Benefits of a Certificate Program

What Is a Certificate Program?

Associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs are the most commonly earned marks of completion in higher education. Another common, but lesser known, mark of completion are certificates earned from certificate programs.

Certificate programs are like associate programs because they both take a short amount of time to complete, although associate degrees are generally better-rounded in terms of topics and courses. Certificate programs are generally completed during your education before earning your actual degree and are generally suited to the field of study you’ve chosen, whether it’s business, technology, science or anything else. Some certificates must be completed before a student can earn a degree in their area of study, however, this requirement may change depending on the university’s curriculum.

Certificates can also be optional depending on what you choose to study at university. Some students choose certificate programs outside their field of study to round out their education or simply for their own personal fulfillment and interest. Whether it’s for professional advancement or personal interest, certificate programs provide several benefits.

Benefits of Certificate Programs

  • It stands out on a resume – When employers read through dozens of resumes they’re looking for things that immediately stand out about a candidate. For example, if you’re applying for a general counseling position with a counseling degree and a certificate in something specialized like advocacy or civil rights (knowledge of use to your degree), your well-rounded education may make you stand out more from the competition and make you more appealing to employers.
    Employers love continuous learners because it shows that you’re always looking to improve and learn new things, making you a valuable asset to any business or company. Certificates can also fast track you to employment in a specialized niche of counseling that not many people apply for, improving your chances of finding employment.
  • Provides a well-rounded education – Learning new things just for the sake of it bears intrinsic value, as it can inspire people to try new things, communicate better and opens their minds to new ideas and ways of thinking. Certificates also offer a pool of knowledge to pull from, whether you’re engaged in everyday conversation or suddenly find a bit of knowledge from your certificate program can be put to use in a completely separate career field.
  • Can facilitate a last-minute career change – A sudden change in your career goals is natural, but the time spent going to school for a particular degree that no longer has much value to you can, in essence, put you back at square one when switching to a career in a completely separate field. Certificates can help you enter that new field without needing to go back to school for four years. It can be a valuable safety net that’ll help open doors in your new career and get you closer to the career you want much faster.
  • Earn more money – A study conducted by the Center of Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University found students who earned a post-secondary certificate added almost $117,000 in lifetime earnings over a high school diploma or those without degrees. Depending on the field of study, tuition for certificate programs is generally cheaper than full-fledged degree programs. With ever-rising costs of degree programs, certificates are a great alternative for those looking to further their education without needing to pay off student loans for decades afterward.
  • Helps people with busy lives gain an edge – Certificates are not equivalent to a degree, but they still make great options for people busy with families and full-time jobs to further their skills in a short amount of time and take potential steps toward a degree program in the future.

Start Your Career on the Right Foot with a Certificate from Upper Iowa University

>Whether you’ve just started your academic career or are looking for an opportunity to enroll in an affordable certificate program to gain an edge in your field, Upper Iowa University has the certificate program to help you excel.

Since 1857, UIU has provided students with the knowledge and tools they need to succeed in the classroom and the world. UIU has become a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and self-paced study.

UIU’s graduate and undergraduate certificate programs include diverse areas of study in which you can specialize, including:

Undergraduate Certificates:

  • Communication Studies
  • Emergency and Disaster Management
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Human Resources
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Organizational Communication
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Psychology
  • Arts Administration
  • Sustainability


  • Accounting
  • Corporate Financial Management
  • Human Resources Management
  • Organizational Development


  • MEd: Literacy Coach
  • MEd: Teacher Leadership
  • MPA: Emergency Management and Homeland Security
  • MPA: Healthcare Management
  • MPA: Public Management
  • MPA: Nonprofit Organizational Management
  • MPA: Government Administration

Contact UIU today to schedule a counseling appointment with our attentive, knowledgeable counselors who will help you pick a certificate program that meets your career goals and educational endeavors.