Online Finance Certificate Programs
If you’re hoping to take your finance career path in a new direction, earning a finance certificate online may be a step worth considering. Online finance certificate programs might be available in a variety of subject areas – from financial planning to finance investigations – that could help you enhance your career or pursue new professional possibilities. Plus, online learning may be the perfect fit for busy adult learners who work full-time or have children. If studying on evenings and weekends sounds like a workable plan, read on for more info about earning your online finance certificate!
How are finance certificate programs different from earning a degree?
Earning a certificate in finance is usually a non-degree option that could help you explore a specific area of finance. For example, someone who already holds a general degree in finance might wish to learn more about, say, financial planning. In that case, taking a certified financial planner course online may be one way to delve into this professional area. Be mindful of prerequisites; for example, certificate programs usually require you to have earned a bachelor’s degree. However, earning a finance certificate online does not typically require the same time commitment as a master’s degree or doctorate.
Who might want to earn an online finance certificate?
Many kinds of candidates may find value in earning a certificate in finance. It all depends on the requirements for your intended career path, as well as your personal and professional goals. In certain finance careers, workers may find that a certificate is a great way to prepare for professional challenges. For example, 20% of treasurers – like CFOs, Controllers, and Finance Directors – said that a baccalaureate certificate was required for their roles.[i] Here are a few possible reasons why earning an online certificate in finance could be an excellent choice:
You’re hoping to enhance your career. If you wish to prepare for new professional challenges or even a leadership role, you may have a lot to learn! Pursuing a certificate in finance online could be the perfect way to brush up on a particular area – like financial planning or finance management.
You are pursuing a new career. Preparing for potential opportunities can be an exciting endeavor, and perhaps earning a certificate in finance is the perfect next step! Find out what level of education your intended role typically requires. For example, 21% of personal financial advisors earned a post-baccalaureate certificate.[ii]
You don’t have time to earn a graduate degree. While a certificate is not a substitute for a graduate degree, it’s possible that earning a certificate in finance online could meet your needs anyway. As mentioned above, over 20% of personal financial advisors chose to earn a certificate; compare that to the 11% who opted to pursue a professional degree such as an MBA. ii Of course, your choice may depend on the role you’re pursuing, as well as your employer’s requirements.
Should I earn a finance certificate online instead of on campus?
Online learning has opened up a whole new world of potential in higher education. But is earning an online certificate the most sensible choice for you? Everyone’s learning style and preferences are different, but here are some potential reasons to consider an online finance certificate program:
Flexibility – If you work full-time or don’t think you can juggle traditional college courses along with your other responsibilities, online finance certificate programs may be just the thing. You could potentially complete coursework from anywhere with an internet connection, using technology tools like Blackboard.
Independence – If you’re self-motivated and enjoy working independently, online learning might appeal to you. Of course, online learners must still be accountable to classmates and professors, but you may find that you enjoy setting deadlines for yourself and taking charge of your own success.
Choices – If relocating near the campus of your choice is not an option, perhaps your dream school offers a finance certificate online program! It’s not always possible to move across the country to pursue a certificate, but in some cases online learning could bring your school to you.
How can I tell which online finance certificate programs may be a good fit?
Once you’ve decided to pursue your finance certificate online, your next step is to evaluate prospective programs. Which ones may suit your needs and goals? There’s no single answer to that question, but here are some factors you may want to keep in mind as you explore your program options!
Career relevance – Ideally, the certificate program you choose should tie into your professional goals. That may sound obvious…but take the time to learn more about each program’s offerings. For example, could pursuing an online financial management certificate help you prepare to potentially pursue a career as the head of a finance department? Could taking a certified financial planner course online help ready you for the challenges of personal finance?
Accreditation[iii] – Accreditation may offer an indicator of a degree’s quality and relevance. That could be important to potential employers as well as yourself. Plus, if you are eligible for federal financial aid, which may be available to qualified students, your school should be accredited by an organization approved by the U.S. Department of Education.
Platform and tools – Online learning tends to depend on technology to connect you with instructors and classmates. It’s a good idea to find out what kind of technology is used in your prospective program, to make sure you are comfortable with the learning platform and various course delivery methods.
Resources – If you are looking for certain resources and support services, like disability services, career services, tutoring, etc., check with your prospective certificate program to see if your needs can be accommodated. In many cases, online programs may offer similar resources to campus-based programs…but you can ask a representative to make sure!
Time to get started!
Ready to start exploring prospective online finance certificate programs? Pursuing a certificate could be an exciting step toward a new career path, or a way of enhancing your previous education and experience. Best of all, online learning could help you pursue a certificate from the comfort of home. Below, you’ll find a few online finance certificate programs that may be perfect!
Sources: [i] onetonline.org/link/summary/11-3031.01 | [ii] onetonline.org/link/summary/13-2052.00 | [iii] studentaid.ed.gov/sa/prepare-for-college/choosing-schools/consider#accreditation