Is Coursera Legit? Are Its Courses Accredited/Recognized?

Is Coursera Legit accredited

You might be thinking of investing in Coursera for learning new things and furthering your education but you may have some doubts. You might be wondering:

  • Is Coursera Legit?
  • Are Coursera courses accredited?
  • Are Coursera certificates recognized and valid?
  • Is Coursera a scam?

Let me say that Coursera is legit and is not a scam. Coursera courses are accredited by the leading global universities and its certificates are recognized by many employers. Unlike many other eLearning course providers, it hands out  verified certificates and real degrees that can useful for your career.

In this article, I have discussed how Coursera’s online programs can help you in self-development, further education, and finding jobs. I have written about how its affiliation with top institutions and association with leading multinational companies can help you in hiring process.

Before reading ahead, I would recommend you to join Coursera for free. This way you will be able to test run its features and realize the value of Coursera programs.

You can also read my article on Coursera review, which talk Coursera’s advantages and disavantages in more detail.

Is Coursera Legit?

Coursera is legit. A thing is considered legit only if it is extremely good. It is true & genuine. It provides valuable job oriented courses in association with leading institutions. Furthermore, it should not be a scam and a fraud.

Coursera provides a facility to audit its programs free of cost. This way you can judge the genuineness of a course before paying for it.

Coursera was started by Stanford Professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller in 2012. They wanted to make good quality education accessible to everybody around the world. It is one of the few MOOCs that provide MasterTrack certificates and real Master’s degree from a recognized university.

Coursera doesn’t aim to replace traditional learning, but rather provides education platform to those who are either not able to afford a formal education or are physically far away from the course/institute of their choice.

Here is a quote from a Forbes article.

Taking a Coursera course is a wonderful experience that I recommend wholeheartedly. In order to enjoy a course, however, you have to be fully committed to the lectures, review material, quizzes, and must be interested in the topic.

Are Coursera Courses Accredited?

Coursera courses are accredited and recognized by top global institutes. Coursera offers many worthy courses in partnership with the world’s leading universities and top multinationals. You can get a verified certificate from Coursera with a logo of the university/institution after completing a course. The stamp of a university/institution proves the validity and accreditation of its courses.

Note: You can audit many courses for free but you will have to pay an additional fee to get the certificate.

At the time of writing this article, Coursera had 200+ institutional partners across 48 countries and it was offering about 4000 courses. Its partnerships include:

  • US: Arizona State University, University of Michigan, Carnegie Mellon University, and many more.
  • Non-US: University of London, University of Toronto, HEC Paris, and many more.
  • Companies: Cisco, Honeywell, AWS, and many more.

Coursera partners

Coursera offers five types of courses/certificates.

1. Online Courses

Coursera provides single courses on various topics and skills including data science, business, information technology, health and personal development. Most of these skills have a good demand in industry. You can search an browse different courses by clicking here. You can also read my article on the best courses on Coursera.

All Coursera courses are taught by some of the best teachers from world-class universities and companies.

There are free as well as paid courses. All of them include pre-recorded video lectures, homework exercises, and community discussion forums. In addition, the paid courses include additional quizzes, projects and shareable course completion certificate. The certificates can be used to polish your resume.

Here are some examples of courses available on Coursera:

  1. Cloud computing
  2. Machine learning
  3. Algorithms
  4. Finance
  5. Entrepreneurship
  6. Business strategy
  7. Probability and Statistics
  8. Economics
  9. Physics and Astronomy

You can complete a course in 4-6 weeks. The price of a paid course starts at USD 39. Coursera issues a certificate after you complete a course. It includes:

  1. Name of the course.
  2. Signature of the instructor.
  3. Logo of the partner institution, which is offering the course.
  4. A URL to verify and check the authenticity of the certificate.
  5. A confirmation that Coursera verified the identity of the learner.

2. Specialization

Coursera provides a package of courses to master a specific skill. It is called a specialization. By enrolling into a specialization, you can learn a subject completely.

A specialization are much more rigorous than a single course as it provides hands-on exposure to real business challenges through projects. It is much more valuable also as it gives in-depth knowledge of a subject.

Here are some examples of specialization available on Coursera:

  1. Applied Data Science
  2. Big Data
  3. Mathematics for Machine Learning
  4. Data Structures and Algorithms
  5. Deep Learning

You can master a skill in 4-6 months by taking a specialization. The price of a specialization starts at USD 39 per month. After completing all the courses in a specialization, you will earn a specialization certificate.

Courser Specialization certificate

3. Professional Certificate Courses

Professional certificate courses are just like single courses but they are more career oriented. These are offered by the top companies and universities and give you expertise in a trending technology. They help you to become job ready by applying new skills on real-world projects.

You can use these course for career support resources that include resume development help and interview preparation. Many professional certificates find recognition in the industry through hiring partners or a hiring consortium.

Here are some examples of professional certificates available on Coursera:

  1. Google IT Support Professional Certificate
  2. IBM Data Science Professional Certificate
  3. SAS Programmer Professional Certificate

The price of a professional certificate course starts at USD 39 per month.

4. MasterTrack Certificates

What if you wanted to pursue a Master’s degree but cannot do it because of lack of funds or times? Coursera provides an answer. It has split portions of Master’s programs into online modules, which can be taken through MasterTrack certificates.

MasterTrack will help you to earn a high quality university-issued career credential at a very low price. You will get to learn a new subject in a flexible and interactive format. It provides a deeply engaging learning experience with real-world projects and live expert instruction.

Here are some examples of MasterTrack certificates available on Coursera:

  1. Machine Learning for Analytics
  2. Spatial Data Analysis and Visualization
  3. Software Engineering

MasterTrack credential can be completed in less than a year. It can significantly boost your career. The prices start at USD 2,000 with the option of paying in installments. If, at a later date, you are accepted into a full Master’s program, your MasterTrack coursework is counted towards your degree.

5. Degree Courses

Employer’s value a full degree much more than any other course. Furthermore, a degree from top universities gets much more recognition.

Coursera offers Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in association with its university partners. You can get a credible degree from world’s top-ranking universities.

A degree from Coursera can transform your resume and boost your career. It gives you the flexibility to study online at your own schedule. There is no need to leave your job or move to a new city to earn a top university degree. You can earn your credits by completing the assignments.

There is no difference between Coursera’s online curriculum and on-campus curriculum. Coursera’s students get the same credential as a student who attends class on-campus.

Here are some examples of degree programs available on Coursera:

  1. Master of Business Administration
  2. Master of Computer Science
  3. MSc in Innovation and Entrepreneurship

You can pursue an online degree from Coursera at your own schedule. It can be completed between 1-4 years of study. The all-in prices start at USD 15,000 with the option of paying in installments.

A degree from Coursera costs much less than a comparable on-campus program. The cost of an on-campus program can go as high as USD 50,000 per year of study, which does not include incidentals and living expenses.

Coursera Master Degree Plan

Is Coursera Certificate Recognized?

Coursera certificates are recognized by organizations. Let me tell you why I am saying so.

Now that we know Coursera offers courses from leading institutions and companies but that does not necessarily translates to recognition. Recognition comes from the industry and not from the course creators. Recognition means creation of new career opportunities. A certificate/degree from a university is good only if it can help you land a job or give you a promotion.

Fortunately, Coursera has done everything to create a distinguished online learning platform. It offers accredited courses from the top universities, which are valued by the industry. Following three things prove the industry recognition of Coursera.

1. Many companies believe that Coursera courses are useful for upgrading their employees’ skills hence they have taken Coursera subscription.

coursera business clients

2. Many big companies like IBM, Google, and Honeywell have hosted their own courses on Coursera.

3. Coursera offers professional certifications that are oriented towards latest technologies. These technologies are in great demand by employers around the world.

Coursera can do its bit to create career opportunities for you but you will have to put in some effort to make full use of the platform.

Final Thoughts

There is a plethora of knowledge accretive courses available on Coursera. Coursera is accredited by leading universities and associated with many top firms.

You can complete your masters degree without having to leaving your job. Coursera can also help you with possible promotions or to get updated with the latest technology.

Many people are using Coursera to learn or update their skills. I would recommend you to join Coursera for free before taking its paid subscription.

Over To You

What is your take on Coursera? Which programs are your interested to enroll into? Which, in your opinion, are the most recognized universities?

Do let me know in the comments below.

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  1. No, not unless the person or Student is Enrolled at a University while taking a course. The Certificate must have a Referring Authority (The University Name) the date the Certificate was earned, the City and State where the University is located, the Student ID number, and the Course or Test that was passed. Also, restrictions must be placed on On-line platforms like Coursera. The University must require at least a 70% passing score, or their are blocks put on the student from registering for any more classes, also, any grade(s) must be withheld from the Student for Failures to receive 70% or higher. Also, a professor from the University should take a Screen shot of the Students surroundings while taking a Final exam, or the Test itself should be graded by a 3rd party with no backtracking allowed for incorrect answers. Coursera
    Certificates at any level without all of the above ARE NOT VALID!
    The people who work in this industry are crooked.

    1. Hi Scott, It seems that you had some bad experience with Coursera. May I know what really happened.

      Regarding your reservations about Coursera, there are pros and cons of everything. What is suitable for one may not be suitable for another person.

  2. I war reading through this page, this was done on May 29, 2019, I’m not saying anything bad about the article, I noticed that had changed between May up to December, but the courses aren’t free, the first 7 days are free then its $50 per month after,I’m currently working on a I.T. course for the week, I might continue I’m not sure just yet though

  3. Hey Joie, There have definitely been some changes but there are still free courses available. For more free courses, refer to this link –

    A possible reason that you were charged after a week of enrollment in the course could be that your free trial period expired. Coursera free trials last for 7 days after which you will be charges for the paid courses.

  4. I did several courses in music and I must say they are very good. It’s at College level and very well structured and Presented. If one can’t go to traditional schools this is the best alternative. Yes there are some limitations. But everything in life has its Pros and Cons.

  5. I am highly skeptical about paying for any certificates if its not accredited, I am currently looking at the introduction to psychology course and I would kindly like to know if that certificate is accredited please and if it will be stamped if I pay to get that certificate in other words, will like that certificate look professional and stamped and dated with the correct information???

  6. Dear Yash,

    I’ve been considering an new set of skills for muself, for some time. I am attracted from Business analytics, Data analysis etc. I have studied Accounting and controll and I have worked as an accountant and financial manager.
    From what I have read so far for Coursera there are still some aspects unclear for me. I would like to know – if the courses offered complete with an exam (as the common practice of mine so far) and what kind of exam it is (is it the regular CBE, where you can sit it etc.)? Secondly, I was not sure, where I can find the financial information conserning the respective course/specialization?
    I will appreciate your help!

    Kind regards,

    1. Hi Vladimir, The exams are proper CBE. You can take the exam only after paying the course fee. You can find the fee information only after logging into Coursera. Different courses have a different fees. You can create a free login here to check the course contents and fee – Coursera

      Best, Yash.

      1. Dear Yash,

        Thank you very much for your quick response!

        I do have an account at Coursera and I will check the financial conditions.

        Where do you usually hold exams, how do examiners verify your identity? I am asking as I want to make sure afterwards everyone will value my certificates worthy. Usually other similar CBE could be held in some of the worldwide spread educational centers, embassies, etc.

        Kind regards,

          1. Dear Yash,

            I have still not actually chosen. I am thinking of a degree/specialization/MSc. The study area would besomething like: Financial anlysis/Business analytics/Financial management – strategic desissions. I have degreed and worked as an accountant and later on as Financial manager, however I have never gone deeper into the financial management and analysis (like a separate degree). In 2012 I have passed the DipIFR of ACCA.
            Can you suggest any suitable covering the above areas.

            Kind regards,

          2. Hi Vladimir, I have studied Engineering. I do not have much idea about Financial subjects. Sorry, I could not be of much help here.
            Best, Yash.

  7. Hello sir. I would like to take a course in ENGLISH for Career development from course. I prefer the one which I would be a warded a certificate. How much does it cost if I were to seek for financial aid?

    1. Hi Nicomedes, Requirements depend on the course. For regular courses there are not requirements as such. For mastertrack and degree courses the requirements are defined by the university. You will have to go to the specific course page to find out the requirements for your chosen course.

  8. Thank you for your article it’s pretty helpful. I have a concern regarding coursera certificates; I read that most certificates are accredited then do you think it is possible to get notarized by notary public afterwards?
    I’m looking forward for your email.
    Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Abdul, Notarization is a legal aspect. I am not familiar with local laws and regulations. The laws change from country to country. You will have to check with a Notary for this.

      Best, Yash.

  9. The course I took is about leadership, teamwork and negotiation sponsored by Northwestern University. It was taught by a distinguished professor who is also an author. I checked the professor’s profile and she is for real. She is also an author.

    So when I started with her class, I can tell that she knows her stuff and can articulate everything in under 8 minutes. I love the bite-sized videos because you can refer back if you need to recall a specific concept or technique.

    I have a few hours to go before I complete this course and I will use this in my linkedin profile to show my continuing education.

  10. I started INTERNATIONAL LAW (LL.M) a year ago for free. It was really nice. I will start again now because i am now more ready than ever. I want to be a law lecturer and I wonder if Coursera LL.M is enough. In Nigeria, things seem different. I am not sure any University will regard Coursera LL.M as enough. Still, I will try

    1. Hi Waddy,

      Good luck. While doing Coursera course, try to find small teaching jobs. Some experience always helps before applying for a big job. Please keep the community update about your progress.

      Best, Yash.

  11. Hi , If i get a certificate in dermotology than can a go for a clinical dermotologist ? and where can i see a sample certificate from coursera ?

  12. Hi,

    When paying the monthly fee, can you then participate in any course and get all the certificates within that monthly fee?

    Or is there any additional cost for participating any courses and get the certificate?`

    Best Regards,
    Bahador Vafadar

  13. Hi, Yash,

    I did some courses in humanities with Coursera. Amazing…
    Are they recognized in the whole world?
    Thank you,

  14. Hi, Yash,

    I did some courses in humanities with Coursera. Amazing…
    Are they recognized in the whole world? I am asking specifically about Humanities, since I saw lots of technical courses around which seem to be recognized.
    Thank you,

    1. University courses are generally recognized. Subject doesn’t matter. But you have to look at your specific course and situation.

  15. Hi! I’m a Computer Engineering student enrolled in a University; I have my coursera account and can’t decide what to enroll yet.
    a) Is there any available courses to improve Computer Engineering Skills?
    b) What are the accredited certificates for Computer Engineers offered by coursera?
    c) Will they recognize my finished courses in coursera (certificate) if ever I put it on my resume applying job in tech industry for the next years?

  16. Hi, Checkout mastertrack or degree courses. University courses are generally recognized but you should check your specific course.

  17. Hi Yash, in South Africa only one university accredits Coursera certification, does this mean upon completion the certificates will be issued under UCT with their stamp? please help, I wanna enroll ASAP

  18. Hi,

    I was looking at Coursera’s online certificate in Journalism. I wanted to know if this certificate is recognized and will be accepted by employers?

    Thanks for your time

    1. Hi James, as I mentioned in my reply to a previous comment, university courses are generally recognized. The subject doesn’t matter. But you have to look at your specific course and situation

  19. I am currently taking the Online Course for Chinese beginner level by Peking University. So far I have completed week 4 and I have 6 more weeks to go. I was skeptical at first about paying but I will most probably pay by the end of Week 8. The course however does not help me earn any college credits though. So I wanted to know if it will atleast be recognised as some kind of achievement if I put it up on my CV later?

    1. Hi Topashya, I think you can always put your known languages on your CV. And if this comes with a certificate it’s even better.

  20. I have a Green Belt (lean 6 sigma) and good knowledge of Statistics. I have been asked by my employer to be part of our newly created dept of Data Analytics. I want to learn as much as possible in Data Science, Machine Learning, Predictive modeling. Would you recommend Coursera?

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