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Written by:
Martin Barrett
Last Updated:

Coursera VS Google Certification 2023: Which Is The Best?

With the number of online learning platforms easily accessible to the general population, many are opting for this route to further their education.

These online platforms offer a number of courses covering various subject matters. 

We can now learn almost any skill or topic we desire from the comfort of our own homes and at our own pace.

Many of these courses come with a certification upon completion, which can be used to show employers that you have developed the necessary knowledge or skill. 

Where do you even begin to find the right course for you?

Even internet giant Google has hopped on the learning platform expressway and offers a multitude of digital workshop courses that help to up-skill individuals.

So, does one platform hold more weight than the others? 

This article will discuss in detail which certification is better; one from Coursera or one from Google Certificate.

Hopefully, this will provide you with all the relevant information to choose the best online learning platform from Coursera Vs Google Certification for your needs. 

What Are Coursera Certificates?

Through the Coursera platform, students can access up to 7,000 different courses to help them achieve their career goals.

These courses are led by top universities and institutions and taught by professionals and industry experts such as Yale and Amazon. 

Coursera focuses mainly on STEM subjects such as science, math, business, technology, data, and more.

There are some humanities courses dotted around, but their main focus is giving students practical knowledge and skills making them ready for the workforce. 

The majority of these courses come with certificates of completion when students pay for access to the entire course.

Typically, these certificates can only be gained when students have completed graded quizzes and assignments set by the institution. 

Each course is different, so the teaching patterns and specifications will not be the same for every subject.

This is also true for the duration and difficulty level of the course. Students can pick something to suit their free time and expertise level with Coursera.  

Are Coursera Certificates Recognized?

Completed Coursera courses and certifications are recognized by employers.

As the syllabus is set by leading institutions and not by Coursera itself, many employers will be happy to accept an applicant that has furthered their skillset by these means. 

Some people may hold negative views towards online education platforms such as this, however, the partnerships with large corporations and educational institutions speak for themselves. 


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  • Degrees from the Top Universities
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What Are Google Certifications?

Google certifications refer to the number of online courses created by the search engine to help individuals develop new skills in a number of high-growth fields.

All the Google career certificate courses are taught by professionals at Google and can be completed remotely. 

There are a number of free and paid-for courses on offer that can help with anything from getting your business online to learning the basics of code.

Each course can be completed in the student’s own time and some come with a certification at the end. 

Google Career Certifications

Google Career Certifications are a fairly new product to come from the internet giants. With the rise in technology, new job opportunities have opened up and there are lots of new in-demand careers. 

Google career certificate program has been designed to help individuals access the new Google career certificates path through the new skills and knowledge they gain from the course. 

Compared to the other courses, these certifications are much more tailored to individuals that have career paths in mind rather than those looking to upskill in one particular area. 

No prior experience is required and students can learn at their own pace completely online. For those that cannot afford to pay for the courses themselves, there are a number of scholarships available to help those in need.

The areas covered by these certifications include: 

  1. Data Analytics Professional Certificate
  2. Project Manager
  3. Digital Marketing & E-commerce
  4. IT Support Professional Certificate
  5. Google Project Management 
  6. UX Design Certificate Courses

Are Google Certifications Recognized?

Google certifications have become more popular and more widely recognized by big businesses.

Recent reports from the UK found that eleven businesses will now recognize the certificates and consider applicants who complete them for relevant tech roles. 

These companies include the likes of Deloitte, BT, and the BBC.

In America, all Google certificates are recognized by the American Center of Education (ACE) which even means that some can earn college degree credits from taking these courses. 

Are These Certifications Necessary?

No, these certifications are not necessary. However, they may help to bridge the gap between your current role and the role you are aiming for.

Many of us want to progress in our careers, but it can be difficult to know where to start. 

If you’re looking for a new challenge, but don’t currently have the skill set to do so this is where an online certification can come in handy.

Learning how to use new software or how to code could be the difference between getting those new job seekers or not. Even if you aren’t proficient in it yet. 

Demonstrating to an employer that you are going out of your way to learning new skills for the job in your spare time demonstrates your drive to get the job in the first place. 

We would encourage anyone with a bit of spare time to take a look at the free courses before deciding to jump into the deep end and pay for a monthly subscription.

Online learning isn’t for everyone, so make the most of the three trials and free courses first. 

Is There A Difference Between Free And Paid Courses?

Coursera VS Google Certification Which Is Better (1)

Both platforms offer a number of free online courses, but these typically do not come with a certificate of completion.

To find out if a course does come with a certificate, this information will be indicated in the course description. 

The main difference between free and paid courses is access to certain elements such as assignments, graded quizzes, and the certificates themselves.

With Coursera free courses, students can access the video lectures and readings but they will not be able to prove they have gone through the entirety of the course. 

Google’s Career Certifications are behind a paywall and cannot be accessed for free.

However, the ‘Fundamentals of Digital Marketing’ does come with a free certificate that students can use to show their newfound knowledge. 

It is worthwhile looking into the financing options available through each site, as the scholarship programs and discounted rates can be useful to many on a low income.

Those that are looking to upskill in their current job may be able to apply for the course through their current employer. 

Employers will not turn you down for a lack of certification, however many will want you to prove that you can transfer the skills you’ve learned into real-world situations.

So you could easily take the free courses and put these skills into action to impress employers through tasks or a portfolio of work. 

Which Is Better: Coursera Or Google?

Let’s dive into the comparison of the two platforms and identify which one offers the better certification. 

Range Of Topics

Coursera offers over 7,000 different courses on a range of subject matter, compared to Google which offers over 50 different certifications.

Coursera also offers a number of degrees from world-class universities alongside professional certificates and workshops. 

Google’s offerings include courses from external sources such as educational institutions and learning platforms such as Coursera and FutureLearn.

As Google is a digital platform, it is unsurprising that they only offer fewer courses all of which are related to the digital world. 

Which is better: Coursera

Course Content

The Coursera courses tend to follow a very similar pattern, consisting of video lectures, short quizzes, end-of-module tests, and peer-graded assignments.

The content will depend on the duration, difficulty, and subject matter of the course.

For example, a 4-hour course teaching someone to use Excel is not going to have the level of content as a course teaching someone how to code.

Specialization courses will have hands-on projects and may involve oral presentations. 

Google runs its operations in a similar manner, with short video lectures and short quizzes to complete after each module.

Their paid-for courses also feature hands-on projects that allow students to build portfolios of their practical work. 

Certain courses, including the free ones, may have multiple-choice exams at the end to consolidate learning. These must be passed in order to receive credit and prove the course has been completed. 

Which is better: Coursera


Google’s paid-for courses actually run via the Coursera platform. These cost around $39 a month at the time of writing this article.

As a result, the quicker you go through the learning and earn the qualification, the less money you will spend. 

Coursera also works on a monthly paid basis, the smaller guided projects can cost as little as $9.99 a month whereas Specializations can start from $39.99 a month.

Specializations are different courses under one main topic area and are similar to a more compact degree. 

Coursera Plus is a subscription model that some may choose to follow. This is where students can pay a yearly fee of $399 for unlimited access to around 90% of the available courses on the platform. 

We love the 7-day free trial offered by Coursera, this gives students the opportunity to establish if online learning is for them.

Although it may sound great when describing it, it just simply isn’t for some people. This way no money is lost and everyone remains happy. 

Which is better: Coursera


Degrees, Certificates, & Free Online Courses

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  • Professional Certificates
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Support Offered

With Coursera you cannot directly contact the instructor leading your course, instead, students must write their questions or concerns in the course forum.

These forums allow searches to be made to see if the question has already been answered before. 

The forums are highly interactive places that allow students to discuss topics with each other and reply to each other’s concerns if they feel they can be of help.

Instructors can also get involved in the discussions if they see them, but there is no guarantee that they will. 

Google also offers a similar structure to its online courses. As the videos are pre-made, there are no live interactions with instructors.

Forums and discussions are the way students can interact with their peers and receive help from the instructors.

That being said, there is limited information on the usefulness of these courses and the extent to which students may receive replies from instructors. 

Which is better: Coursera

Ease Of Use

Both platforms are similar in the way their courses are navigated online. They follow a linear process by which students can work their way through video lectures and answer the quiz questions as they come up. 

Students can navigate their way through the course using a specific learner portal. Here they can access any part of the course, which could be accessing previous lectures or having a look at what’s ahead. 

All communications such as updates, results, and general notices will go through the platforms or the students provided email addresses.

As these courses are aimed at any level of expertise, they are easy to use and have access arrangements if necessary. 

Which is better: Tied 

Real-World Applications

Coursera’s main goal is to teach students new skills that can have a positive career outcome.

Each course should leave students with a new skill or the knowledge to take on new challenges in their current or future careers. 

Google works for the same goal, to leave students feeling more accomplished and ready to take on new challenges.

As each of the platforms offers real-world applications, it is difficult to determine if one is better than the other in this sense.