Is a Certificate Program Right for Me?

Find out what careers can benefit from a certificate.

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Certificate programs can help virtually every type of student achieve their career goals.

Dubbed by US News as the new “mini-degree”, a certificate program prepares students for direct entry into their new career or position. Completing a certificate program gives you options, which means more flexibility in your career.

Gone are the days when on-the-job experience was enough to sustain your career.

Who Should Pursue a Certificate Program?

Earning a certificate is great leverage for job security. It allows you to keep your skills up-to-date and continue your education throughout your career.

If you’re an unskilled laborer who wants to earn more money, getting a certificate can help you earn a promotion or switch to an entirely different and more rewarding career.

Many programs offer students who do not have a degree the option of using those credits to transfer into an associates degree or bachelors degree program. If you have earned a bachelors degree and you attend a graduate certificate program, you may be able to earn credits towards a masters degree.

Some students want to earn a certificate, but don’t think they can afford to leave their job for the duration of the program. It is possible to get your certificate while keeping your current job. Generally, in an online certificate program, you can complete your work in your own time as long as you meet the weekly deadlines.

Degree Program v. Certificate Program

Sometimes a person can benefit from a degree program more than a certificate program. Other times, it's in your best interest to get a certificate.

An advantage to attending a degree program includes the academic theory you receive in addition to your career training. Degrees might also be valued more by your employer or be a larger influence in earning a promotion. However, this is something that you should check with your employer first.

While earning a degree provides many career benefits, certificates also have their advantages too. Certificate programs are fast career training, and typically last between a few weeks and one year. This means less time and money spent. These factors mean that employers are more likely to fund your certificate program tuition than if you were to pursue a degree.

If you are continuing your education to get a job, certificate programs are a great option because of the real-world experience you can receive through internships or externships. Also, many schools and colleges that offer certificate programs also have career services that work to help students obtain a job after graduation.

What Careers Can Benefit From a Certificate?

Gone are the days when on-the-job experience is enough to sustain your career. These days, employers want job candidates and employees to continue their education. A certificate shows an employer that you are dedicated to staying on top of your industries latest technologies and practices.

You may have only a little bit of office experience, and competing against hundreds of other administrative assistant applicants. Having an administrative assistant certificate can make your resume stand out among the crowd.

Or, if you already have administrative experience, but want to move into a different sector, you should consider getting a medical administrative assistant or legal administrative assistant certificate.

Technology is an industry that is constantly changing. Employees in this sector need to keep their skills fresh. For example, computer programmers can get an e-commerce, database administration, information systems or computer systems security certificate to increase their value in their job.

If you are in the financial or general business industry and want to move into a different career path, try earning your accounting, bookkeeping or auditing certificate.

Certificates can help you get a job in most technical careers, such as climate control (HVAC), automotive engineering or electrical technician.

People Who Read This Article Also Read:

What Are Certificate Programs?
Online Certificate Programs
Types of Certificate Programs
What Types of Schools Offer Certificate Programs?
Paying for Your Certificate Program
20 In Demand Certificates
Earning More Than One Certificate
Career Prospects with a Certificate

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