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Top 3 Accredited Online Schools for Graduate Certificates

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Want to learn advanced skills and knowledge in a particular area but would not like to take time for a master’s degree?

Well, you are not alone on this count. Now, a graduate certificate program seems to be your sure bet!

Today, many people turn to graduate certificate programs for specialized knowledge and skills at the postgraduate level instead of a full-time master’s degree. Graduate certificate programs, as they have shorter terms than traditional graduate education, have become increasingly popular among working adults who want to improve skills and enhance career opportunities, as well as those who have had more than one advanced degree and want to increase the credentials in their field.

The short duration is the major draw of graduate certificate programs. A graduate certificate typically consists of 3 to 12 courses, with the requirement of 9 to 21 credit hours, which you can complete within one year to one and a half year. In the US, graduate certificates are available in a variety of fields, such as accounting, marketing, business, education, technology, psychology, information security, health services management, etc.

In the same way like online master’s degrees, graduate certificates can also be earned online. Most graduate certificates that are available on campus are also taught online. Compared with campus-based programs, online graduate certificates are much more cost-effective, as you do not have to commute between campus and home. You are allowed to attend classes at any time, at any place – just with a computer and internet access.

From my point of view, if you wanna earn a diploma at graduate level without sacrificing your working hours, online graduate certificate is an ideal choice. However, to make sure your graduate certificate worth your time and money, earning it from an accredited university or college is necessary.

Take a look at the following three online schools for graduate certificates, all of which are accredited and provide high-quality graduate certificate programs in a variety of subjects, getting you well prepared for a much rewarding career future.

Strayer University

Strayer University, accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, is an affordable online school with a broad array of accredited degree and certificate programs. The majority of students at Strayer are full-time employees who would like to obtain advanced education online for a prosperous career.

Currently, Strayer University provides the Executive Graduate Certificate in Business Administration program, which is well designed for mid- and senior-level business managers, professional and technical specialists, as well as individuals longing for a career change or a higher salary. This program equips you with essential knowledge and skills needed in business and management.

Within this program, you can choose a specialization to make your study focus on a specific area. Your options include Acquisition, Human Resource Management, Management, and Marketing. This program will prepare you for a diversity of positions like chief executives, general and operations managers, sales managers, quality control systems managers and cost estimators.

Strayer University online Executive Graduate Certificate program allows you to earn a graduate certificate in business administration at your own pace and schedule. The general time to complete this program is 4.5 years, and the tuition and typical fees for the entire program are $13,845.

Columbia Southern University

Columbia Southern University is a private online school for higher education. It is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council, a national accrediting agency specialized in the accreditation of distance education institutions.

At Columbia Southern University, you can find a wide range of online graduate certificate programs, ranging from Marketing to Public Administration, while each program consists of four courses (12 semester hours) and is tailored to your personalized needs and schedules.

Listed below are the detailed graduate certificate programs available at CSU. However, you should take particular note that certificate programs at CSU are not eligible for financial aid.

• Graduate Certificate in Marketing

• Graduate Certificate in Environment Management

• Graduate Certificate in Project Management

• Graduate Certificate in Occupational Safety & Health

• Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management

• Graduate Certificate in Health Care Management

• Graduate Certificate in Finance

• Graduate Certificate in Public Administration

You can get enrolled into any program above at any time during the year. Upon the enrollment, you have to submit the Application for Degree Level Certificate Programs and a Per-Course Enrollment Agreement, which can be downloaded on CSU’s website. No transfer credits are accepted for graduate certificate programs, so you have to complete all required hours in order to get the certificate.

Walden University

Walden University is a leader in online education. It has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1990. And meanwhile, it is also a member of the North Central Association.

With the great emphasis on relevant skills which would be put to work immediately, Walden University provides graduate certificate programs that could be completed within as little as 6 to 8 months. Currently, online graduate certification programs include:

• Graduate Certificate in Education

• Graduate Certificate in Health

• Graduate Certificate in Public Policy and Administration

• Graduate Certificate in Project Management

It is notable that under some programs above, there are more specific learning areas. For instance, Graduate Certificate in Project Management includes Advanced Project Management and Applied Project Management, while Public Policy and Administration program is divided into Criminal Justice, Homeland Security, Public Policy, Public Management and Leadership, and so on.

As for the faculty members of online graduate certificate programs, they are well selected based on their academic and industry credentials, as well as teaching abilities. They will help you learn the crucial knowledge and skills in a program, expand your professional network, and lead you to the new fields and careers.

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