Many, if not most, people who are considering graduate school have careers or family or both. Sometimes, no matter how dedicated we are to our goal of furthering our education, it may not seem possible to commit to the time needed to complete a graduate program. If the long-term commitment of a full graduate degree program does not fit into your life right now, you do have another option that can be a short-term goal along the way to your long-term goal.
Many universities have graduate certificate programs as part of their graduate degree programs. The credits that you earn for the graduate certificate will usually count toward a graduate degree in the same program. The certificate can help you progress in your career or jump start a new career and you can wait until later to decide whether or not to continue with your graduate school studies. For example, if you are a project manager or want to pursue a career in project management, you could look into a Graduate Certificate in Project Management, such as the one available through Boston University’s online graduate school program. The great thing about graduate certificate programs is that you can complete a program in a shorter amount of time and for less money than a full graduate degree program. Once you complete the certificate program, you have not only gained knowledge but you have also earned something tangible that you can put on your resume and it may help you in your current or potential career. Once you complete the program you will be able to reevaluate your career, goals and time.
A lot can change while you are pursuing your graduate degree and if you are concerned that you cannot make the full commitment needed at this point in your life, a graduate certificate program just might be the right fit for you. With a shorter timeframe, lower cost and credits that will count towards a full graduate program should you decide to return to graduate school later, a graduate certificate program can be a smart to choice to help you reach your goals.