8 Things to Know about Graduate Certificates

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Eight Things You Need to Know about Graduate Certificates

In today’s competitive job market, specialized knowledge and skills are at a premium—the more you know and the more you can do, the more attractive you are to an employer.

But what if you don’t have the time or money for a master’s degree? Or you don’t know which advanced degree is right for you? In these cases, a graduate certificate might be the perfect option.

Here are eight questions to help you consider whether it's right for you. 

1. What is a graduate certificate and why is it valuable?

Graduate certificates  are short courses of study designed to meet the supplemental education needs of professionals. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education , certificates are the fastest-growing form of post-secondary credentials in the United States. The Washington Post reports that a graduate certificate can boost your earnings by up to 25 percent.

2. What kinds of graduate certificates does Northeastern University College of Professional Studies offer?

We offer more than two dozen graduate certificates in fast-growing industries like digital video, global studies, health management, distance learning, and many others to keep you current and competitive.  

3.  Who is a good fit for a Northeastern graduate certificate?  

  • People with undergraduate degrees who want to gain specialized knowledge in an area of professional importance or personal interest
  • Those who need to quickly gain a specific professional credential in order to advance in their careers
  • Professionals who are considering a master’s degree but don’t want to commit until they know which area of study is right for them
  • People who want to gain new skill sets to change careers
4. How long will it take me to finish a graduate certificate?

Each of our certificates requires 16-18 credits and about one year to complete.

For International Students studying with Northeastern on a  student visa, it would take two quarters to complete or about six months in order to remain in visa compliance.

You can also use your certificate credits as a stepping stone: Should you wish to continue your studies in a Northeastern master’s program, you can easily apply your certificate coursework toward the graduate degree.

5. Will I be able to quickly apply what I learn to the workplace?

Absolutely. Because these programs are designed for working professionals and are taught by faculty with deep real-world experience, you’ll boost your career from the day you enroll.

6.  How might I benefit from a graduate certificate?

Each of Northeastern's certificate programs is made up of four to six graduate-level courses focused on a specific concentration within a field of study. Depending on your needs and career goals, these specialized programs can:

  • Enhance your skills and professional expertise
  • Boost your career advancement potential
  • Facilitate the development of new skills
  • Serve as a gateway to a master's degree program
  • Extend your pursuit of life-long learning

Our classes are available online or in a mix of online and on-campus learning. Both formats give you the flexibility and convenience to pursue your professional goals—without sacrificing personal responsibilities.

 7. When can I enroll?

You can apply to and enroll in our programs year-round—essentially, as soon as you’re ready or your career requires it. Most programs offer entry for the fall, winter, spring, or summer terms. 

8. Will a graduate certificate help me grow my professional network?

When you enroll in one of our graduate certificate programs, you become part of the worldwide Northeastern University community. That means you join a vibrant network of business leaders, alumni, and students who can help open the right doors during every phase of your career.  

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Northeastern University is a top-tier research university that offers high-demand graduate programs aligned with the needs of industries around the globe. With a combination of online, hybrid, and on-campus degree programs in Boston, Seattle, Silicon Valley, Charlotte, and Toronto, Northeastern gives you the best of classroom and online experience while providing you the freedom and flexibility to learn on your schedule.  

Contact one of our Enrollment Coaches toll free at 877-668-7727 for more information more about our graduate certificates or to get help registering.

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