An education is important in today’s economy, but not every individual has the time, money, or even desire to earn a four year degree. Luckily, many careers only require the completion of a certificate program, and there are several online colleges in Florida that will help you earn your certificate in no time at all. Before you start looking at schools, you may want to know a little about what careers are available upon graduation at the certificate level.
If you are interested in entering the medical field, you may consider becoming a nursing aide, licensed practical nurse, orderly, or attendant. Each of these positions puts you in at the ground floor of a medical career that you can continue make a solid and secure living at, or work in the field as you continue your education for a higher level degree. Depending on where you enter this career, you can expect an income of $25,000 to $40,000 a year. With only a year or two needed to earn your certificate, this is a great way to start earning a better income in a rewarding career.
You can also look into certificates in business administration – business management, finance management, marketing specialization, entrepreneurship/small business, or event planning. Each of these programs are specifically offered at the College of Central Florida. While they have a physical campus in Ocala, they also are one of the many online colleges in Florida that can help you earn a certificate to enter one of these rewarding careers.
If you are more interested in technology, St. Petersburg College offers certificate programs in video game foundations, C#, C++, computer support, Visual Basic.NET, and many other languages and information technology related courses. Since you are probably already comfortable with a computer, taking these classes from online schools in Florida will likely be a pleasurable and convenient option for achieving your education and career goals.
The unemployment rate in Florida for those with some college but no degree is around 8.7%. While numbers are not given for students with a certificate, this level of education is comparable to an associate’s degree, so you can expect to see an unemployment rate of around 6.8%. That is a significant difference that shows just how important post-secondary education really is in the state of Florida.
Another factor, and this will vary based on what field you enter, is the income that you can expect with this level of education. A person with only a high school diploma earns a median weekly income of $638. With a certificate, you will be earning around $100 dollars more per week. Another $300-$400 dollars a month will certainly help, but be sure to spend some time researching the specifics here as some of the certificate programs will give you a higher income and a better chance at finding work when the economy is struggling. Don’t base your choice only on finances though; you want to be happy doing what you do, so make sure y consider all of your options.
You are already aware of a few online colleges in Florida, but it is important that you spend your time looking for the right school for you. Some community colleges in your area will likely offer online programs, and bigger nationwide universities like University of Phoenix also offer various certificate programs for students. If you are going to school to earn a certificate that you have no intention of continuing down the line, then finding the best school for that certificate is all that matters. If, on the other hand, you want to earn a certificate in a field that you mend up pursuing further by studying for an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree, then you will want to make sure that your credits can transfer from your certificate program to your other degree programs. That may be quite a bit down the line, but it is important to double check with the online universities in Florida that you are interested in so that your time is not wasted on classes that you will have to take again if you ever wish to continue your education.
You have plenty of paths to consider at this point, but none of them can be traveled until you take that first step. There are a great variety of careers you can pursue with only a year or a little more in college.
Finding the right college and getting started on your certificate program will get you and your family into a better position financially and emotionally. Doing something you love and others respect you for will be more valuable than any income you could earn. So get out there, take the first steps and start working towards the future you deserve.Wes Ricketts