Certification Programs: The “Missing Link” in Higher Education - Student Research Foundation

Certification Programs: The “Missing Link” in Higher Education

Are you a career counselor or a parent? Or are you someone who is hoping to pursue a career in a specialized field like teaching, accounting or patient care? If so, perhaps you should know more about certification programs.

Certification programs do not offer degrees, but they help people advance their careers in several ways. Some programs issue certificates that are required before people can be hired to work as public-school teachers, interstate truck drivers, psychotherapists, or food preparers. Others issue certificates which, though not required for employment, help people get jobs, or get better jobs; learners can earn certificates in subjects like conflict resolution, construction project management, leadership, cybersecurity, and other disciplines.

Colleges and universities help certification processes in another way too, by offering prep courses for standardized certification exams that are administered by state governments or professional organizations.

Finding Certificate-Granting Programs

The Guide to Online Schools offers an extensive directory of online certification program in fields that include agriculture, aviation, CAD, communications, conflict resolution, construction management, cybersecurity, forensic science, graphic design, hospitality management, interior design, nursing, paralegal studies, radiology, web design, and more.

In addition, here is a list of institutions that are leaders in providing certificate programs, many online:

  • Community colleges that are located near you
  • Arizona State University
  • Central Michigan University
  • Coursera
  • Bowling Green State University
  • Cornell University
  • Kaplan University (for-profit)
  • Northeastern University
  • Purdue University
  • Rutgers University
  • Southern New Hampshire University
  • University of California system schools
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Phoenix (for-profit)
  • University of Pittsburgh

If you would like to learn more about American education and career preparation, Participate in the National Career Pathway Study.

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