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Are Career Certification Programs Worth It?
August 10, 2022

Are Career Certification Programs Worth It?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that in 2022, nearly one in five jobs in the United States will require a certificate or diploma from a career certification program. The rapid growth of the digital economy has created new opportunities for those who have a certificate or diploma from a career certification program. If you want to work in most professional fields these days, you need to have a certificate or diploma from a career certification program. As technology expands, new careers are emerging. Getting a certificate can help your career immensely.

What are Career Certification Programs?

Certificate programs are short-term educational programs, which typically take less time to finish than degrees. Community college students are finding certificate programs take far less time to complete, while still providing the same job benefits that are available with a full-time degree program.

Why Get a Career Certification?

Certificate programs can help you build skills and experience needed for a specific job. Even if you have a career already, you can still benefit from taking a certificate program to sharpen specific skills. While certificate programs are an excellent choice for recent high school graduates looking to invest in their professional future, they can be helpful to individuals who are already established in their careers.

Certificates vs. University and Grad School

If you have been ruling out grad school due to the time or expense, or if you cannot find a program that meets your needs, consider a certificate program. If you are looking to invest in your professional life down the road, but need to be working soon and making some money, a three-month certificate program may be just what you are looking for.

Sometimes, you may want to pursue a certificate program that will help you get ready to pursue licensure or certification. You may take the certificate first, then transfer some of the credits into the full-fledged degree if you wish to pursue it. In some cases, you may be able to count the coursework from your certificate towards your future bachelors degree.

It usually takes between two and three years to complete an M.A., though some programs may be shorter. Certificates, of course, require both less time and less money to obtain; certificates generally require one or fewer years in total and are much cheaper than the traditional undergraduate experience, be it a two-year degree or four. You’ll also also spend less money working towards a certificate compared with an M.A., particularly if you have an employer-reimbursed plan.

Where to Get a Career Certification

Plenty of online universities offer certificates for higher education, so doing some research can save you some cash while also moving up the occupational ladder. With the growth of online education, there is no shortage of classes that can give you a certificate for a specific craft, skill, or software program. Some are even free.

The growing popularity of online schools has made it possible to get a certification from almost anywhere. It is easy to enroll online and get your degree through any of a variety of online programs, so you can balance online classes with your job easily, or whatever other curves life might throw at you.

The Benefits of Career Certifications

Getting the right certification could show employers you are genuinely enthusiastic about your field, and you are willing to invest the time, energy, and money in pursuing education just because you want it. For example, if you’ve been a web developer for a few years and have yet to get certified, getting one now will enable you to upgrade your skills.

Certificate programs give you both education and experience. Most programs are designed for professionals of any age, who have completed a degree, and want to gain the practical expertise necessary either to apply for graduate school, or to advance or change careers.

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