If you’re considering finance certificate programs that could help you pursue your professional goals, why not look on campus? Earning a certificate in finance at a college or university could be a way not just to prepare for potential career challenges, but to be part of a vibrant community. Whether you’re interested in pursuing certified financial planner courses, a certificate in financial analysis, or another type of graduate certificate in finance, you could find a campus-based option that’s perfect for you! Below, you’ll find some useful info to help you start your Finance Certificate Programs on Campus search.
Fun Fact: 21% of personal financial advisors earned a post-baccalaureate certificate as their highest level of education.[i]
Certificate in Finance vs. Graduate Degree in Finance Programs
Students hoping to enhance their education in the field of finance may have a few choices, from finance certificate programs to PhD programs. So why choose a graduate certificate in finance program over other potential options? The answer may be different for everyone. Here are a few potential benefits of earning a certificate in finance:
Focus – Finance certificates programs may allow you to choose an area of professional concentration. For example, you might earn a financial management certificate if you hope to potentially pursue a career managing a bank, brokerage firm, or credit department. Or, if your goal is to pursue a financial analyst career path, perhaps earning a certificate in financial analysis is more your style! In short, you may find a certificate program that focuses on the corner of finance that most interests you, whereas graduate degrees are often more expansive. Of course, earning a certificate is not a substitute for earning a graduate degree. But in some roles, like personal financial advisor, earning a certificate in finance may actually be a more typical choice than pursuing a professional degree.[i]
Time – In general, earning a certificate in finance could take less time than earning a graduate degree. Of course, program completion time depends on many factors – such as whether you opt to be a part-time or full-time student. Still, finance certificate programs may require fewer credits than, say, a master’s degree program. Please be sure to ask the school about its particular requirements.
Taste – Pursuing a certificate in finance could give you your first taste of graduate education. You could potentially opt to pursue a master’s degree down the road…or not! If you’re wondering what it’s like to explore a new level of the finance field, earning a graduate certificate in finance could be just the challenge you’re looking for!
On-site vs. Online Finance Certificates Programs
Not sure whether to choose an online certificate in finance or a campus-based one? Both options have many potential benefits, but here are a few reasons why a campus-based program may be the perfect choice for you:
Social opportunities – If you’re hoping to make the most of your graduate certificate in finance program, you might want to get involved on campus. Student life may be almost as rewarding and educational as your courses! Inspiration and collaboration from peers, potential networking opportunities, and just plain fun could be a few benefits of campus-based learning.
Resources at your fingertips – Pursuing a graduate certificate in finance may offer the convenience of ready resources, like libraries, computer labs, career services, and more. Online learners could have access to many of the same resources, remotely…but if you prefer to talk in person with a librarian or tutor, maybe on-site learning is more your style.
Learning style – Some students may excel at online learning, while others may prefer a face-to-face experience. If your learning style leans more toward the traditional classroom, you might want to choose campus-based learning.
How can I choose the graduate certificate in finance program that’s perfect for me?
Deciding on a program is an exciting decision, and you’ll likely have many factors to consider. Here are some characteristics you may want to think about as you evaluate prospective finance certificate programs:
Program concentration – You may be able to choose from programs that range from the general to the specific. Some programs may offer an overview of the finance field, while other could focus on a professional area like financial planning, management, or analysis. Decide whether you’re most interested in certified financial planner courses, a financial management certificate, a certificate in financial analysis, or something else. Your choice will likely depend on your intended career path, employer preferences, or other factors.
Accreditation[ii] - Accreditation from a third party is often a good sign that your program may uphold quality standards expected in the field of finance. However, not all accrediting organizations are equal. Look for credentials from an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Also keep in mind that a school’s accreditation may impact eligibility for federal financial aid, which may be available for qualified students.
Campus location and surroundings – You’ll need to decide whether you’re willing and able to relocate for your certificate program, or if you’d like to find a program closer to home. Other considerations may include school setting and surroundings: do you prefer an urban, suburban, or rural campus? A large university, or smaller college? Of course, the best way to know if you can see yourself on campus is to go visit!
Flexibility – Some students pursuing a graduate certificate in finance may work full-time or have other responsibilities, like kids, that keep them busy! If attending courses during the day is difficult due to your schedule, find out if evening and weekend courses are an option at your prospective school. You could even inquire about child care, car-pooling, or other resources that could make your life easier.
Reputation – Is your program known for satisfied, successful students? Stats like retention rate may be worth looking at. You could also check with the Better Business Bureau or other sources to see how your prospective school resolves issues or complaints.
Browse Finance Certificate Programs on Campus
If you’ve decided to pursue a certificate in finance, good for you! Your next step is to evaluate finance certificate programs that could be the perfect fit for your interests and goals. Below, you’ll find a few options that may be worth considering. Just click each program to learn more about what it has to offer!
Sources: [i] onetonline.org/link/summary/13-2052.00 | [ii] studentaid.ed.gov/sa/prepare-for-college/choosing-schools/consider#accreditation