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What Can a University Certificate Do for You?

Nov 7, 2023

The most qualified individuals in today’s workforce attribute much of their success to earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree related to their chosen field. Some even go on to complete doctoral degree programs.

But many people may overlook the value of a different kind of credential: university certificates. These certificates are a good option for those who want to supplement their degree, but they’re also great for those not ready to begin a full degree program or who simply want to enhance their résumé. Plus, with so many certificate programs now available online, students and professionals alike can benefit from them like never before.

Read on to learn about the return on investment (ROI) of a university certificate, how a certificate can help you advance your career, and what certificates WGU offers.

What Is ROI?

Before beginning a certificate program, it’s important to understand a certificate’s ROI, or the measure of its financial success and worth over time. ROI methodology offers a way to compare the initial cost of a certificate against the financial return the certificate can offer once it has been earned and applied in a career.

Students looking to invest in their professional future should learn whether a university certificate will be worth their time and money, and ROI methodology is an effective tool in that regard. By using principles of this methodology, individuals interested in pursuing a certificate can:

  • Weigh tangible financial as well as intangible personal and professional benefits against a certificate’s program cost.
  • Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of certificate courses and assessments.
  • Consider whether earning a certificate aligns with their educational and professional goals.

If you’re looking to earn a university certificate, the systematic approach of ROI methodology can make your decision easier.

University Certificates and Process Improvement

A university certificate—whether in business, IT, or another industry—can positively influence process improvement. This means that the certificate you earn can improve your level of skill as an employee and the overall well-being of your workplace.

For example, a business leadership certificate can give you an enhanced understanding of how to manage teams, delegate tasks, and administer to coworkers’ needs. That same understanding could also help you improve business processes like sales, human resources, training, onboarding, and more. Depending on how you apply your knowledge and skills, the impact of your certificate might be felt even after your time as a leader ends.

Many employers know that certificates can foster both process and performance improvement. They prefer to hire job candidates who have completed a certificate program. Keep this in mind as you decide on which certificate your career could most benefit from.

The Positive Effects of Certificate Programs

Completing a university certificate program can pay off in many ways. In addition to acquiring a deeper set of skills in your chosen field, you may also enjoy the following tangible and intangible benefits:

  • Competitive edge in the job market
  • Smoother transition to a degree program
  • Increased earning potential
  • Enriched job satisfaction and fulfillment
  • Opportunities for career advancement
  • Boost in confidence
  • Increased proficiency in job duties
  • More credibility in the workplace

 Many of these benefits could last throughout your entire career, promoting both personal and professional growth.

Examples of certificate programs at WGU include the Web Application Deployment and Support (WADS) and Leadership certificates, which are designed to prepare you for a promising career in IT or business. The WADS certificate program teaches students in-depth skills in web development, cloud computing, software engineering, and more. Meanwhile, the Leadership certificate program helps students internalize and practice principles of organizational behavior, management strategies, and values-based leadership.

Additionally, completing either certificate program guarantees admission into a WGU College of IT or Business degree program.

Measuring the Monetary Value and Financial Return of Certificates

Many organizations determine ROI for training or degree programs by measuring the potential increase to an individual’s career earnings against the cost of their program. The same logic applies to the financial return of a university certificate. To come to a clearer conclusion about the ROI of your certificate, learn what the certificate program offers, how much it costs, what positions the program can qualify you for, and how it can fit your schedule. You may also benefit from seeking out testimonials from individuals who completed the program.

If you decide to complete a certificate program online, be sure to choose an accredited institution that fits your budget.

Certificates Increase Competency and Capability

An important consideration for the ROI of a university certificate is how it can enhance on-the-job competency and capability. These certificates—including WGU’s WADS and Leadership certificates—are designed to instill the type of knowledge and skills that employers look for. WGU’s certificate programs in particular are designed with input from industry experts, meaning that the skill set you attain upon completion is the very one you’ll use on a day-to-day basis in the workplace.

Consider just how much an industry-relevant certificate could prepare you for your next big job.

Considering Program Cost and Duration

The cost of a certificate program can often be the deciding factor for those interested in earning a certificate. Evaluating all program costs is a crucial step in determining ROI. As you conduct your cost evaluation, don’t forget to learn the full cost of the program (including any additional fees) and then compare that cost against the time it takes to complete the program.

WGU’s WADS certificate takes about five months to complete and costs a total of $2,950. The Leadership certificate takes about four months to complete, costing $2,250 in total. Included in each program’s tuition are vouchers for additional third-party certifications.

Why Choose WGU Certificates?

As you work toward your dream career, consider earning one of WGU’s industry-aligned certificates. Whether you’re pursuing an IT or business job, a WADS or Leadership certificate could be just what you need to stand out in a competitive job market and become a facilitator for positive change in your field of work.

WGU’s competency-based education model lets you advance through certificate coursework as quickly as you’re able to master the material. You can use the knowledge you already have to move faster toward completion—all on a flexible schedule and at a competitive price. Get started today.

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