By DeVry University
It’s no surprise that online college programs are growing in popularity. Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, more people are taking advantage of online education and more institutions are joining the world of online learning than ever before.
At DeVry, we've spent decades helping students gain access to high quality online programs. Because of our experience in the world of online education, we can help you answer your questions about finding the best online certificate programs for you.
In this article, we'll explore what an online college certificate program is and gain an understanding of what makes a popular online college certificate program in the following sections:
What is an Online College Certificate Program?
An online college certificate program is a series of online courses that can help you gain specialized knowledge and skills in a specific area of study to help you prepare to pursue a career in that field. A certificate program also typically runs shorter than your average associate or bachelor’s degree program.
While certificate programs are similar to degree programs in that they are both academic credentials, they represent two different levels of achievement. Another primary difference between an online certificate program and an online degree program is the structure of the course load you take. A certificate program tends to have a more subject-focused course load and typically contains fewer courses than degree programs. Conversely, a degree program will include courses that are focused specifically on your area of interest, but also contains general education courses that are intended to give you a more well-rounded education experience.
What are Some Popular Online College Certificate Programs?
When determining the best online college certificate program for you, you might think that choosing the most popular program would be the best choice. However, what makes something “popular” can mean different things to different people. Popularity may be based on personal interests, industry growth or career potential, among other things.
A better approach is to start by analyzing various online college certificate programs. Does the program interest you? What career opportunities can it help you prepare for? Are there relevant job opportunities in your area? Evaluating a program based on these factors can help you determine if it might be the right choice for you – regardless of popularity.
To help you get started, here’s an overview of some of the undergraduate certificate programs offered here at DeVry:
- Business: A broad area of study, undergraduate business certificate programs help you learn the basics of the world of business. They aim to help you prepare for a wide swath of potential careers by imparting several business skills at a basic level.
- Cyber security: Cyber security can be a great choice for people who are interested in protecting data and other proprietary information from criminals. These programs often cover the basics of how to use programming languages to build defense protocols and certain best practices that can be used to create safe networks.
- Data mining and analytics: Data mining and analytics certificate programs can help students learn how to access data within a database and then analyze it to draw useful conclusions. They can also help students learn how to organize data in an effective way so that it is easy to access for future analysis.
- Internet of Things (IoT): IoT certificate programs can help you understand the different ways that devices are linked to one another within the Internet of Things. These programs also help you build your understanding of how to connect these devices to one another in order to build effective smart networks that share data and are easily controlled from a central point.
- Medical billing and coding: Medical billing and coding is a subcategory of healthcare administration that involves assigning ICD codes to procedures, equipment and ailments that are ultimately used to bill insurance companies. It is a vital part of the United States healthcare system and helps care providers more efficiently tend to their patients.
- Networking: Networking certificate programs are designed to help students build essential skills for connecting devices to one another in a controlled environment. In particular, these programs can help students get a better sense of how certain IT professions operate and teach them skills that might be useful in an IT environment.
- Programming: Programming is the practice of using computer languages in order to input commands or build software. The skills learned during this program may be useful in IT and tech professions where a basic understanding of programming languages is a must.
- Software design: A software design certificate program focuses on teaching students how to create software applications that are useful to customers and businesses. Beyond building the skills needed to create software, it also touches on effective ways to design software to create an intuitive experience.
- Web design: A web design certificate program can help you learn how to design websites in ways that naturally guide users toward desired outcomes. Web design courses also help you learn how to make the experience positive and satisfying for the user to ensure that they get the most out of the website.
- Web development: Web development involves building websites from the ground up using both programming languages and applications. As a web developer, you create aspects of a website that allow it to function behind the scenes and impact what a user might see on the page.
Explore Online Certificate Programs at DeVry
Now that you know how to evaluate online college certificate programs, it's up to you to choose the one that best aligns with your goals. Classes in our certificate programs start every 8 weeks and allow you to study at your own pace.