Should I Get a Career Diploma or Career Certificate? | ICS
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Should I Get a Career Diploma or Career Certificate?

Posted by ICS Canada

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Making the decision to start a new career can be stressful, especially if you’ve been working in the same field for awhile. Where do you start? Do you go back to school? Or just apply to open positions you’re interested in, hoping your experience in the workforce will get you the job? Before assuming that you need to enrol full-time in university to achieve your new career goals, take some time to research what credentials you need to be successful in that field. A career diploma or a career certificate could be all you need to get started. Learn a little about diplomas and certificates below and see which may be the best choice for you!

What’s the difference?
Though they sound similar, there’s a few difference between graduating with a career diploma and a career certificate. A career diploma is, as a rule, a longer program with a handful of classes that ensure your training in a field is well rounded. For example, ICS’ Medical Administrative Assistant diploma has several classes that cover topics such as Ethics in Allied Health, professional writing classes, and medical terminology. You’ll learn entry-level skills that you’ll need on the job, as well as general skills that are transferable to almost any other similar field.

A career certificate is generally a shorter, more concentrated program that can give you a certain skill or credential you may be lacking without having to take other courses that aren’t relevant to you. The Medical Terminology Certificate teaches you just that: medical terminology. You don’t need to take a class on ethics, office finances, or anything other than what you need to learn.

Which is right for you?
The basic difference between a career diploma and a career certificate is the length of the program and what kind of classes you take. So, then, how do you decide which is the right path for you? It’s not just about enroling into a program you can finish quickly; you need to also make sure that whatever you do will help you get where you want to go. If you’re not sure where to start, ask yourself a few important questions.

  1. Do you want to start an entirely new career?
  2. Or do you want to advance in your current career?

It doesn’t necessarily matter what field you’re in or want to go in. If you’re looking to start an entirely new career in something you’ve no previous experience with, pursuing a career diploma is going to help you more than a short certificate. You’ll receive basic, entry-level training and skills in your program that can get you started on the path to a satisfying career.

However, if you just want to learn more about your field and advance in your current job, a career certificate is a short, concise program that can give your resume a boost. This could be refreshing skills you haven’t used in awhile or adding something entirely new to your skillset. Whatever steps you need to take to qualify for advancement at your company, showing you’re willing to pursue further education to reach your goal can only be a plus!

Whether you want to change your career, learn a new skill, or spruce up your resume, furthering your education is never a bad thing. However, wasting valuable time and energy when you’re pursuing a goal can be. Make sure you do your research and take time to figure out whether a diploma or certificate will help you more. If you’re still not sure what to do, ask a trusted mentor their thoughts and call in to speak with the school’s admissions representatives to further address your concerns.

Categories: Career Planning

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