Is Coursera Accredited? Are Coursera Certificates Worth It? - Online Course How
Is Coursera Accredited? Are Coursera Certificates Worth It?

Is Coursera Accredited? Are Coursera Certificates Worth It?

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Self development is incredibly important in this day and age, and learning new things, topics and skills can really push your career, and your confidence forward.

But, there are so many different online courses, schools, institutions and websites available for online learning, that it can be overwhelming, and hard to decipher which ones are legit, useful, accredited and worth it.

When you look into learning new courses and skills, one of the top options available is Coursera. If you have not heard of the site, then you may be wondering if this is a legitimate learning platform, and whether it is worth your time. 

Coursera is a platform with lots of free learning resources for professionals, university and college students. This course site can help you learn new skills, build upon existing knowledge, and prepare for your career and future with many different courses and informational tools. 

In addition, you can earn a degree on Coursera from a leading university, or upskill in your current role, all from the comfort of your home and in your own time. 

What is Coursera?

Coursera is a legitimate learning platform that can genuinely help you to achieve your career goals.

There are so many different courses available to help you learn extra skills and knowledge in your field, or learn something completely new! These courses are often job oriented, and are backed by leading institutions and companies across the world. 

You can actually join Coursera for free, and audit their programs without having to pay. However, if you want to take a course, and receive an accredited certificate for completing it, then you will have to pay for the course. 

Coursera is an educational tool that was started by two Stanford professors, Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller in 2012.

The purpose of the company was to create good, high quality education that is accessible to everyone around the world. Coursera is now one of the few MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Courses) that provides real Master’s degrees from recognized and respected universities.

The intention with Coursera is not to replace traditional learning methods, and move them online, but to offer much more people the chance to learn and gain certifications and degrees, who may not be able to afford or move to their university of choice. 

Are Coursera Courses Accredited?

Coursera courses are indeed legitimate, and are accredited by the leading global universities. Coursera is partnered with over 200 universities such as Stanford, Berklee, Duke, Imperial College London, Pennsylvania State, Yale and many other institutions. 

Coursera also offers a vast range of courses that are accredited and recognized by employers, which can help further your career and find new roles.

Unlike many other competitor online learning platforms, Coursera offers users verified certificates for their work and studies, along with real degrees to help their personal and professional progression. 

With Coursera, you can actually complete real, accredited Bachelor’s degrees and Master’s degrees, supplied by legitimate universities.

For example, you can achieve a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences from University of North Texas, Bachelor of Science and Computer Science from University of London, or business degrees such as Msc in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from HEC Paris. 

Review of Coursera Courses

Coursera was made to help people achieve their career and personal progression goals, no matter where they are, or where they come from. The site provides affordable and accessible education for everyone. 

Going to a university in the United States can cost upwards of around $50,000, and that is without including staying on campus and book fees. For many people this just is not affordable, or feasible.

By completing a degree course on Coursera, you do not have to feel like your dream career is out of your reach. Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees start at $15,000 and you have the opportunity to pay in installments, which makes further education much more accessible for many people.

With Coursera, there are over 5100 courses and specializations available to choose from, with over 45 professional certifications and 25 recognized and legitimate degrees, supported by leading universities across the globe.

These certifications are flexible, affordable and accessible for anyone, with options to fit studying around current jobs, circumstances and lifestyles. 

Coursera not only offers users thousands of courses, and degrees, but the company is also partnered with professional companies that can offer invaluable advice in the field.

These companies include CalTech, Google, Cisco and many more, which can provide real advice from those who are working in these roles and professions. 

In addition, courses have real feedback from real lecturers and experts in the field, to help you learn and grow your skills.

Over 85% of people who used Coursera, reported in 2019 that the system helped them develop in their careers, gain a promotion or a raise.

The great thing about Coursera is the sheer amount of courses and certifications that you can choose from. However, there are five different types to suit your needs.

There are degree courses, such as Master’s and Bachelor’s, along with online courses, specialization courses, MasterTrack courses, and professional certificate courses.

Degree Courses

In most organizations, an employer would value a full degree much more than other courses and qualifications, and would value a degree from a top university even more so.

This is why Coursera offers both Bachelor and Master degrees in association with some of the world’s biggest and top ranking universities.

The site offers genuine and credible degrees, to help boost your resume and transform your career prospects. 

Online Courses

Coursera also offers a plethora of online courses based around various different disciplines and topics including Information Technology, Business, Health and Personal Development.

The majority of the courses that Coursera offers are skills that are desirable to employers, and will help you progress in the industry. Many courses are free to use, but most will require payments for a certificate to go with your resume. You can see what courses are available here:


There are also Specialization courses to use on Coursera, which work to help users master specific skills for their job role, or specializing in their industry. However, you can enroll in a specialization and learn a new skill completely. 

The specialization courses are a little more difficult and hands on than the normal online courses, as these show real business challenges, and want students to be really involved in the projects. These types of courses require a lot of work, but the reward is that they are recognized much more, and give you an in-depth understanding of the topic.

Some examples of specialization courses on Coursera are Applied Data Science, Big Data, Deep Learning, Data Structures and Algorithms. Much like the other courses on Coursera, this type of learning is cost efficient, and you receive a Specialization Certificate upon completion of the course. 

MasterTrack Certificates

Coursera also offers MasterTrack certificates. This is a great alternative to a Master’s degree, if you do not have the time or funds to complete one.

A MasterTrack certificate offers students the opportunity to complete Master’s programs via online modules, and credentials at a low price. 

These programs are engaging, very educational and extremely interactive. For instance, the topics include Software Engineering, and Machine Learning for Analytics. These subjects can help you gain greater insight and knowledge into a discipline, and gain the experience much like a Master’s but without the expensive cost.

These courses start at around $2000 and can be paid in installments. If you then later decide that you want to go for a Master’s degree, you can use the MasterTrack certificates as credits towards the degree, which is really productive.   

Professional Certificate Courses 

Coursera provides Professional Certificate Courses, which are much like the online single courses, but these are very career oriented. These types of courses are offered by top companies in the field, and universities to help you gain experience and expertise in the newest trains of thought and technologies. 

In addition, there are many professional courses to help you in your personal developments, with courses about interview preparation, and resume development to help boost your confidence and your career.

These professional programs are also backed by big companies such as Google and IBM to give extra credibility and educational tools from those who already work in your desired profession.

Top 5 Benefits of Coursera

Accredited courses

One of the main benefits of using Coursera over another online learning platform is that the certifications are accredited and recognized by most employers.

This is widely due to the fact that Coursera utilizes courses backed by respected institutions and legitimate universities around the globe. 


In addition, these courses are run and certified by top professionals, lecturers and organizations for extra credibility, but also some real knowledge of what it is like working in the field. 


Another benefit of Coursera is that you can gain a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree in association with the company’s university partners.

This can give you real credentials and a credible degree from some of the most prestigious and top ranking universities, without having to pay the large tuition fees, or move to that state or country. 


The other great benefit is that you can gain impressive and useful certifications all in the comfort of your own home, city, or state, without having to leave your job, take time off work or move to a new city to study in your chosen university.

There is incredible flexibility with Coursera, with some degrees taking up to 6 years to complete. 

The credits are therefore gained by doing the assignments and putting the work in, regardless of whether you attend the university yourself, or work from home with Coursera.

This is an invaluable tool to help people across the world achieve their dreams and gain the qualifications they want for their dream roles. 

In addition, you can work on your own schedule, completing the course in your own time, which is perfect for those with other commitments and responsibilities. 


One of the biggest challenges for many people when it comes to further education is the cost. Not everyone can afford upwards of $50,000 dollars a year on tuition fees, and not everyone will have the time or money to spend moving onto a campus and paying for accommodation.

The great thing about using Coursera courses is that you can access valuable information and qualifications at home, for a fraction of the cost. 

Are Coursera Certificates Recognized By Employers?

The short answer to this question is that yes, Coursera Certificates are recognized by employers and organizations.

However, this does not mean that you can get a job with Coursera certificates alone.

In most cases, this will mean that employers may appreciate extra educational tools and certifications when it comes to giving promotions, or choosing you over another candidate. 

Coursera offers so many courses from leading institutions and companies, but this does not mean that a certificate will be recognized by all employers. Recognition mostly comes from the specific industry, and not from the course, and so recognition in this sense would mean the creation of new career opportunities and options.

For example, your certificate or degree from a university is only useful or good if it can land you a job, or a better promotion in your field. 

Upon finishing and completing your Coursera course, you will receive a certificate to show that you have completed the training, and you have mastered the skill or topic needed to pass the course.

This certificate will include the name of the course, the signature of the instructor, a logo of the partner institution or university that offered the course, a confirmation that Coursera verified your identity and certificate, and a URL to verify the authenticity of the certificate. 

The great thing about Coursera is that it has done everything that it can to create a legitimate, distinguished online educational platform to help people reach their full potential, their learning goals, and improve their skills and knowledge in their fields.

This is why most companies and organizations will see Coursera courses as helpful and useful for upgrading their employees’ skills and knowledge, and will take advantage of their own Coursera subscription for employees to train and learn in their roles. 

Coursera also offers professional and recognized certifications geared towards new technologies and the latest developments to keep people up to date with changing times and attitudes in their respective fields, along with accredited courses from big names such as Google, IBM and Honeywell. 

What we mean is, that with Coursera courses alone, you cannot expect to achieve a job or a promotion, but on a professional level, adding new skill sets and certifications can make you invaluable as an employee, which can be recognized and rewarded by employers. 

Alternatives to Coursera

If you are unsure whether Coursera is for you, then there are so many alternatives available to choose from.

Coursera may not have the right courses that you need, but that does not mean that you cannot work on your skills or develop your personal progression and elevate your expertise in your current role.

There are many online learning platforms, both free and paid that you can delve into.

Some of the best alternatives to Coursera are:

Frequently Asked Questions

Do universities accept Coursera certificates?

Coursera offers a wide range of courses and degrees, and the certificates are pretty official. In fact, Coursera offers many courses, as well as Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, which are all in association with a few universities, some of which are top-ranking worldwide. 

This means that Coursera certificates are indeed legitimate and accredited by leading universities. Some of these universities are incredibly well-known and respected, such as Stanford, Berklee, Duke, Yale, and many more.

There are over 200 universities partnered with Coursera. 

This means that both universities and possible employers will accept Coursera certificates, and hold them in high regard.

Do employers care about Coursera?

When it comes to getting a job, people are often told that you should have as many certificates as possible, and as many accredited courses in order to prove that you are qualified, have experience, and have developed certain skills. 

But here’s the thing, do employers actually care about Coursera? Will these certificates actually help you get the job? 

With a lot of online learning platforms, the certificates aren’t really worth that much on an official level. They simply show that you’ve taken a certain course to help develop certain skills, but they don’t hold a large amount of value. 

Coursera, on the other hand, is far more official, as it is accredited by some of the top-ranking universities in the world. And with Coursera also providing university degrees, the certificates become a lot more significant and are taken a lot more seriously.

Many employers will recognize and accept Coursera certificates, and they will take them as valid proof of the qualifications that are required, or of the skills that you need for the job. 

On top of this, Coursera also offers specific professional courses that are aimed and focused at specific jobs and employments, and these hold great value when it comes to showcasing valuable skill sets. 

Can I put Coursera on my resume?

When it comes to listing qualifications and skills on your resume, it is usually recommended that you include as much as you possibly can, so that you can showcase a well-rounded image of who you are, and what you can offer to the job in question. 

In many scenarios, it is also recommended that you cater to the job you are applying for so that instead of over-sharing, you are including all of the relevant and significant information that the possible employer will value and take notice of.

Otherwise, it’s easy for the important qualifications to get lost amidst the mass. 

As a general rule, Coursera certificates are highly valued, thanks to them being officially accredited by partnered universities that are top-ranking worldwide.

They are accepted by universities and employers alike, and they tend to be an excellent proof of specific skills or knowledge that you have chosen to develop.

If the Coursera certificates that you have are relevant in any way to the job, no matter how small the connection, then we absolutely recommend that you include it in your resume, within the education and qualifications section. 

Are Coursera certificates transferable?

For a certificate to be transferable, it has to be able to be used towards something else, like another institution or course.

For example, the credits that you complete during a course, being able to then count towards a different course, or a university degree, so that you already have some of the credits completed and done. 

Coursera has recently started to make some of its courses transferable, and this means that the courses count towards possible different degrees, in regards to the number of credits completed.

This is still quite recent, and it is not available for all Coursera certificates, but it is becoming more and more common, therefore giving Coursera yet more official value and significance. 

However, it is important to clarify that the Coursera credit equivalency, which allows for its certificates to be transferable, doesn’t automatically guarantee that every university will accept the courses and accept them as valid credits.

Basically, each partnered university can choose to either accept or decline the credits from the Coursera course, depending on whether they consider those credits to be significantly valid to the degree or course, or not. 

Does Coursera affect GPA?

Your GPA is your grade point average, and it is a number that indicates how well you score or perform, on average, within your courses and degrees.

In many university degrees, a higher GPA will improve your chances of getting hired for certain jobs, as it shows that you performed better on average, and you somewhat excelled in the area of expertise that they are looking for. 

Coursera, however, does not affect GPA. The grades you get during the Coursera course do not matter, it is all about the final certificate that proves you finished the course. 

Final Thoughts 

In conclusion, Coursera is an exceptional online learning platform that can add valuable information, skills and expertise to your career.

With a vast range of different courses for beginners, professionals, along with a range of degrees achievable at Coursera, there is no limit to what you can learn about. 

The great thing about Coursera is that you can gain the qualifications that you never thought possible before, as you do not have to move, enroll in a university or leave your current job to gain the knowledge that you need to succeed.

In addition, the courses are accessible and accredited by leading institutions and universities across the globe, and you gain a certified certificate to show employers your achievements, and your willingness to progress and learn in your field, which can lead to promotions and success in your career. 

If personal progression and career development is at the heart of your driving force, then you will have to give Coursera a go. 

About the Author Jacob M.

Jacob has a background in finance and engineering. Outside of his day job, he is a lifelong learner, who enjoys reading, taking online courses, and writing about what he's learned.

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