What are some of the advantages of considering certificate programs, either offered on campus or online? Why are certificates programs important, and how can they boost your career if you already have a degree in your area of study. It is important for a student to have a well rounded knowledge base in their area of training for a variety of reasons. As you already probably know, technology advancements in most fields are growing rapidly, making it important to keep up with one’s professional skills and knowledge and also to maintain ones marketability.
As an example, areas of study in the computer and information technology are constantly evolving, making it even more important to remain in the field. Take the example of computer networking and information security – one has to keep up with the field as technology needs professionals who can keep up with concerns such as online fraud, high speed delivery of information and other areas of concern. Other areas such as business management, accounting, and finance also require that professional in the field remain current with certain certification requirements and updates in laws such as tax laws and banking regulations. This is were university certificate programs come in handy.
Certification in Education and Training
The curriculum in university certificate programs will provide you with both the skills and knowledge that are required in your field of study. There are various colleges and universities that offer these certificates online. In addition there are private organization and certification bodies which are affiliated with the particular area of certification, for example in computer networking or information security.
As far as the number of credits go in most university certificate programs, this will vary. Sometimes an add-on endorsement or certification to a degree may require students to take 12 to 21 credit hours, which seems to be the average range. On the other hand, a stand-alone certificate may require more credit hours and may take anywhere from 12 month to 24 months. This is based on various factors pertinent to the program requirements.
In many fields, certificate or licensure is required before one can practice in their field even if they have fulfilled other requirements. An example of this would be in the medical field where one has to take a state or accrediting body exam before they can practice. In this case university certificate programs may be built in as part of the degree requirements for licensure or certification requirements.
Career Advancement with an Advanced Certificate
When you have successfully completed the certificates online and moved on to your career, you will earn the respect of your peers and become an authority in your area of expertise or specialization. Granted one is rarely one cannot be highly skilled enough in all areas subjects, it be either engineering or science or medicine but it certainly helps if you know one or more areas of your discipline very well. Potential employers will target you for your specific expertise. After all, you probably do not wish to be labeled a jack-of-all-trades is master of none.
Estimated Income and Projected Career Outlook
While the level of income will vary based on factors such as current salary, years of experience, level of education already completed, and geographic location, the income one gets from completing additional training is certainly a plus during one’s annual salary review. For example if someone complete a project management certification program through a recognized entity such as the Project Management Institute, that certainly looks good on the resume or vita. Many MBA and business university certificate programs may offer this option after one has completed the required minimum number of professional working hours.
Still, it is hard to pin down an exact figure but a raise of between $5000 to $15,000 is a possibility (often this is calculated at a rate of 1% to 5% of ones current level of income. Hence, over one’s working career, university certificate programs do pay off but one must be actively involved in keeping up their credentials.
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