It's no secret that today's job market is more competitive than ever, which means you're going to have to go the extra mile to stand apart from the crowd. One of the ways to do this is by pursuing a graduate certificate.
If you're unfamiliar, a graduate certificate is a form of study you can choose to pursue after acquiring your bachelor's degree. Unlike a master's program or other advanced degrees, a graduate certificate is a short course of study in a specific professional field.
Wondering if a graduate certificate might be the best choice for you? We'll explore the pros and cons below.
Graduate Certificate Cons:
Before we look at the many ways a graduate certificate can potentially benefit you, it's only fair to look at the downsides. There aren't many, but they're nonetheless worth exploring.
For one thing, they're not as involved as a full-on postgrad program. While this can be a benefit depending on your lifestyle and preferences, it also means that the breadth of your studies is going to be significantly smaller.
This also means that they're not treated with the same sense of prestige that often accompanies a master's degree. Again, this might not be something that's important to you, but it does mean that the potential impact on employment is more specific and less broad.
Apart from that, it's not a great choice for someone who is interested in education. While it does further your education, its primary purpose is to make you more employable in a specific field. If you're looking to further your higher education journey, this isn't the ideal path.
Graduate Certificate Pros:
Even though there are a few cons, the pros are numerous and seriously worth looking into.
As stated above, a graduate certificate isn' as involved as other postgrad programs, but if your main goal is to further your career in the shortest amount of time possible, that's great news.
The shorter nature of the program also means you have far less anxiety to contend with. Instead of digging in for the long haul, you're pursuing a course of study that will get you in and out in so that you can put your new skills to use in the job market ASAP.
Its utility in the market is its biggest advantage by far. If you're looking for a pay bump in your field, a graduate certificate is a great way to get one. Companies will pay for the added expertise and credentials.
There are also a huge number of study options available to you. There are programs like the GW POL class for those interested in political management, or you can study accounting, actuarial sciences, or any number of other subjects.
You also get to dodge the massive costs of pursuing a master's degree. Saving money is a huge advantage of getting a graduate certificate.
Which Route to Pursue?
Ultimately, the decision falls on you, but you should definitely consider a graduate certificate if you're looking to advance your professional career and avoid some of the pitfalls of more traditional postgrad programs.
If you're interested in other awesome career tips, don't stop with this article. Keep reading for some invaluable tips and advice to help you along in your professional life.