What Can Earning a Certificate Do For Your Career?
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What Can Earning a Certificate Do For Your Career?

What Can Earning a Certificate Do For Your Career?

by Shannon Lee
December 21, 2010

Earning a degree through online schools is becoming a popular option, and there is little doubt that online degree programs can help open the door to new career horizons. But what about certificate programs? Certificate programs are an often-overlooked way to enhance your skills, show off your knowledge, and add a new dynamic to your current career.

What are Certificate Programs?

A certificate program is a course of study that results in a certificate of completion rather than a degree. Certificate programs are often used to enhance the study already done in the course of earning a degree. For instance, a massage therapist might opt for a certificate of study in order to practice a certain type of massage. Those who already have a degree in technology but are considering a move to the medical field could obtain a certificate in medical office assisting.

The time needed to complete a certificate program varies depending upon the subject and the depth of the work involved. Some certificates take only a few weeks to complete, while others might take several months. Earning your certificate through an online school gives you even more flexibility in scheduling.

Opportunities with a Certificate

Though a certificate program does not require as extensive study as a degree program, some employers may accept an applicant on the strength of a certificate alone. However, it is best to consider that situation a starting point, as advancement with only a certificate under your belt can be difficult.

Certificate programs are more commonly used to enhance the bottom line. Employers look fondly upon employees who have special skills or can demonstrate vast knowledge in a particular area. A certificate program can give you that kind of "leg up" that makes you more appealing to employers and might make you more eligible for that raise when review time rolls around.