If you want to further your education but do not want to spend years in college, there are a number of certification programs that can prepare you for a career in a shorter period of time. Many online colleges now offer various certification programs in a number of fields. These programs are designed to give you basic knowledge of the field in which you want to work and can often be completed in less than a year.

Online certification programs offer a convenient way to learn a specialty that can help you to further your career. They provide you with the knowledge and training that you need to work in a specific field and take much less time than completing a degree. You should understand that these programs may not qualify you for certain positions that require a degree. If you are looking to get into the workforce quickly however, they can be very beneficial. Normal degree programs take anywhere from two to six years to complete. A certification program can be completed in just a matter of months and for those who are already working in a specific field, these programs can offer additional education that can help you to qualify for higher paying jobs in your field.

Certification programs help you to spruce up your resume so that you can better impress future employers with your knowledge and training in a specific field. They are less costly than obtaining an actual degree and there are a wide range of certification programs available. Most colleges offer certification in studies related to accounting, information technology, education, technology, human resources, minor medical fields and a number of other professions.

Again, these are not degree programs. They are simply advanced training and education in a specific field of study. Many certification programs, such as those related to physical therapy, radiology and various other medical fields, can be completed in about nine months or so and these programs are a bit less costly than a traditional degree.

If you are looking to advance to the highest possible level in your field, a certification program may not be the best choice. They are better sought by those who are looking to begin working in their chosen field right away and have no problem with beginning in an entry level position. Those who want to work in administration and other higher level positions may want to consider obtaining a degree as opposed to a certificate.

If however, you are looking to further your knowledge of the field that you are already working in or you want to begin a new career without taking the time to complete a college degree program, many certification programs can be completed quickly and can get you into your chosen field within just a few months. It is important that you research your certification options and any school that you are planning to attend for certification. You want to be certain that the school is accredited with the appropriate organizations and that they offer the specific courses that you need to help you to further your career.