About Certifications

Whether you have just graduated high school or are looking to advance your career, obtaining a certification can have numerous benefits. There are many ways to further your education and training, ranging from getting a two-year degree, four-year degree, or a certificate. There are some differences between certification and degrees, ranging from the time you spend on it, coursework and focus, and the amount of flexibility you have. If you're wondering about certifications, the following guidelines will help you decide if this is the right path for you.

A certification is a document that shows your qualifications and education for a particular skill or career. When a potential employer finds out you have certification, they understand you went through proper schooling and training in order to be well qualified for the subject. For example, someone who is a certified medical coder, has gone through sufficient classes and training in order to be a medical coder, including possible examinations to ensure they are qualified for the position.

You can get your certification from a variety of places, ranging from online schools to community colleges. Each school will have different certification programs, so yu may have to look around until you find the one you're looking for. For example, a local university might offer certification for court reporting, but if you want a paralegal certification, you might need to go to a trade or vocational school. If you want flexibility, online schools also offer a variety of certification programs ranging from health care to legal and administration.

There are three main types of certifications; professional certification, professional designation, and trade certification. Professional designation certificates are typically for a specific job or task within your field, and most commonly assigned by your employer when they want to take on more responsibilities. Professional certification and trade certification are for careers in what you're certified for, such as medical transcription, office and administration, IT and computer technology, or medical assisting. There are dozens of certifications for nearly any type of vocational career you're interested in.

There are many advantages to getting certifications as opposed to trying to get an entry level position without it, or even as an alternative to an associate degree. Most certificate programs include much less schooling because the coursework focuses on the certification rather than education in general. For this reason, it will also take less time than a typical college degree. Many certificate programs are also offered online or through night classes which gives you more flexibility. If you're working and trying to finish your certification, then you have the ability to go through an online program to make it easier on you. More career opportunities open up with certification rather than trying to get a job without this important document.