Certificate programs are offered at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels to demonstrate skill competencies for the workplace. At the undergraduate level certificates are considered to be valued between a high school diploma and associates degree. Skill and career-focused certificate programs have gained acceptance by employers as benchmarks in the student's knowledge of job skills, techniques, software, and procedures, etc.
Certificate programs offer training in a variety of professional specialties, including information technology, health care technology, business, and law enforcement. At the graduate level, certificate programs can range from 18 hours to a full semester in length. Courses can specialize in beginning, intermediate, and advanced training in a particular technology, software, business practice, lawn enforcement, and healthcare.
Graduate programs lead to certificates in fields including accounting, advertising, business administration, travel and hospitality, education, engineering, finance, fine arts, chemistry, communications, counseling, database administration, human resources, economics, mathematics, music, nursing, physical therapy, psychology, real estate, religious studies, veterinary science, and more.
Colleges, universities, technical schools, and trade schools offer certificate programs in a wide range of professional fields. In the high tech sector, many hardware and software development companies offer certification courses in their proprietary technology. Many professionals return to school every year to update their certifications in business, healthcare practices, real estate, or technology.
Often, certifications lead the way to increased wages and advancement in job roles. Many companies require step-ladder certifications as a means for measuring on-the-job competence. Completion of post-graduate professional certification programs can make the difference for a candidate between one hiring bracket and the next on the scale.