With the fast pace of modern digital society, students might enroll in Technology Graduate Certificate Programs to stay on point with advances in their chosen field. Depending on the choice of discipline, graduates may come away with a deeper business perspective, systems/IS skills, analytical capability and even, a strong grasp of teamwork and communication.
written by Rana Waxman
Technology Graduate Certificate Programs are non-degree awards that could provide an alternative to a full graduate degree. As a pathway to increased knowledge and technical proficiency, a graduate certificate in technology typically focuses on a single area within the broad spectrum of scientific innovation.
Most graduate certificates in technology span just a few courses and so, tend to be shorter in length than a comprehensive grad degree. Some of the more compressed programs span 12 to 15 credits which a full-time student might complete in one year, or even less. Longer programs sometimes consist of 18 credits and may involve some type of practicum.
Many grad schools format their certificate course plan around compulsory topics although students frequently have some leeway in their selection of elective(s). Some ask students to complete a capstone or research project, fieldwork or other assignments.
DID YOU KNOW?
Per O’Net, 10% of Information Technology Project Managers hold a post-baccalaureate certificate.i
Are you in that in-between phase where you want to study at the graduate level but don’t want to commit to a Masters degree? Do you have a Masters degree but don’t want to commit to a Doctorate degree?
In some universities, a graduate certificate may be used to enhance (or, add-onto) a Bachelors or Masters degree. Upon
completion of the certificate requirements, the university they attend may allow some or all credits earned to be transferred towards a full grad degree in a related discipline. If this is appealing, make sure to check how this process works at your chosen graduate school.
As an alternative to let’s say, a Masters degree, Technology Graduate Certificate Programs could enable students to reboot a resume, cultivate expertise for a chosen career path, or learn a new theory, design or application. This could have implications in areas such as systems analysis, web technology, data communications, and database systems. Here, technology advances and professionals may want a formal credential that indicates a level of mastery.
Encompassed under the umbrella of ‘technology’ are programs of study that offer new ways of doing things (E.g. information technology, web design) as well as the physical tools (E.g. telecoms, software, GIS) that make this happen.
Below are some of the categories of Graduate Certificate programs in Technology that may be found on this directory. Listings change frequently, and categories are broad, so make sure to conduct a detailed search of your own.
A graduate certificate in business information technology could equip students with the knowhow and technical ability to effectively use data for competitive advantage. Through coursework in business analytics and data mining techniques, participants might further their grasp of organizational decision-making.
Students may also have the opportunity to study the following topics and then, synthesize their skills through a capstone project in business intelligence.
A Graduate Certificate in Computational Science typically unites ideas of mathematics and computer science with applications in science and engineering. As distinct from computer science, computational science is about how to utilize current hardware and software to address large-scale computational problems that arise in fields of engineering and science.
In addition to high performance computing, students may be required to complete courses in the following content areas.
A Graduate Certificate in Computer Science might tackle an area such as computer architecture, artificial intelligence, computer and systems security or a related topic. Students could also look for a Graduate Certificate in Computing that aims to provide a foundation for scientific use of computers and information technology applications.
In any of these areas, graduate certificate coursework might meld theory, design, implementations and applications. Some courses might be of an ‘introductory’ level such as intro to computer science, while others might cover some advanced concepts such as the ones listed below.
A Graduate Certificate in Computer Training and Support could help students build a portfolio of tech support or managerial skills in areas such as networking and information security.
Database Management Certificate programs could enable students to gain the skills and tools to use big data to inform business decisions. Apart from their courses, participants might get the opportunity to apply theory and techniques into a medium-scale data science project.
In terms of coursework, students might learn how to collect and organize data at scale in tandem with an appreciation of data analysis and its role in decisions. Some of the topics that might be explored in a Graduate Certificate in Big Data might include the following.
A Geographic Information Systems Certificate (GIS certificate) could help students acquire a scientific framework in spatial data modeling, analysis and visualization. In some schools, such as partner, Johns Hopkins University, the Certificate in GIS courses are the core courses from JHU’s Master of Science in GIS program.
GIS certificate students might first be introduced to key topics such as the basics of data structures, geo-referencing, data classification, querying and cartography. Coursework might be delivered in lectures along with exercises that aim to reinforce concepts. In addition, the following courses might go into deeper details about the actual technology.
An Information Assurance Certificate could meld labs and learning experiences with coursework that highlights methods to secure and defend information systems. Participants might study some of the fundamentals of information security and may work to develop a firm sense of risks and how to manage them.
In some grad schools, coursework might help students prepare for the ISACA certification exam and may dive into some of the following topics more intensively.
An Information Sciences Graduate Certificate might explore one aspect of informatics, information systems or library science to help students cultivate a specific skill-set. For instance, an Archives Studies Certificate Program (ASC) might aim to prepare students to pursue a career in an archives or special collections setting.
Students might learn how to preserve materials, manage collections and provide access to both. In addition, other course topics might explore the diverse formats in which information is organized and stored and how to navigate the resulting complexity of data.
An Information Technology Graduate Certificate program could provide a means for students to gain hands-on experience in various aspects of software design and functions. For instance, participants might learn how to assess an organization’s information needs. Also, how to use this information to craft an IS system architecture that aligns with their overall goals and strategy.
Coursework could cover several main themes in information technology.
A Graduate Certificate in Software and Application Development might enable students to further their knowledge in an area such as software engineering. Apart from key principles, participants might study methods and frameworks.
Coursework might explore topics such as process models, agile and lean principles, project and risk management, estimation, modeling, system and software architecture, design patterns, and quality systems. Preview samples of course topics below.
A Graduate Certificate in Technology Management might explore the places where business and technology converge. Participants might expand and hone their ability to make tactical decisions and to use technology to accomplish organizational goals.
Through several courses, students might learn how to analyze trends, foster innovation and wield technology to maintain competitive advantage in the global marketplace.
Graduate Certificates in Telecom and Networking could provide a means to understand some of the advanced protocols used in telecommunications networks. Students may be obliged to take core courses in interior and border protocols though may have the freedom to tailor studies through other courses.
A Graduate Certificate in Web Design and Development could enable students to cultivate skills in interactive multimedia design and web communications.
Coursework could cover key concepts and how they impact networked technologies. Program participants might have the opportunity to build practical skills in working with computer, video, and digitizing equipment to develop websites.
One may earn an advanced certificate in Technology as a final objective or earn one or more en route to a degree. Two of the ways to take these courses are (1) on-campus and (2) online.
On Campus: For those who want to study on campus, this format could encourage learners to build networks, engage in class discussion and/or see what it is like to be a grad student. Whether this means getting involved, using facilities or just meeting new people in a face-to-face environment. Usually, classes are held at the same time each week and some schools might provide evening and/or weekend formats for the busy adult student.
Online: At-work professionals may want to do all this but may lack the time to commute, which is where an online Technology Graduate Certificate might prove useful and convenient. Students meet in the virtual classroom through the university’s online learning management software platform. Discussions tend to be through online forums and these threads could keep distance learners motivated, especially when there are no set class times.
Whether one wants to apply into an online or on campus graduate certificate program in Technology, each school sets its standards and guidelines for admission.
Frequently, applicants need to compete a graduate application form. They are usually asked to furnish transcripts and proof they have earned at least a Bachelors degree from an accredited college or university. Some schools in the mix may require students to have completed their degree in a subject related to the certificate. Or, standard admission requirements may apply to the graduate certificate, but individual courses within it might have extra prerequisites.
Other potential material that applicants to Technology Graduate Certificate Programs may need to provide could include the items listed below.
Find the perfect Technology Graduate Certificate with these simple steps. All you do is choose your subject(s) from the menu. Set filters for the preferred format or ideal school location. A list of partner programs is generated for you to review. One final step – apply right away! Use the on-page form to take that next step now.