As an avid online learner who has taken dozens of online courses (check out my Class Central profile: @ruima), I find certificates highly motivating in helping me complete the courses.
But since 2015, free certificates for MOOCs (or Massive Open Online Courses) have largely been replaced by paid certificates.
I couldn’t afford to pay for a certificate for every course I’ve completed. So I started looking for courses which offered free certificates.
Last year, I compiled a list of 1000s of free certificates and badges. This Class Central compilation has proven to be immensely popular. It has been read by half a million learners and has gone viral on Reddit a couple of times.
In this article, however, I decided to compile free certificates for a specific group of learners: prospective and current developers.
Below, you’ll find more than a thousand free IT certifications from:
Universities, like Harvard and the University of Helsinki.
Big tech companies, like Google, Microsoft, and IBM.
Tech providers, like MongoDB, Redis, and GitLab.
Developer platforms, like Kaggle and HackerRank.
Online learning platforms, like LinkedIn Learning, FutureLearn, and freeCodeCamp.
If you know about more opportunities or notice an error in the list, please let me know in the comments. And if you don’t find what you need here, either browse our extensive catalog of 50,000 online courses or have a look at our curated collections:
Class Central’s @suparn searched LinkedIn Learning’s catalog of 9,000+ courses and 425 learning paths (which consist of a set of bundled courses) and identified the ones which are available for free and offer a free certificate.
freeCodeCamp is a nonprofit that can teach you how to code online for free. It includes thousands of hours of learning content exploring topics ranging from web development to machine learning. The content is structured into certifications. Each is dedicated to a particular topic and leads to a free certificate of completion.
Redis University offers 7 free certificate courses to learn how to use Redis. You can earn a certificate by achieving a combined score of 65% or more on the weekly homework and the final exam before the course ends.
FutureLearn offers 500+ online courses with a free “digital upgrade”, which includes unlimited access to the course and quizzes. A digital Certificate of Achievement will be available upon completion. Some of the courses might not be available at the moment.
Recently, FutureLearn launched a Study-UK program, providing 425+ courses with free digital upgrades for certain countries. You can check eligibility for your country and claim your free upgrade after completing 5 modules of the course if you’re eligible. The offer for Study-UK free upgrade courses are valid till 25 February 2022 and each eligible learner is entitled to one free digital upgrade in total. Here are some examples:
Great Learning offers 90+ free certificate courses in a wide variety of subjects like artificial intelligence, data science, programming, cloud computing, and digital marketing. A free certificate is available once you complete all videos and quizzes, and claim the final course certificate.
Kaggle is an online community for data scientists and machine learning practitioners. You can build your own data science and machine learning projects with over 50,000 public datasets and 400,000 public notebooks through a no-setup Jupyter Notebooks environment. Kaggle has run over 500 open competitions for learners and experts to grow data science skills. It also provides 16 free step-by-step practical courses to help you learn basic data science like Intro to Machine Learning or Feature Engineering. You’ll earn a completion certificate when you finish a course.
30+ free courses with certificates in Python and R. Courses are designed into interactive document-based learning mode. A Statement of Accomplishment is available to download when you pass each chapter of the course.
IBM Cognitive Class offers over 80 courses and 20 learning paths in data science, AI, big data, cloud computing and blockchain. It also provides a virtual lab environment allowing users to practice what they’ve learned in the courses. You can earn a badge or certificate of completion when passing 70% grade of each course.
The MOOC platform of the Hasso Plattner Institute, openHPI, offers 70+ free certificate courses in computer science and digital technologies. Upon completion of a course, you may receive a Record of Achievement or a Confirmation of Participation.
upGrad offers 30+ free tech programs. These include courses in data science, programming, web development, and management. An e-Certificate of Completion is provided in 30 days after you successfully finish all the modules within your program. Your phone number is required while registering a course and you may receive calls and messages from upGrad.
Free Certificates from GitLab
GitLab offers free certification programs to grow your tech professional skills. To earn a certificate, you have to score 80% or higher on all the quizzes and assessments.