edX Review 2021 – Is edX Legit & Worth It?

edX offers a range of online courses designed to enhance skills and improve resumes. As prospective students take a closer look at edX, it becomes clear that this is a legit website with many courses worth taking in 2021.

What Is edX?

Harvard and MIT founded edX, which is proud to have more than 20 million students, many of whom are from industry-leading companies and top-ranked universities. The company is a global nonprofit, and it has the goals of giving everyone access to a high-quality education, improving learning online and on-campus, and using research to improve teaching and learning.

Currently, edX offers more than 2,500 online courses from more than 140 institutions.

Is edX Legit? Are the Courses Worth It?

There is no doubt that edX is legit. Harvard and MIT created the platform, which works with other big names, such as Microsoft.

Current and past edX students agree that the courses are worth it. This is definitely true in the case of those who do not need a certificate of completion and, therefore, choose to audit. Those who complete paid courses and receive certification overwhelmingly agree that edX’s courses are worth it.

Potential students considering edX should know that with so many options available, some courses will provide more value than others. Additionally, students tend to get more out of paid courses, as the certification improves their resumes. At the same time, free courses without certification provide an education that only requires time, delivering a great return on investment.

Although courses vary, expect the average course to require students to study four to eight hours weekly and the courses to last between four and 12 weeks.

Who Is edX for?

edX is for anyone who wants to learn. The free offerings are ideal for those who want to improve certain skills and do not require any certifications to enhance their resumes.

edX features various programs of courses, with offerings for undergraduates, unofficial master’s degrees, official master’s degrees, and professionals. There are also course specifically designed for those who have an interest in a subject without any career-enhancing expectations. Overall, edX has courses for everyone, regardless of experience level, category, or goals.

edX particularly appeals to young professionals, those who want to set their own pace while learning, those who are seeking career advancement, and those in search of more affordable alternatives to higher education.

Languages Supported

Although the majority of edX courses are for English speakers, there are also courses in other languages, including Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, and Chinese. Those courses typically offer English subtitles.

Pros and Cons of Learning with edX


  1. Students receive verified certificates.
  2. Students can audit many courses for free.
  3. The courses are university-level and from leading institutions, such as MIT and Harvard.
  4. The courses span a range of topics.
  5. The courses span all skill levels.
  6. edX offers self-paced courses.
  7. The edX platform is intuitive to use.
  8. edX offers self-paced or instructor-paced courses.
  9. The online courses can fit the schedule of those who work full-time.
  10. edX has a 14-day refund policy.
  11. Students can receive financial aid.


  1. edX only gives certificates to those in paid, verified tracks who receive a passing grade.
  2. Self-paced classes are not ideal for some with less discipline.
  3. The edX master’s programs can be expensive.
  4. Some users report frequent platform crashes.

Do edX Certificates Improve My CV? Are edX Certificates Worth It?

Whether the edX certificates are worth it depends on the goals of the student. If a student simply wants to learn something new and does not need to show credentials to find a job, then the certificate will not add much value. However, most students would at least benefit from having a certificate to include on a CV. This certification proves to potential employers that a student has the relevant knowledge, instead of relying on the student’s claims.

Unless a person’s CV already lists numerous certifications, edX certificates will usually be a valuable addition to a resume. This is particularly true if the course has an eye-catching name. To receive the most value from edX certificates, students must know how to explain the benefit of the course in the intended role during the interview process.

For those who plan to attend educational programs that accept edX credits, the certification is definitely worth it. In this case, the certificate can dramatically reduce the number of credits needed to graduate with the desired degree, reducing costs and time spent. For example, the master’s program is a complete, accredited program that results in a master’s degree, making it worth it.

What Categories Can I Find on edX?

Before discussing the categories of courses edX offers, it is important to mention that there are two main classifications of courses. Some are self-paced, allowing the student to work at an ideal pace. Others are instructor-paced, functioning on the schedule that the instructor sets, similar to following the syllabus of a course from a university.

As mentioned, edX offers thousands of courses, including from dozens of categories. Students can find the following categories:

  • Architecture
  • Art & Culture
  • Biology & Life Sciences
  • Business & Management
  • Chemistry
  • Communication
  • Computer Science
  • Data Analysis & Statistics
  • Design
  • Economics & Finance
  • Education & Teacher Training
  • Electronics
  • Energy & Earth Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Ethics
  • Food & Nutrition
  • Health & Safety
  • History
  • Humanities
  • Language
  • Law
  • Literature
  • Math
  • Medicine
  • Music
  • Philanthropy
  • Philosophy & Ethics
  • Physics
  • Science
  • Social Sciences

Some of these categories, such as Philanthropy, have only a handful of courses, while others, such as Engineering, have more than 500.

Is edX a Scam? Is edX Safe to Use?

No, edX is definitely not a scam. MIT and Harvard founded the platform, and it has more than 140 big-name partners, such as Microsoft. Additionally, more than 20 million learners use it and have done so for years. The company began in 2012, indicating a well-established history. Thanks to its reputation and accreditation, edX is very safe to use.

Is edX Accredited?

The majority of courses from edX will not provide the student with academic credit. However, many courses do allow for academic credits that can reduce the required credits for a degree. Keep in mind that in some cases, only the university offering the course will accept the credit. As such, it is ideal to pay attention to the fine print regarding credits for courses.

The one exception in which every course or program is accredited is the master’s program. This program results in a fully accredited master’s degree.

What Is edX Pricing Like? How Much Does It Cost?

Pricing at edX varies based on the type of course. Unverified courses do not have any cost at all but do not provide certification upon completion.

Verified courses have varying fees. The average price is between $50 and $300. Some complete programs can cost thousands of dollars, or even up to $25,000. This price may seem expensive initially, but it tends to be significantly less than the cost of a similar course at a university. That price also includes a certification upon passing the course.

There is also the option to audit verified courses, which is free. Additionally, edX offers financial aid for most program types.

What Kind of Features and Functionality Does edX Have?

edX has a functional platform that is simple to navigate. It also offers a range of additional features that can add value, including the following.

Basic Features in Courses

The structure of courses varies, but all feature instructional videos. Most also feature assignments, tests, quizzes, and discussions with other students. The courses also include feedback and application for active learning.

Offline Courses

edX does not tether students to the internet, as its courses are available to view offline, both on desktop and mobile devices. There are even mobile applications.

Permanent Access for Paid Courses

Those who pay for the verified track of a course receive permanent access to the course materials, including after the course is over. Students who choose to audit should keep in mind that this track only provides access until the course ends.

Executive Education

These courses appeal to business leaders, helping them hone strategic skills.

Global Freshman Academy

This program offers courses for freshmen in exchange for ASU credits.

MicroBachelor’s Program

This program offers undergraduate-level courses. These courses usually last three to six months and cost $500 to $1,500. Upon completion, the certification functions as transfer credit.

MicroMaster’s Program

This program offers graduate-level courses. Most programs take one to one-and-a-half years and cost $700 to $1,400. A certification from a MicroMaster’s program frequently counts as credits towards a future master’s degree at the same university.

Master’s Degree Online

This program allows students to complete a full master’s degree, completely online. The program typically takes one-and-a-half to three years to complete and costs $10,000 to $25,000.

Professional Certificates

Professional certifications help students build in-demand skills and stand out. These programs typically last three to six months and cost $100 to $2,340.


This program offers courses that allow students to gain a deeper understanding of topics.

Recommended edX Courses

The following recommendations include a range of courses, spanning a variety of subjects and potentially appealing to a variety of students.

Applied Entrepreneurship 2: Acceleration Plan Development and Evaluation

This is a follow-up course to “Applied Entrepreneurship 1” and takes a deeper look at creating business acceleration plans, including completing research. During the course, students learn to outline an acceleration plan and more.

Hello (Real) World with ROS – Robot Operating System

This course introduces students to the basics of the Robot Operating System (ROS), paving the way for the ability to create advanced robotic systems.

How to Write a Novel: Structure & Outline

The Creative Writing MFA program from the University of British Columbia teaches this course. It is one of several courses that help aspiring writers create a novel.

Life with Diabetes

This course assists those with diabetes and who have family members with it, providing them with the knowledge and skills needed to manage it and live a healthy life.

Probability – The Science of Uncertainty and Data

This course is in the MITx MicroMasters program edX offers for a MicroMasters in Statistics and Data Science, although students can also take the course separately. It explores probabilistic modeling, including developing the material intuitively. Its inspiration comes heavily from MIT’s “Introduction to Probability” course.

Quantitative Methods for Biology

This course introduces using MATLAB for data analysis and programming in the fields of medicine and biology.

Storytelling That Delivers Program and Project Outcomes

This course teaches you how to tell your project’s story to inspire your project teams, encourage your stakeholders, and gain customer commitment to project and program success.

Algorithms and Data Structures Capstone

This course will teach you how to build your own software for solving a biological challenge.

How to Pick the Best edX Course

With more than 2,500 courses, students will want to use a variety of strategies to choose which ones to take.

Use the Search Function

The edX search function includes numerous filters, including subject, programs, language, the partner involved, whether the program is available, and the skill/experience level suggested.

The partner filter is particularly helpful for choosing the right course. Students who plan to transfer any edX credits to a specific school, for example, should consider focusing on courses in which that university is the partner.

Read the Syllabus

When a student finds a course that interests them, the next step is to take a closer look at the syllabus. This lets students confirm that the topics covered meet their interests or needs.

Reviews and Testimonials

Past students provide feedback on the courses, which is a valuable tool. It can provide insights into the usefulness of the course, the learning style it appeals to, and more.

How to Use Elektev to Find Courses from edX and Other Sites

In addition to finding courses on edX, students can use Elektev to find and compare online courses from other similar websites, such as Coursera. This dramatically expands the range of courses available, including in terms of pricing, subjects, and instructors.

Start learning today with great courses from edX and more on Elektev.

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