A graduate certificate is a degree often obtained after you receive your undergraduate degree. If you want to boost your job potential, a graduate certificate is considered a valuable degree that can be obtained in a fraction of the time of a traditional master's degree. Other reasons students pursue graduate certificates:
Want to expand or update your skills in a particular area
Need to obtain specific skills to launch a new career
Already hold a bachelors degree but seek to enter a profession where you have no formal education
Need to meet state or national licensing requirements (common in counseling, finance, nursing, and healthcare positions)
Gradate certificates allow students to pursue programs that develop career competency in a single subject. A certificate typically consists of anywhere from three to 12 courses, all commonly completed within a year or 1.5 years of study. Though credit requirements may vary, a graduate certificate program typically is completed in 12 or more credit hours. Many graduates enroll in graduate certificate programs in order to update their existing bachelor's, especially if current licensing requirements have been updated. Many fields such as counseling or medical billing require up-to-date licensing that a graduate certificate can fulfill.
To qualify for a graduate certificate, you typically need an undergraduate degree (bachelors degree), however the qualifications may vary from school to school. To find out specific admissions requirements, request info from the college of your choice, or check out the college/university's website.
A graduate certificate is helpful for many different undergraduate diploma holders. Whether you need to obtain a masters in a hurry or update your licensing a graduate certificate could be right for you.