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How to Further Your Career with a Post-Graduate Certificate

by Louise W. Rice
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The knowledge acquired from some degrees lasts a lifetime, while others have an expiry date. This doesn’t mean that they are not worthwhile, however. A degree builds up an essential foundation that is critical for your future and your career – especially if it is in hard science. What it is not, however, is immortal.

Take a nursing degree, for example. With the medical world evolving, learning, relearning, and discovering every day, it’s only a matter of time before your knowledge becomes obsolete. There is a reason why most states require nurses to continue learning in some capacity in order to renew their licenses.

Those who work in the medical world must commit to ongoing education, which is one of the biggest reasons people invest in post-graduate certificates. You’ll be able to keep your skillset sharp and your knowledge at the front of the field.

What is a Post-Graduate Certificate?

A post-graduate certificate is a program designed for those who already have their post-graduate degree. In nursing, you will have an MSN, and will be able to customize it further later on with a post-masters np program online. Not only will you keep your knowledge up-to-date, but you can actually expand your career opportunities through this method. That is the beauty of the post-graduate certificate, the fact that you can use it to advance or diversify your skillset.

What Are the Benefits of a Post-Graduate Certificate?

There are many benefits of a post-graduate certificate:

1. Learn New Skills

The biggest reason you will want to earn a certificate is that it will help teach you new skills and give you a foundation in new topics previously unknown to you. These certificates often build on existing skills you should already have in your field.

2. Qualify for New Roles

In nursing and in similar careers, certificates can actually make you eligible for new roles. You can go from being a clinical specialist to a nurse practitioner without taking on a whole new MSN. You save time and money, and in turn, you have a certification that acts as its own degree.

3. Stay On Top of Your Field

Certifications can also work to keep you certified and at the top of your field. New information, theories, and tools are developed every day, so if you are, for example, a computer scientist who last earned their degree a decade or longer, you may find that a certificate is a great way to brush up on your knowledge and give you a new platform to continue to grow your career.

4. Faster and Cheaper than Another Degree

If you already have one bachelor’s, then the smart move is to transfer credits towards a second one. The same principle applies to these certificates. Instead of the full degree, you only take the new courses. This means that you are formally qualified, learn everything you need to know, and yet can finish it faster and far less money than taking on another entire degree.

How to Choose the Right Post-Graduate Certificate

The right post-graduate certificate should help by giving you a foundation in a topic that you need for your career, or alternatively should teach you the skills that you need for your career. As these post-graduate certificates work by branching off from your master’s degree, you will need to be careful. If you don’t have the right degree, then you might not be qualified for the certificate.

Tips to Help You Succeed When Working on Your Post-Graduate Certificate

In most cases, you will be working towards your post-graduate certificate in an online environment. It makes the most sense and is the best option to benefit your career. You don’t have to take time off of work, and most importantly, you can enroll in the best option, regardless of where you are personally located.

It is important to be consistent, however. Certificates are essentially the specialist courses you would have taken during your master’s degree if you have chosen that specialization in the first place. Though they are shorter to take, they can still be difficult.

Improving your health before you start can help by keeping you more energetic and alert for longer, so you can finish the workday and still have the energy to work on your degree. You may also want to find online study groups or other online study tools to make it easier and more enjoyable to earn your post-graduate certificate online.

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