I have heard from a couple of clients that they possess a desire to pursue their education online, but they are quite nervous about plunging into it not really knowing what to expect.
I have composed 4 good reasons on why one should explore online certificates.
- Online Certificates are a great way to start a career change. If you are looking to go into nonprofit/social services or to start a nonprofit yourself, Nonprofit Management Certificates are a great way to start. Let's say you have a psychology degree on a Baccalaureate level but you want to go into Business or Management, look at Business Certificates to get the ball rolling.
- Proficiency and Quick Resolution now; Invest more later. Let's say you need the skills now, 2-4 years is a lot to invest time and effort, but you need the knowledge now because you have things or jobs you want to pursue or apply for, get the classes and certificate then transfer those credits into an advanced degree, when you get settled and more focused.
- Navigation through the online learning world. You've never taken an online class before? No problem. If you have a Bachelors degree, and you are scared to pieces about how you would succeed as an online student, talk to an enrollment counselor about online certificates.
- Employers like to see that you have taken out time to learn more about your field. Although employers are happy to see degrees, but a certificate states that you are willing to supplement the experience with extra interest by gaining a certificate. You are focusing more on skills than you are on knowledge, therefore employers will take note of that.
3 Important Things to Remember:
- Certificate Programs are not held as high as an advanced degree program. It's a supplement, so it does not take the place of it.
- Research your career focus very carefully before entering into the program of choice. Look at requirements, state licensing boards, and other mandatory credentialing of the field before enrolling. For example, for a Licensed Therapist, it would be great to advance your studies by gaining a Certificate in Child Development if you want to gain that extra expertise, because you are a licensed professional. For a Psychologist that wants to teach online, obtaining a Certificate in Online College Teaching is a great way to start educating online students. Some fields may require licensing and things of that nature, so do your homework carefully!
- Financial Aid Programs for Certificate Studies are usually available to those students who qualify.
Online Certificates, from a Career Consulting perspective, are a great way to get your feet wet within a career field. Give yourself permission to try and succeed. Add those new credentials to your resume and hopefully you will gain new attention from employers who want you to join their teams.