As you may already know, Coursera, Udacity and EdX have free courses as well as paid courses (which are basically the free ones with a certificate of completion).

My question is, when I complete a free course, is it appropriate to put it on my resume? There is no "certified" way of checking the completion, but I have the knowledge. Or, is it just better to list the acquired skills under the skills list section, and not write anything about the course?

I've read these other questions (1, and 2) about including MOOC(Massive Open Online Course) courses on your resume. However, Coursera has changed its model and do not offer certificates for free courses anymore. So these questions are no longer applicable (at least for Coursera).

  • Just add the certificates to your CV and list the skills you learned from the free courses. If it's unverifiable then there is no point adding it to your CV.
    – Jane S
    Jul 13, 2015 at 9:45
  • Add what you learned in the Skills section. It doesn't matter how you got the skills as long as you have them. Of course, if you've got a certificate in real estate from NYU, that certificate belongs in the Education section. Jul 13, 2015 at 10:34
  • that duplicated question you linked above is no longer duplicated, because it's from 2012, when all courses had a certificate of completion. Now Coursera changed its business plan and do not offer anymore such certificates for free, and that's the point of this question. Guess the answer is going to be @JaneS's comment.
    – user8137
    Jul 13, 2015 at 10:48
  • 3
    I've retracted my close vote and edited the question to include references to the other questions and why they are no longer valid. I was unaware the Coursera changed their model - it must have happened after I took the last course there, since I took a free one and got a certificate. Jul 13, 2015 at 13:32
  • 2
    Possible duplicate of Is it benificial to show online certificates on a CV? Oct 21, 2017 at 8:12

3 Answers 3


when I complete a free course, is it appropriate to put it in the resume?

You can put any source of learning in your resume - paid certificate courses, free courses, etc.

Just be aware that the free courses will carry less weight in your resume than a course with a verifiable completion certificate, or a course at a university. Anyone can claim they took a free course.

(As @LightnessRacesinOrbit correctly points out, anyone can claim to have taken a paid course, too. My assumption is that the paid courses have certificates of completion that are verifiable by a hiring company, where most free courses do not.)

Don't load your resume up with dozens of these free courses. You don't want them to overwhelm the more valuable content.

Try to include only courses relevant for the job at hand - courses that would be significant in the eyes of a hiring manager. And try to include only courses for which you actually gained some expertise that you could talk about if questioned. Avoid any courses which you just casually cruised through or for which you didn't actually learn anything - those could lead to embarrassing answers when questioned by an interviewer.


I don't think it is inappropriate. MOOCs nowadays is one of the most popular ways of obtaining new knowledge. Personally, I like when people put their certificates on LinkedIn - IMHO, it shows they are interested in professional development, and have enough organizational skills and patience to complete the course.

Personally, I have got 'Independent Coursework' section in my CV, where I put information about relevant MOOCs I have done. Even if I did not get certificate, I still can talk about the course.


To make my comment an answer, I would cite the certificates that you have in your CV, and then simply list the skills you learned from the free courses along with any other skills list you have.

Remember, to a future employer if a certification isn't verifiable then recording it as a certification or course doesn't really add any value.

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