What is the value of a Coursera Certificate? How useful is it?

A lot of people are opting for online education. With websites like Coursera offering certificates for successful completion (by evaluating you on an online test) for a course on a subject, there might be some more people interested in this arena.

I checked the website that Coursera provides a 'Verified Certificate' from respective University if the course-taker completes the course and takes the test. This is just great.
I am pretty sure the courses are just awesome with really great professors creating the study material. A person taking the course will be really well off after taking the course with respect to his/her knowledge.

But the basic question, that will pop up in anyone's mind is - "Is the industry ready to accept a Coursera Certifacte's value?" Though not immediately, will we see employers considering people with online-degrees or courses for at least fetching you the interview?

Are there any Coursera users around? What are your views on this?


  • zaveri
    One of my friends was on coursera. He was doing some course related to sound engineering. The online test was so tough that he could not clear it despite several attempts. His personal opinion was that the certificate had a lot of value.
    (today i am not in touch with him and do not know whether he obtained the certificate yet)
  • Ankita Katdare
    Ankita Katdare
    I think that Coursera courses must definitely be worth the time. Plus, the cost of specialization courses is reasonable. Some courses cost less than $40 and some certificates can be earned for less than $150.

    I believe if we take a similar course through a university, it would cost us much more.
  • Kaustubh Katdare
    Kaustubh Katdare
    Coursera certificates, I believe are offered by the partners of Coursera. These partners include top Universities around the world. So if you get a certificate; it will be issued by the respective course offering authority or partner. I think that certificate should be acceptable globally. I'm not sure how much the certificate is worth in Indian context; getting jobs or applying to Universities.

    I think if anyone's is applying to GRE or any courses abroad; Coursera certificate should add value to your application. But it's something I won't rely on; just yet. I could be completely wrong about this.
  • Abhishek Rawal
    Abhishek Rawal
    Can anyone tell me difference between 'Specializations' & 'Verified Course' ?
    I am waiting for hardware-Software interface : #-Link-Snipped-#
    for quite long. Usually when this course re-opens ? anyone have idea ?
  • Ankita Katdare
    Ankita Katdare
    A Specialization is a group of related courses.
    To earn a Specialization Certificate, you simply have to join and complete the Signature Track for each course in the Specialization, and then complete a comprehensive Capstone Project or final exam.

    The Capstone Project is available after you’ve completed all courses in the Specialization.
  • Ankita Katdare
    Ankita Katdare
    I googled to see what other people are saying and the current trends suggest that, some good employers in the U.S. have already started giving the same weightage to online certificates as there is for others.

    PS: I come to think that, people who can actually complete a course start-to-end and even clear the exam on their own, should be given extra credit for their patience and perseverance. What do you guys think? @#-Link-Snipped-# @#-Link-Snipped-#
  • zaveri
    Ankita Katdare
    I googled to see what other people are saying and the current trends suggest that, some good employers in the U.S. have already started giving the same weightage to online certificates as there is for others.

    PS: I come to think that, people who can actually complete a course start-to-end and even clear the exam on their own, should be given extra credit for their patience and perseverance. What do you guys think? @#-Link-Snipped-# @#-Link-Snipped-#

    Now if online courses like this coursera, etc start becoming the new trend, then will people even think of getting admitted to engineering colleges ?
  • Anand Tamariya
    Anand Tamariya
    Now if online courses like this coursera, etc start becoming the new trend, then will people even think of getting admitted to engineering colleges ?
    Very unlikely unless it's administered in a controlled environment like SAT, GRE, GMAT or other professional certifications.
  • Ankita Katdare
    Ankita Katdare
    *Sorry for bumping into an old thread*

    I think it's not completely improper for students or learners to expect that their Certificate be widely recognised. If they are putting in hours and hours of efforts week after week, the sheet of paper that they earn at the end of the program that says 'You have successfully completed so and so course and are of level in this particular subject' needs to be recognized as proof of their knowledge.

    Atleast, it should become their entry point in another well-recognized work place or college.

    I recently read that various MOOCs like Coursera have been working with the American Council on Education (ACE) to ensure that credits that come from the "Signature Track program" will be honored by many of ACE’s 1,800 member schools, such as Amherst University, Boston University, Carnegie Mellon etc.

    This means that as of now, employers aren't sure if they should "value" a Coursera certificate. This may change a bit within next 3-5 years depending upon how well the industry responds to the changing nature of education.

    At the moment though, you can't expect a Coursera Certificate to get you an interview at Google. *Sigh* 😳
  • Ankita Katdare
    Ankita Katdare
    I am guessing that people go for paid Coursera certificates because they feel motivated to work hard and stick until the end because when they pay it. When you pay a substantial amount of money upfront, you no longer keep the luxury of quitting to yourself. I think the biggest challenge for people who go for MOOCs is to be self-motivated.
  • Akhil C Joy
    Akhil C Joy
    I would like to add my point that curiosity should motivate us. Even though money we spend will make a guilt feelings, We should think about the after picture.

    Usually people want to do some courses because of the following reasons
    • Career Change(To change the domain)
    • Career Development (To get promotion)
    • Curiosity (DIY, Want to do; ex Robotics)
    • Necessity (Some certifications or knowledge areas are mandatory)
    • Followers (All do, So I do)
    • Change (I have a friend who joined a course for a change after his love failure, such that he can get a new GF 😀
    • Investment (Some professional courses the parents want to do as their Investments)[Sorry to say tangible assets like Dowry, Traditional property from grand parents Intangible assets like pride, prestige and their social status]
    MOOC will help you to think out of box. Its not formal university education. It will give international accreditation. for eg:- accredition, honor certificate from the elite university like MIT, Harvard, Stanford etc and also engage you in a continuous learning program.
  • Debasmita Banerjee
    Debasmita Banerjee
    Hello all, I thought I might add some points as I have been working in Coursera under their support team head Jade Wang( as Not for profit Volunteer) since August 2015 and am with Coursera as learner since July, 2013.
    What I used to like about Coursera is that it actually provides you enough chances to learn what you want and in your way. In the old format there used to be weekly quizzes and fortnight peer graded assignments and, all the substance consisting the answer was completely covered by course videos. Unlike my college teachers they seemed really cool to me. Technical assistants were 24x7 online to help you and discussion forums used to resolve any problem you could have with the course substance. And to be honest, cheat codes were available in net too( I used for my image processing class). People were friendly but too calm and composite with their stuffs on board. As for certificates, they used to provide "Statement of Accomplishment" which actually is not bound to give you any sort of college credit unless he is good enough to respond to your earnest request. It could only encourage you and help you enrich and expand your knowledge. Here is the image, it might explain the difference between 2013 and 2015 coursera.

    Its unreadable after compression, it says:

    The system changed gradually and verified certificates entered with the credit hour system. Right now it consists of some great "specialisations" which actually has 7-8 courses together and after doing all these they help you to get a Project( sometimes alone / sometimes with a team). Speaking about contents they basically are offered by the best universities all around the world. Except MIT( as MIT is mostly with edx) and some other you will find universities like Stanford,UCLA, UC sandiego,NTU, Arizona state, Michigan. (Link for all the Exceptional Educators and Partners from the United States | Coursera) So there won't be any chance of learning something wrong( well if you are a person who go with the brands). What's more, this verified certificate actually has an advantage. Like accomplishment statements these are also Not Bound to give you any credit BUT it verifies your recognition which gives you a chance to appear in the University online students list itself as these courses and certificates are completely offered by the University. Coursera team actually does nothing except maintaining the site. There is actually a big chance for you to get selected as a regular student for higher studies if you apply in the same subject referring to your success.

    PS. All of these heavy specialisations can be availabe free of cost for the needy. "Apply for financial aid" is where you get all the info.
    Now Credit Courses are again one step ahead and these CONFIRMS your credit to pursue a course in that University. In 2013 Professor Walter Lewin used to take 8.01,8.02 and 8.03 physics class in edx in which if you could get 80% in 8.01, MIT opened the door for you to give their own university exam. People who passed it, got direct chance in 2nd year Physics Major Course in Mit, remeber this was the magic of simple honor code certificate provided by edx.
    Back to credit again, I do actually prefer Edx over Coursera when it comes to Credit courses. The concept is, each subject bears some sort of credit point that detects how much you officially know about the subject. Suppose an edx course is giving you 2 credit points for completing a course. That means you got 2 credits for the subject given by the University itself.
    The bad thing about Edx, Verfied certificates are no way free for you ! you have to pay.
    But this MOOC system is about to be obsolete as POOC is coming up. POOC is the Personalised Open Online Courses. Other details will soon be coming when it will be adopted by these giant Course Providers.

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