Carnegie Mellon University

Integrated Innovation Institute

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September 08, 2022

Can Online Certificates Accelerate your Career?

By Carly Ochs

With the rise of online education supplanting the traditional classroom environment, more and more adults are seeking ways to help them advance their careers.  

The benefits of completing an online certificate program can be very real; not only could it provide you with the knowledge to take on new challenges in your current position, but it could also open opportunities for promotion and help you build greater job security.

Online certifications are designed to provide targeted education on a specific topic and can help you demonstrate mastery in particular areas of interest. They are a great way to boost your skills and knowledge—all while working full-time.

Here's why:

Online certificates demonstrate initiative

The fact is, employers want people who are willing to learn new things and keep their skills up-to-date. Completing an online certification program can speak volumes about your drive to succeed and your commitment to excellence.  

For example, if you’ve completed a certificate program in product design, it shows not only do you have an interest and skills in product design but also that you have initiative and that you're committed to learning how to do something better. 
It proves that you are serious about making yourself better at what you do. Employers want employees like that—those who go above and beyond to show them they deserve a promotion or a raise.

Online certificates advance your skillset – without a full-time commitment  

Completing an online certification can accelerate your career trajectory, providing promotion, advancement, and upskilling opportunities.  

In professional settings, individuals are expected to keep up with changes in their fields and consistently develop new skills and knowledge, which can result in increased job security and higher salaries. An online certificate can help you do just that while maintaining a busy schedule.

The case for online certificate programs is particularly strong because they can be so accessible and convenient. With a few clicks, you can launch an online course from anywhere there's internet access, which means those with busy schedules can get started almost immediately.

Online certificates allow you to explore a new area of interest

There's no better way to decide if you want to enter a new field than to try it out first. If you are interested in changing careers but aren't sure what direction to go, online certificates can help you make those decisions.  

With certificates, you can try out different areas of interest while building your credentials and furthering your education at the same time.

Enrolling in an online certificate is ideal for exploring a new industry or profession before committing to it. You can learn the language of the industry, gain experience with hands-on projects and group work, and network with like-minded people to get their perspectives.  

If you decide the new area of interest isn't suitable for you, you'll know before investing too much time.

The bottom line

While getting this type of qualification won't automatically lead to a promotion or raise, it's an excellent place to start— many certificate graduates report a 13 to 25% increase in salary

Online certificates can improve your marketability so that you're better positioned to advance within your current organization or move into another with more growth opportunities. 

About the Integrated Innovation Institute's online programs:

Backed by the solid reputation of Carnegie Mellon University, our online, career-minded programs set you up for success — allowing you to build industry knowledge and connections. You’ll experience the same in-depth education as students who take the program on campus, but you’ll have the flexibility to take classes from anywhere.

"I chose the certificate option because of the flexibility it offers," said Chinmay, an accepted student at the Integrated Innovation Institute. "It's been a while since I graduated, and I wanted to ramp up slowly into a regular coursework routine. This online certificate option would also allow me to possibly earn a degree at my own pace while managing my professional commitments." 

The Integrated Innovation Institute offers stackable online certificates and an online master's degree, designed with the working professional in mind. It’s world-class education, wherever you are. 

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