A person working at a laptop while drinking a beverage. Photo by: Roman Odintsov / Pexels.com
A person working at a laptop while drinking a beverage. Photo by: Roman Odintsov / Pexels.com

There are dozens of options to acquire online certifications in 2021. Each certification holds a level of value that can increase knowledge in a certain subject matter.

After obtaining over 50 online certifications, I start to question which certificate has the best return on investment regarding time and impact on an individual’s career.


During a conversation with a close friend, I inquired about which platform they thought was the best overall. We agreed that each platform and each career would be impacted in different ways. I have spoke with individuals within human resources about their perspectives regarding which platform appeared to be the most effective.

My theory is that if you are applying with a certain company, obtaining certification with their organization is the most efficient practice. When we practice a focused effort, obtaining a desired result is more in reach.

There may be some companies that hire individuals based on the software experience they have acquired. I have seen where companies like to hire candidates that have work experience with fortune 100-500 businesses regarding specific software, but for those that may lack experience, I find that having certifications can increase chances to landing a job.

LinkedIn Learning

Personally, I have used LinkedIn Learning the most for my online achievements. The learning platform offers a vast amount of options that are connected to the Lynda.com library. This platform does cost $60 a month, but users can save 20 percent if they purchase an annual subscription.

The platform offers content covering business, creative, and technology topics. I enjoy the options of different organizations that issue certificates with LinkedIn Learning.

This platform primarily uses video-based content. Users consume video and have short quizzes to complete to ensure they are retaining information.

As a consumer, be mindful of how long the certification takes to obtain. LinkedIn Learning offers certificates that are a single topic, as well as a learning path of multiple topics.

Check out an example of some content via LinkedIn Learning on YouTube.


Udemy is one of the largest online platforms for eLearning content. The vast amount of topics on this platform include:

  • Development
  • Business
  • Finance and Accounting
  • IT & Software
  • Office Productivity
  • Personal Development
  • Design
  • Marketing
  • Health & Fitness
  • Music

This platform charges the user for content with individual courses. The cost for each course will be determined by the amount of content provided in each course. There are more comprehensive courses that will cost more, but I often see you get what you pay for overall.

An exciting option that Udemy offers is for content producers to create their own courses. I just found this option, and plan to start development on a series of instructional design courses.

Watch a quick overview on how to use Udemy via YouTube.

Salesforce Trailhead

A free platform with hundreds of courses that cover a large amount of topics is known as Salesforce Trailhead. This option is challenging in a fun way. They use a level of gamification that is highly enjoyable and rewarding. When acquiring badges and achievements on Trailhead, it is preparing the user to getting ready to acquire a Salesforce certification.

I find that obtaining certification with Salesforce contains a highly effective return on investment that can be applied to multiple companies.

Browse over an overview of Trailhead on YouTube.


An extensive program that provides learning objectives for individual audiences, enterprises, and government agencies is Udacity.

This platform calls their certifications Nanodegrees. Currently they have a deal on the learning material through February. Their level of detail is extremely thorough. I would recommend the learning content on Udacity for those with more available time to commit to their Nanodegrees. A short list of their curriculum includes:

  • Programming and Development
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cloud Computing
  • Data Science
  • Business
  • Autonomous Systems
  • Career

Currently Udacity offers 188 free courses to use and acquire new skills. This learning system also provides the opportunity for content producers to become eLearning professionals.

Watch a playlist of JavaScript videos on YouTube to get a feel for Udacity.



A popular online learning program is known as Coursera. Browse over on-demand video lectures from instructors in subjects such as businesscomputer sciencedata sciencelanguage learning, & more.

Coursera provides over 5,100 courses and specializations, over 45 professional certificates, and over 25 degrees. The platform offers free courses, as well as content to purchase.

Watch an overview video about Coursera on YouTube.

HubSpot Academy

HubSpot Academy is a user-friendly application that makes learning easy. HubSpot is similar to Salesforce software by providing customer relationship management software. Scope out the free content to enhance your skill set with HubSpot.

A quick list of categories and software includes:


  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Service
  • Website Design
  • Web Development
  • Data Privacy

HubSpot Software

  • Marketing Hub Tools
  • Sales Hub Tools
  • Service Hub Tools
  • CMS Hub Tools
  • Developer Tools
  • Account Setup
  • Integration

Watch a series of videos covering material that is featured on the HubSpot Academy via YouTube.

Skillshop with Google

A new learning system that Google has launched is called Skillshop. This platform prepares individuals for taking assessments by Google. This platform offers material covering the following topics:

  • Google Ads
  • Google Marketing Platform
  • Analytics Academy
  • Google My Business
  • Waze

Each of these learning systems will offer the opportunity to learn and develop new skills. During this era of the technology revolution, I recommend learning as much material as possible to find your passion. Once you start to see where you naturally gravitate toward, use that to your advantage.

Previous articleSports Card Market: A Journey Into the Belly of the Whale
Next articleThe Impact Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency has on the Environment
Matthew McGuire is the founder and editor of Crescent Vale News. In 2014, he acquired a master's degree in Professional Media and Media Management from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.