An undergraduate certificate option

No college? No problem. Explore an opportunity to pursue an undergraduate certificate.


Careers have different educational requirements. Some careers may require a high school diploma, license or certificate, a bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree after the bachelor’s degree. This is something for students to consider as they are planning for their career. What if a student is not interested in college to pursue an associate’s degree at a community college or bachelor’s degree at a college or university? One option is to consider a certificate program.

What is a certificate program? They are programs offered at the undergraduate or graduate level. For this article, the focus will be on the undergraduate level.

For the undergraduate student levels, certificate programs are for students who haven’t previously completed an undergraduate/bachelor’s degree. They are an option for students who want to become proficient in a technical field without committing to a full length degree program. Postsecondary schools like community colleges, universities and career schools offer undergraduate certificates. Students who have a high school diploma or GED qualify for undergraduate certificate programs and some programs may have additional requirements like basic math skills, English language skills and basic technology proficiency.

Heating and air conditioning repair, medical assisting, dental assisting, office management, business and accounting are some examples of programs for undergraduate certifications. This certificate can be completed in less than one year for students attending school full-time.

Students interested in this type of postsecondary certification can research the different community colleges, universities and career schools that they may be interested in to find out if they have the certificates they would like to pursue and how long it would take to complete the certification requirements. After the research, students can arrange for a college visit to learn more about the program and assist them in making a decision. Departments they can check into for the college visit are academic support services, career services and service learning centers along with the admissions department. If the different services are available to them, they can journal on how they can use the services to help them be successful in their postsecondary educational experience.

Undergraduate certificates are available and a good career option for students for postsecondary education after high school. They can take the steps to do their research for the types of programs that are available, contact the schools that offer them for more information and arrange for a visit to see how it can prepare them for their career.

Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H Youth Development help to prepare young people for successful futures. As a result of career exploration and workforce preparation activities, thousands of Michigan youth are better equipped to make important decisions about their professional future, ready to contribute to the workforce and able to take fiscal responsibility in their personal lives.

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