Why it’s Good to Get a Certificate Even if You Already Have a College Degree

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Do you already have a college degree? Are you looking to enhance your career skills? Today, the answer to build-out your resume and increase your knowledge is to get a certificate. You don’t need to enroll in a lengthy or costly master’s degree program, or even get another bachelor’s degree, to get noticed. A university-level certificate program can meet the needs of what you’re looking for at a pace and cost that is closer to your goals. 

According to the American Institutes for Research®, certificate programs are on the rise in U.S. colleges. The higher costs of a four-year degree and current job market make getting a certificate program a better alternative, because “they are much more focused on the skills and they can be much cheaper than even associates degrees from community colleges."

Why Should You Enroll in a Certificate Program?

There are many reasons to enroll in a certificate program, even if you already have a college degree, from getting a specific skill set to showing potential employers that you stay current with your knowledge. Do any of the following apply to you?

“I have an existing college degree, but… “

·         “I want to enhance my existing skills”

·         “I want to learn entirely new job skills”

·         “I want to build out my resume”

·         “I want to demonstrate to potential employers my ability to stay up-to-date and current with my skills”

 

If you identify with one or more of the aforementioned statements, you may benefit from a short-term, affordable certificate program.

 

How Will You Benefit from a Certificate Program?

 

Now that you’ve determined that a certificate program may be for you, let’s look at the advantages of certificates versus degrees. As a working professional, you‘ll likely identify with these reasons, which range from the completion time to acquisition of specialized knowledge. Here’s how a certificate program can meet your education needs, in a manner that fits with your goals, and outweigh the benefits of graduate degrees:

 

1)      Finish much faster – A certificate program can be a quicker way to learn new skills and takes a fraction of the time needed to obtain a bachelor’s or graduate degree. With anywhere from five to seven courses, a certificate can be completed in as little as six months. Plus, you can often transfer in credits and/or test out of something that you already know making it even quicker!

 

2)      Pay significantly less – With a certificate program costing much less than a degree, you don’t have to spend as much of your hard-earned money on advancing your education. In fact, certificates are a fraction of the cost of degrees programs. It’s a cost-effective way to get more education, while being mindful of your bottom line and without accruing unnecessary debt.

3)      Advance your career – If you’re looking to advance in your current position, you will benefit from a fresh set of skills, which can take your knowledge to the next level. Prove your value to your employer by rounding out your abilities. This can open the door to an opportunity within your existing organization, lead to a promotion, or forge the path to a whole new career. It’s the ideal way to complement what you already know with new, in-demand skills!

 

4)      Build your resume – Is your last academic achievement years ago? Enrolling in a certificate program can provide you with updated skills and credentials. Imagine adding fresh, up-to-date skills to your resume, allowing you to put your best foot forward. This can give you an edge when a potential employer has to decide between you and another candidate for a job.

 

5)      Increase your income potential – When you gain new career skills, you increase your value as an employee. Whether this leads to a new position or added duties within your existing position, you will have the opportunity to explore new opportunities, which may lead to more money.  When you combine the cost of getting a certificate program with the potential payoff, it makes perfect sense to choose this education option!

 

6)      Get specialized education – While a degree covers more general areas of study, a certificate program hones in on specific areas and skills. This means you can pinpoint exactly what you want to learn and gain a specialized skill-set. The education from a certificate program translates directly to on-the-job knowledge, meaning you can directly apply what you learn.

 

As you can see, a certificate program can be an ideal complement to your existing degree when you are looking for career-specific education. When you factor in the money and time spent on a certificate program and the potential result on your career, it makes sense to dedicate your time and money to a solution that will pay off for you. In fact, with the American Institutes for Research® citing that “some short-term, higher education credentials are worth as much as long-term ones,” you should consider this education option if you’re looking for professional advancement.

 

If you already have a degree and want to further pursue your educational endeavors, you should consider a specialized certificate program. Not only will you gain career-specific skills, you will gain a distinct career advantage – a win-win for your future! Call (888) 384-0849 today to learn what certificate programs are available and how they can add in-demand skills to your career.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Degrees vs. Certificates: Choosing the Right Program for You

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A common misconception is that a degree is the way to go if you want to experience any sort of long term career success. While earning a degree may initially help get your foot in the door, it isn’t necessarily required to achieve your career goals. Enter the importance of certificate programs.

What is the difference between a degree and a certificate? We’ll explore the differences and benefits of both below.

CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS
Generally, a certificate program can help you learn or enhance a skill specific to a particular career. Certificate programs can be beneficial for professionals looking to enter a career field, make a career switch, or advance in their current field. Certificate programs are plentiful in fields such as business, marketing, finance, computer programming, web design, and more. Certificate programs can usually be completed in up to 1 year, which makes them cost less. The education you receive in a certificate program can prepare you to start a new career or can help give you a competitive advantage if you are currently in the workforce. Certificate programs are also sometimes used by professionals to keep their licenses or certifications up to date.

DEGREE PROGRAMS
Undergraduate degrees require a student to complete a set of courses usually in a 2-year format (Associate) or a 4-year format (Bachelor’s). The makeup of these programs typically requires students to complete coursework specific to their area of study along with “general” course requirements. Due to the length of time it takes to complete the programs, obtaining a degree from a university or college will generally cost more than obtaining a certificate. Degree programs also allow you to add to your current skill set, but because of the broader education you receive, you may be prepared for numerous careers instead of being limited to one specific position.

HOW TO DETERMINE THE RIGHT PROGRAM FOR YOU
Before deciding which route to take, you’ll want to take into consideration the following:

1)      Time:  How much time do you have to dedicate to your studies?
As previously mentioned, a certificate can typically be earned in a year or less, while earning a degree will take you at least two to four times longer.

2)      Money: How much money do you have to invest toward your education?
Financial aid assistance can usually be obtained for both certificate and degree programs, however the cost of earning a degree is significantly higher due to the type of education received and length of time it takes to complete. Working professionals may also want to consult with their employers as many companies provide financial assistance toward higher education if it contributes to job growth.

3)     Competition: How can you get ahead of the competition and prepare yourself for a better future? If you are just starting out or looking to switch career paths, you might want to do some research on education requirements for the job you are looking to land or the industry you are hoping to get into. Individuals who have years of work experience may find that a certificate program may best fit their needs and help give them a boost to get a promotion or specific job position they have been eying. Someone who is just starting out or is uncertain of the career path they want to take may find that earning a degree will give them more options when deciding to pursue a career path.

 As demonstrated above, there are benefits to both certificate and degree programs.  Everyone has different needs and life circumstances, so ultimately you should determine the route that will be best for you to achieve your long term career goals. Allied American University offers numerous affordable, online degree and certificate programs designed to cater to your busy life. Explore our offerings and enjoy all the benefits of a high quality education from the convenience of your own home. More information can be found at www.allied.edu or give us a call at 888-384-0849.

Independence Day Fun Facts: Happy 4th of July!

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Fourth of July is a day that Americans typically spend with family and friends and is traditionally celebrated with barbeques, baseball games, and firework displays. Most of us recognize the historical significance behind Independence Day, which commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence signifying our independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1776. However, there are quite a few more discussion-worthy fun facts about the holiday that are lesser known.

Independence Day Fun Facts

The legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776 but revisions to the declaration statement (Declaration of Independence) weren’t finalized until July 4th, two days later.

The Declaration of Independence was drafted by Thomas Jefferson and was signed by 56 men representing 13 colonies.

John Hancock was the only person to actually sign the Declaration on July 4, 1776. Everyone else signed later (some as late as 1786).

Three US Presidents have died on Independence Day; John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe. Adams and Jefferson (who both signed the Declaration of Independence), died within hours of each other on July 4, 1826.

Benjamin Franklin originally wanted the turkey as the national bird but was overruled by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who both wanted the bald eagle.

In 1777, fireworks were officially approved by Congress to celebrate Independence Day.

Americans began observing the Fourth of July as early as 1777, but it wasn’t until 1870 (almost 100 years later), that the 4th of July was considered a national holiday.

In 1938, 4th of July was officially declared a paid holiday (Hooray!).

The Liberty Bell has not been rung since 1846. Instead, every year on the 4th of July at 2 pm Eastern, the bell is tapped 13 times in honor of the patriots from the original 13 states.

Approximately 150 million hot dogs and 700 million pounds of chicken are consumed on July 4th.

On July 4, 1776 there were approximately 2.5 million people living in the newly independent nation. On July 4, 2014, the population of the US will be at approximately 318.5 million.

July 4, 2014 will be America’s 238th Independence Day.

On July 4, 1996 this epic speech was given by President Thomas J. Whitmore at Area 51 in Nevada

(Ok, so maybe this didn’t really happen, but we like to pretend that it did! Smile)

 

Famous 4th of July Birthdays!

Famous people who share their birthday with the Unites States of America include:

Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the US; Rube Goldberg, Pulitzer Prize Winning Cartoonist; Gloria Stuart, Actress; Eva Marie Saint, Actress ; Al Davis, Oakland Raiders owner; George Steinbrenner, NY Yankees owner ; Neil Simon, Playwright; Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby), Advice columnists; Bill Withers, Singer; Geraldo Rivera, TV personality; and Malia Obama, current first daughter of the United States.

Sources: Huffington Post, Wikipedia, CNN, US Census, HistoryOrb

Happy Birthday, America - from Allied American University!

Before our staff here at AAU enjoys the day off along with the rest of the country, we’d like to share some of our thoughts on Independence Day and what the holiday means to us.

“My parents came to the United States from Honduras, so as a first-generation American, I have a special appreciation for Independence Day. It makes me grateful to think about the sacrifices made by generations of men and women that have allowed us to be free!” –Galel Fajardo, Director of Marketing

“The 4th of July makes me think of family, food and overall fun. It’s about slowing down for a day and just focusing on the here and now – laughing with family, eating good food and being grateful that we have the freedom to just be”.
Heather Brunson, Marketing Manager

Independence Day means…

Family, Watermelon and Fireworks

Cattle and Farmers in pickup trucks

Parades filled with princesses, scouts and batons

Plastic chairs filling up neighborhood lawns

Waving our flag… red, white and blue

Seeing our heroes march by and salute

Teaching our children to have pride in our land

It can’t be denied, the United States is grand
Darleen Gold, Military Outreach Administrative Assistant/Travel Coordinator


                “Our independence day means so much more to me than barbeque and fireworks—not that those are not good 4th of July activities.  Let me explain…I come from a country where you have no freedom of speech; where human rights are trampled on; and where the wonderful booming sounds of fireworks is replaced with the shocking sounds of grenades and shell fire.  I have experienced this first hand as a child of a war torn country. My very own cousin was abducted from high school because he expressed his opinion of the government.  We never saw him come home.  And as a woman from Afghanistan, I am especially grateful to this country and the freedoms I am afforded.  I feel safe, secure, and blessed with opportunity to have a happy and successful life. “–Raz Ghafoori, Admissions Rep

 

“Independence Day means celebrating freedom, unity, and AMERICA!!!” Krista Karpan, Registration Representative

 

            “Fourth of July is by far my all-time favorite holiday.  I love hanging out with my family and friends outside in the sun at either a pool party or at the beach, eating bar-b-q and watching a fantastic fireworks show at the end of the day.  I feel very fortunate to call myself an American and the 4th of July is the day I get to sit back and appreciate all the opportunity and freedoms we have in this country.”
–Lindsay Oglesby, Chief Enrollment Management Officer

 

“Independence Day means spending time with friends and family members and ending the day with fireworks!” –Cynthia Cervantes, Registration Representative

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