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Coursera offers quite a lot of very interesting courses and provides certificates after completing them. They're good not only for learning new things, but also revising the material that has been previously learned at a standard university.

I was wondering if it would be beneficial to put a note/list of the online courses completed on my graduate (computing science) CV/resume. In my opinion it shows not only that you did the course, but also curiosity and general interest in learning.

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4 Answers 4

If you have a section on your resume that lists additional professional development activities, and those activities are relevant to your actual profession, then it can't hurt. Whether or not it helps depends on how much weight the reader puts into additional professional development, and Coursera (or Udacity, or MITx, etc) in particular.

Note that I would not list these courses under education, as they are not credit-bearing and were not part of your degree.

From my perspective as a hiring manager, when I review resumes and someone has listed additional professional development, it always stands out to me. Given that many of my own employees have been encouraged to develop themselves professionally by using Coursera, Udacity, MITx, etc even during "work time", I obviously view these things favorably from the start. However, even if I did not, I would still take note of professional development on one's CV/resume.

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But don't go crazy either. Only list a few relevant courses and ones that are fairly recent. So if you are a BI developer and you have a taken a Coursera course on Big Data that can be impressive. But if you are a C# developer and you list your course in Eastern Euorpean History - not so much. You don't want this section to be longer than your work history unless you are entry level. –  HLGEM Nov 30 '12 at 16:23

Take a look at LinkedIn. There are three sections under your profile: Certifications, Courses and Education. You can list all your Coursera, Udacity, MITx, etc courses under Courses. LinkedIn has done a lot of research and thinking on what hiring managers want to know about you. Write your resume using elements from LinkedIn. Include sections for Certifications, Courses and Education. Think about it: If you were to hire a candidate you would like to know about these Coursera courses.

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Not really. A course list doesn't really add value or distinguish your CV. Would would be better is to take a few select examples of things you did during your course that show how good you are. i.e where you went beyond the course material and self taught because you were interested in the subject material.

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I disagree with Tom, because these courses are voluntarily taken and not part of a degree. The fact that someone signed up, took the course, and completed it shows quite a lot of self-initiative. With regards as to where they should go in your CV, imho I'd put them under Professional Development. –  user3327 Sep 25 '12 at 14:48

If the hiring manager knows what MOOC platforms are doing to the learning space, offering up certificates to relevant completed courses may be beneficial. Harvard Business Review has run multiple articles about the future of learning and relevance of degree programs, with the general upshot that competency-based learning is becoming more and more relevant in hiring decisions.

Organizations like Coursera are partnering with well-respected institutes, and that's part of the value of the certificate - so be sure to get the certificate and to include the host institute (Johns Hopkins, etc.). It shows you're aware of the future and willing to take steps to get there.

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