Thoughts on W3C Certifications

I have recently started learning to code. I began with HTML/CSS and have made it through the majority of the courses at CodeCademy and have been going through some courses here at FCC.

My question is, are the certifications for HTML/CSS/JS etc over at worth the price of $95 a cert? Also, are they necessary or will they help me get a job in web development or should I just stick with the courses at FCC?

Thanks for all your input.


I have never once needed that certification. What is valuable is showing an employer that you adhere to standards and check your code. Get used to using their checker and use tools like jshint. Otherwise, personally, I would say that money is wasted.


You have a misconception - one that is extremely common with that site and has led to many articles against it.

It is not a “W3C certification”. It is a “w3schools certification”. W3 Schools is in no way associated or promoted by the W3C. W3 Schools is an institution like freeCodeCamp not an authority on what is right. In my opinion, a certificate from freeCodeCamp is more notable than one from W3Schools as freeCodeCamp’s certificate ensures that you have actual working knowledge by building practical projects.

From the website:

The site derives its name from the World Wide Web (W3), but is not affiliated with the W3C.

This being said, I am not dissing W3schools - it can be a decent learning source for a beginner. Even, a previous source citing their problems has changed their opinion recently.

If you really want their cert and have the money, go for it, but be aware of three things:

  1. It is in no way a standard by the W3C that most developers need to get. The majority of developers do not have their certificatons.
  2. You do not need it to get a job. It is highly doubtful that a company will require a w3schools certificate to apply for a position.
  3. freeCodeCamp has free certifications that you get by actually building working projects not answering theory questions. I think you would be better off working towards our certifications and using codecademy, w3schools, books, etc. as additional learning resources. This is what I have been doing.

If you want to get a real certificate from W3Cx here is a Front-End Web Developer course if you can pass all five classes created by them. You can take the courses individually for free with the option of paying for the individual certificates if you pass. I took the HTML5 and CSS fundamentals course and passed it just yesterday and I highly recommend it. The certificates are quite expensive but they help towards funding the organisation. We are quite spoiled actually when it comes to learning web development for free online. I’m alway’s thankful for the free content that we get everyday and hope to give back to those that sacrificed for our benefit.


Don’t do it.

Assuming the difficulty level is similar to the quizzes they recommend you take beforehand, they’re far too easy to be worth anything to an employer (questions in the JS one include syntax for loops and conditionals, how to declare a variable, where <script> tags are valid, and even “Is JavaScript the same as Java?”) ES6 doesn’t get a mention, nor do any of the well-known gotchas, type coercion, closures, etc.

Also, fairly or unfairly, w3schools has a bad reputation, and reputation matters when it comes to certifications.

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Thank you all for your information. I appreciate the feedback and the links. I am also eternally grateful that I sought out your advice before paying for the certifications. I hadn’t even noticed that the W3C schools wasn’t affiliated with W3C.

I have decided to keep pursuing my learning path using FCC, CodeCademy, and some of the other guides I have found here.

One last question: Are the certifications that FCC offers paper or digital? Does it matter either way? I’m only asking for future reference so I know what to include in my portfolio when applying for jobs.

Thank you again for all of your help :+1:

My opinion is your Github account, showing the code/projects you’ve personally done will have more weight than some paper/digital certificate.

Employers/HR do look at Github accounts and as a job applicant with a Github account vs. a job applicant with no Github but just some certificate, I think the one with the Github account will give a truer picture to the employer of his capabilities and experience.

I have a GitHub account but haven’t really used it for anything (mainly because I don’t know what I’m doing yet). I have forked a personal blog and toyed around with it but that’s about it. I’ve heard there are some projects I can contribute to in the HTML/CSS category but I haven’t looked yet. I will definitely update my profile and begin using Github more often.

I’ll first go through the tutorials and learn how to use it tho :smiley:

Thank you for that info as well :+1:

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No one before really said it, but the acronym “W3C” generally refers (and should always refer) to this site: The W3C is one of the official organizations that sets standards for the modern Web, and should absolutely be considered an “authority” because they help to define the standards.

W3C does not, and should never, refer to this site: I’m not even sure where people get the idea that it does because there’s no “C” in their name.

As has already been pointed out, the two sites are not affiliated with each other. That previously-linked course on edX is by the W3C. Not W3Schools. So that course can be considered to have reliable and definitive information. The certificates on W3Schools, however, are just random certificates on a random Internet site—i.e., they’re basically worthless and not worth paying money for.

The title of this thread should be changed because it contains potentially misleading information. The W3C has and never will offer any kind of certifications.


Thank you for the discussion. Yes, I noticed that the W3Schools said that they are not the W3C and that the W3C is not offering a certificate. But the way that the disclaimer is worded, it just makes you think that the W3School is an offshoot of the W3C and the certificate is coming from the School not the W3C. One additional problem with is that if you do a search on Google for W3C tutorials or W3C school, you get the W3School’s site, not W3C’s edX site, so it’s easy to get the two mixed up. Google also returns the edX site for official W3C courses, but edX is lower down on the results list. Having said this, the W3Schools has really good examples for quickly looking up syntax. And that is comes back first on the results list is helpful.


thank you for this clarification

I dont think that it is true, the certification objective is to have not only empirical knowledge about a technology.