Getting a certificate
Getting a certificate is optional and not mandatory. Focus on learning and acquiring knowledge for FREE, it's one of the key components of MOOCs @ affordable education.

Having said that if you can afford to, then it's recommended that you pay for a verified edX certificate for any edX course listed on AW curriculum suggestions. Also edX certificates may be useful for external job/school applications (especially international opportunities). Visit edX to learn more.

edX certificate

Codecademy is a great way to introduce yourself to programming but AW suggests you skip all references to upgrade to pro  (certificates ), on the platform. Simply because you will be able to get certificates for equivalent courses via edx from reputable universities in America. Getting an edX certificate will make your codecademy upgrades redundant. The reverse though is not true, simply because courses curated by AW from edX are more rigorous than codecademy suggested curriculum

Navigating around codecademy pro upgrade features can be tricky, unlike edx which simply verifies what you learnt. codecademy restricts certain content to pro. Ensure you avoid clicking on the pro upgrade features to avoid paying for them. Below highlights what you should click on when presented with a pro upgrade 
Codecademy offers multiple python courses, learn python 2 is the only python course offered by codecademy that's on AW suggested curriculum for introductory pogramming courses

Using learn python 2 as an example, the suggested starting point for those new those new programming. Skip topics marked as pro on the syllabus, engage in all other topics

 You may also receive pro upgrade prompts between lessons. Simply skip the pro button by clicking on the link to proceed to the next lesson

AW also offers automated email, text and web verification independent of the course certificate from your MOOC provide (e.g. edX). AppsWorkforce  verification is derived from your track updates and feedback. AW verification is used for  jamb, both mail box and matching 
board versions

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