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Staying competitive in the technology field requires both competency in your job and an active pursuit of knowledge and experience. While securing a four-year degree or a master's degree is a good option, online certificate in technology programs offer applicable training on a much faster timeline.
These tech-focused certificates, available in a variety of technology fields, offer valuable training to students entering a new field and working professionals alike. Online certificates provide targeted, applicable, career-specific information that can enhance career options and boost salaries.
What Are the Best Online Certificate in Technology Programs? Here Are Our Top Five:
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|1||University of South Florida-Sarasota-Manatee||Sarasota, FL|
|2||Florida International University||Miami, FL|
|3||University of South Florida||Tampa, FL|
|4||Colorado State University Global||Greenwood Village, CO|
|5||Hallmark University||San Antonio, TX|
- How We Rank Schools
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Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our Ranking Methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.
2020 Best Accredited Online Certificate in Technology Programs
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University of California-Berkeley
|Berkeley, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 91%||
Founded in 1868, the University of California, Berkeley, is a historic institution and a founding member of the Association of American Universities. The university's certificate in semiconductor technology fundamentals is part of the UC Berkeley Extension online technology certificate program. Being part of the UC Berkeley academic and professional community is one benefit of enrollment.
Successful completion of the six-semester certificate program requires an overall minimum 2.5 GPA, totaling 90 hours within a 3-5 year period. Berkeley engineering faculty and leadership from the semiconductor industry serve on the advisory board that oversees curriculum. UC Berkeley offers free topic-oriented information sessions online.
Students must complete four required courses for certification in semiconductor technology fundamentals: introduction to microelectronics, introduction to microelectronic circuits, introduction to semiconductor devices, and semiconductor devices for IC design. Students must also complete one of the following three electives: computer simulation of electronic circuits, fundamental analog ICs, or semiconductor IC amplifiers. These continuous enrollment courses follow an asynchronous format. Students can take 30-180 days to complete the coursework.
Enrollment is open and year-round with no prerequisites required. To enroll, students must create a student profile online and add courses to the cart. Familiarity with mathematics and scientific terminology and an understanding of circuit theories are strongly recommended. The program costs an estimated $2,250, which does not include the $100 registration fee. The University of California, Berkeley, is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
The University of West Florida
|Pensacola, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 44%||
Located in Pensacola, Florida, the University of West Florida (UWF) was established in 1967. The university values inclusiveness, integrity, innovation, creativity, and collaboration. The certificate in technology systems support is part of the UWF global online degree and certificate offerings division. With this certificate, students can work as network, telecommunications, and instructional systems support specialists.
Courses such as information technology infrastructure analysis and recommendation, web presence deployment strategies, and technology systems operations: management strategies, comprise the 18-credit-hour program. Students can complete the asynchronous coursework in 2-4 semesters. To succeed, students need basic computer skills and familiarity with word programs and online presentation technology.
Upon coursework completion, students understand how to pair telecommunication and network systems with application and organization requirements. They possess the skills to design systems which meet application specifications and develop websites focused on management practices and methods. Graduates are successful in implementing telecommunications and network systems and aligning instruction and training with technology tool objectives.
Tuition is $211.98/credit in-state, $641.37/credit out-of-state, and $316.98/credit for Alabama residents. Out-of-state students may be eligible for a tuition waiver amounting to a 75-90% reduction in tuition costs. The University of West Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
University of Kansas
|Lawrence, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 63%||
Located in Lawrence, Kansas, and founded in 1865, the University of Kansas (KU) began offering distance learning in 1891 through its School of University Extension. Only two other major universities offered distance learning at that time. The online learning division has been renamed Professional and Continuing Education. Online students receive the same instruction from University of Kansas faculty that they would receive on campus. Professional and Continuing Education puts the university's mission into action by making its high standard of educational resources available to working students.
KU offers its certificate in engineering technology as part of its Continuing and Professional Education online program. Two subheadings exist in engineering technology. The first is industrial control and automation, which offers six online certificate concentrations. The second is reliability and maintenance management, which features an online certificate in maintenance management via synchronous instruction. Process instrumentation and control features synchronous instruction while other concentrations are asynchronous. Computerized maintenance management system implementation and optimization and managing maintenance for buildings and facilities are taught asynchronously.
The KU Center for Online and Distance Learning provides resources for faculty and technical support for students. Tuition is $397/credit with a $30 application fee. The fee for each online certificate course is $995. Students can use an online code to save $200 when simultaneously registering for three courses. The University of Kansas is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Bismarck State College
|Bismarck, ND||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 44%||
Founded in 1939 as Bismarck Junior College, Bismarck State College (BSC) prides itself as an innovative institution and model for workplace training for the global community. BSC offers the program certificate in electric power technology with specializations in line construction, metering, substation, and system design through the college's National Energy Center of Excellence. The electric power technology program focuses on training in electric grid fundamentals. BSC began offering online courses in 2001 with the electrical power technology program.
This certificate requires students to complete 57 credits during four semesters. Courses are offered in blocks of 3-5 weeks and include industrial safety and health, applied electronics, and advanced electrical systems. Successful students dedicate 15-20 hours per week engaged in coursework. BSC offers 58 start dates for online classes.
For admission, students need a 16 in ACT math, 34 in Compass pre-algebra, and a 41 in elementary algebra from Accuplacer. Tuition is $160/in-state (military) credit, $179.20/credit in Minnesota, $240/credit in the U.S., Manitoba, and Saskatchewan, and $280/credit for international students. There is a $45 per-credit fee for online course offerings. Textbook costs are an estimated $500 per semester. Bismarck State College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commision (HLC).
|Nashville, TN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 59%||
Lipscomb University is located in Nashville, Tennessee, and was founded in 1891 by David Lipscomb and James A. Harding. Lipscomb Online promotes active learning and Christian values through faith, community, knowledge, innovation, and service ideals. This research institution's technology integration specialist certificate program strives to meet evolving technology challenges. Students can take advantage of valuable resources such as the Lipscomb Libraries, which are accessible online. Learners can access the university's LiveText site for document review, assignment submissions, and student orientation information.
The 12-credit certificate program deepens students' knowledge and enhances their leadership skills through courses such as instructional design, technology applications, and technology for special groups.
The Competency Assessment Center is the university's tool for promoting competency-based education, awarding as many as 30 credits for life experience and skills. For admission, applicants must submit official transcripts, an essay articulating purpose and goals at Lipscomb, and two recommendation letters. Students can expect to spend $953/credit on tuition plus a $50 non-refundable application fee. With regard to financial aid, Lipscomb offers a 26% in-service scholarship for educators. Lipscomb University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
What Can I Expect From an Online Certificate in Technology Program?
Through targeted coursework, online certificates offer students the chance to quickly gain new skills.
Through targeted coursework, online certificates offer students the chance to gain new skills, often in under six months. Due to this accelerated timeline, certificate tracks tend to be relatively inexpensive compared to degree programs. Online certificate programs allow students to learn new skills, boost career options, and increase earning potential.
Students take a variety of field-specific courses that provide an introduction to new methods in fields like computer coding and technology and facilities management. Learners in skills-based fields, such as computer programming, may need to document and display certain competencies to qualify for enrollment. More advanced certificates, such as those related to engineering, often require a degree or other prerequisites.
Online certificate programs may employ a combination of self-guided asynchronous work and interactive lectures through platforms like Zoom. These online programs often fit well with the busy schedules of working professionals. Students can complete many of these programs in less than a year.
Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Degree Programs.
What Courses Will I Take in an Online Certificate in Technology Program?
The coursework in an online certificate in technology program varies greatly between programs. The main benefit of online certificates is that they forgo extraneous classes, focusing specifically on applicable information directly related to the field.
- Introduction to Computers and Information Systems
This course introduces students to systems thinking principles, information systems, and ways to implement technology in the business world. Covered topics include software tools, management information systems, and information management.
- Principles of Sustainability Management
This course delves into the value of environmental sustainability and the impact of various industries. Coursework also reviews the social, economic, and legal issues that drive sustainability development. Learners cover the potential environmental impact of various projects.
- Introduction to Managing Maintenance
In addition to helping professionals coordinate and schedule maintenance, this course teaches participants how to implement predictive and preventive procedures within an operation. Coursework covers the formulas and techniques employed to evaluate maintenance, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of contracting and outsourcing.
- Computer Networking Essentials
In this course, learners build a foundation of networking protocols and gain the tools needed to configure, maintain, and troubleshoot IT networks. Students learn to tackle connectivity and performance issues and address problems involving bandwidth, cabling, and interference.
- Information Security Essentials
Covering relevant practices in information security, this course pushes students to investigate the techniques and methods used to configure, troubleshoot, and deliver network security. Covered topics include the threat of viruses and worms, data classification, and identity management.
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What Can I Do With an Online Certificate in Technology?
Earning a technology certificate can play an important role in expanding your career options. If you're looking to switch careers, certificates typically offer more targeted information, cost less money, and take less time compared to going back to school and earning another degree.
Often associated with computer-centric topics, online certificates in technology can also help current tech professionals develop or maintain the technical expertise needed to stay at the top of their field.
- Cybersecurity Professional
A career in cybersecurity can be lucrative. Information security analysts plan and implement security measures designed to protect their organization's computer systems and networks. Most security analysts hold at least a bachelor's degree, often supplemented by additional credentials, such as a technology certificate.
- Web Developer
These technology professionals design and create websites. Web developers can work as freelancers or as salaried employees, creating a digital product that is functional and also mirrors a client's desired theme and aesthetics. Developers write code and monitor/analyze online traffic.
- Network and Computer Systems Administrator
Overseeing and managing organizations' network operations, these administrators also evaluate system needs and maintain and upgrade hardware and software. These tech professionals also manage data storage and workstation functionality.
- Computer Support Specialist
On the frontline of computer troubleshooting for users and organizations, computer support specialists work with computer networks and provide direct technical help to users. These professionals evaluate network systems, perform regular maintenance, and troubleshoot networks and internet systems.
- Semiconductor Engineer
These engineers use computers to develop, test, and implement advancements in semiconductor research. This career typically requires a bachelor's degree in engineering, although many professionals complete additional graduate and certificate work.
Technology Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Certificate in Technology Programs
- What is a technology certificate?
A technology certificate program is a nondegree program that offers students the chance to develop new skills or hone existing abilities. These programs can also open doors to new career opportunities. Students can pursue technology certificates in fields like web design and network administration.
- What can you do with a technology certificate?
A technology certificate provides specific, targeted training, often for professionals with some prior knowledge and experience in the subject. Graduates can earn promotions in their current field or launch a new career.
- Is a technology certificate program hard?
Because a technology certificate often supplements other education, students usually bring a level of competence to their program. While this experience may decrease the learning curve in certain programs, the specific field often determines each program's difficulty.
- How long does it take to get a technology certificate?
Online technology certificates usually require 12-15 credits. Most students graduate in 4-18 months.
- What's the highest-paying job you can get with a technology certificate?
Because technology-focused certificates vary greatly in content, so too do related careers and salaries. For example, students pursuing certificates that boost management skills often make substantially more than entry-level IT specialists.