Certificate Program Overview
An online certificate program may be offered by a college or university,
a professional organization or a private company. Consisting of
courses or modules, a certificate program usually allows you to
complete one module at a time, working at your own pace. A maximum
time limit for completing each module is typically enforced.
An online certificate is perfect for anyone that is looking for
a new career or advancement within their current job. These certificates
differ from a regular college degree because they are short-term,
career-oriented programs that can be completed at your own pace,
and on your own time.
Online certificate programs are available in most subjects, including
the fields of design, healthcare, business, and information technology
(IT). Compared to degree programs, which tend to be more generalized,
online certificate programs equip the learner with a specific, necessary
set of skills. As a result, the knowledge and skills you acquire
from an online certificate program will help you stand out from
the competition. Add to the fact that online certificate programs
offer flexibility to learners who are trying to balance the demands
of their school, career and family lives, and it's easy to see why
online degree programs are such a popular choice.
Certificate Program Curricumlum
The curricula in most online certification programs are designed
to equip you with advanced training in specific areas of your profession.
In a technology certification program, such as A+ certification,
you will take one or two main courses in A+ programming and then
take a certification exam when you've completed these courses. Similarly,
a coaching certification program will consist of two or three courses
- such as coaching theory and technique, philosophy of school athletics
and health sciences - in preparation to take a state coaching certification
Teaching certification programs are generally designed to prepare
individuals for teaching positions who have bachelor's degrees in
fields other than education. In a teaching certification program,
you are likely to see general courses like education principles
and teaching practice, but you will also take courses related to
your chosen specialty area, such as early childhood education, middle
school science or K-12 music. A student teaching practicum is usually
required so that you can gain practical experience in the classroom.
Types of Certificate Programs
Undergraduate Certificate Programs
Typically a highly focused program, students earn an undergraduate
certificate in a year or less . Non-degree programs focus only on
the necessary, practical skills for success in a specific field.
Programs exist in a wide array of disciplines ranging from business
and education to health care and technology. Undergraduate certificate
programs are typically very skill-specific and fast paced—some
can even be completed in a semester. Credits earned in such programs
maybe applied toward an associates or bachelors degree. For those
who already hold an undergraduate degree, diplomas and certificates
are a practical supplement to their degree as they signify additional,
specified knowledge. They also allow degree holders to shift careers
or fields with minimal years of additional schooling.
Graduate Certificate Programs
A graduate certificate not only prepares you for unforeseen challenges,
but it also signifies initiative and vocational expertise. A graduate
certificate entails dedicated, in-depth study of your primary field.
By honing existing skills while also acquiring new ones, you’ll
emerge poised to strategically deal with new challenges and responsibilities
as you advance in your career. Designed with working professionals
in mind, most programs can be completed in less than a year. With
the ability to schedule courses at your convenience, coursework
easily integrates into your life’s personal and professional
commitments. You set the pace as an elearner; but no matter the
pace you choose, you’ll emerge with vocational skills that
translate to job options. Should you later pursue an advanced degree,
most credits earned in a graduate certificate program can be applied
to one of the online
masters programs. Whether you’re interested in business
administration, education, healthcare or computers and technology
, programs exist that can help you focus on the practical skills
and methods necessary for promotion in your current field or the
mobility to shift careers.
Some of the more common certificates include: management, database
development or management, crime scene technology, website design
and development, accounting, business administration, and much more.
These programs are designed to help you acquire the practical skills
you need to get into the job you want.