Online Diplomas & Online Certification Programs

Online certificates offer an alternative to comprehensive, two-year and four-year degree programs. Although these programs vary by size and scope, many can be completed in the span of 6-12 months. By earning online diplomas or certificates, working professionals earn important credentials that can beef up their resumes, prove their competence, or simply help them stay up-to-date on changes within their industry. Furthermore, some online certificates stand on their own and help individuals find entry-level work in their desired field.


In most cases, students need a high school diploma or GED to pursue an undergraduate certificate. Some certificates offer academic credit which can be applied toward a degree. However, others are noncredit credentials of achievement. Further, additional licensing beyond the certificate may be required for some professions.

Benefits of Online Certificates

The benefits of pursuing this type of education are obvious. With online certificates, students can learn and gain valuable credentials in their spare time and from the comfort of their own homes. Since many certificate programs are self-paced, students can learn as they go and find time to study while still tending to their other responsibilities.

Obviously, listing an online certificate program on your resume comes with benefits, too. Once students finish their program, they gain valuable credentials and experience that shows employers they went the extra mile. And in some fields, such as information technology and computer science, online certificates in specific software programs can be a huge asset and even help someone land a job.

Depending on the student, they can choose from online certificates that fall under one of the following categories:

  • Undergraduate certificates: Although terms vary, students typically need a high school diploma to pursue an undergraduate certificate. These programs can last anywhere from six months to two years
  • Graduate certificates: Graduate certificates are for individuals who have already earned a four-year degree in their chosen profession. By helping students prove their competency, they can add to a resume, bolster a professional's outlook, or lead to higher pay.

Types of Online Certificates

Many types of online certificates and diplomas are available across a broad range of fields and industries. If you're considering this educational path, these options are available:

  • Software and programming certificates: Pursue certification as a Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP), Comp TIA A+ Technician, Project Management Professional (PMP), or Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) to prove mastery in any of these programs
  • Information technology certificates: Professionals in information technology can pursue certification in web technology, database management, ecommerce and programming, among other options.
  • Education certificates: Earn a teaching, counseling, or specialist certificate that could take your teaching career to the next level
  • Communications and journalism certificates: Pursue certification in writing, editing, or copyediting in order to put your advanced skills on display for potential employers
  • Business certificates and diplomas: Pursue certificates in accounting, administration, organizational leadership, or management
  • Automotive certificates: Students who want to take their career as a mechanic to greater heights can pursue certification in automotive service excellence, ATV repair, boat or marine technology, collision repair and refinishing, or vehicle maintenance
  • Criminal justice certificates: Criminal justice certificates are offered in disciplines such as criminal justice administrator, criminal justice technology, crisis management, cybercrime, fraud investigation, security management and safety
  • Psychology certificates: Psychologists and other mental health professionals can keep their skills up-to-date and add to their resume with certifications in behavior analysis, forensic psychology, social work, child psychology, bereavement studies and gerontology
  • Visual and performing arts certificates: Actors and other visual performers can learn new skills with certification in apparel design, digital graphics design, media production, or visual communication
  • Transportation and distribution certificates: Various industries in transportation and distribution see online certificates as a boon to one's resume and potential work performance. Students in this field can pursue certificates in fields like aviation technology, commercial driving, small airport management, overhead crane safety and more


"5 IT Certifications that Will Get Your Foot in the Door," Rasmussen College, http://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/technology/blog/5-it-certifications-to-get-your-foot-in-the-door/

"Professional Certificates Can Lead to Higher Pay, Study Says," Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/07/certificates-higher-pay_n_1577299.html

Pursue your Major today…

Refine School Matches
Hide filters

    See More


    See More



    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.

Searching Searching ...

Prefer exploring options talking to our staff?
Call toll free now: 1.855.330.6938
Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
  • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
  • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
  • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found
  • Flexible Online Learning — Career programs designed for anytime learning.  Study when you have time and test when you feel ready.
  • Accredited and Supported — Regionally and nationally accredited programs with expert instructors available to answer your questions.
  • Affordable Tuition — 0% interest and low monthly payment plans.
  • Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
  • Founded in 1890 in Scranton, Pennsylvania    
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
  • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
  • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
  • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
5 Program(s) Found
  • Students who qualify may apply for the Opportunity Scholarship, which can help lower education costs.
  • Offers career-focused, degree programs to over 70,000 students at over 140 ITT Technical Institutes in 35 states.
  • Classes are offered year-round, with day and evening course options.
  • Online courses can be accessed from anywhere, 24 hours a day.
  • Nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Among the top 15% of military-friendly colleges, universities, & trade schools in the nation. 
  • A Service Members Opportunities College.
  • Accepts employer tuition assistance. 
  • Recognized by The Princeton Review Guide to 311 Green Colleges as one of 311 institutions of higher education that demonstrates notable commitments to sustainability.  
  • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Inc. (NEASC).
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
3 Program(s) Found
  • Founded in Southern California in 1998 by dog training expert Steven Appelbaum.
  • The largest independent dog training company in the United States.
  • Offers 11-stage programs that feature an in-home study component along with a hands-on training module.
  • A member of the MyCAA Financial Assistance program, which offers eligible military spouses up to $4,000 of tuition assistance that can be used towards any of their courses.
  • Helps graduates find employment and coaches those who are looking to start their own business.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
2 Program(s) Found
  • Has over 350 employees who provide personalized, one-on-one live student support.
  • Partnered with AmeriCorps to create the Segal AmeriCorps education award that pays up to $5,500 towards tuition.
  • Provides 100% tuition assistance for military service members who qualify.
  • Offers JANET, the Job Assistance Network that covers instruction on résumé writing, cover letters and weekly job leads for up to three years.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC).
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR 1.844.285.6104