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How do I Choose the Best Business Certificate Program?

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  • Written By: G. Melanson
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2016
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If you’ve decided to expand your career options by pursuing post-secondary education, you may be wondering what a business certificate program has to offer. Compared to a degree program, a business certificate program typically costs less and can be more tailored to helping you advance in a specific career path. In order to choose the best business certificate program, you’ll first need to determine your own professional experience, schedule availability, and budget. Once you’ve narrowed down different certificate programs that match your requirements, you can compare them according to their reputations and the content of their course material.

If you have little to no working experience in a business environment, a certificate program that offers a very broad overview of different business concepts would provide a solid platform on which to build a career in business. The skills acquired through a certificate program focused on general business practices could be carried over into future specific areas of business that you might decide to pursue later on, such as marketing, finance, human resources, or administration. If you’ve already worked in a business environment and know which area of business you’d like to pursue professionally, then you’d most likely benefit from a specialized business certificate program.

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As certificate programs can vary according to the flexibility they offer students, you’ll also need to figure out which ones can accommodate your schedule. For example, if you already work full-time during the day, you’ll need to find a business certificate program that offers evening or weekend classes. Alternatively, if you’re a parent and your availability to study and attend classes is sporadic, you might consider a certificate online program that allows you to attend classes virtually. Of course, one of the most crucial factors in choosing a business certificate program is to find one that falls within your budget range. While certificate programs offered at accredited universities and colleges typically carry the most prestige and the highest price, certificate programs that are offered online or with local community colleges tend to be cheaper.

Once you have a list of prospective certificate programs that suit your needs, you can weigh the programs according to their reputation and success rate amongst professionals in the field you wish to pursue. A business certificate program that has a high rate of employed graduates is better than one which seems to offer little competitive advantage to graduates once they enter the workforce. Additionally, a program which offers a co-op or job placement component as part of its curriculum can provide invaluable experience and business contacts.

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