Is edX Certificate Worth It? – A Comprehensive Review

is edx worth it

E-learning has exponentially grown over the past decades as convenience and flexibility make it the ideal choice for both students and full-time workers! 

In today’s educational landscape, edX is an online learning platform that is popular for offering a wide variety of courses and programs designed in partnership with some of the most renowned universities in the world.

Are you wondering if earning an edX certificate is worth it? This in-depth review will provide an extensive rundown of edX and share valuable insights into the following aspects: 

  • Overview of edX 
  • edX programs and features 
  • edX certificates and recognition
  • edX pricing plan and value 
  • How edX certificates can impact your career 
  • Advantages and disadvantages of edX.

Let’s get into it!

Understanding edX: Platform Overview

edX is an online learning platform that is dedicated to a new way of pursuing education virtually.

It is a non-profit online course provider that is partnered with globally recognized universities like Harvard, Berkeley, MIT, and even leading companies such as Microsoft. 

Millions of dedicated users from around the globe have received instructor-led courses, accredited certificates, and easy-to-navigate resources through edX. 

The platform is accessible and versatile for all users regardless of their understanding levels. Even beginners can find tons of valuable course categories.

Since many courses on edX are available for free, you can audit all the content without paying any fees. However, you will need to get a course completion certificate by purchasing its verified track if you want to go through the entire content! 

edX courses vary in difficulty and can last anywhere between 4 to 12 weeks. You will also need to allot 5 to 10 hours each week to finish the course on time. 

What Makes edX Stand Out?

From esteemed university professors to industry experts, the instructors on edX come from a diverse range of backgrounds. They hold the highest of degrees and provide engaging real-world knowledge. 

edX offers over 3000 courses on a variety of subjects that include Computer Science, Economics & Finance, Business & Management, Engineering, Music, Medicine, Literature, Language, Law, Food & Nutrition, Chemistry, Architecture, History, Design, and more. 

Aside from courses, here are the different micro-credentials offered by edX: 


edX has over 60 MicroMasters programs which consist of graduate-level courses designed to provide in-depth learning experiences and help you achieve your career goals. 

Anyone can enroll in MicroMasters programs and they take around 1 to 1.5 years to complete. You will be able to apply to a full Master’s program once you earn a MicroMasters certificate. 


MicroBachelors programs are a series of courses created in partnership with corporations, colleges, and universities. 

The average length for each program is 3 to 6 months and you will receive transferable college credit once you complete a MicroBachelors program. 

The current MicroBachelors programs available on edX include Professional Writing, Computer Science Fundamentals, Marketing Essentials, Information Technology Career Framework, and Elements of Data Science.

Professional Certificate

Professional Certificate programs are geared toward professionals looking to grow their careers by enhancing their skills. There are approximately 140 different programs on a diverse set of in-demand subjects which generally last from 3 to 6 months. 


XSeries programs are created by top universities that explore a specific subject in depth. 

These series of courses are self-paced, take several months to finish, and are taught by professors from Columbia, Harvard, MIT, and more! Users can earn a certificate by enrolling in the verified track and passing each course. 

Master’s Degree 

The Master’s Degree programs currently offered by edX are by some of the world’s most renowned universities such as the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Queensland, Purdue University, and more. 

All courses are online and you can earn your Master’s degree within 1.5 to 3 years. Each program has its own application requirements and its cost is much lower than that of similar on-campus Master’s Degree programs. 

Analyzing edX Certificate Quality and Recognition

While edX gives users access to free courses, you will have to pay for accredited courses. These typically come with university credits that can accumulate for you to earn a certificate or a university degree. 

These accredited online courses are graded by industry professionals with significant experience in providing quality education. 

Verified certificates from edX are more widely recognized across different industries compared to other online learning platforms. 

Hiring managers tend to be more inclined to employ individuals if their certificate of completion is based on a university curriculum that they are familiar with.

For example, you can earn a HarvardX certificate that is directly awarded by Harvard University through edX.

edx HarvardX certificate

Pricing and Value: Is the Investment Justified?

When it comes to pricing plans, edX offers two options: Audit Track and Verified Track. 

Audit Track allows you to audit a course for free as a self-paced course, however, you won’t have any access to accredited certificates, resources, or any study materials. 

On the other hand, Verified Track can cost anywhere from $50 to $300, and you will receive all the essential materials along with a certificate of completion. 

The cost of edX learning programs is as follows: 

ProgramPrice Range
MicroMasters$500 – $2,500
MicroBachelors $500 – $2,500
Professional Certificate$299 – $1,500
XSeries$135 – $1,000
Master’s Degree$2,000 – $25,000

If you are worried that you cannot afford quality education because of its price, edX also offers financial assistance that functions similarly to a scholarship program. edX will review your application for financial aid and send approval within a few days. 

While edX can be quite expensive for some, it can be a great investment since you are getting college-level content on an accessible platform with additional benefits! The valuable learning and certificates you gain can significantly upscale your career.

Success Stories: Real Impact of edX Certificates

The rise of digitalization has led to online education gaining immense popularity. 

Platforms such as edX break down geographical barriers by providing high-quality courses to anybody with a stable internet connection. 

edX courses are designed to teach practical skills that directly contribute to your career and its trajectory.

In fact, many learners have shared the tangible benefits they have gained in their professional lives after acquiring an edX certificate. 

You’ll find no shortage of individuals online who have leveraged edX to succeed in different career paths through their newfound skill sets!

Pros and Cons: A Balanced Perspective

Similar to any other e-learning platform, edX has its own set of benefits and potential drawbacks. 

To help you gauge its overall worth for your specific needs, here is a list of the advantages and disadvantages that you can encounter: 


  • Diverse Courses – edX caters to a variety of goals and interests by offering a wide array of disciplines and subjects. 
  • Flexible Since most courses are audited for free, edX allows you to explore the platform without making any financial commitments. 
  • Quality Education – The courses offered on edX are from top institutions and ensure a high standard of education.
  • Certificate Options – Verified certificates can enhance your resume by providing recognition for your accomplishments. 
  • Global Community – You can take advantage of the opportunity to engage with learners from around the world through collaborative projects and discussion forums. 
  • Professional Development – Earning certificates can demonstrate your expertise and elevate your career prospects. 
  • Expert Instructors – The courses on edX are mostly taught by experts in their respective fields and highly experienced professors. 
  • Skill Acquisition – Taking edX courses can help deepen your knowledge in a specific area or develop new skills. 


  • Limited Hands-on Practice Certain courses may require practical experience that online courses cannot fully replicate.
  • Account Management – Staying on top of your assignments, certificates, and course progress will require thorough organization.
  • Varied Accreditation – Verifying the recognition of certificates is crucial because not all of the courses on edX are accredited. 
  • Limited Interaction – Opportunities to interact with peers and instructors can be limited compared to the traditional classroom setting. 
  • Lack of Face-to-Face Networking – Online courses do not provide any in-person networking opportunities compared to on-site education. 
  • Technical Requirements – Basic computer skills, certain devices, and a reliable internet connection are necessary for online learning on edX. 
  • Self-Directed Learning – Some learners may find difficulties adapting to the self-paced nature of the online courses offered on edX.
  • Certificate Costs – Although auditing courses are free, getting a certificate on edX generally comes with a fee.

Final Words

As an e-learning platform, edX provides high-quality education, exceptional study materials, complete ease of use, mobile-friendly applications, beginner-friendly courses, and the availability of online and offline modes. 

edX is definitely well worth it because of how rare it is to come by online learning platforms that deliver advanced teaching with the best user experience!

Potential learners will find edX, its courses, and certificates as a worthwhile investment for their career growth.

Josh Hutcheson

E-Learning Specialist in Online Programs & Courses Linkedin

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