Are Coursera Certificates Worth It? – An In-Depth Review

is coursera worth it

Are you looking to add some value to your resume, or finally decided to sharpen up on that skill set?

You may be unsure of where you can go to develop these skills, and may not have a large amount of time or money to invest! 

That’s where online courses such as Coursera can help.

Online learning platforms such as Coursera are becoming increasingly popular ways to learn and upskill. 

Because of advancements in technology and the accessibility of online platforms, online learning has become more convenient than ever before. 

So are Coursera certificates worth it? In this article, we will answer this exact question! We’ll discuss:

  • What Coursera certificates are
  • Anaylzing the quality of Coursera courses
  • Pricing and accessibility
  • Pros and cons of Coursera certificates.

Let’s get started!

What Are Coursera Certificates?

Coursera is an online platform that offers a wide range of courses in various subjects, taught by professionals from top universities and organizations around the world.

Coursera’s main aim is to provide top-level education in a way that is both accessible and flexible. 

Whether you’re looking to add knowledge to your skill set within a couple of hours or earn a bachelor’s degree, there are numerous certificate options available through Coursera. 

Guided Projects 

Guided projects usually take about 1 to 2 hours to complete and start at $9.99. 

They aim to introduce you to an in-demand skill and give you the platform you need to learn more!

They are low-commitment and can be completed within 2 hours. 

There are various guided courses available, such as: 

  • Microsoft Windows Defender and Firewall for Beginners 
  • Spreadsheets for beginners
  • Coding for beginners 
  • Marketing with Generative AI. 

Free Courses 

These free courses usually take about 4 to 12 hours to complete. They are a great way to develop some in-demand skills, either for your future career or general life skills. 

Some free courses offered include: 

  • Investment risk management 
  • Create a website using WordPress 
  • Introduction to Microsoft Excel 
  • Cybersecurity 
  • Introduction to statistics.


These specializations help you to master a specific skill!

They take about 1 to 3 months to complete and cost $49 a month. They are designed for people looking to upskill, or looking to pursue professional advancement. 

Some courses offered include: 

  • Microsoft 365 Fundamentals 
  • Business and marketing strategies 
  • Entrepreneurship 
  • Science of diet and exercise 
  • Game Design Art and Concepts.

Professional Certificates 

Professional certificates help you gain the skills and knowledge needed to enter into a competitive career. 

These professional certificates are offered by professional, recognized companies, such as Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, and Google. 

They usually take between 1 and 6 months to complete and cost $49 per month. 

While they generally take a few months to complete, they only require between 4–10 hours of work per week. 

Certificates that are offered include: 

  • Google Advanced Data Analytics Professional Certificate 
  • Microsoft Cybersecurity Analyst Professional Certificate 
  • IBM Product Manager Professional Certificate.

Master Track Certificates 

Master Track certificates provide you with a university-issued certificate and can contribute towards a university degree. 

This course takes between 4 and 7 months to complete and starts at $2,000/month. 

Master Track certificates are online modules that are taken from part of Master’s programs led by universities. If you are accepted into a full Master’s program, this course will count towards your degree! 

Certificates include: 

  • Social Work Master Track Certificate, offered by the University of Michigan 
  • Instructional design MasterTrack certificate offers by the University of Illinois 
  • Constructional Engineering and Management MasterTrack certificate offered by the University of Michigan.


Coursera also offers courses to help you earn your Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. 

They take between 2 and 4 years to complete, start at $9,000 a month, and are offered by leading universities around the world. 

Degrees offered include: 

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, offered by the University of London 
  • Master of Business Administration, offered by the University of Illinois 
  • Master of Advanced Study in Engineering, offered by UC Berkeley College of Engineering.

Analyzing the Course Quality on Coursera

Courses such as MasterTrack Certificates and Bachelor’s degrees are all offered by leading universities with a strong academic reputation. 

Universities on the platform such as the University of London and the University of Illinois are renowned for their leading education standards. 

Other courses (such as the Professional Certificates) are also offered by prestigious companies, such as Google and Microsoft. 

These companies have decades of experience in technology as well as world-class teaching tools and curriculums. 

According to their website, “71% of learners report career benefits”. The courses offered are generally beneficial to their learners, and they are often designed to add practical knowledge and experience in high-demand areas of study.

Pricing and Accessibility of Coursera Courses

One of the main benefits of Coursera courses is their affordability. 

They offer free courses, and their more comprehensive paid courses are still highly affordable. 

You can earn a bachelor’s degree starting at $9,000 USD on Coursera, whereas the average cost of a Bachelor’s degree in the US is approximately $15,000 to $45,000 USD! 

Their subscription option, Coursera Plus, allows you to receive unlimited access to over 7,000 courses for $59 a month. 

This affordability – and the nature of remote learning – allows people the flexibility to learn whatever their circumstances are. 

Is a Certificate from Coursera Recognized? 

Because Coursera Certificates are affiliated with prestigious universities from around the world, they are usually recognized by employers. 

While some programs are ACE Credit Recommended (meaning they can count toward college credit), not all of them are. 

It is therefore important to check before you enroll in a course! Typically, courses run by Google, Meta, and BM are all ACE Credit Recommended.

Also Read: Is Coursera Legit? A Comprehensive Review and Analysis

Pros and Cons: A Balanced Perspective


  • Affordable: Coursera offers free-of-charge courses that can be added to your resume along with bachelor’s degrees offered at a fraction of the cost of traditional in-person degrees 
  • Boosts your resume: Coursera offers courses that are run by world-class companies and universities. 
  • After completing these courses, you’ll receive a certificate that can be added to your resume to show you have obtained these skills
  • Can be completed virtually: Coursera courses are all run online! You can access tutorials, and lectures from the comfort of your own home or even on the commute home from work – making learning as flexible as possible
  • Run by prestigious companies and Universities: Coursera offers certificates and courses led by renowned universities and companies. 
  • Colleges such as the University of London and Illinois all offer courses on Coursera, making them well-recognized additions to your resume. 
  • Companies such as Google and Microsoft also offer tech courses, which will be recognized by all employers working in IT. 


  • Some certificates are not accredited: Some certificates are not accredited, as the assessments cannot be supervised. 
  • Therefore, certain courses will not be recognized by Universities and employers. 
  • If this is something that is important to you and your resume, it is important to do some research before enrolling in a course
  • Restricted hands-on experience: AS the courses are offered online, it can be difficult to collaborate with teachers and other students compared to traditional in-person courses. 
  • It also limits the courses offered, as some learning requires hands-on experience by nature. 


Coursera offers a number of courses that can help you enhance your resume and develop highly valuable skills for the workforce. 

By partnering with leading companies and universities, Coursera offers people the opportunity to learn lucrative skills and work towards university degrees from the comfort of their own homes. 

While Coursera is loved by many due to its affordability and accessibility, it is important to note that some certificates are not accredited and that you will be restricted to online learning – something that does not work for everyone! 

If you’re interested in developing your skills in a huge range of fields, you can find out more about what Coursera offers here

Akshay Vikhe

I am an aspiring Data Scientist with a huge interest in technology. I like to review courses that are genuine and add real value to student’s careers. Read my story

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Online Courseing is a comprehensive platform dedicated to providing insightful and unbiased reviews of various online courses offered by platforms like Udemy, Coursera, and others. Our goal is to assist learners in making informed decisions about their educational pursuits.
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