5 Reasons You Should Earn a Certificate
Associate degrees, high school diplomas, bachelor’s degrees, certificates, career diplomas, master’s degrees… there are all kinds of qualifications you can earn by going back to school! However, certificate programs don’t even cross many students’ minds when planning the next steps in their careers. Professional certificates are a great way to grow your knowledge about your current role or a role you’d like to move into. They do differ quite a bit from other programs, though, so we’ve made some notes about what you should know and a few reasons to consider getting one.
1. Earning a certificate doesn’t take much time.
Many adults who go back to school spend years working to earn a degree or diploma. A certificate, on the other hand, requires a much smaller time commitment than most other programs. It usually takes from a few months up to a year to complete a certificate program — that’s nothing compared to multiple years of schooling!
2. Certificates can help you achieve a specific goal.
Students usually enroll in college and high school completion programs because they know doing so will help them move forward in their career — but they don’t always know how they want to use their degree or diploma after graduating. A certificate, on the other hand, is perfect for working adults who know exactly what they want to do next. You’ll come away from a certificate program with practical skills you can use to get promoted or move to a new department at work.
3. General education classes aren’t required.
Unlike some other programs, certificates generally only require a small number of credit hours, and you can expect all courses to relate directly to the skills you’re learning. That means you won’t be taking any gen eds or elective classes and can get straight to the point.
4. You’ll build credibility in your field.
Earning a certificate shows other professionals in your field that you are serious about what you do — and that you’ve put extra time and effort into learning new information that will help you become even better at your job. Certifications are great talking points to bring up during interviews, and they always look good on résumés, so be sure to add your certificate information to your résumé and LinkedIn profile after you’ve finished your program!
5. Your classmates will be working professionals.
Students come from all walks of life and vary widely in age and professional experience. In a certificate program, though, while you’ll still see diversity in your classmates’ backgrounds, you’ll also generally be in classes with students who have already had some work experience and are committed to making progress in their careers. This can be a great opportunity to reach out and network with others in your field!
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