Short-Term Certificate Programs

What are short-term certificate programs? What kind of certificate programs are available that will equip individuals with practical skills to get them in the job market?

Short-term certificate programs can last anywhere between a few weeks to a few months. In some cases and depending on the topic being studied and how concentrated the program is some programs can take up to a year to complete. Certificate programs are designed to provide students with education and expertise over a particular subject area. There are programs available in various trades, specialized fields and scholastic areas, such as automotive repair, business, information technology, health care and criminal justice, to name a few.

Overview of Certificate Programs

Short-term certificate programs grant professional certification to individuals in areas that don’t require traditional college education. These programs offered by certification schools are generally geared towards adult and returning students. There are programs offered for those that have not completed a bachelor’s degree, as well as programs for those that hold an undergraduate degree. A program that is designed for bachelor’s degree holders or higher is usually referred to as a graduate certificate program.

As a student in a short-term certificate program, you will only be required to take courses related to a particular field of study, whether it is medical billing and coding, medical and dental assisting, business information systems, office management, heating and air conditioning repair, and accounting.

Certificate Program Requirements

Students who have not been able to complete an undergraduate degree may find available certificate programs offered through community colleges, universities and career schools. Certificate schools award certifications for skilled trades, career-oriented fields and academic areas. Entry requirements may vary depending on the certification school and the program; however, most require students to hold a high school diploma or GED to qualify for admission.

Some certification schools may also necessitate additional prerequisites including basic math skills, English language skills and proficiency in technology.

Graduate Certificate Program Requirements

Graduate certificates are geared towards individuals who have earned an undergraduate degree. These certificates are offered in professional and academic subject areas. Graduate certificate programs differ from graduate degree programs and can be completed in one year on a full-time basis. There are schools that allow students to transfer graduate certificate program credits to a graduate degree program later on.

Online Certificate Programs

Online colleges and universities offer a plethora of certificate programs. Some are designed to help professionals to keep up with emerging trends, such as in the case of IT-related programs; for example, there are programs offered in Cisco, IBM-Lotus, Linux and UNIX. International students can also opt to earn an English as a Second Language (ESL) certificate online. There are certificate schools that offer training to professionals who are interested in a shift in career, such as personal trainer certification or phlebotomy certification.

Individuals who are seeking personal enrichment can attend certification programs online, such as flower arranging, jewelry arts, sketching, painting, knitting, digital photography, sewing, gardening, dog obedience, foreign languages, guitar or piano playing, and many more.