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Online Programming Gains Momentum

Stiff competition in the job market means that many individuals turn to higher education to improve their skills and gain new competencies.

Aside from turning to the popular Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which are springing up around the higher education space, many skill-seeking individuals are enrolling in online certificate programs.

“People are talking about MOOCs, but online education certificates are also part of the trend,” Joel Shapiro, associate dean of academics at Northwestern University’s School of Continuing Studies, told The New York Times.

Northwestern has added 70 post-baccalaureate online classes to their arsenal and plan to increase their offerings to include more business courses in the near future.

“Students who need to develop a specific skill, brush up on a new or advanced industry best practices or fulfill a prerequisite for a graduate program can take one or two online courses or the entire certificate curriculum,” Diana Wu, dean of the UC Berkeley Extension and executive director of the Berkeley Resource Center for Online Education, told The New York Times. UC Berkeley Extension has been offering online certificates to their students for the last 10 years.

“The certificate industry has evolved now that the need for retooling is constant,” Todd Lucca, senior vice president of Drexel Online, told The New York Times. “Certificates are a great way to add skill sets.”