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Discussion on: Are Online Certificates Worth It?

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Brandin Chiu

All of them range in price and can be quite expensive, so are they worth the time and money?

Like most things, it will depend on the course. Not every paid course is valuable. However, not every free course is worthless.

If cost is a factor, many programs exist to help individuals and organizations offset thses costs depending on where you live. I encourage you to look and see what's out there.

Have you used them, if so which one and what was your experience?

I've used a few from Coursera. While I don't personally put them on my resume, I don't think any less of those that would, and my experiences are overwhelmingly positive. Even if the paper isn't worth anything, the actual knowledge is.

Do they really set you apart from other candidates?

In certain cases, absolutely. Architecture and cloud courses are particularly valuable for devops applicants, and things like Certified Java Enterprise can be very helpful for larger organizations.

What courses are the most valuable?
Personally, I value breadth over depth in the candidates I screen and my employees.

As far as individual courses go that I think every developer should have, those would be:

  • project management
  • database design

These two areas are an essential component (in my opinion) of being a well rounded developer.

Even if you never ever need to exercise this knowledge directly, having an understanding of how these things work drastically improves your ability to communicate and support your team.