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Why earn an online certificate?

August 13, 2019 1:38pm

Online certificates have gained in popularity over the years. And considering they require less time to completion and focus on a specific area of study rather than include general education courses, it’s easy to see why. Though they are not the same as a college degree, they can bolster career opportunities and be a stepping stone to a degree later on. Here are some of the few benefits of earning a certificate online.

They’re flexible, fast, and affordable

Online certificates are designed to be completed quickly. In fact, most certificate programs are completed in one year or less. This makes them all the more attractive to busy adults who want to position themselves for better career opportunity without investing as much time as a full college degree. They are also made to be flexible. The online courses within the program make it possible for learners to complete homework on their time from the comfort of their own home or wherever they have Internet access. For anyone currently working full time, this makes certificate programs especially attractive. And because they are only a few courses long to complete, they are much cheaper to earn than an undergraduate or graduate degree.

They can enhance career and earning power

Whether you are looking for a promotion or just to master a few skills to better yourself in the workplace, a certificate is an excellent route to take. Because certificates focus on a particular area of study, they can help fulfill specific continuing education requirements at a job or kick your resume up a notch. Not only can those with a certificate explore more career options, they can also increase their earning potential. According to a report done by Georgetown University, the average certificate holder earns about the same income as other professionals who have completed some college, but not a full degree. Anyone unsure whether they want to dive into a full bachelor’s or master’s degree program, an undergraduate or graduate-level certificate program is a great way to elevate yourself without committing to the time and money of a full degree program.

You can apply certificate credits to a degree

An excellent perk of earning a certificate is being able to apply those credits to a degree program later. This will shave off a handful of course requirements and cost for an undergraduate or graduate degree should you decide you want to pursue one. The same report by Georgetown University found some 20% of those with certificates go forward with earning their associate’s degree and an additional 13% earn their bachelor’s degree. When it comes to making your credits more transferable, it’s important to select an accredited institution. In doing so, you increase the chances that your credits will transfer to a college of your choice later. It’s worth noting that a certificate can also enhance a degree you already have. For example, if you have a master’s degree in business administration, a graduate-level certificate might help enhance your MBA rather than earn another master’s or bachelor’s degree. It’s an option worth exploring with an academic advisor so you can put your education to work for you on a faster, more affordable time frame.

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