Sponsor Content

For Adults Looking to Advance Their Careers, There’s an Alternative to a Second Degree

Photo credit: iStock/Poike

Photo credit: iStock/Poike

For those angling toward a career or professional change, obtaining a second degree may seem like a necessary step to bolster one’s credentials. But while a graduate education is certainly valuable, it can be cost or time prohibitive for working professionals. In fact, what many are searching for when they pursue a degree program is the education and experience that comes with it—both things that can be earned through a certificate program. 

To serve the needs of adult learners, Villanova University created its College of Professional Studies. There, adults considering a career change or advancement can pursue industry-focused, applied, flexible and cost-efficient programs in the form of credit and non-credit certificates, furthering their job prospects.

Villanova University isn’t the only institution championing the benefits of these programs; the data supports it, too. The Washington Post reported that in 2010, there was a 46% increase in certificate program enrollment from 2005. The influx is credited to the rising cost of graduate school that may be beyond the candidate’s means, coupled with a desire by many to advance or change careers. Certificate programs are enticing, then, because they act as an alternative to strict, on-campus graduate degree programs. And while graduate degrees certainly are beneficial, certificate programs offer an efficient method for people to reconsider their career and perhaps launch into a new field. All the while, they can do so flexibly—on campus or online depending on the program.

For example, Villanova University’s College of Professional Studies offers for-credit certificates in the following disciplines: information systems, leadership, accounting and pre-health professions. These for-credit certificates are ideal for adults who have already earned an undergraduate degree, and want to increase their knowledge in a specific area. Meanwhile, professional non-credit certificates are a smart way to market one’s existing career or gain additional experience. Villanova University offers over a dozen non-credit certificates in a range of fields—from human resources to paralegal certification.

As the educational and professional landscapes shift, it’s more important than ever to remain a competitive job candidate. By pursuing a certificate — no matter what the field — those looking to advance their careers can do so in a way that meets their educational needs.

Villanova University’s College of Professional Studies programs are impressively wide-ranging. To learn about the type of certificate program that would be best for you, click here.