Online Certification Programs

Online certification programs provide training in specific skills and prepare you to take certification exams in your chosen field. Get information about the kinds of programs offered and certification requirements.

What Type of Online Certification Programs Will I Find?

You'll find that schools offer a myriad of certification programs for a variety of professions. Many of these programs can be completed over the Internet while you continue to work in your field. For example, you are likely to find certification programs in computers and technology, teaching and athletic coaching, among others.

Some programs - such as teacher certification programs - will require you to have at least a bachelor's degree in your area of interest before you can enroll. Many of these programs can be completed in a year or less. In some of the teacher certification programs, you may be able to apply your courses toward a master's degree program.

Types of ProgramsCertification programs are available in a large variety of topics like computers, technology, and teaching
Technology RequirementsInternet connection, computer, updated browser, word processing software
CurriculumCourse content will vary by field and specialty area
ExamsCertification programs often prepare you to take an exam in your field to earn a license or professional certification

Will I Be Able to Complete All Requirements Online?

Most online certification programs offer all of their required courses over the Internet, although some may have additional requirements - such as practicums - that must be completed in person. Many schools have created online learning networks through which they offer their classes. In order to take online courses, you will need to have a broadband Internet connection as well as an updated browser like Firefox or Internet Explorer. Most schools will also require you to use Microsoft Word and Excel to complete assignments.

What Is the Curriculum Like?

The curricula in most online certification programs are designed to equip you with advanced training in specific areas of your profession. In a technology certification program, such as A+ certification, you will take one or two main courses in A+ programming and then take a certification exam when you've completed these courses. Similarly, a coaching certification program will consist of two or three courses - such as coaching theory and technique, philosophy of school athletics and health sciences - in preparation to take a state coaching certification exam.

Teaching certification programs are generally designed to prepare individuals for teaching positions who have bachelor's degrees in fields other than education. In a teaching certification program, you are likely to see general courses like education principles and teaching practice, but you will also take courses related to your chosen specialty area, such as early childhood education, middle school science or K-12 music. A student teaching practicum is usually required so that you can gain practical experience in the classroom.

What Do I Need to Do After the Program to Become Certified?

Most certification programs will prepare you to take a certification exam in your area of interest. For prospective certified teachers or athletic coaches, your exam will usually be offered by a public education agency or another state-sponsored organization.

Technology certification exams will typically be offered by an independent agency recognized by your industry. For example, the A+ certification exam is offered by CompTIA - a non-profit trade association recognized by the IT industry - and you will need to take two exams to become certified in A+. The organization also offers certification exams for network, security and Linux professionals.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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