Certificate programs are exactly what the name suggests. For all intents and purposes, certificate programs award certificates to students who go complete the course work and any other requirements and attain the necessary knowledge at the end of the program. These programs are mainly designed to provide career training to individuals who wish to pursue a specific career or job market. Certificates are also known as diplomas, career diplomas, and vocational degrees. Most certificates do not come with an actual college degree, if not specified; however, there are some which offer a limited amount to credits to students which can be transferred to a more traditional school. Certificates are typically awarded by technical and trade schools.
There are two types of certificates: undergraduate certificates and graduate certificates. The undergraduate certificate requires a high school diploma or GED. Students take several courses and are taught the necessary skills they may need to function and be successful in their chosen field. Like any college degree, the certificate programs are also extremely diverse. You can obtain certificates in many fields, be it aeronautical engineering or foreign languages. Students may also opt to participate in multiple vocational studies.
Why Pursue a Certificate?
Theoretical knowledge is unfortunately never enough to ensure the proper functioning of anything. By successfully completing a certificate program, one can acquire the necessary skills to excel in his or her chosen field - and the costs may be much lower compared to more traditional college degrees. While some programs can be covered in a year, some can take more or even less time. Typical certificate programs are 1-2 years in length.
Don’t mistakenly believe that these programs are only meant for those who feel that they don’t need any college degree; many college degree holders often enroll in these programs to improve their own skill levels. They also do this to show to their employers the level of their dedication. If you are passionate about what you do professionally, then opting for one of these programs is a good way to ensure that you obtain more skills and excel further in your professional areas.
Flexibility is Key
Pursuing a traditional college degree may mean either leaving or taking time away from your current employer. Certificates not only take a limited amount of time, especially in comparison to a traditional college degree, but they may also help you gain the right amount of knowledge and skill without having to compromise with your job. There are several online and campus program options today, some of which can be completed within a matter of a few months. Certificates may be arguably far more convenient than traditional degree programs and are now extremely popular among both students and working professionals, especially as they are focused on the particular topics rather than broad overviews.