Rather than looking at individual courses, I wanted to focus on Coursera Specializations because they can give you a bit of an edge when it comes to career development, promotions, and gaining new skillsets, overall.
While this article is designed for working professionals, if you’re interested in robotics at a more intermediate or advanced level—either as a hobby or as a career change—then Coursera Specializations are a good option. They’re very affordable and you can gain access to content at popular Universities around the world.
Why Robotics Specializations on Coursera Plus is a Great Option
If you’re looking for University and Graduate-Level online courses, then Coursera is a popular choice. However, taking courses on Coursera can get expensive if you don’t have the dedication and willpower to stick to a learning schedule.
This is where Coursera Plus comes into play. Pay one annual subscription fee, and gain access to over 3,000 courses and Specializations on Coursera. That way, if you’re using Coursera to supplement your career development plan or use it to bridge the gaps in various subjects, you can get the best “bang for your bucks!”
More specifically, if you’re looking to develop skills in Manufacturing & Automation, Electronics & Embedded Systems, and Robotics & Controls, you’ll be able to take a breadth of courses to add to your portfolio. And, with the added benefit of learning online, you can take courses at your own pace, from anywhere.
Ready to start learning? Let’s take a look at all of the Robotics Specializations you have access to with a Coursera Plus subscription.
Manufacturing & Automation
You can take two manufacturing Specializations with Coursera Plus. One focuses on product innovation and generative design, and the other specialization will help you improve your CAD and digital manufacturing skills.
If you have any intention of working in a factory on industrial robots or with automation equipment, then taking manufacturing courses will be paramount to your ability to get promoted.
However, if you’re looking to work on “hardcore” software engineering for robotics, then these specializations are pretty irrelevant to careers working on embedded systems, software architecture, and algorithms for smart robotic systems. Feel free to skip to the next sections if that’s the case.
1. Autodesk Generative Design for Manufacturing Specialization
|Autodesk Generative Design for Manufacturing Specialization|
Innovate with Generative Design for Manufacturing. Your time is limited but your options don’t have to be. Learn the foundations of product innovation and intelligent design with Generative Design for Manufacturing.
★★★★☆ 4.8 ● Tuition: $39 per month ● Duration: 4 months ● Sign Up Now!
There are four courses in the Autodesk Generative Design for Manufacturing Specialization.
- Generative Design for Additive Manufacturing
- Generative Design for Performance and Weight Reduction
- Generative Design for Industrial Applications
- Generative Design for Part Consolidation
I only recommend joining this specialization if you’re looking to expand your engineering knowledge in the manufacturing niche. If you’re not working on robotics or Industrial applications, then you may not need the content that this specialization has to offer.
2. CAD and Digital Manufacturing Specialization
|CAD and Digital Manufacturing Specialization|
Start your Career in Digital Manufacturing. Practice your CAD/CAM/CAE skills and learn about industry trends, while creating your drone.
★★★★☆ 4.7 ● Tuition: $49 per month ● Duration: 6 months ● Sign Up Now!
There are five courses in the CAD and Digital Manufacturing Specialization.
- Intro to Digital Manufacturing with Autodesk Fusion 360
- Autodesk Fusion 60 Integrated CAD/CAM/CAE
- 3D Model Creation with Autodesk Fusion 360
- Engineering Design Process with Autodesk Fusion 360
- Manufacturing Process with Autodesk Fusion 360
Expect to spend about six months taking this Specialization. At $49 per month, this Specialization will cost you about $294. I recommend taking this course if you want to learn tactical design engineering skills that can be directly transferrable to any manufacturing job.
Both this specialization and the Autodesk Generative Design Specialization offer additional Autodesk Credentials, which include a digital badge and certificate. These credentials can be added to your resume and your profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
Electronics & Embedded Systems
Now, if you’re looking to get into sensor design, embedded drivers, communications, and electronics, then you’ll want to check out the following Robotics Specializations on Coursera Plus.
Gain tactical skills by building hardware-software projects in the IoT and mechatronics fields.
3. An Introduction to Programming the Internet of Things (IoT) Specialization
|An Introduction to Programming the Internet of Things (IoT) Specialization|
Create Your Internet of Things (IoT) Device. Design and create a simple IoT device in just six courses.
★★★★☆ 4.7 ● Tuition: $49 per month ● Duration: 6 months ● Sign Up Now!
There are six courses in this specialization that will take on average six months to complete. At $49 per month, you can expect to spend $294 on the IoT Specialization.
- Introduction to the Internet of Things and Embedded Systems
- The Arduino Platform and C Programming
- Interfacing with the Arduino
- The Raspberry Pi Platform and Python Programming for the Raspberry Pi
- Interfacing with the Raspberry Pi
- Programming for the Internet of Things Project
At the end of this specialization, you should have a good grasp on how to design and prototype IoT devices using both the Arduino and Raspberry Pi platforms.
4. Embedding Sensors and Motors Specializations
|Embedding Sensors and Motors Specialization|
Experience Sensors and Motors in an IoT World. Master sensor and motor theory, and program these devices in a microprocessor system.
★★★★☆ 4.7 ● Tuition: $79 per month ● Duration: 6 months ● Sign Up Now!
If you’re interested in learning about how sensors, circuits, and electronics are designed, then you’ll want to sign up for the Embedding Sensors and Motors Specialization. There are four courses in the Embedding Sensors and Motors Specialization.
- Sensors and Sensor Circuit Design
- Motors and Motor Control Circuits
- Pressure, Force, Motion, and Humidity Sensors
- Sensor Manufacturing Process Control
This Specialization counts towards the 100% online Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Colorado Boulder.
That means once you finish this Specialization, if you decide and get accepted into the Master’s program, then you’ll be able to count these courses towards your degree.
Robotics, Motion Planning, & Control
The last section of Robotics Specializations that are included with Coursera Plus is based around robot control, motion planning, self-driving cars, and advanced algorithms.
If you’re the kind of person looking for theory-based courses that will accelerate your advanced engineering career in robotics, then you’ll want to take these specializations.
5. Robotics Specialization
Learn the Building Blocks for a Career in Robotics. Gain experience programming robots to perform in situations and for use in crisis management.
★★★★☆ 4.3 ● Tuition: $39 per month ● Duration: 7 months ● Sign Up Now!
For beginners, I recommend looking into the Robotics Specialization offered by UPenn. You’ll gain a variety of robotics experience—from Aerial Robotics to motion planning to estimation and planning. This is especially helpful if you’re interested in hi-tech robotic systems or jobs writing propriety algorithms at up-and-coming startups.
This Specialization has six courses that will take the average person seven months to finish.
6. Modern Robotics: Mechanics, Planning, and Control
|Modern Robotics: Mechanics, Planning, and Control Specialization|
The most important concepts in modern robotics. A study of the kinematics, dynamics, motion planning, and control of mobile robots and robot arms.
★★★★☆ 4.8 ● Tuition: $49 per month ● Duration: 6 months ● Sign Up Now!
If you’re more advanced, then you’ll want to check out the Modern Robotics Specialization offered by Northwestern University. This specialization will give you an in-depth study of the kinematics, dynamics, motion planning, and control of mobile robots and robot arms.
There are six courses in the Modern Robotics Specialization.
- Foundations of Robot Motion
- Robot Kinematics
- Robot Dynamics
- Robot Motion Planning and Control
- Robot Manipulation and Wheeled Mobile Robots
- Capstone Project, Mobile Manipulation
7. Self-Driving Cars Specialization
|Self-Driving Cars Specialization|
Launch Your Career in Self-Driving Cars. Be at the forefront of the autonomous driving industry.
★★★★☆ 4.7 ● Tuition: $79 per month ● Duration: 7 months ● Sign Up Now!
Finally, if you’re interested in writing software for self-driving vehicles, then you’ll want to check out the four courses within the Self-Driving Cars Specialization.
- Introduction to Self-Driving Cars
- State Estimation and Localization for Self-Driving Cars
- Visual Perception for Self-Driving Cars
- Motion Planning for Self-Driving Cars
While self-driving cars are “robotic,” the premise of this specialty is geared around competencies in advanced mathematics, software engineering, and sensors. Self-Driving Cars require a lot of “on the fly” calculations, sensor fusion, perception, and software planning.
Expect to spend a lot of time honing your software development skills and logical thinking in this specialization. If your end-goal is working for an automotive company, on the latest-and-greatest autonomous vehicles, then this is a great starting point.
Why You Should Get Coursera Plus
If you plan on taking more than one Robotics (or frankly any) Specializations on Coursera, then Coursera Plus is a great deal. Rather than paying for each Specialization separately, you can gain access to a collection of 3,000+ courses and Specializations for one price.
This is also useful if you want more time to review the course material and don’t want to feel “rushed” by the estimated course schedule.
If you’re employed by a large company, they may pay for Coursera Plus as part of your Personal Development or Career Development Plan.
Some companies also have access to Coursera for Business, so it’s worth scheduling a meeting with your Supervisor. That way you can figure out the best courses and enrollment options for your situation.
If you’re not at the liberty of having a company pay for your online education, I can’t recommend Coursera Plus enough. For less than $400 a year, you can gain access to thousands of University-level courses, certifications, and Specializations.
I think it’s a fantastic investment, especially if you have the willpower and self-starting initiative to take online courses. You can save a lot of money this way while gaining tangible engineering skills that can amount to 2-3X your investment in promotions, raises, and job changes.
Read more about Coursera Plus and see if it’s a good fit for your career development path!