Do you sometimes feel as if all your skills have gone out of date? In this fast-moving world, it’s an understandable feeling.
However, it’s also true to say that there’s really no excuse not to do something about it. Imagine your resumé being enhanced with a fresh new certification from Google or IBM…Well, that could be a reality in just a few short months.
We review lots of different courses and training websites at HomeWorkingClub. Something that’s come onto our radar recently is a new range of courses, linked to big tech firms and universities. They’re called Coursera Professional Certificates.
What are Coursera Professional Certificates?
Coursera Professional Certificates are sets of online training courses, designed to help you along the path to specific new careers. The options include technical certifications from the likes of Google, IBM and SAS.
There’s also a certification track for project management (from UCI) and another in teaching English as a Foreign Language, delivered by Arizona State University.
What Can you Study?
The majority of Coursera Professional Certificates (at the time of writing) revolve around technical subjects, such as information security, tech support and artificial intelligence. However, there are also options around teaching English, and project management.
Here are a few of of the options: (You can find a full list and more details here.)
Google IT Support Professional Certificate: This certification is described as the “launchpad to a career in IT.” It consists of five “entry-level” courses covering subjects like systems admin, IT security and the fundamentals of technical support.
TESOL Professional Certificate: An interesting option for those wanting to teach English as a foreign language, something there’s a ton of demand for online. It’s delivered in association with Arizona University, and includes courses on lesson design and “technology-enriched” teaching.
IBM AI Engineering Certificate: If you want to work at the cutting edge of technology, artificial intelligence is where it’s at. There are anticipated to be millions of new jobs in the sector in coming years, so it’s a great thing to learn about if you want to “future proof” your career. The certification track includes modules on Python, Apache and Neural Networks.
Are Coursera Professional Certificates Worthwhile?
Coursera Professional Certificates should be a good addition to your resumé, especially as most are accredited by big-name companies. In some cases, Coursera advertises “hiring partners” who should take these credentials into account if you apply for a job.
As well as mentioning these certifications on your CV, you can also link them to your LinkedIn profile. Some courses also include project work that you can use to demonstrate your skills.
How Much do Coursera Certificates Cost?
Coursera sells professional certificate courses on a subscription basis, with prices from $39 per month. There’s a seven day trial available.
Exactly how much a Coursera Professional Certificate costs depends on how long each set of courses takes you to complete. Estimates are provided based on an anticipated weekly commitment. For example, the IBM Data Science Professional Certificate should take three months, if you commit to 12 hours per week.
Is Coursera a Good Training Platform?
Coursera is a well-established platform, and has been in operation since 2012. Courses are usually well-organised and the training platform itself is polished and easy to work with. There’s also a mobile app for studying on the move. The quality of the courses themselves is generally high, as is to be expected with involvement from IBM, Microsoft, and other big organisations.
On the negative site, Coursera does receive some mixed reviews, with the main criticism being around pricing transparency. While writing up this news item, we were reminded of this. Obviously a decision has been taken to push the fact that you can “enrol for free” and enjoy a trial. However, there’s no good reason why Coursera has to make it so hard to gain a clear idea of what you’re going to pay – especially when the costs aren’t particularly high anyway.
We have a more detailed review here.
What are the Alternatives?
The closest alternative to Coursera is edX, reviewed here. It was launched the same year as Coursera and works in league with companies and universities. – just like Coursera. There are also professional certificate programs to choose from.
FutureLearn (reviewed here), is another very similar option, but with more of a lean towards UK institutions and qualifications.
We write a lot about training and learning on this site. Check out this article about all the free and cheap training options that are just a few clicks away.
Founder of HomeWorkingClub.com – Ben has worked freelance for nearly 20 years. As well as being a freelance writer and blogger, he is also a technical consultant with Microsoft and Apple certifications. He loves supporting new home workers but is prone to outbursts of bluntness and realism.