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  • Certificate programs add an extra boost

    Metro - 12/30/2013

    If you’re strapped for time and cash, a certificate can be the next best alternative to the long-term investment of a master’s degree.

    “The certificate is great for a career professional that’s already experienced to some degree, looks to broaden and deepen their knowledge and seeks to have the opportunity to understand leading practices,” says Janet Rizzuto, managing director of human resource studies at Cornell University, ILR school in New York City.

    Kelly Otter, associate dean of graduate academic and faculty affairs at Northeastern University College of Professional Studies, agrees. “They are also expedient for those who need to quickly gain a specific professional credential.” Plus, they’re appropriate for professionals considering a master’s degree but don’t know if the area of study is right for them and for gaining “new skill sets to change careers.” For instance, a certificate in leadership can lead to skills in managing teams, ethics, strategic thinking and understanding and negotiating organizational culture.

    Each school’s programs and admissions process vary; Northeastern offers brick-and-mortar classes as well as online that take about a year to complete. They don’t require GMAT scores. “Rather, we place strong emphasis on previous coursework, grade point average, letters of recommendation, and personal essays that describe the rationale for the program for which they are applying and how it will help them achieve their career goals,” explains Otter.

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