“There are two fundamental equalizers in life – the Internet and education.”
– John Chambers, CEO of Cisco Systems (1999)
Q: Should I list online courses I have taken in my CV?
A: The short answer is yes, you should list online courses you have taken on your CV.
The long answer is also yes, but you should not treat it as a major achievement in your resume, i.e. it should not be the first line on the first page. And here are some further considerations:
- If you are at your early career stage, either just graduating from college or changing a career, it makes perfect sense to list your online education on your CV. The more experience and the more conventional educational background you have, the less weight carries your online educational course;
- Even if you are a seasoned professional, it’s still great as an additional training and an indicator of your thirst for knowledge, dedication and persistence. It could serve well as an additional substantiation of a skill which otherwise does not look very convincing on your CV;
- And, it goes without saying, the online course has to be relevant. As this article on Forbes rightfully reads, “no one cares that you studied Ancient Greek Art when you’re up for a job in the sales department”.
P.S. As the MOOCs are marching on the planet, as more and more universities are sharing high-quality content, as educational platforms are developing identification methods (look at Coursera’s signature track with digital identification based on recognizing a typing pattern, etc.), as recruiters are turning to professional social networks such as LinkedIn, the “but’s” in the argument I make above are becoming weaker as we speak.