Once one enters the professional arena and gets into their career it’s often harder to get back to school to improve your status, pay, position or personal satisfaction. There are many options however for those who wish to do so. It is not out of your reach. Let’s look a little into online certification programs.

If you subscribe to any professional associations and get their newsletters or magazines you may have seen ads for certification programs in your field. A certification general helps others identify those who are up to date in their field of labor. An internet marketer can receive certificates from Google that let’s their clients know that they have gone through a program know how to correctly use Google AdWords. Similar programs are available for Yahoo and others.

If you are a computer programmer you may see the need for increasing your skills, but don’t have the time to stop working and go back to school to get those talents. That’s alright, because most online certification programs are designed for people just like this. They are shorter than earning an associate’s degree (two years). The certifications generally take anywhere from 6 months to a year to complete and doing them online makes it easy for you to do it in after work hours or on the weekends.

Another benefit of getting a certification (assuming the position or job you’re aiming for doesn’t require a traditional degree) is that you can take classes only in the area of interest. It’s like cutting all the fat off the meat. You can drop the general classes that traditional degrees add to increase the well roundedness of the graduate.

Certificates are also ways that you can use to set your apart from others. When someone sees the training you’ve had, they more readily accept what you have to say…assuming that you actually learned it and that you don’t scare them away with any repulsive personal habits. When someone wants a solution to a problem and they see that you have put time into honing and increasing your skills they more readily trust you. I know I do.

While online certification programs may not be for everyone. They are a powerful answer to the question of “how do I further my education without leaving work?” They improve your marketability in your given field and they can give laser focus to someone seeking a specific skill. Consider if one of these programs are right for you. If they are, there are many online colleges and others offering them and more are adding them to their line of offerings. Good luck with your continuing online education and in obtaining your personal and professional goals!


Posted: 3/28/11 for 4/6/2011

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