What value do course certificates have? | Coursera Community
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What value do course certificates have?


How do people use these certificates? Is it just something they like to collect? Do employers actually value them? I think of the certificates as a personal gratification or acknowledgment of a course you took. Would an employer be impressed?

14 replies

@Judith

We have heard many times that in some countries employers value them, they do not seem to be concerned with the actual work the applicant has done.
In other countries nobody values any online certificates.
Some people just use them to make themselves look amazing to certain audiences by putting the certificates on Facebook and other platforms.
I know of a person who wallpapered her office with printed certificates :)
Certificates earned on certain platforms may be valued more if there are no unlimited submissions.
Thanks,@Lochcarron . This is all a new field so I have no idea how much respect these certificates get. In the field of education, my field, you need to prove that you are studying and learning to advance yourself. If you take a course, you would need to show proof, by having a certificate. But more important than that, you would need to write up what you learned and how you could apply it. This way, you would really have had to pay attention, read the materials and learned something.
I agree that unlimited submissions hurts the value of certificates, if they are needed for a job. However, it is also a wonderful opportunity for people to be able to learn from some of the best Instructors in the world. I wonder what percentage of people take courses for their own personal advancement and pleasure vs people who take them in order to get a better job?
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Hello
Maybe this time it is new but in future many universities and companies go to online badges and certifications
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What is the experience in the US? I mostly take courses for my personal development without a certificate. The MOOC platform is more valued when you are given the opportunity to take a training through email invitations from organizations like WHO ( for health related professionals), FAO, World Bank and UNICEF.
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As i discussed in a different topic with Judith, for now not many employers are valued the course certificates. I also think here in Germany, not only one employer are valued MOOC based certificates, because the think Mooc´s are a temporarily phenomenon. But i´m convinced in the future course certificates become more value as now, because the platforms are continue growing and new universities participate.

When the Mooc System are so bad as some people say, why we have so many universities they participate ???
One of the issues MOOCs have is that they are all not equal. Those set up to count as University credit will be valuable. Many are set up for personal pleasure and learning. The knowledge you gain can certainly help your employment, but since they are so diverse in expectations an employer can’t necessarily trust the certificate as proof of someone ‘s knowledge. Tests and assignments have unlimited attempts so with
perserverance, most will be able to a certificate. This doesn’t mean they are useless. In the field of education, teachers are expected to keep learning about their profession. You can use a certificate to prove you have been doing this. But in the end, your application of the knowledge gained is what will speak best for you.
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Absolutley right Judith. The most important thing is the knowledge, not the certificate or University Degree. Both things are a nice to have, but when you dont know about what you speak or you cannot explain what you have learned, the best certificate or Degree helps you nothing in my opinion.
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I can say that at Egypt , It means nothing to employers as you can cheat on the courses to get the certificate.But it's as sign of personal development.
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My intention to get a certificate is to increase my motivation to learn a subject that I am interested in and to complete the course. Although I keep it to myself, it is encouraging to get a certificate from the world's best institution. So, my attitude to certificates could be similar to you: personal gratification.

Although I haven't used certificates for my job search yet, it could be helpful if you use it wisely. One way is to supplement your weakness. For example, suppose you possess important skills and experience to do the job you are applying for, but don't have a specific skill in a certain field. Under this situation, a certificate can help. It shows your awareness of your weakness and your initiatives to overcome it. Of course, we still need to hope that the potential employer is at least aware of MOOCs.
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@Kohei, I love this observation:

"Although I haven't used certificates for my job search yet, it could be helpful if you use it wisely. One way is to supplement your weakness. For example, suppose you possess important skills and experience to do the job you are applying for, but don't have a specific skill in a certain field. Under this situation, a certificate can help. It shows your awareness of your weakness and your initiatives to overcome it."

What an insightful way to think about the value of a certificate. I fully agree!
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@Laura , thank you for your encouraging remark. Pleased to hear you like it.

To give a simple example, a college student applying for an internship may take advantage of a certificate easily. He or she could be book smart, without practical experiences. So, the student could increase the credential by gaining a certificate in a related field to the position.

On the other hand, experienced professionals would probably need to be wiser in deciding which certificate to present to the potential employer. One way to do is to supplement your weakness, relative to what the employer is looking for. This could increase your credential.

The good news is that Coursera offers classes in a very wide range of fields to help you.
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Thanks,@Lochcarron . This is all a new field so I have no idea how much respect these certificates get. In the field of education, my field, you need to prove that you are studying and learning to advance yourself. If you take a course, you would need to show proof, by having a certificate. But more important than that, you would need to write up what you learned and how you could apply it. This way, you would really have had to pay attention, read the materials and learned something.
I agree that unlimited submissions hurts the value of certificates, if they are needed for a job. However, it is also a wonderful opportunity for people to be able to learn from some of the best Instructors in the world. I wonder what percentage of people take courses for their own personal advancement and pleasure vs people who take them in order to get a better job?


I take the courses first and foremost to learn, and secondly for my own gratification, to know I have achieved something.

The unlimited number of participants and the fact that there is no criteria for entering the courses, certainly degrade the courses somewhat, as anyone can pass. The first specialisation I took, was filled with "would-be's if they could be's", and well, I might be one of them. But what I could see is, that their level of English, did not stand up to writing the assignments.

It would be interesting to know, how many actually starts courses, and how many finish them.

However, the most important must be, that the students felt they achieved something, which I don't know if they did. But I did.
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Hi @Xamãma. You may be interested in this post: Could MOOC completion rate really represent MOOC success?
@Laura , that was a really fascinating discussion, good to revive it. Most people assume that if you don’t complete something, it was a failure. This is so not true and interesting to think about.
@Xamãma I am so glad you felt successful as a result of the course you took.

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