November 6th, 2014 Business

certified-imageHave you been considering going back to school to finish your education?

Perhaps you already have a degree, and instead believe that your professional prospects will be expanded by an advanced degree.

While that is certainly one possibility, your immediate job prospects might be better served by enrolling in a certificate program online instead.

Online certificate and diploma programs offer the student concentrated classes for practical skills, delivered in a convenient and cost-effective way. Not to mention they are a great alternative to attending classes at a traditional university.

Let’s Look At Online Certification Advantages

If you’re required by an employer to complete a certification quickly, or you’d like to be able to offer a prospective employer more qualifications so you can land a better job, you can usually find an intensive online course that offers certification.

The ability to work at your own pace make online certification an attractive option. One benefit is that you can go as quickly as you can manage to do the work instead of only on a regular schedule determined by others.

Many certification courses can be completed in as little as six to eight weeks, and you can complete an entire series in as little as a few months.

Online diploma programs will take longer than certificate programs, but if you’re motivated, you can go faster by opting for longer sessions and more workload upfront. This will help you get a diploma in as little as a year to 18 months.

Online Certificate Programs Are Cost Effective

Online Certificate programs are much less expensive than getting a traditional bachelors degree or a masters degree.

You won’t be forced to interrupt your job in order to attend school either, so you can gain credentials that will make you more valuable at work, or at a future job, without impacting your current earning potential.

Online work can be completed at night, or on the weekends, and time-intensive classes that might require attendance at hands-on training sessions can sometimes be scheduled during vacations.

Enjoy More Flexibility Towards Prior Education Requirements

Colleges and universities are very particular about your prior educational credentials, and often limit your ability to enroll in advanced courses of study without completing prerequisites first. This is often not the case for certification.

Also, a nice benefit of online certification programs are the number of accredited professionals in related fields that are likely to be enrolled along with you, which will expand your ability to network with future colleagues and even employers in your chosen field.

If you have ever thought about taking an online course for a certification, no time is better than now! Often the hardest part about any project is starting it. You’ll find that once you are enrolled and starting to take the content, everything is quite manageable, not to mention it will likely pay off in the end!

Justin Ferriman photo

About Justin Ferriman

Justin Ferriman started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Justin's Homepage | Twitter

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10 responses

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Please, please, please. Don’t tell me that you have “certificate” confused with “Certified” as indicated with your image above in an article about taking a class to get a certificate and your image of “Certified” at the top of the blog. Getting a certificate after completing a course, whether online or not, is NOT the same as being certified. Please, please, please tell me that you, of all people, know the difference.

Being “certified” means you have taken and passed an exam, given by a third non-biased party regarding your overall knowledge, experience and education. You must meet certain qualifications such as degrees, years of experience, etc. It is not the same as being awarded a certificate after completing a course. To be certified, you must take a rigorous exam. To be “certificated” means you are awarded a certificate after completing a course. The “certificate” is an acknowledgement that you understood what was taught in the class. For example, if you completed a history class and were awarded a “certificate” you would NOT call yourself certified in history. If you pass the exam to be “certified”, you can put a certain designation such as CPA (Certified Public Accountant) after your name. There is no designation for completing a history class. Pls see: regarding the differences. I cannot believe that an “educator” does not understand the difference. I am simply appalled that you would give such erroneous information to a public who (previously) relied on your expertise. I for one, no longer want to subscribe to a blog I thought was otherwise very good.

Hi Chere-

Thanks for the note, and I’m sorry that the image didn’t line up to your expectations of the content. I often recycle images that are on the site because the number of blog posts, adding new images takes up a surprising amount of server space over time. I will take your feedback as a lesson learned on my end and put more thought into the images that are used going forward.

All the best!

Please acknowledge whether you received my comments regarding the misinformation you are handing out regarding certificate vs. certified. I do not see it in the comments and you owe your readers a huge apology. Thank you.

Avatar Chere Estrin

I like the image, it’s like a stamp that you’d get on an important document.

Avatar Bob Dillingsworth

Hi everyone, as a user of LeanDash for my own LMS website, I appreciate the complexities of the whole emerging online training scene. I for one was not confused by this post at all – the difference between a certificate and a professional certification is self-explanatory. I have a degree in Computer Engineering from a major university, but I work with people who are certified network engineers and so on, who have instead taken a route of training and testing thru corporate training. I have found people with fancy diplomas that really do not know very much, and I have found people with certifications that were highly skilled experts. It can go either way.

I say that we all have to get over being hung-up on the terminology. As creators of online training, we are each paving a new future here. This is a revolution that has just begun, so of course there is going to be a shaking of the tree. That is natural. I guess I have been on the computer side (hardware design, software development, web app programming) throughout the past 20 years of in so called ‘information revolution’ , so I am used to everything getting built-up and dumped , over and over again. It seems like education (due to both technology in general and online training specifically) is going thru some of those early stages. It will be a wild ride ahead, so hold on.

The entire area of certification and certificates and other future ways of acknowledging people’s educational accomplishments is going to be in turmoil for some time to come. That is scary and exciting. When people can take MIT courses for free online, watch TED talks from experts, and access information that 25 years ago was untouchable to most… well it is nothing short of revolutionary. I applaud people like Justin, who have taken some of the first steps to bring this new capability down to people like you and me. WordPress and LearnDash are accessible technologies, meaning that both educational experts and non-traditional trainers alike can build whole new systems of learning.

I also like these LearnDash blog posts because they make me think of new concepts and possibilities. Keep it flowing Justin. You are having a positive impact out here in the trenches 🙂

Avatar Jamie

Hi.. I want to add custom data in certification page . is this possible to do that? if yes can you guide me how is that possible..


Avatar Muhammad Rehman

Hi Muhammad-
LearnDash has shortcodes for inserting specific data onto a certificate. If you write support with what you’re looking to include we can give you some additional ideas/options.

Hi Justin
Can the certification plugin in LearnDash have the certification verification feature?
Assuming the candidate has forwarded the certificate to potential recruiters / employers and they would wish to verify the certificate credentials.

Avatar Ke

This isn’t a feature quite yet, but we’re looking into something along these lines. It’s on our roadmap.

Hi Justin, any progress on this? We really need this for our certificates! Thanks 🙂

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