Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Certificate Programs: A Cost-Effective Solution to Education

Certificate Programs: A Cost-Effective Solution to Education

A certificate program is a course that awards a certificate rather than a degree when you finish.

There’s no question that getting an education can have a great impact on your life, but do you have the answer to all of the other questions like: where should I go? what do I want to do? do I attend a 2- or 4-year college? how am I going to afford tuition? There’s a lot to consider when you want to attend school.

But here’s another question: Have you ever considered a certificate program?

A certificate program is a course of study that awards a certificate rather than a degree when you finish. There are several benefits to these types of programs, which we will elaborate on in a second. If you want to go back to school and get working as quickly as possible in a growing field, a certificate program is a great choice (of course, you need to consider your career goals—a certification program wouldn’t be a great fit if your goal is to be a lawyer). Certificate programs are a great way to get through school and start working faster.

Cost Effective & Less Expensive

College tuition prices have gone up over 500% in the last few decades and depending on your field of choice, you could spend decades paying back your tuition loans. The average cost of a 4-year university costs anywhere from $48,000 to $70,000 and is expected to keep climbing over the next 5 years! And that’s just undergraduate studies. It’s not cheap to go to school.

Certificate programs take less time so they generally cost less money. With a certificate program, you only have to pay a fraction of traditional tuition—sometimes less than $3,000 for the whole course! Even when compared to 2-year colleges, these programs can save you thousands of dollars.

Graduate Faster

On average, many students take 4.5 years to earn their bachelor’s degree and over 3 years to get an associate’s degree. And with life’s curveballs, college can take even longer. Maybe you can’t make it to class, you can’t afford tuition, or there’s a family emergency and that 4.5 years turns 5 or 6. If you don’t want to spend years in school, certificate programs may be for you.

Certificate programs like those from Career Step see students graduate in 11 months on average! The online training let’s you study at your own pace, regardless of what happens in your life. Typical certificate programs can be completed anywhere from 3 to 12 months and, again, will save you a lot of money.

Gain Skills, Find Jobs

Many of the fastest growing occupations require 2 years or less of education, meaning you can get in, get out, and get working in no time. Take medical transcription for example. Every one of Career Step’s medical transcription graduates in Canada since 2012 has a job in their field, and companies are still begging for more graduates!

This is great news if you want to spend less than 2 years in school and work towards a promising career. Certificate programs are built on specialized curriculum that teaches you everything you need to jump right into your field of study after graduation. With the online format, there are no rigid class schedules, no teachers to call on you, and no group study projects to worry about. Instead, you’ll be able to study on the schedule and at the pace that fits your life and you’ll have one-on-one from dedicated instructors whenever you need it.

There are many benefits to pursuing an online certification. You save time and money and see a high return for your low investment. A certificate program is a great way to get your foot in your door in your chosen field. After gaining a few years of experience, you can always go back to school to acquire more education and certifications. You can move into management positions and take on other tasks, making you more marketable.

See if a certification program is right for you.

Alex Jenkins
Author: Alex Jenkins
Alex is a freelance writer as well as a Marketing Communications Specialist for CareerStep.
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