Graduate Certificates . . . suitable for a career change or are they worth it?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by NorCal, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    I've been reading about various graduate certificates and it seems like most individuals use them to launch themselves into a different career field then what they studied for their undergraduate. But the real question is if they are worth it or not?

    I known several individuals who have pursued graduate degrees, but I personally don't know many people who obtained graduate certificates and I wondering if they are worth it

    Any input?
  2. RobbCD

    RobbCD New Member

    In my experience, which may be limited, graduate certificates are most used by people who have graduate degrees and are changing or expanding their roles.

    I work with a woman who has an MS in some clinical field, and went to get a graduate certificate in healthcare administration to help her move "up the chain".

    That, to me, seems useful. Any masters degree will llkely "check the box" to qualify a candidate for a position, while the certificate adds the depth in adminstration that hiring managers will want to see.

    In my opinion, the graduate certificate would not have the same, or as much, utility when paired with a bachelor's degree.

    Good luck
  3. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I know a woman who earned a Masters in Counseling but the program was only 30 credits, not enough to qualify her for licensure. She then got a CAGS and became eligible for licensure, a huge advance over her previous circumstances. In her case she did not change fields but gained a significant enhancement to her credentials.
  4. bassethorn

    bassethorn New Member

    At one time after getting my MBA I was interested in York University's post-MBA certificates on various specialization, thinking that it would lend further credibility to the H-W degree. So that's for me another good use of graduate certificate.
  5. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    I would guess they would be helpful. Some certificates are as short as 9 credits and I have seen some as many as 20+ credits. I completed my grad certificiate from the University of Florida in Healthcare Risk Management but already worked in the field; it helped me do my existing job better.
  6. mbaonline

    mbaonline New Member

    I think it depends on the person's bachelor's degree, type of job/field and potential future positon.

    For example, if you have a communications BA and want to be an HR generalist and are working in an entry-level HR position, an HR Grad-level certificate might be just the thing to get you noticed without having to complete a full Master's degree. I can see the value in that type of certificate, be it for not-for-profit managment, finance, etc.
  7. distancedoc2007

    distancedoc2007 New Member

    Basically, to move up (or over) you are telling a story. If the certificate helps with the narrative, then it will be worth it.
  8. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    My undergraduate is in Emergency Management and I currently work in healthcare in Environmental Safety and I have been considering the University of Alabama's graduate certificate in Environmental Health & Safety. I'd like to pursue employment with OSHA and I'm trying to determine if this graduate certificate would be adventitious and assist me in my pursuit.
  9. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Honestly? You should find whoever hires those who work in the positions you want and ask them directly what would impress them. The worst that can happen is that they don't bother to answer you.
  10. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    Anyone have any experiences, good or bad, with graduate certificates?
  11. ooo

    ooo New Member

    I wonder if graduate certificates that are very expensive with many credits (say, NYU or 20+ credit programs) are "worth" it, or if someone should get an MA instead.

    Do most people who get graduate certificates already have a Master's? I could see a low credit (maybe 9-12 credit hours) certificate if you already have an MA be a fun way to "add on" to your studies.
  12. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I would think 18 semester-hour graduate certificates would be ideal for adjuncts who want to add a teaching discipline. I'm a little surprised that no school has thought to offer a series of them in various disciplines for that market.
  13. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    NCU has and they are the CAGS programs. Funny, I contacted them when I was a student and told them they should offer 18 credit certificates and now they do. I never even got a thank you or a "finders-fee"...
  14. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Yes and no. If you hold an general MBA and do a graduate certificate in accounting, this certificate would be useful to teach accounting. However, if you hold a MA in History and then a graduate certificate in Accounting, most schools wont pay much attention to your resume for an adjunct position in accounting unless you hold a CPA.

    A Masters is still more powerful than a certificate but it is not so practical to do a Masters in every area you want to teach. Technically, 18 credits in a specific area is all you need to teach a subject but this is the minimum requirement which it doesnt mean is all you need to catch the eye of an employer.

    I believe, they are useful if done in a related area as your Masters or PhD.
  15. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I dont know how York labels this certificate but McGill used to have one similar that was called Post Master of Business Administration certificate. It got removed from the calendar as few people objected to this title that was confusing as many would think it was a McGill MBA and not just a certificate as the label Masters was in the diploma.

    I think is not a bad idea to get one as you can put in your resume Post Master of Business Administration from York that is a top school in Canada. Nothing against HW but York has a much higher market penetration in Canada. I would get it before they follow McGill steps and remove it from its calendar. It appears that McGill might relaunch the certificate but labelled as a post graduate certificate and not a post MBA.
  16. lawrenceq

    lawrenceq Member

    I think grad certs are great and I'm looking at a few myself.
  17. GeeBee

    GeeBee Member

    Personal experience: my wife has a BS in microbiology and worked in a laboratory doing preclinical research for a pharmaceutical company. She was tired of the lab and interested in regulatory matters, so she got a certificate in Clinical Research and transitioned into a position monitoring clinical trials. It pays better, the working environment is better, and she gets to travel.

    Clinical Trials Research Associate at Durham Technical Community College
  18. RichC.

    RichC. Member

    Thought I would revive this thread instead of starting a new one.

    I have been looking at grad certs. through American Military U. instead of doing a full on MA in military studies. I'm not sure how these grad certs would go with my general MBA. I'm looking at the certs for Joint Warfare and Counter Intel.
  19. Hille

    Hille Active Member

    Good Morning, I am still looking for the cheapest short term grad cert for a family member in Homeland Security. I hope this thread stays alive. This student has already done all FEMA EMI credits, but is short on funds. Thanks. Hille
  20. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    In my previous job, our Director of HR proudly displayed his Graduate Certificate from University of Rochester in Human Resource Administration.

    He had Bachelors from Alabama State.

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