Today, the non-traditional route to career success is becoming more common. Yes, there are still students who graduate from high school and go directly into a four-year degree program, but we’re seeing an increased demand in the number of prospective students interested in alternative routes to furthering their education. Whether you’re changing careers because you want a fresh start or because the employment landscape has changed and you’ve been forced to look into other options, you could benefit from a short-term certificate program.
There has never been a “bad time” to pursue higher education, however, now it’s more about weighing your options and deciding what type of program is best for you. When building a pro-con list for certificates versus a four-year degree, the following four reasons may tip the scales:
It’s an easy investment
The largest investment anyone can make is their own time and money. Many lack the luxury of wasting either, so finding a short-term certificate degree program that prepares you for an in-demand career costs less than half of the price of a four-year degree, and can be completed in just months; well, that’s the dream. At Goodwin, we offer that dream with our certificate programs in business, healthcare, and manufacturing, all of which put students on the fast track to employment security. Our CNC Machining, Metrology, and Manufacturing Technology Certificate program can be completed in as few as 22 ½ weeks. This is the reason graduate Kelly Russell chose this program, saying, “Goodwin provided an unbelievable timeline. I could get into a great job in just months.”
A timely and thorough program can quickly turn students into professionals in a market that needs them now. Career-focused programs will allow you to spend less time in the classroom accumulating debt and more time in your industry accumulating wealth and fulfillment. Simply put, enrolling in a certificate program costs far less than an associate or bachelor’s degree.
You can earn the certificate and leave the debt
Grants and scholarships can be amazing options when they’re awarded to pay for your education, but for some, loans are the way to go. Goodwin is always there to assist you when exploring the best method of financing your education. You may have reservations about taking on loans, and with good reason, as the national student debt currently sits at $1.57 trillion. Thankfully, the price tag for a short-term certificate vs. a two- or four-year degree price tag can keep you from adding to that growing number. In addition, if you’re in the camp of those who already hold a degree that’s still being paid off, you may not want to take on another large loan for another costly degree.
You’re able to level-up without starting over
Instead, a certification program can be a boost to the degree you already hold, giving you a level up from where you currently are. Programs that spotlight the area of your career you want to improve can be considered more beneficial than an additional degree. Goodwin’s Business Administration certificate program can utilize the experience you’ve already gained and apply specific principles to sharpen your approach to the next level. Whether it’s taking the next step of your career or stepping out onto a new path, a certificate program can replace your apprehension with the confidence you earned from educational preparation.
4. Learning Ceiling
There’s potential to go straight to the top
Then you should consider this: will you earn more if you have a higher degree, or is the pay the same for someone with a less educationally driven resume? Unlike the glass ceiling that allows you to see others living it up on top, the learning ceiling is a proper ceiling, meaning there’s nothing left for you to gain from achieving higher education (unless your ultimate end goal is to teach on the subject). You’ll stop going up and start going lateral. This only pertains to certain fields like Medical Coding and some areas of Engineering Manufacturing and IT Technology, which have a higher value for experience in the field than degrees on the wall. With that, a Goodwin certificate degree may be the best way to go in the short-term. All of our certificates lead to career satisfaction, job stability, and personal fulfillment within your chosen field. What’s great about Goodwin is that we offer milestone options for students who want to come back after achieving their certificate and go into their associate or bachelor’s degrees.
Overall, a goal worth pursuing is likely to have more than one path to the finish line and at Goodwin, we’re proud to offer a variety of degree completion options for you to choose from. We take the time to get you on a path that’s right for you! Whether that’s enrolling in one of our short-term certificate programs, or one of our associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degrees, we are here for you.
Interested in learning more about Goodwin’s short-term collegiate certificate degree programs? Contact us today!
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.