Are edX Certificates Worth it? - Online Course How

Are edX Certificates Worth it?

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There are so many different online platforms that can help you to learn a new subject. This concept is often called “e-learning,” and it has witnessed a huge boom in popularity over the last few years.

However, the market is saturated with so many different companies, that it can be overwhelming and time-consuming to find the right one for you. 

EdX is a strong choice, as it’s the most popular e-learning platform out there. It was created by quite the super-group- MIT and Harvard and offers over 300 courses from 140 different institutions.

Not only is EdX the spawn of geniuses, but it’s not-for-profit, too. It’s easy to see why over 25 million people worldwide have chosen EdX as their e-learning platform.

So, is an edX certificate worth it?

There are a few things that you will need to consider before purchasing access to edX courses. In this article, we’ll take a look at edX in detail and evaluate how it measures up compared to other platforms.

By delving into the pros and cons of edX, you can make an informed decision before making a hasty purchase.

Cost and Value for Money

Unlike many other e-learning platforms, EdX does not offer a subscription service. Some online course platforms allow you to pay an annual fee, which grants you free and unlimited access to lots of different courses and resources that you can make use of as much as you want for a whole year.

However, this annual fee is usually a hefty lump-sum that you have to fork out before you even know whether or not you like the service. 

EdX eliminates this potential wasting of money, by offering users a completely free option. That’s right- it costs zero. Zilch. Using EdX solely as an educational tool won’t cost you a thing, as users who register get free access to many online courses.

However, there is a catch- if you want a certificate to prove to future employers and institutions that you actually did complete the EdX course, you’ll have to pay for it.

So, if you’re just looking to gain more knowledge, EdX is the perfect platform to give different courses and subjects a whirl. However, Verification Certificates can range from between 20-300 USD, depending entirely on what course you choose and which institution is providing it. 

While Verification Certificates are fairly affordable, EdX courses can get pretty pricey- which is to be expected from a platform that is founded by two of the most prestigious schools in the world. EdX’s MicroBatchelors programs are their most popular. These tend to cost more than regular courses, as they’re more in-depth and usually instructor-led.

Typically, EdX MicroBatchelors programs range from 300 – 700+ USD. They also offer a specific X-Series range of programs, and these usually cost a few hundred dollars. However, the price of these programs can vary dramatically depending on subject choice and institution. 

The most expensive kind of course you’ll find on EdX is their Master’s Degree program. This allows you to work towards a real, recognized Master’s Degree online. There are only a few limited subjects on offer with this program, and the price can vary anywhere from 9,000 – 25,000 USD, depending on subject choice and institution.

Although this may seem like a lot of money, it’s far more affordable than obtaining an on-campus master’s degree, which can often range from 40,000 – 60, 000 USD per course. If EdX doesn’t offer a master’s degree in the subject you’re looking for, you can complete a request form on their website, and they may add that subject in the future.

Can I apply for financial assistance to pay for EdX?

If you can’t afford to pay the full price of your chosen course, you may be eligible for financial aid. To apply, you just need to enroll in the audit track of the course and complete the financial aid application on the EdX website. We glanced over it, it looks pretty straightforward.

Your application will be reviewed within 4 days, and you’ll receive an email letting you know whether or not you qualify for financial assistance.

If you do, you’ll be sent a financial aid code that you will need to apply to the payment form. Most EdX courses and programs are eligible for financial aid up to 90% of the total cost, and you can get approved for assistance up to 5 times each year!

About EdX – How Does it Work?

In a nutshell, EdX is an online education provider that offers online courses, commonly known as MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses, from top universities and institutions all around the world. 

EdX Courses

Their courses consist of pre-recorded video lectures that you can watch on a weekly schedule, usually just a couple of hours every week.

Alternatively, if you have other responsibilities such as a job or a family, you can work on these courses whenever it’s convenient for you. EdX courses consist of online classes and readings, student discussion forums, homework/weekly assignments, and online quizzes and exams. These courses are considered entry-level and they provide great core knowledge for beginners in any subject.

They can last anywhere from just a few weeks to a few months, to even over a year. With EdX courses, you’re in control of the pace of your learning. At the end of a course, you’ll be given the opportunity to purchase a verified certificate, which needs to be purchased. 

MicroMasters

EdX currently offers access to 59 different MicroMasters programs. These range from graduate-level courses which enable you to reach your specific career goals through in-depth learning.

Most of the MicroMasters programs will take between 1 – 2 years to complete, and afterward, you’ll be eligible to apply for a full Master’s program.

If you manage to get accepted into an online program, you’ll be able to use your MicroMasters credit toward your degree. Please note that usually credit is only granted by the university that offers the MicroMasters program you are undertaking. 

MicroBachelors

EdX MicroBachelors programs are a new concept, and they only become available this year. This is why they’re pretty limited at the moment, with only five different MicroBachelors programs available: Marketing Essentials, Computer Science Fundamentals, Information Technology Career Framework, Elements of Data Science, and Professional Writing.

These MicroBachelors programs can take anywhere from 3 – 6 months to complete. At the end of the program, you’ll receive transferable college credits. Fortunately, there is no application system for EdX MicroBachelors programs, so anyone can enroll.

These programs are self-paced and you can take your time. However, there is around-the-clock personal coaching available to help you stay on track. 

Professional Certificate 

These are made for those who are already working in their desired field but wish to enhance their skills and improve their subject knowledge in order to grow their careers.

Once again, these programs can be completed at your own pace, when you feel like you can squeeze in the time to study.

They usually last between 3 – 6 months, depending on your subject choice. Prices of professional certifications can vary dramatically. 

XSeries

These programs are curated by the leading universities worldwide and offer in-depth exploration of specific topics. You’ll earn a certificate by enrolling in the verified track and by passing each of these courses.

These are also self-paced programs, so there’s no pressure to get it completed in a certain amount of time. XSeries courses are led by professors from MIT and Harvard. 

Master’s Degree

Possibly the most appealing aspect of using EdX is the fact that you can earn a legitimate Master’s degree from a top university, without even leaving the comfort of your home.

These Master’s degrees are not ‘online alternatives’ but are just as recognized as regular on-campus Master’s degrees. Because of this, each program will have its own application requirements. If you’re curious, these are all listed on the EdX website.

They’re typically much cheaper than on-campus degrees, and they can be completed while working full-time or completing other higher education courses. EdX currently only offers Master’s degrees in 12 different subjects, but there are rumors of more subjects being added in the near future.

A Master’s Degree will typically take 1 ½ – 3 years to complete, depending on subject choice and institution. 

The benefits of an EdX Certificate 

When completing a course on EdX, you’ll need to consider whether or not you intend to purchase a verified certificate at the end of your course. There are many different benefits of buying this EdX certificate, some of which include:

  • The most obvious benefit of an EdX certificate is that upon completion, you will have a lifelong asset that shows any future employers that you have acquired a particular skill or knowledge set. 
  • Not only does this show potential employers that you have a lot of knowledge, but it also demonstrates that you are a self-directed learner who is intrinsically motivated.
  • The value of your certificate will often depend on how prestigious the university is and how difficult it is to get accepted. Certificates obtained from prestigious institutions will be very eye-catching to future employers, providing that the subject is relevant to the role. 
  • A verified certificate is truly good for one’s esteem. But it’s important to remember the real joy comes whenever one has completed the course, paid or not.
  • If you complete an EdX course and choose not to purchase the verified certificate,  you might know that you’ve learned something, others don’t. If you’re keen on sharing your accomplishments with prospective employers, college admissions staff, or others who are in a role to judge you based on your qualifications and merits, linking to or printing out a certificate might be the easiest way to do so.

Who should get an EdX certificate?

EdX is a great e-learning tool for anyone who is looking to study something new or advance their knowledge and skillset in a specific field of study.

If you know what sort of career path you plan to go down, EdX is a great way to prepare yourself for the world of work in this chosen subject. Knowledge is power, and EdX can provide you with a vast amount of it, from the comfort of your own home. 

Those who have busy lives with full-time jobs or children to look after really reap the benefits of an EdX course. Most EdX certificates and courses are self-paced, so the user can choose to only work towards it during evenings, weekends, or whenever they please. 

What’re the alternatives?

If you’re only interested in taking a course in one or two particular subjects, then EdX is a strong choice, as you simply pay for what you use.

However, if you want to explore lots of different courses in a wild range of subjects, you’ll probably be better off exploring e-learning platforms that offer complete access to all courses for a fixed fee.

Coursera Plus is a great alternative. It enhances your resume as it is a well-organized and regarded online learning platform.

You can also include sections from education, courses, and certifications in your resume after searching for what hiring managers must be looking for. If this sounds more up your street, Coursera Plus is a great choice. 

Conclusion

While an EdX course can help you to expand your knowledge of a specific subject, only an EdX verified certificate can prove to future employers, and yourself, that you have completed the course.

EdX is probably the best e-learning platform for those who already have a job in their chosen field, and want to expand their knowledge and gain role-specific skills in order to bag their dream profession.

Overall, we highly recommend checking out EdX courses and certificates if you already have an idea of what you want to learn about.

If you can afford to, always consider purchasing a verified certificate after you complete an online course, as they’re becoming more and more popular and recognized in the working world. 

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