These were the most popular online courses in India in 2019

Seeking intelligence.
Seeking intelligence.
Image: Reuters/Kacper Pempel
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For India’s online learners, 2019 was the “Year of AI.”

Artificial Intelligence (AI) emerged as the most popular subject among e-learners, accounting for nearly two million enrollments in the last year alone, according to online learning platform Coursera’s latest learner trends released yesterday (Dec. 12). The analysis included 45 million learners, including five million Indians, on the platform.

AI became accessible to the masses with AI For Everyone, which was launched in February this year by, an initiative by Coursera co-founder Andrew Ng.

Taught by Ng himself, AI For Everyone is described as a “primer course, geared toward non-technical learners—from marketers and designers to financiers and CEOs.” It was the fifth most popular Coursera course of the year globally, and the fourth most popular in India.

According to the professional networking site LinkedIn, AI specialist will be the second most sought-after profession in 2020. However, less than 3% of Indian engineers have the new-age skills required in areas like AI, machine learning, data science, and mobile development. Owing to this massive mismatch in the talent pool, demand has far exceeded supply and trained professionals can earn up to Rs10,000 ($142) an hour. This explains why the courses are in vogue.

Tech-centric content from prestigious institutes like Stanford University and University of Michigan garnered the most attention from Indian learners.

Coursera’s analysis also revealed a strong demand for stackable career credentials and career-relevant programmes like professional certificates, which prepare learners for high-demand jobs in less than a year.

With rapidly evolving technologies, the shelf life for AI is now just 12 months, compared with five years earlier, and keeping up with the times is vital. “In India, we have observed more and more executives and C-suite officials enrolling in AI courses over the last year, realising its significant impact on business,” said Raghav Gupta, managing director for India and APAC at Coursera.

2019’s list of India’s most popular specialisations and professional certificates featured Python for Everybody by the University of Michigan, Deep Learning by, and the IBM Data Science Professional Certificate at the top of the list.

“With the growing relevance of new age skills needed to keep pace with the changing workplace, employers are acknowledging the importance of stackable credentials,” Gupta said.