Are Coursera Certificates Worth It in 2024?

Coursera has revolutionized the world of online learning. The E-learning platform has made getting an online yet credible certificate very easy, but do those certificates offer any value? Are Coursera certificates worth it?

By looking at the price, Coursera obviously is not the cheapest of the ed-tech platforms. Hence, the price we pay for Coursera certificates has to provide the best return on investment.

In this article, I’ll take you through the worth and advantages of Coursera certificates. You’ll also get an idea of how to use the Coursera certificate on your resume and LinkedIn profile. 

Most importantly, you’ll learn about the value of a Coursera certificate in job hunting.

Let’s peek into the worthiness of Coursera certificates.

What Are Coursera Certificates?

Coursera is a leading online learning platform offering over 7000 courses in more than 12 subjects.

Coursera certificates are official proof that displays you have completed a Coursera course. You get these certificates after watching video lectures, completing assignments, and taking tests. 

Coursera Certificates
Source: Coursera

Coursera has partnered with more than 325 universities and organizations to offer individuals affordable, flexible, and career-focused online learning. This means Coursera certificates provide official recognition from some of the world’s best universities and companies. 

Types Of Certificates Offered By Coursera

If you want to start learning a subject at Coursera, you have a few different choices. You can go for individual courses, specializations, professional certificates, or university certificates. 

1. Course Certificates:

These are probably the most popular learning options on Coursera. There are about 1172 different courses present on Coursera. 

In individual courses, you pay the fee, enroll in a course, and simply start learning. After successful completion, you’ll receive an official certificate. These certificates are recognized globally for their credibility.

Course Certificates
Source: Coursera

For example, Google offers this Foundations of Cybersecurity course.

2. Professional Certificates:

Coursera has a catalog of 68 professional certificate courses. The Professional certificate programs are designed to provide job-specific skills in various career fields. 

In actuality, these programs are the compilations of related courses that include interactive assignments and hands-on projects. 

For example, the Google Cybersecurity Professional Certificate is an eight-course series professional certification program that also includes the above-mentioned Foundations of Cybersecurity course.

Professional Certificates
Source: Coursera

Some of the Professional certificate programs even offer pathways to university or professional credits.

3. Specialization Certificate:

A specialization is a selected number of courses packed into one specific topic. Coursera offers 104 such Specializations.

Specializations offer a specifically structured learning path, which often includes projects and practical assessments.

Specialization Certificate
Source: Coursera

For example, Stanford University’s Machine Learning Specialization certificate includes three different courses but focuses on one topic: Machine Learning.    

4. University Certificate:

Coursera’s University certificate is a specialized program aimed at students who are looking to deepen their expertise in a specific field. Currently, Coursera offers about 18 University certificates. Here is an example of a university certificate: the Post Graduate Certificate in Cloud Computing Applications.

University Certificate
Source: Coursera

Unlike other certificates, University certificates require you to fulfill certain prerequisites like a Bachelor’s degree in a specific field.

Why Are Coursera Certificates Legitimate?

The legitimacy of Coursera certificates has never been an issue. To relieve any doubt you might have about their credibility, I have given reasons below that answer the question of why these courses are legitimate

1. Coursera Certificates Are Accredited

Coursera courses are taught by industry experts and university professors; thus, the teaching and assessment process is highly professional. 

Many prominent universities teach and offer courses on the Coursera platform, which adds legitimacy and reliability to the courses and certificates.

2. Recognized Tutors

Every course on Coursera is taught by well-recognized and experienced instructors. They all hail from top universities such as Stanford, Michigan, and Duke University, along with experts from companies like Google, IBM, and Meta.

Recognized Tutors
Source: Coursera

3. Student Success Stories

To make this article more believable, I have included the testimonials of students who have benefitted from the Coursera certificates.

From taking courses on Coursera, I gained a deep understanding of the UX Design process from start to finish. With the knowledge I gained, I feel prepared for entry-level jobs and internships. I’ve been able to apply the skills and knowledge I gained to multiple projects and work experiences.”

Ryan L., United States

Source: Coursera

As many as one in four of the Fortune 500 companies use the skill development platform deployed by Coursera. In 2020, multinational companies like Danone, P&G, Reliance, Novartis, Capgemini, Tata Communications, and many more used Coursera to reskill and upskill their human resources.

Student Success Stories
Source: Coursera

“As the manufacturing industry continues to evolve, we are committed to equipping employees with opportunities to upskill and grow their careers. Coursera is helping Stanley Black & Decker provide high-quality online learning in cutting-edge skills like machine learning and AI, data science, and cloud computing. Thousands of Stanley Black & Decker employees turned to Coursera’s Employee Resilience offering during the pandemic to gain collaboration and well-being skills that are critical to driving resilience.”

Mike Murray, Director, Global Learning & Development, Stanley Black & Decker

Source: Coursera

4. Coursera Certificate Pricing

Coursera offers a different but simplistic pricing structure. Individual courses cost a minimum of $29 and a maximum of $99. However, if you use a Coursera Plus subscription plan, you’ll get unlimited access to over 7,000 courses. The subscription costs $399 per year, but if calculated per month, it costs $59 only.

Similarly, the cost of Specializations and Professional Certificates begins at $39 per month. The costliest of all are online degree courses, which vary from $15,000 to $25,000 depending on the subjects and specialization.

This indicates that these courses are not any value addition courses and that the high price translates to a high-value learning

4 Benefits Of A Coursera Certificate

Here’s an example of a Coursera certificate. In the top left corner is the name of the institute issuing the certificate; below it is the name of the candidate and the name of the course. In the bottom left are the signatures of the authorities.

Coursera Certificate
Source: Pinterest

There are many reasons why you should go for a Coursera certificate. I have enumerated some of them below.

  1. Coursera certificates have merit because they provide official recognition from illustrious institutions.
  2. Coursera certificates increase your chances of career advancement. They help you earn more money through promotions.
  3. Coursera certificates are a way to build your qualifications and display your commitment to life-long learning.
  4. Many Specializations and Professional certificates teach the latest, trendy, and highly marketable skills. Since they are project-based programs, you receive not only a certificate but also a life-long practical experience.  

Can You Get A Job With A Coursera Certificate?

Based on my personal experience, I can say that Coursera certificates can jumpstart your career. The Coursera certificates are proof that you’ve acquired a skill.

Coursera certificates can give you a competitive edge during the job-hunting process. Coursera has a separate category named professional certificate programs. These certificate programs provide job-specific training for companies like IBM, Google, Meta, and Salesforce.

You may not get a job by simply taking a single Coursera course, but you may be able to get a job by completing a professional certificate course.

Of course, online Certification, even from Coursera, can’t replace traditional university. But that doesn’t mean online certifications are less than traditional certifications.

A Futurelearn survey of more than 1000 hiring managers found that 44% deemed online education very important, whereas 58% of employers agreed that people with online education have more earning and learning potential.

In the same study, 89% of employers believed online learning would be more common in the future. At the same time, 75% of companies surveyed relied on online training tools and courses. 

Are Coursera Certificates Helpful On LinkedIn?

Adding a Coursera certificate to your LinkedIn profile is a good way of displaying your qualifications and skills to employers and professional connections.

Coursera Certificates Helpful On LinkedIn
Source: Candid technology

When you put certificates on your LinkedIn page, it shows you are good at learning and improving your portfolio. Furthermore, the addition of the Coursera certificate improves impressions on your LinkedIn profile.

With skill exhibition, the certificate improves connections and leverages them to help you land a job or build connections.

Adding a Coursera Certificate To Your Resume

Rather than bombarding your social media and portfolio with Coursera certificates, you should follow some basic rules while adding a certificate to your resume.

When Should You Add a Coursera Certificate To Your Resume?

Merely mentioning certificates in your resume won’t do any good. The certificate you are adding has to be relevant to the job you are applying for.

You should definitely add a certificate if you have acquired some important skills. Unless you have more impressive experience to display, you can mention the Coursera certificate.

Here are some prerequisites you need to follow before adding a certificate to your resume.

  • A Coursera certificate has a high chance of looking good on your resume if you have finished the entire bachelor’s/other degree program. 
  • Completing a degree through Coursera, though not at par with traditional degrees, is more influential and potent than a single course certificate.
  • You should add a certificate if the course provider is reputable. Courses offered by Google, Meta, IBM, and Ivy League universities carry more weight than not-so-well-known institutes. 
  • If you want to highlight a major project, research study, or significant accomplishment, you can add a practical-oriented course certificate. This will display your genuine interest in the subject.

You can flaunt the Coursera certificate if you don’t have other relevant experiences like internships, personal projects, or volunteer work.

When Not To Add A Coursera Certificate To Your Resume?

On the contrary, adding a Coursera certificate course to your resume might not be worth it if the course you’ve completed is a short, beginner-level, unaccredited course.

Don’t add a certificate to your resume if the course is not particularly relevant to your field. For example, adding a digital marketing course certificate while applying for the post of language teacher does not add any value to your resume.

Also, if you have a better way of displaying your skills, like an online portfolio, you should go with it rather than add a certificate to your resume.

Best Certificates To Get From Coursera Courses (My Recommendations)

Coursera has done a great job by making real courses from world-known universities available to everyone. This has brought Coursera Online degree courses to par with traditional degrees.

Even if you can’t afford to pay, you can get the same lectures and learning material as a student at Stanford University, Duke University, etc.

Here are some of the best courses offered on Coursera, with certificates that can add much value to your portfolio. 

1. Google Data Analytics:

Google Data Analytics
Source: Coursera

Google’s Data Analytics has a rating of 4.8/5. More than 2 million learners are enrolled in this course.

You can get job-ready within six months with a Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate. This course is best for beginners.

Get practical training, build a strong portfolio of projects, and earn a Google-recognised certificate.

To enroll, click here.

2. Google Project Management: 

Google Project Management
Source: Coursera

This course, too, has 4.8/5 ratings and over 1.5 million learners have benefitted from this course. This shows how popular the Project Management course is with people.

Google’s Project Management Professional Certificate is your ticket to mastering project management. At the end of this course, you’ll be able to create impactful project documentation and ace strategic communication.

To enroll, click here.

3. IBM Data Analytics:

IBM Data Analytics
Source: Coursera

Like the first two certificates mentioned in this article, this Data Analyst certificate from IBM is also a popular course with a 4.7/5 star rating.

With IBM’s Data Analytics and Tableau, you can master state-of-the-art practical skills and tools. In this course, you’ll be able to visualize data with charts in Excel and use business intelligence tools like IBM Cognos Analytics and Tableau.

To enroll, click here.

Tips To Save Up On Coursera Certification With Coursera Plus

Originally, if you wanted Certification from one course or one specialization on Coursera, you would have to pay for each of those individually.

But, now with the Coursera Plus platform, you only have to pay the month-to-month or yearly subscription fee. Then, you can access many of the courses and professional certificates that you want, all with one payment.

Even though not all the courses are available on the Coursera Plus platform, the vast majority, which is about 90% of Coursera’s courses, are available through the Plus platform.

Benefits Of Coursera Plus Subscription

  • With just one subscription, you will have access to the vast knowledge of Coursera courses.
  • You can explore any topic that picks up your interest and get going.
Coursera Plus Subscription
Source: Coursera Plus
  • Coursera Plus is actually a cost-effective way to take Coursera courses. If you plan to take multiple courses in a year, use Coursera Plus; with this, you’ll spend less penny on your learning.
  • With a Coursera Plus subscription, you don’t need to pay every time to join a course. Once paid, you are free to complete the course anytime, anywhere. You can learn at your own pace, you can even switch between multiple courses.
  • In short, with just one click on the Coursera Subscription button, you get complete access to almost every top-tiered course from top-rated universities.

By joining the Coursera Plus subscription, you are eligible for multiple courses. That means you can earn as many certificates as you want through those courses.

Coursera Plus Pricing

The cost of Coursera Plus is $59 per month or $399 per year. The annual billing saves about $309, which is a discount of 43.64%.

Coursera Plus Pricing
Source: Coursera Plus

Bonus: I would highly recommend the annual pay if you want to commit to a year. But whatever option you choose, keep in mind that Coursera Plus is worth it because it has a very high investment-to-benefits ratio.

My Experience With Coursera Certification Programs

Taking a Coursera course is a wonderful experience, and I highly recommend it. In order to enjoy a course, you have to be fully committed to the lectures, review materials, and quizzes and must be interested in the topic.

I have taken multiple courses related to Scientific Writing, Statistics, and digital marketing. I have found each and every one invigorating and useful.

In the interview, interviewers asked me questions on the subjects covered in a Coursera course. Even after joining the company, I was asked to complete Coursera courses as a part of my training.

After going through all that, I can say that I’ve gained confidence in myself through the learning I have done on the platform.

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Conclusion: Coursera Certificates Are Definitely Worth It!

Coursera certificates are a great way to tell the world of your capabilities. Professional certificates offered by Coursera are valued by companies like Google, Meta, and other organizations.

The benefits offered by Coursera certificates far exceed the investment made in them. Their certificates have helped me land my job, and I am certain that they will help you, too.

If you wish to showcase your skills and abilities, go for the Coursera certificates. They are certainly worth it!

FAQs

Do employers take Coursera Certificates seriously?

Employers value Coursera certificates since these certificates disclose employees’ potential. The Coursera certificates are a great way to increase your chances of getting employed.

Do Coursera Certificates expire?

Coursera certificates do not expire. The certificates are valid indefinitely. Once you earn a Coursera certificate, it will stay with you forever.

Can I get Coursera certificates for free?

In the begining years, Coursera used to offer free certificates. Now you can not get a Coursera certificate for free.

Which Coursera Courses will get you a job?

The Coursera courses curated by companies like IBM, Google, and Meta have a high chance of getting you employed. This is because the certificates offered are recognized by a wide section of companies. 

What if you fail a Coursera course?

If you fail a Coursera course, you can retake it and reappear for the test. You can continue taking the tests until you pass.

Can I get a Coursera Certificate for free?

Coursera used to offer free certificates, but that service is not available now. If you can not afford to pay, you can apply for financial aid, which will give you a Coursera certificate for free.

Can I pay for a Coursera Certificate later?

If you have started a free trial or auditing a course, you can pay later to receive a Coursera certificate. 

Does The Coursera Certificate Have Value In A Resume?

A Coursera certificate on your resume indicates that you have the necessary skills and knowledge. You should mention the certificates in your resume because they are related to the skills you want to display.

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