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6 can’t-miss college certificates that will advance your career

Jess Scherman By  Jess Scherman  |  @jescherman  | 

College-Certificates

Are you at a standstill when you think about your career prospects? Maybe you're hoping to kick things off in a new field, or maybe you're happy where you are but you're hungry to expand your breadth of knowledge and bring some new energy and qualifications to your current position.

Regardless of which scenario applies to you, we can all agree that dedicating time and money to an undergraduate or post-graduate degree program is a pretty big commitment — especially if you're just looking to take a few steps forward.  

Certificate programs were designed to help people just like you further your education at a pace that fits with the personal and financial commitments you're willing to make.  

Whether you're seeking advancement in the field of business, healthcare or education, there are a number of certificate programs to consider. We outlined six of them below.  

6 certificates that can catapult your career

1. Nursing informatics

With the influx of technology in healthcare settings, the amount of patient data made available to nurses is constantly increasing. But with this increase comes a new assortment of responsibilities. The ability to effectively sort, retrieve and manage patient data has the potential to dramatically impact patient outcomes.

Informatics — or the science of processing and storing data — is becoming an in-demand requirement for nurses both newly graduated and experienced. Whether you're just completing nursing school, or you've been working in the field for years, a nursing informatics certificate can be your golden ticket to make sure you're earmarked for promotion.  

This fully online program can help you earn your certificate in a matter of just six courses. Learn more about the nursing informatics certificate program here.  

2. Healthcare informatics

Earlier we discussed the importance of technology integration for nurses, but its significance doesn't stop there. The influx of technology in our medical facilities impacts healthcare workers as a whole. Properly functioning systems — and personnel who are qualified in operating them — can greatly influence the quality of overall healthcare in our country.  

A healthcare informatics certificate program will focus on the application of computers to generate, validate, secure and integrate healthcare data so it can be effectively used to support the decision-making activities of clinical and administrative professionals. This certificate program will teach you about the foundations of health informatics, system design and software development, healthcare data analytics and important medical systems vocabulary.  

Offered in a distance learning format, this certificate program can be completed in less than a year. You can learn more about what a certificate in healthcare informatics can do for you by visiting the program information page.  

3. Project management

Are you highly organized, detail-oriented and able to adapt to a number of different environments? As a project manager, you can find yourself working just about anywhere with a variety of different industries, including healthcare, IT, construction, human resources, graphic design and everything in between.  

Earning a master certificate in project management can be a great opportunity for you, no matter what field your undergraduate degree is in. You can learn about project initiation and planning, effective communication, leadership theories and strategic decision making models that increase effectiveness in major projects of all kinds.  

Offered in a fully online format, this graduate-level certificate can be completed in as few as two semesters. You can learn more about the master certificate in project management here.  

4. Computer science education

Schools in the U.S. have long been lagging behind other countries in computer science education. As a result, the White House and other organizations are calling for a nationwide increase in the amount of computer science courses being taught to our young students.  

Certificate programs in computer science education exist to bridge that gap. Programs like this one are designed to prepare educators with courses on computer science principles, computational thinking, programming and more.  

This fully online program can be completed in less than two years. Learn more by visiting the computer science education certificate page.  

5. Online instruction

Nationwide enrollment data from fall 2012 indicated that approximately one in four college students took at least one online course, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. With this increase in online students comes a growing need for teachers certified in online instruction.  

A certificate in online instruction can teach educators how to design, implement and teach online using all of the benefits of today's technology. Programs of this nature are ideal for high school teachers and college faculty who will be teaching online courses. As a student, you can expect courses on WebTools for learning, online teaching methods and technology basics for the online classroom.  

This convenient online program is comprised of four courses. If you're curious to learn more about the certificate in online instruction, visit the program's information page.  

6. Culturally responsive pedagogy

The demographic of the country's K-12 student population has seen a rapid shift. Alongside the changing faces of our young students come a number of needs that may be new to even the most seasoned K-12 teachers.  

A certificate in culturally responsive pedagogy is designed for educators who are interested in developing strategies that will enhance their instruction while improving the academic achievement of students from varying backgrounds. The program's courses cover everything from demographic trends and achievement disparities to practical, hands-on pedagogy for fostering an equitable and inclusive classroom.  

A fully online program, candidates who enroll in one course per semester can earn a certificate within one year. Learn more about what this graduate certificate program has to offer by visiting the culturally responsive pedagogy information page.  

Can a college certificate take your career to the next level?

Career advancement is still an option for those not ready to commit to an entire graduate degree. College certificate programs were designed for people just like you!  

If you're interested in learning more about what certificate options could help you take the next step in your career, head over to The College of St. Scholastica's information page where you can read about 14 distinct certificate programs.

Jess Scherman


Jess is a higher education content creator who writes on behalf of The College of St. Scholastica. She researches and writes content to help current and prospective students on their path to educational success. As a published poet with a passion for the transformative nature of higher education, she loves discovering new ways to use her writing as a tool to help others.

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