Why Online Certificate Programs Are Worth It


online certificate student

Online certificate programs can be a great way to learn new skills to advance your career or help you test the waters of a completely new field. They are often quick, affordable, informative, and useful, giving you new knowledge and credentials. Whether you want to increase your responsibilities at your current company or get a competitive edge over other candidates when you apply for a new job, a certificate can be a budget-friendly way to reach your career goals.

Learn New Skills for Your Current Job Through a Certificate Program

Do you sometimes feel like it takes you longer to perform tasks than it does for your colleagues? Or do you often ask co-workers for instructions about a tech tool or software? A certificate program might be the missing piece. It can introduce you to new skills that will help you do your current job more efficiently and effectively. For example, a certificate in bookkeeping could teach you the ins and outs of accounting software that cuts down on the time it takes to create, manipulate, and share data.

Certificates Can Help Build Advancement Opportunities

The more skills you bring to your organization, the better positioned you will be for more responsibilities, promotions, and salary increases. For example, understanding marketing principles can help you better promote your organization and increase sales. That can, in turn, lead to increase profitability. And what’s good for your company can be good for you!

Gain a Competitive Advantage with an Online Certificate

Whether you want to apply internally for a new job or pursue opportunities at a different company, you will stand out from the crowd when you can verify you have specific skills. Employers will be impressed that you took the initiative to expand your knowledge and experience by obtaining a certificate. Computer Programming is just one example of a skill that is in demand, and a certificate is a great way to get your foot in the door.

Investigate a New Career Through an Online Certificate Program

There are many careers you can qualify for with just a certificate, such as becoming a paralegal or working in hospitality. A certificate can be a quick and easy way to investigate the type of work you might enjoy doing without investing in a degree program. And if you do decide to pursue a degree, you might be able to transfer credits from your certificate program.

Learn Online for Convenience

Because so many certificate programs are offered online, you can more easily fit them into your schedule. Especially with asynchronous learning, where you learn on your own time, online offerings can be convenient and flexible. You can keep your current job and build new skills at the same time.

Choose the Certificate Level That’s Best for You

Concerned that certificate classes might be too easy or too difficult? Many programs are offered at entry, mid, and senior levels, so you can decide which would be a good fit for where you are and where you hope to go. For example, National American University’s School of Strategic Security offers both entry-level and mid-level certificates in Terrorism and Counterterrorism as well as Intelligence Management. A college advisor can help you select the right level based on your education and experience.

Examples of Professional Certificates to Advance Your Career

Certificates are offered at both the undergraduate and graduate level at many online colleges. Here are just a few examples of certificates you can obtain in a variety of occupations:

  • Computer Support Specialist
  • Network and Server Administrator
  • Web Development
  • Software Support

Business Administration: Whether you work for a small nonprofit or a multinational corporation, there are many interesting directions you can take with a certificate in Business Administration or Management:

  • Human Resource Management
  • Marketing
  • Tourism and Hospitality Management
  • Accounting, Bookkeeping and Auditing
  • Global Supply Chain Management

Strategic Security: With all that is going on in the world, careers in Strategic Security are more important than ever. Certificate programs might include classes on intelligence, counterterrorism, and personal protection to provide leaders with critical information to keep their organizations secure. Specialties include:

  • Executive Protection
  • Counterterrorism
  • Strategic Security Management
  • Intelligence Analysis
  • Physical Security and Risk Assessment

Next Steps Before Enrolling in an Online Certificate Program

Before investing in an online certificate program, reach out to your employer and ask what type of certificate would best fit your career goals and opportunities for advancement. They may have suggestions for where there are knowledge gaps within the organization, and what the best type of certificate would be to learn skills and perhaps position you for a future promotion. Be sure to ask if tuition reimbursement is available from your company.


At National American University, we offer online certificates in a variety of fields that can be completed in as little as one year. Check out our new Upskill Academy with even more certificate offerings in construction, energy, healthcare, legal studies and transportation. If you would like to advance in your career and improve your skillset, call 800-209-0182 to speak to a counselor or hit learn more now.


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