Best Online Graduate Certificate in Educational Technology Programs

This page details the best online graduate certificate in educational technology programs. It also highlights potential careers and salary data.

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by Bethanny Parker

Published on March 7, 2022 · Updated on March 8, 2022

Reviewed by Monali Mirel Chuatico

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A certificate in educational technology is a graduate certificate that focuses on providing teachers with tools and technologies to use in their classrooms. Students learn how to lead online classes and use technology to engage their students.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), tuition and fees for graduate school cost an average of $12,410 per year for public schools in 2019-20. Private schools charged $26,597 per year on average. Most online graduate certificates in educational technology take one year to complete. Some only take six months. Programs at top online schools may cost less than on-campus programs.

With a graduate certificate in educational technology and a master's degree in the field, people can become instructional coordinators. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that instructional coordinators earned a median income of $66,970 per year in May 2020. The BLS projects that job opportunities for this career will increase 10% from 2020-2030.

What Is an Online Graduate Certificate in Educational Technology Program?

Some people may think that a certificate program leads to teacher certification, but that is not the case. Students who want to work as a certified teacher must complete a bachelor's degree in education. They must also complete 4-6 months of student teaching. The exact requirements vary by state. For example, some states require CPR certification.

A graduate certificate is designed for people who are already certified teachers. A graduate certificate in educational technology helps teachers learn to use technology more effectively in their classrooms. It also improves their chances of advancing in their careers.

Although a graduate certificate requires graduate-level courses, it does not lead to a master's degree. However, graduate certificate and master's degree courses may overlap. That means students may apply some of their credits to a master's degree later.

What Can I Expect From an Online Graduate Certificate in Educational Technology Program?

Good teachers are strong communicators who speak and listen well. They adapt to changes easily and work well with others. They demonstrate patience and show empathy to their students. They are engaging. They never stop learning. Many of the traits that make good teachers can also help individuals excel in an online graduate certificate in educational technology program.

Certificate in educational technology programs generally require 9-18 credits and take 6-12 months to complete. Educational technology programs may have slightly different names at some schools, such as teaching with technology. Regardless, these programs all teach students how to use technology in education effectively.

Students taking an online graduate certificate in educational technology better understand multimedia, instructional development, and instructional system design. They learn how to work with other professionals, such as game developers, to create games, simulations, and other instructional systems.

Before enrolling in an online program, learners should check for any in-person requirements. Some online programs are not fully online.

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Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Graduate Certificate in Educational Technology Program?

Foundations of Instructional Technology

This course introduces students to the instructional technology field. Students learn about the field's history, instructional design theories, and learning theories. They also study instructional systems development models.

Instructional Design

Instructional design uses learning theories, content expertise, technology, and communication skills to design learning experiences for students. Learners explore how to absorb new material quickly and figure out the best way to teach it.

Instructional Technology Tools and Development

In this course, students learn how the latest technological advances affect education. The course reviews different types of media and their delivery methods. It also exposes students to various audio, video, and data technologies.

Fundamentals of Online Learning

Students enrolled in this course learn about the methods, theories, and history of online learning. The course includes case studies and instructional theory. Students learn how to use online learning tools in their teaching.

Instructional Technology Leadership

This course helps students develop leadership skills for technology administration and planning. Students learn how to plan and implement technology integration and evaluate the final results. They also learn to budget for educational technology.

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What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Graduate Certificate in Educational Technology Program?

To enroll in an online graduate certificate in educational technology, students need a bachelor's degree. Some schools may require a bachelor's degree in education.

Learners do not usually need to take a college entrance exam, such as the GRE, to get into a graduate certificate program. However, they may need to if they decide to pursue a master's degree later.

Prospective students must submit official transcripts from any college courses they have taken. They may also need to submit a college application essay or personal statement and 2-3 letters of recommendation. Students with work experience should ask their supervisor for a recommendation letter. Or, learners can ask professors from their bachelor's program.

What Can I Do With an Online Graduate Certificate in Educational Technology Degree?

Career Outlook

The BLS projects job growth for K-12 school teachers, instructional coordinators, and training and development specialists between 7-11% from 2020-2030. This is average to slightly above-average growth compared to all other industries. The Economic Policy Institute reported a teacher shortage in March 2019, and the pandemic has aggravated the problem. Due to financial constraints, low-income schools have a greater shortage of credentialed teachers.

K-12 teachers earned a median annual salary of $60,660-$62,870 in May 2020, depending on the grade level. Teachers with a master's degree typically earn more than those with only a bachelor's degree or a bachelor's degree and a graduate certificate.

See where a graduate certificate in educational technology can take you. Learn more about teaching careers.

Career Paths

Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers create lesson plans for subjects such as math, science, reading, and social studies. They teach classes, give out assignments, and grade assignments. They also help students learn how to interact with each other. These teachers may need to help supervise students during lunch or recess.

Median Annual Salary: $60,660

Middle School Teachers

Middle school teachers also create lesson plans in various subject areas. They make and enforce classroom rules and help students overcome learning problems. These teachers give students assignments and grade those assignments. They prepare students for taking standardized tests and supervise students during lunch and detention.

Median Annual Salary: $60,810

High School Teachers

High school teachers develop lesson plans and use them to teach their students. Typically, high school teachers specialize in one or more education areas. For example, one teacher may only teach math or science, while another teaches English and foreign languages. Teachers in small schools likely need to teach more than one subject.

Median Annual Salary: $62,870

Training and Development Specialists

Training and development specialists plan and administer training programs for employees at their company. They talk to employees and managers to determine what skills employees need, then create course materials to deliver the training. They may select training manuals from external sources to use in their training.

Median Annual Salary: $62,700

Instructional Coordinators

Instructional coordinators oversee teaching standards and curricula at elementary, secondary, and other schools. They plan the curricula and determine what type of training, workshops, and conferences the teachers need to attend. They analyze students' test scores and recommend teaching techniques to increase learning and retention.

Median Annual Salary: $66,970

Educational Technology Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

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Continuing Education

People who want to become teachers need state certification. Most education bachelor's degrees prepare students for teacher certification. Students who pursue a graduate certificate in educational technology typically already have their teacher certification.

After earning an online graduate certificate in educational technology, some students may wish to advance their education to the master's level. There are several master's in education, including:

How Do I Choose an Online Graduate Certificate in Educational Technology Program?

Cost

Costs for graduate certificate in education technology programs vary widely depending on the program. Schools may charge between $300-900 per credit. A student's residency status also impacts tuition rates. When searching for the lowest cost, consider the true program cost, including on-campus or off-campus housing and lost wages.

Program Format

Students should consider whether a program features synchronous or asynchronous courses when deciding which program is right for them. Synchronous programs require learners to log in at a specific time. Students should also consider whether the program is full time or part time. Part-time graduate students often take one course per semester to continue working while earning their certificate or degree.

Location

If learners take their certificate in educational technology online, location may not matter. However, prospective online learners should check for in-person components when deciding between an online or on-campus program. If an online option has in-person requirements, students may want to choose a nearby program.

Accreditation

Accreditation is the process where a third-party organization examines the teaching standards and curricula used at an institution and decides whether the institution meets their standards. Students who attend schools that hold institutional accreditation may transfer credits more easily to another school if they transfer.

Student Support

Many schools offer student support services, including online student services for online students. Depending on the school, they may offer tutoring, mentorship services, academic advising, and internship placement. They may also provide career services and alumni networking events. Learners should think about what services they might need and see if prospective schools offer them.

Best Accredited Online Graduate Certificate in Educational Technology Programs

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Best Online Graduate Certificate in Educational Technology Programs

  1. University of Central Florida
    Location

    Orlando, FL

    Tuition

    $13016

    Surveys report that 82% of UCF's student body of nearly 70,000 takes at least one online or hybrid course. The school's well-regarded online offerings include an online graduate certificate in educational technology.

    The 15-credit online graduate certificate in instructional design and technology generally takes a year to complete, and suits K-12 teachers looking to further their credentials. Credits from the certificate program articulate with UCF's master's degree for the same major. Course topics include instructional system design, multimedia for education and training, and integration of technology into the learning environment. The program meets national credentialing standards set by the International Society for Technology in Education.

    UCF holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  2. North Carolina State University at Raleigh
    Location

    Raleigh, NC

    Tuition

    $14771

    With its rigorous online programs, NCSU maintains a reputation as one of the most prestigious state universities nationwide. The school offers an online graduate certificate in educational technology.

    The 15-credit online graduate certificate in teaching, training, and educational technology takes a year to complete. The program articulates with the master of education in training and development. Learners choose an area of specialization aligned with their needs such as instructional design, talent development, or e-learning/educational technology. Major course topics include teaching in the online environment, the adult learner, and organizing training and development programs.

    Applicants must hold a 3.0 minimum GPA for consideration. NC State holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  3. Johns Hopkins University
    Location

    Baltimore, MD

    Tuition

    $27868

    With a mission focused on expanding the frontiers of knowledge, Johns Hopkins boasts practical yet academically challenging distance education programs. The school of education offers an online graduate certificate in educational technology.

    Catering to teachers looking to bolster their technology skills, the 15-credit part-time certificate in leadership in technology integration takes 1-3 years to complete. Course topics include advanced applications in digital learning, data-driven decision making, and technology leadership for school improvement. Credits from the graduate certificate apply toward the educational technology concentration and individualized study program for the master of science in education.

    The school offers a webinar for prospective learners on the program website. Johns Hopkins holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

  4. University of Georgia
    Location

    Athens, GA

    Tuition

    $15539

    Established in 1785, UGA numbers among the oldest and most respected public universities in the nation. The school's dedication to affordable education encompasses many online programs, including an online graduate certificate in educational technology.

    The 15-credit certificate in instructional technology applies largely to non-degree-seeking students. Major course topics include an introduction to computer-based education, multicultural perspectives in technology, and technology-enhanced learning environments. Completion of the program along with a culminating capstone project qualifies graduates to receive the Georgia Professional Standards Commission's professional certification in instructional technology.

    Non-degree-seeking learners may apply to the program without submitting test scores or letters of recommendation. UGA holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  5. University of Illinois at Springfield
    Location

    Springfield, IL

    Tuition

    $10733

    Founded in 1969, UIS serves approximately 5,400 students, many of them through its online programs. The school's affordable online offerings include an online graduate certificate in educational technology.

    The 24-credit certificate takes two years to complete, and articulates with the online master of arts in education. Course topics for the major encompass online teaching and learning, foundations for technology in the curriculum, and instructional design for technology. The certificate qualifies graduates to apply for the Illinois PK-12 educational technology specialist endorsement.

    The school expects applicants to hold accrued educational experience, but does not require a teaching certificate. Learners must maintain a 3.0 minimum GPA to graduate. UIS holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

  6. Appalachian State University
    Location

    Boone, NC

    Tuition

    $10491

    Appalachian began as a teachers' college in 1899 in Boone, North Carolina. The school now features a range of fully online educational degrees, including an online graduate certificate in educational technology.

    Part-time students may complete the 18-credit certificate in instructional technology leadership in one year. Course topics for the major include planning for instructional plan initiatives, research for instructional technology leadership, and critical perspectives in new media and literacies. Credits taken towards the certificate also count towards Appalachian's doctoral degree in educational leadership. The certificate prepares graduates for professional licensure in many states.

    Online learners access courses blending asynchronous and synchronous formats through the AsULearn portal. Appalachian holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  7. University of North Dakota
    Location

    Grand Forks, ND

    Tuition

    $15374

    UND serves a student body of approximately 14,000 and offers more than 250 degrees and certificates, many of them available fully online. The school currently features an online graduate certificate in educational technology.

    Catering to working professionals who already hold or do not need a master's, the 12-credit certificate in instructional design and technology typically takes one year to complete. The program offers three concentrations based on learners' unique needs: K-12 technology integration, corporate training and performance, and e-learning. Course topics encompass instructional systems analysis and design, human performance technology, and web-based instruction.

    Online students access course materials emphasizing synchronous, real-time discussion through the Blackboard learning portal. UND holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

  8. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
    Location

    New Brunswick, NJ

    Tuition

    $16295

    One of the oldest and largest postsecondary institutions in its home state, Rutgers embraces distance education with its practical online degrees and certificates. The school's online graduate certificate in educational technology merits consideration from working professionals on a budget.

    Tailored toward K-12 teachers, postsecondary instructors, and school administrators augmenting their skillset with digital learning tools, the nine-credit certificate takes one year to complete. The program follows a cohort model integrating collaborative activities with real-world projects.

    The curriculum consists of three courses, usually taken in sequence. Topics cover teaching with digital tools, web-based multimedia design for educators, and developing digital e-learning environments.

    Rutgers holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

  9. George Washington University
    Location

    Washington, DC

    Tuition

    $39600

    Established in 1821 in the nation's capital city, GW offers 70 online degrees and certificates that target the needs of working and nontraditional learners, including an online graduate certificate in educational technology.

    Applicable to a variety of roles, the 18-credit certificate in educational technology leadership takes 1.5 years to complete. Common careers for certificate holders include instructional technology supervisor, school technology specialist, or teacher augmenting their course with technology. The curriculum covers topics including managing computer applications, leadership and education, and trends and issues in educational technology. All courses in the program apply toward GW's master's in educational technology leadership.

    Online students access asynchronous coursework through the Blackboard learning management system. GW holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

  10. University of St Francis
    Location

    Joliet, IL

    Tuition

    $19418

    A private school with its main campus based in Joliet, Illinois, USF boasts a 10-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. This personalized learning experience enhances the school's online programs, including an online graduate certificate in educational technology.

    The 12-credit certificate in instructional design for online learning suits working professionals aiming to enhance their credentials. The four required courses cover topics such as facilitating e-learning, management of e-learning, and development of multimedia materials. Graduates may apply all credit from the graduate certificate toward a master's at USF.

    Online students access coursework through the Canvas portal asynchronously. The school requires learners to complete all coursework with a 3.0 minimum GPA within three years to graduate. USF holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Frequently Asked Questions About Certificate in Educational Technology Programs

Is a graduate certificate in educational technology worth it? true

For most degrees, you can compare the salary before and after getting the degree and use the program's cost to figure out how long it will take for the degree to pay for itself. However, with a graduate certificate in educational technology, students may continue in the same career after earning the certificate. This is especially true if they are already a teacher.

In that case, students should examine the other benefits of earning this certificate. For example, they become more familiar with various technological tools and methods to make their job easier and help their students learn better.

What can you do with a certificate in educational technology? true

A graduate certificate in educational technology can help people revolutionize their classrooms with technology. They can find new ways to keep their students engaged and learning. This certificate can also help graduates improve their online lessons.

Learners who decide to continue teaching may negotiate a raise due to their additional qualifications. Or, they may decide to pursue training and development specialist or instructional coordinator careers. Instructional coordinators make slightly more than K-12 teachers, with a median income of $66,970 per year in May 2020.

Is an educational technology certificate program hard? true

A certificate in educational technology program consists of 3-6, three-credit graduate courses. Graduate courses are often harder than bachelor's-level courses. However, a certificate program is often easier than a master's program since many master's degrees require a final capstone project. Learners should also keep in mind that certificate coursework relates to the work they already do in the classroom.

How long does it take to get a certificate in educational technology?

Educational technology graduate certificate programs require 9-18 credits. Students enrolled in a 9-credit program who take all three classes at once could finish in a single semester. Taking nine credits per semester for an 18-credit program allows students to finish in two semesters.

Enrollment status affects how long it takes to earn a certificate. Part-time learners often need more time to finish. Students could stretch a 9-credit program out to three semesters or an 18-credit program to three years. Make sure to check with a school to determine how long students can take to earn their certificate.

What's the highest paying job you can get with a certificate in educational technology?

Although instructional coordinators typically need a master's degree and five years of experience, students may get this job with a graduate certificate. They will likely still need a few years of teaching experience before advancing to instructional coordinator. The top 10% of instructional coordinators earned a median salary of $105,650 per year in May 2020.

These professionals develop curricula and teaching standards for the schools where they work. Part of the job involves browsing different textbooks and deciding which ones to use in the classroom. They also train teachers in new educational programs and mentor them to become better teachers.

Often taking 6-9 months, certificates are typically cheaper than traditional degrees and can launch careers in healthcare, administration, and IT. Schools, organizations, and state governments all issue education credentials, but there are big differences between certificates, licenses, and certifications. Ready to teach online? We offer 10 tips for successful online teaching.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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