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Top 5 Benefits of a Graduate Certificate

  • COB
  • Graduate Studies
  • Alumni
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Stand out from the competition when applying for a job or demonstrate that you are the top pick for a promotion with a graduate certificate. Oklahoma Christian University's Graduate School of Business has launched six new post-degree certificates! The highly focused program options provide extensive training and deep knowledge. Professionals at all stages of their careers benefit from adding a graduate certificate to their credentials. Each of the certificates is completed after taking three classes.

Graduate certificates offer a smaller commitment with a faster payback.

So, let's say an accountant or an engineer take on new responsibilities within their firm in digital marketing or human resources. They can become knowledgeable and credentialed in these areas without a career change. Or, maybe an undergraduate student just completed a degree in criminal justice or public relations and they want to help float their resume to the top of the candidate list. A graduate certificate in leadership or project management can help a new graduate stand out among other applicants.

"For those who have advanced degrees, graduate certificates are a great way for people to shore up their resumes or to add more value to their organizations," said OC College of Business Dean Jeff Simmons, Ph.D. "For those who have a bachelor's degree, this is a good way to 'test the water' for a master's degree. The courses in our certificate programs are part of the MBA curriculum. Credits can be applied towards the degree, should one choose to continue their education."

Certificate pro­grams are designed to provide students with advanced training in interdisciplinary or emerging fields. They are for people with any level of degree, in any field, to gain specialized knowledge without the prerequisite classes of a master's program. Students take the same graduate courses without the time and cost associated with a degree.

OC's 6 New Graduate Certificates

What are the top 5 benefits of a graduate certificate?

Certificates are the fastest growing form of postsecondary credentials according to the Chronicle of Higher Education and continuing to grow according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of graduate certificate recipients in the US has more than doubled between the years 2010 and 2014 according to Statista.

Why are graduate certificates so popular?

1. A Fast Way to Stay Current

Earning a master's degree, or other advanced degree, can take two or more years to complete. A master's degree comes with a different set of benefits, but sometimes you need a more immediate return on investment. Each of OC's six new certificates are completed with three classes. The classes start and finish within seven weeks.

2. An Increase In Pay

According to a report from Forbes, individuals can expect to receive an estimated 13 to 25 percent increase in salary after having earned a graduate certificate. That’s a high return on investment, especially considering the relatively short time in which you’ll complete the program. The cost for a graduate certificate from OC is $3,000; each class is $1,000 and the certificates are completed after three classes.

3. A Gateway to a Graduate Degree

Many individuals start with a graduate certificate to 'test' the idea of getting a graduate degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics an impressive 52% of employees with an advanced degree hold a graduate certificate.

OC's Graduate School of Business is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Credits earned for a graduate certificate are added to a student's permanent transcript and apply toward pursuing an MBA, or the credits can transfer to another institution.

4. Increased Job Security

Earning a graduate certificate keeps you competitive in your current role by allowing you to build upon your skills, but it can also help you transition into a position with more responsibility or even into a completely different profession by teaching you new, valuable skills that today's employers want and need.

More and more often, employers are seeking to hire employees with some level of advanced education. A graduate certificate can help you meet those expectations by expanding your industry knowledge and allowing you to keep your skills relevant and updated.

5. A Dynamic Professional Network

A professional society for engagement and elevation

Our graduates tell us that this is one of the top benefits of pursuing graduate studies at OC. You can connect with like-minded people that you may not have met otherwise both in class and through the Benchmark Society. This network of professors, professionals and fellow students creates a resource pool for job references, B-to-B vendors, mentorship or career changes. Today's business operates on a foundation of relationships, and building your professional network at graduate school can produce wonderful results.

Is a Graduate Certificate Right for You?

If you want to continue your education after completing a bachelor's degree, but you hesitate to commit to the time and expense of a full master's degree, a graduate certificate can be a great bridge. A graduate certificate may be just what you need to accomplish your personal and career goals.

OC's admission requirements are simple! Graduate certificate candidates need an undergraduate degree in any subject study area. The application includes a transcript and we will be looking for a 2.5 gpa or higher.

Graduate certificates are great tools to meet the needs and demands of employers. Professionals can stack new skills on top of experiences earned on the job. The gateway offers immediate payoff and growth to your professional network. Certificates can open doors to a new career, a job promotion, higher pay and increased job security.

If you are looking to get ahead in today's business climate, consider a graduate certificate. Apply to OC's graduate program to get started.