towards the potential and efficiency of MOOCs. Furthermore, it highlights how online education is moving towards vocational training, boosting employment prospects, expanding professional networks, and equipping learners with job-specific skills. Thus, these statistics deeply resonate within the context of a blog post on MOOC statistics, providing insights into user behavior, motivations behind enrolment, and the escalating relevance of MOOCs in today’s job markets.

35% of Coursera’s users are from developing countries.

In a landscape alive with the buzz of Mooc (Massive Open Online Courses), the fact that 35% of Coursera’s users hail from the developing world offers a tantalizing peek into the revolutionary global reach of online learning platforms. As an unexpected outlier, it underscores the democratization of knowledge, refuting geographical and economic barriers. This compelling snapshot of Coursera’s user base is a testament to how online education strides across borders, offering unprecedented access to quality education for users in developing regions, thus fostering educational inclusivity on a global scale.

Over 4.8 million people have signed up to learn computer science through MOOCs.

Highlighting the number of over 4.8 million learners embracing MOOCs for computer science signifies a noteworthy trend in online educational practices. It paints a vivid picture of the escalating interest and passion towards self-directed learning in tech disciplines. This underscores the immense flexibility and accessibility MOOCs offer, giving a glimpse into the digital future of education. Further, it reinforces the transformative potential of MOOCs in democratizing education and prime role it plays in developing key skills for todays’ digital labor market while reflecting on the allure of computer science – a field at the cutting edge of technological breakthroughs.

Coursera’s machine learning course is the most popular MOOC of all time with over 2.4 million enrollments.

In a landscape teeming with Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), one giant looms large: Coursera’s machine learning course, evidenced by its record-breaking 2.4 million enrollments. This astonishing feat underscores not only the demand for skills pertinent to emerging technologies, but also the appeal of MOOCs’ flexible, quality, and affordable education in an increasingly digital world. By showcasing the most popular example, this figure lends weight to a broader discourse on MOOC statistics, speaking volumes about learners’ preferences, course offerings, and the transformative role of MOOCs in global education.

Of the 34% MOOC learners who are over 30, most have a Bachelor’s degree or higher.

This cogent data point— ‘Of the 34% MOOC learners who are over 30, most possess a Bachelor’s degree or higher’—sheds light on an intriguing trend in MOOC participation that offers perspective to stakeholders involved in MOOCs, and concurrently, brings context to our wider discussion on MOOC statistics. It suggests a compelling narrative of continuous learning and professional development, hinting at a significant constituency of adult learners who, despite already having a robust educational background, are choosing to employ MOOCs to further enrich their knowledge base or skill set. This could be insightful for MOOC developers instructional designers, as they may need to gear their course content or teaching methods towards an audience with a pre-existing higher educational foundation.

In emerging economies, the course completion rate for MOOCs is even lower, at under 1%.

This worrisome figure – a depressingly low sub 1% course completion rate in emerging economies for MOOCs – unequivocally paints a picture of an educational crisis. Amid discussions on MOOC statistics, this fact serves as a palpable reflection of dwindling student engagement and the stark digital divide, exacerbating disparities in global education accessibility. As researchers and educators grapple to boost MOOC adoption, this statistic underscores the formidable challenges they face, stressing the dire need for more strategic, culturally tailored pedagogical models, robust tech infrastructure, as well as stronger support systems to turn the tide.

EdX MOOCs receive an average user rating of 75 out of 100.

In an era where digital learning is becoming increasingly significant, the user rating of EdX MOOCs serves as an essential benchmark for the quality of education provided. The quoted average rating of 75 out of 100 reflects a demanding taste of the crowd – the higher the rating, the better the perceived quality and effectiveness of their courses. When zooming into the realm of MOOC statistics, this precise figure illustrates a satisfactory learner experience and thus underpins EdX’s credibility and attractiveness as a MOOC provider. This rating also becomes a powerful tool for potential students seeking top-tier online education, enabling them to make informed decisions while navigating through the world of online learning.

There were 16,000 MOOCs in 2019 worldwide.

A revelation of 16,000 MOOCs worldwide in 2019 illustrates a thriving landscape of digital education. It underlines the growing acceptance and reliance on internet-based learning experiences, enriching the educational journey of countless learners globally. This figure serves to amplify the importance of MOOCs in modern education, whilst highlighting their augmented growth, impacting the content, focus, and direction of a blog post on MOOC statistics. It provides a concrete testimony to the undeniable surge in e-learning, emphasizing the need for careful analysis of associated trends, patterns, and implications.


In our in-depth exploration of MOOC statistics, we have learned that online learning platforms continue to grow exponentially, buoyed by increasing global connectivity and the need for continual professional development. User demographics lean towards employed individuals and students with a keen interest in advancing their careers or personal knowledge. While completion rates may not be as high as traditional education systems, the flexibility, affordability and vast content range offer considerable value. As advancements in edtech continue, we should expect to witness an even greater expansion and relevance of MOOCs in our future learning landscape.


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What does MOOC stand for in the realm of education?

MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course. It is a web-based distance learning program designed to educate participants on a variety of topics, accessible to anyone with internet access.

What are the advantages of MOOCs?

MOOCs offer flexible learning opportunities, allowing participants to learn at their own pace. They often provide learning materials for free, enabling access to quality education regardless of financial constraints. Furthermore, they allow a broad range of learners to participate, creating a diverse, international learning environment.

How are MOOCs affecting higher education?

MOOCs are transforming higher education by making it more accessible and flexible. They provide opportunities for lifelong learning and enable universities to reach a broader audience. However, they also pose challenges regarding accreditation and the assessment of student learning.

Can MOOCs replace traditional classroom learning?

While MOOCs have revolutionized the education industry, they are not designed to replace traditional classroom learning. Rather, they serve as a supplement to provide flexible, remote learning options. The interaction and immediacy of traditional classroom learning still holds significant value.

What are common drawbacks or criticisms of MOOCs?

Common criticisms of MOOCs include high dropout rates and a lack of interaction and communication among students. Some also argue that they favor self-motivated learners and may exclude those who require more guidance. Additionally, while they offer a wealth of content, not all MOOCs provide recognized qualifications.

How we write our statistic reports:

We have not conducted any studies ourselves. Our article provides a summary of all the statistics and studies available at the time of writing. We are solely presenting a summary, not expressing our own opinion. We have collected all statistics within our internal database. In some cases, we use Artificial Intelligence for formulating the statistics. The articles are updated regularly.

See our Editorial Process.

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