Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Online certificate programs at colleges and universities gain popularity

As employers demand skills and more skills, many people are turning to online certificate programs to acquire a specific expertise that can lead them to a job or a promotion — or, sometimes, simply to ensure that they hang on to their current position.

Whether private or public, institutions offering online certificates typically require a student to take four to six online courses and pass a proctored exam. The course work can often be counted toward a master’s degree. Certificate programs do not usually have prerequisites for entry, but enrollees typically have a bachelor’s degree.

“The student adds a skill and gets a stamp of academic approval for the effort,” said Ray Schroeder, director of the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service at the University of Illinois Springfield. “It can be compared to course work for renewing a license to practice, but more often it is a bridge to an academic degree.”

Schroeder was featured in an March 19, 2013 article in The New York Times.

Read the article online