The Best Professional Certificates Online to Boost Your Career (2021)

Here are the best professional certificates and programs online to equip you with job-ready skills and expertise for your career.

The Best Professional Certificates Online to Drive Your Career Forward

Obtaining an industry-recognized credential is an excellent way to sharpen your skills and become qualified for your ideal job, or the next stage of your career. Let’s explore the best professional certificates available online and offered by reputable organizations such as Google and IBM. 

Why Take a Professional Certification Course? 

A recent survey of 400,000 people across the globe revealed that after completing an online certification, 76 percent of those surveyed reported a salary increase or promotion, as well as an increased sense of fulfillment at work.

Across multiple industries it was found that employees who go the extra mile to earn certifications, particularly in areas that are in most demand by their employers, receive a bump in career earnings and the quality of work assigned.  

As you grow your competencies through certifications, it can help you become more confident as an employee, manager, or freelancer. The professional certificates mentioned below offer training for individuals who want to expand their education and develop in-demand skills. 

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.

What Are the Best Professional Certificates That Pay Well?

Here are the best professional certificate courses that you can enroll in online:

Google IT Support Professional Certificate 

Thinking of launching your career in IT? Developed by Google, this professional certificate includes an innovative curriculum designed to prepare you for an entry-level role in IT support in about 3-6 months. 

Through a mix of video lectures, quizzes, and hands-on labs and widgets, the program will introduce you to troubleshooting, customer service, networking, operating systems, system administration and security. 

Completing the program can earn you up to 12 college credits, the equivalent of 4 associate degree-level courses. By dedicating approximately 5 hours a week, you can complete this certificate in under six months.

Did You Know: You can also earn a CompTIA and Google dual credential when you complete the Google certificate and pass the CompTIA A+ certification exams.

Program syllabus: 

  • Course 1: Technical Support Fundamentals
  • Course 2: The Bits and Bytes of Computer Networking
  • Course 3: Operating Systems and You: Becoming a Power User
  • Course 4: System Administration and IT Infrastructure Services 
  • Course 5: IT Security: Defense against the digital dark arts 

Related Job Roles:

IT Support Specialist, Technical Support Engineer, Desktop Support Engineer, IT Support Engineer, Technical Support Specialist, IT Desktop Support

=> Enroll in the Google IT Support Professional Certificate here

Related: My Review of the Google IT Support Professional Certificate

Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification 

The Project Management Professional (PMP) professional certification is an industry-recognized certification for project managers.

Employers value this certification because PMP® trained employees tend to have a more sophisticated approach to taking projects from inception through to completion across different methodologies. It is reported that on average, project managers with this certification earn 22% more than those without it. 

One of the major advantages of PMP® certification is that it is not restricted to any specific industry or sector. You can apply your certification across a whole range of different industries including, IT, healthcare, construction, energy, and finance.

KnowledgeHut’s course on PMP® prepares you for the certification through an intensive session of theory and practicals.

The training course will show you how to:

  • Understand and apply project management terminologies and concepts 
  • Apply global Project Management Standards from PMI®  to real-world situations for successful results
  • Provide faster solutions to clients, ensure compliance, reduce risk factors and save time and costs
  • Ensure open communication between stakeholders and team members
  • Ensure that the project stays within scheduled costs and timeframes 
  • Attempt a first time pass of PMI’s Project Management Professional (PMP)® Certification Exam 
  • Lead and motivate the team to perform better
  • Master PMBOK® - The Five Process Groups, Ten Knowledge Areas, And The Area Of Professional and Social Responsibility

=> Learn more about the (PMP)® Certification and enroll in online training here

Facebook Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate

This five-course program, developed by digital marketing experts at Aptly together with Facebook marketers, is designed to help you build job-ready skills for a social media marketing role in about 5 months.

After an introduction to digital marketing and the main social media platforms, you’ll learn to establish an online presence, create posts, build a following, and manage your social media accounts.

You’ll develop skills in creating and managing advertising campaigns in social media and learn to evaluate the results of your marketing efforts.

Program Syllabus: 

  • Course 1: Introduction to Social Media Marketing
  • Course 2: Social Media Management
  • Course 3: Fundamentals of Social Media Advertising
  • Course 4: Advertising with Facebook
  • Course 5: Measure and Optimize Social Media Marketing Campaigns

Upon successful completion of this program, you’ll earn both the Coursera and the Facebook Digital Marketing Associate Certification, proving your skills in social media marketing and in the use of Facebook Ads Manager.

=> Enroll in the Facebook Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate here

IBM Cybersecurity Analyst Professional Certificate 

Cybersecurity is one of the most in-demand career fields - The 2019 (ISC)² Cybersecurity Workforce Study estimates that 4 million more cybersecurity professionals are needed to defend organizations. This 8-course Professional Certificate will give you the technical skills to become job-ready for a cybersecurity analyst role.

This program is suitable for learners entering the workforce and professionals switching careers. Instructional content and labs will introduce you to concepts including network security, endpoint protection, incident response, threat intelligence, penetration testing, and vulnerability assessment.

This professional certificate is for you if you are comfortable working with computers, willing to develop new technical skills, and enjoy collaborative problem solving and communicating solutions.

Program Syllabus:

  • Course 1: Introduction to Cybersecurity Tools & Cyber Attacks
  • Course 2: Cybersecurity Roles, Processes & Operating System Security
  • Course 3: Cybersecurity Compliance Framework & System Administration
  • Course 4: Network Security & Database Vulnerabilities
  • Course 5: Penetration Testing, Incident Response and Forensics
  • Course 6: Cyber Threat Intelligence
  • Course 7: Cybersecurity Capstone: Breach Response Case Studies
  • Course 8: IBM Cybersecurity Analyst Assessment


Related Job Roles:

Cybersecurity Analyst, Cybersecurity Specialist/Technician, Threat Monitoring Analyst, Cyber Defense Analyst

=> Enroll in the IBM Cybersecurity Analyst Professional Certificate here.

Arizona State University TESOL Professional Certificate 

This course is designed for anyone who wants to teach English anywhere in the world. If you want to become a teacher, polish your teaching skills, or add a credential to your resume, this is one of the best professional certificates to get certified by a nationally-ranked university.


This course will show you how to: 

  • Master modern communicative techniques for engaging students in multiple English language learning environments
  • Deliver lesson plans using interactive and engaging methods
  • Recognize, identify, and use language acquisition theories and principles to develop sound lesson plans
  • Understand ways to motivate and properly engage students

Throughout this professional certificate, learners will write lesson plans, record themselves teaching, and create a professional teaching portfolio that is sure to impress current or future employers. In the final Capstone course, you will have the opportunity to submit a teaching portfolio for expert review.

Program Syllabus: 

  • Course 1: Foundational Principles
  • Course 2: Theories of Second Language Acquisition
  • Course 3: Lesson Design and Assessment
  • Course 4: Capstone Project 1
  • Course 5: Second Language Reading, Writing, and Grammar
  • Course 6: Second Language Listening, Speaking, and Pronunciation
  • Course 7: Technology Enriched Teaching
  • Course 8: Capstone Project 2 

=> Enroll in the TESOL Professional Certificate course here

HubSpot Academy Inbound Certification

The inbound methodology is the method of growing your organization by building meaningful, lasting relationships with consumers, prospects, and customers.

This free Inbound Certification Course teaches you how to run a successful inbound business, from marketing to sales to services.

Completing this course will help you:

  • Explore the foundations of inbound
  • Learn the inbound methodology and the flywheel as a core part of any inbound business
  • Start your path with inbound

Course Syllabus: 

  • Lessons 1: Understanding the Fundamentals of Inbound
  • Lesson 2: Growing Your Business with a Flywheel Model 
  • Lesson 3: Creating a Company Purpose 
  • Lesson 4: Setting Business Goals 
  • Lesson 5: Creating Buyer Personas
  • Lesson 6: Developing the Buyer’s Journey for Your Business 

Course Details:

  • 6 lessons
  • 15 videos
  • 4 quizzes
  • 1:54 hours duration

=> Enroll in the HubSpot Inbound Certification Course here.

IBM Customer Engagement Specialist Professional Certificate 

The IBM Customer Engagement Specialist Certificate Program prepares you to start your career in IT with a multitude of job openings ranging from onsite or remote help desk work to customer care or client support. 

This course will teach you:

  • Communication skills which focus on clear concise communication and listening
  • Appropriate empathetic behavior such as patience, curiosity and willingness to help
  • Problem solving to research an issue and help determine an appropriate resolution
  • Process adherence to ensure the proper flow and Service Level Agreements are met

The course is divided into 4 modules and you will be assessed and awarded badges along the way.

You can earn the IBM Soft Skills badge after completing the Communication Skills and Personality modules and the IBM Call Management badge after completing the Problem Solving and Process Control modules.  The course also includes interactive training including labs to reinforce all of the components above.    

Course Syllabus:

  • Week 1: Communication Skills
  • Week 2: Personality
  • Week 3: Problem Solving
  • Week 4: Process Control 

=> Enroll in the IBM Customer Engagement Professional Certificate here.

Cloud Architecture with Google Cloud Professional Certificate 

The Google Cloud Professional Cloud Architect certification was ranked the top paying IT certification of 2019 and 2020 by Global Knowledge.

This program provides the skills you need to advance your career as a professional cloud architect and supports your preparation for the industry-recognized Google Cloud Professional Cloud Architect certification.

In this course you will: 

  • Review each section of the exam using highest-level concepts to identify what is already known and surface gap areas for study
  • Learn information, tips, and general advice about how to prepare for the exam
  • Practice case study analysis and solution proposal methods and thinking skills
  • Integrate prior technical skills into practical skills for the job role. Help you become a Cloud Architect

Program Syllabus: 

  • Course 1: Google Cloud Platform Fundamentals: Core Infrastructure
  • Course 2: Essential Google Cloud Infrastructure: Foundation
  • Course 3: Essential Google Cloud Infrastructure: Core Services
  • Course 4: Elastic Google Cloud Infrastructure: Scaling and Automation
  • Course 5: Reliable Google Cloud Infrastructure: Design and Process
  • Course 6: Preparing for the Google Cloud Professional Cloud Architect Exam

Related Job Roles:

Cloud Architect, Junior Cloud Architect, Cloud Solutions Architect, Solutions Architect, Cloud Engineer

=> Enroll in the Google Cloud Architect Professional Certificate here

Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)

CBAP is the level three professional certification for business analysts governed by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA).

It is the most sought-after certification for business analysts who want to sharpen and validate their business analysis skills. 

KnowledgeHut’s Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP®) training entails an interactive question and answer review with a IIBA® certified instructor, discussions based on the BABOK® version 3.0 and practice tests to improve the learning process and help you gain the CBAP® credential.

This training course will teach you:

  • The knowledge and skills required to be an effective and result-oriented business analyst
  • The principles and practices of business analysis
  • To demonstrate your continued dedication to the profession through recertification requirements
  • To make your competence known and recognized by peers and management
  • To follow established standards that are outlined in the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK®) version 3.0
  • To achieve reliable, quality results with enhanced efficiency and consistency
  • To develop proficiencies that are the measurement criteria for the competencies required to attain CBAP® Level 3

=> Learn more about the (CBAP)® Certification and enroll in online training here

IBM Data Science Professional Certificate 

This professional certificate from IBM will help anyone interested in pursuing a career in data science or machine learning develop career-relevant skills and experience.

It’s a myth that to become a data scientist you need a Ph.D. Anyone with a passion for learning can take this professional certificate – no prior knowledge of computer science or programming languages required – and develop the skills, tools, and portfolio to have a competitive edge in the job market as an entry level data scientist.

This course will teach you to:

  • Learn data science is, the various activities of a data scientist’s job, and methodology to think and work like a data scientist  
  • Import and clean data sets, analyze and visualize data, and build and evaluate machine learning models and pipelines using Python
  • Develop hands-on skills using the tools, languages, and libraries used by professional data scientists  
  • Apply various data science skills, techniques, and tools to complete a project and publish a report  

Program Syllabus: 

  • Course 1: What is Data Science?
  • Course 2: Tools for Data Science
  • Course 3: Data Science Methodology 
  • Course 4: Python for Data Science and AI
  • Course 5: Databases and SQL for Data Science
  • Course 6: Data Analysis with Python 
  • Course 7: Data Visualization with Python
  • Course 8: Machine Learning with Python
  • Course 9: Applied Data Science Capstone 

=> Enroll in the IBM Data Science Professional Certificate here

Salesforce Administrator Certification 

Salesforce is one of the most popular customer relationship management (CRM) platforms currently available and many companies are now specifically requesting Salesforce experience in their job descriptions.

Knowledge and expertise of Salesforce can go a long way in helping you boost your career and enhance your credibility among your peers and management. 

KnowledgeHut’s 5 day course has been designed to help you master the concepts of the Salesforce Administrator Certification and pass the examination at the first attempt. This is one of the best professional certificates for new Salesforce administrators who want to use Salesforce for maximum benefit.

This course is suitable for:

  • Professionals who want to make a career in Salesforce
  • System Administrators
  • IT professionals such as Product Managers

What you will learn:

  • All the responsibilities of a Salesforce administrator including configuring and managing Sales and Service Cloud
  • How to manage data and implement security
  • How to prepare for the certification

 Key features:

  • Comprehensive courseware
  • 20 PDUs and 20 SEUs
  • 10 hours training (online training takes place over 5 days with 2 hour sessions per day, or classroom training takes place over 2 days with 5 hour sessions per day)
  • Experienced tutors

=> Learn more about the Salesforce Administrator Certification and enroll in online training here


Thanks for checking out this list of some of the best professional certificates available. Hopefully you’ve been able to discover certification options that could be advantageous in your particular field.

Enrolling in an online certification course is a great way to expand your knowledge and skills through hand-on projects and activities, and lectures that can often be completed on your own schedule.

The above certification courses are taught by top companies and universities and allow you to access training and tools that can help you grow your current career or start a new one.


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