Everyone loves getting a new certificate, and the world of online education has made it easier than ever to get one. Many schools now offer accredited certificates that let you earn specialized knowledge in just a few short weeks. However, not every school is created equal when it comes to earning an online certificate.
In this article, we’ll discuss the best ways to earn an online certificate as well as what you can expect from each type of program. If you’re looking to build your résumé while also earning an accredited piece of paper, read on!
What is an Online Certificate?
A certificate is a document awarded to students who complete specific courses of study at certain institutions. It looks much like a Bachelor’s degree, but it usually lasts for only a few weeks or months. You may be able to earn an online certificate through courses that are part of an online university, for-profit schools, or community colleges. Online certificate programs typically have a syllabus and curriculum that are the same as those of a regular degree program.
But online certificate programs do not have the same level of accreditation as a degree-granting program. Therefore, job recruiters and employers are less likely to trust certificates rather than degrees. Online certificate programs tend to be less expensive than degree programs as well. However, there may be additional expenses such as textbooks and transportation fees. Online certificate programs may also be offered on a part-time basis.
Distance learning courses are similar to online courses with certificates but are not offered by accredited degree-granting universities. Rather, they are offered by nonaccredited schools and are often less expensive. These courses can be taken on your schedule and may be completely free to you. However, they are not considered to be accredited and may not be accepted by employers as a substitute for a degree.
Live Courses with Certificates
Live certificate programs may be offered as part of a fully online master’s degree program. For example, you might be able to earn a master’s degree online through a live certificate program. You could then use your online certificate to apply for jobs or get promoted at work. Most universities will allow you to complete a live certificate and then apply for advanced standing. In other cases, you may be able to earn a live certificate in a field of study that has no set curriculum.
Some certificate programs allow you to team up with other students to complete your studies. For example, you could join a massive online course with tens of thousands of other students to help you complete your certificate. Such courses are often offered by for-profit schools that are not accredited by the Department of Education. Some may even be scams, so do your research and only sign up if the school is accredited by an appropriate authority.
Online certificate programs are great ways to earn specialized knowledge and build your résumé. However, only accredited universities may offer them, and you may be less likely to get a job because you don’t have a degree. One of the best things about earning a certificate is the flexibility it offers. You can choose to take a few short courses or complete a full degree program. Whatever your needs and schedule, there’s a certificate program out there for you.