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.

  • I think it depends on where you are in your career. If you don't have job experience, classes factor much more significantly into your resume. As do listing relevant courses. Commented Jun 24, 2012 at 15:03

6 Answers 6


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.

  • 9
    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
    Commented Nov 30, 2012 at 16:23
  • You can list Coursera courses (and other professional development courses) if you took them for certificate credit. You just need to either expand your title to include the distinction between academic and professional education, or create a new category, such as "Certifications and Professional Development". You did the work...there's no reason you shouldn't be acknowledged for it, but only include those subjects which support the overall career direction reflected on the CV.
    – Neil T.
    Commented Nov 30, 2012 at 19:08

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.


It requires passion, interest and commitment for one to start, complete and earn a certificate at any online course. This is also being well acknowledged by recruiters these days.

I hope you have taken the online courses for shaping a specific part of your career or advancing into a particular domain. So, phrases like "self-taught ___" would help the recruiter recognize the work you put in.

Example: If you have taken online courses for becoming a data scientist, then including a phrase like "A self-taught data scientist" would help the recruiter learn that you have self learnt your skills. I had and have it on my resume and LinkedIn profile, and it worked really well, in fact I was well appreciated by the interviewers for putting those extra efforts. After all those days of HW's, assignments and quizzes, it feels good.

Coming to the resume, including courses would just extend it's length without adding much value. Instead, include a project which you have done as part of the MOOC, and then include this line: "Done as a part of the ___ MITx1003 course on EdX". This would help the resume stand out, and also earn brownie points, as you have not only finished the course, but also have done a project with the knowledge obtained.

Same can be done on LinkedIn profile too. Here, you might want to increase the length of your project description by adding the University and the Professor's name, topics learnt during the course, etc. Include the course certificates in the certifications section.

Make sure your recruiter knows that you have put in those extra efforts to learn those courses, apart from classroom education. Resonate the same, in the summary section of your LinkedIn profile (Feel free to refer to my profile if you need help).

A similar answer which I have written (but is a bit inclined towards stats)

A Quora link which can help you in adding the MOOC details and certifications to your LinkedIn profile.


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.

  • 8
    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.
    – J4y
    Commented Sep 25, 2012 at 14:48
  • Tom you say to show 'where you went beyond the course material and self taught because you were interested in the subject material' im pretty sure that is what he did by taking the courses
    – user5305
    Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 9:59
  • Do you hire people or read resumes? From what perspective are you looking at this question?
    – WAF
    Commented Jun 24, 2014 at 15:58
  • I'd disagree with this answer, but for another reason: many recruiters on LinkedIn parse for keywords, and you might get a few from the details you give about your courses. It's stupid in many ways, but sadly it's a number's game. So it has an interest for being found in recruitment databases and on online career sites, and to show your desire to self-study and further your education, with or without certification or degree.
    – haylem
    Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 20:59

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.


You want to increase your chances of getting the job you are applying for. So tailor your resume for the job you are applying for. If it's a specialist role, having too many unrelated certifications on your resume might affect your chances. Before including an online certificate on your resume, consider these 3 points:

  1. Is the certificate relevant or useful to the job you applying for? If it's not relevant don't include it.
  2. Do you remember what was taught in the course? Are you comfortable answering questions about the topics covered in the course during the interview? If it's been a while since you've done the course and you don't remember much about it, adding it to your CV/Resume could be a risk.
  3. There are industry recognized certificates like CompTIA or Cisco certifications which are got by passing a proctored exam. Some job posts require that candidates hold these certifications and explicitly state so in the job description. Include these certifications in your CV/Resume when applying to such positions, since your resume might get searched with these keywords during the process of filtering candidates.

(I am a job seeker.)

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