As colleges and universities navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, we're continuing our efforts to provide you with useful student resources and the latest online program information. Check our coronavirus resources page to learn more.
Nearly every industry uses technology, and aspiring technology professionals can enter the workforce through various pathways. Many choose the route of a technology-related degree, but learners can also pursue a technology certificate. Certificates may help graduates launch entry-level careers, specialize in a subfield, or further develop and advance their careers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the information technology industry boasts a median annual wage more than double the figure for all occupations. Additionally, the BLS projects 11% job growth for this field between 2019 and 2029.
Read on for more information about technology certificates and careers, along with our ranking of the best programs in the field. Also, check out our technology certificate program guide.
What Are the Best Online Certificate in Technology Programs of 2020? Here Are Our Top 5:
Is your school on this list? Get the BestColleges ranking seal.
|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
At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you will make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering school rankings that are transparent, inclusive, and relevant for online students.
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
Is your school on this list? Get the BestColleges ranking seal.
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?
In more advanced information technology certificates, coursework may focus on specialized subdisciplines, such as programming, cybersecurity, data analytics, and software development.
Technology certificates can look significantly different from each other depending on various factors. Certificates typically require 9-45 credits, meaning students usually graduate in 2-18 months.
In more advanced information technology certificates, coursework may focus on specialized subdisciplines, such as programming, cybersecurity, data analytics, and software development. Entry-level certificates may offer courses for students with no higher education experience or for professionals looking to add new skills.
While technology certificates do not lead to degrees, they can contribute to them. Many programs award undergraduate or graduate credits that students can use as transfer credits for a degree. Some certificate programs may help degree-seekers meet the admission requirements for a technology-related degree.
As always, students should ensure the technology certificate they choose provides the appropriate blend of theoretical and practical training needed. Prospective students should look at internship and lab opportunities, as practical training can prove essential in the technology field. Similarly, when choosing an online technology certificate, distance learners should examine on-campus requirements and make sure they can meet them.
Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs.
What Courses Will I Take in an Online Certificate in Technology Program?
The courses students take in an online technology certificate depend on the type of program they select. Certificates may focus on introductory training, specializations, or graduate-level courses. Though courses vary, the following list highlights some of the more common certificate courses.
- Computer Networks
Students in a computer networks course learn how to set up and maintain various networks for organizations. Covered topics may include network design, installation, upgrades, and security. Learners may also look at ways of assessing network performance and identifying possible improvements.
Programming courses may cover beginner and advanced topics, teaching students to follow design plans, diagnose problems, and troubleshoot issues. Advanced courses may delve into design strategies and more specialized programming languages.
- Database Systems
Database systems courses may teach students how to design, implement, operate, and secure database systems. Learners may explore programming languages used for these systems, along with methods and programs to analyze and make use of the information.
- Broadcast Technology
In broadcast technology courses, students engage with various technologies used by professionals in the industry. They may learn the different stages in the production chain, major products and services, traditional media forms, and emerging technologies. Courses may cover various types of broadcast or focus on radio, television, or motion pictures.
- Manufacturing Processes
Manufacturing processes courses familiarize students with major technologies and systems in the industry. Learners examine how these processes and technologies work and how they impact production.
Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree
- Planning Your Online Education
- Your Guide to Online Certificate Programs
- Your Guide to Financial Aid
What Can I Do With an Online Certificate in Technology?
A technology certificate can lead to entry or advancement in the technology field. The BLS projects 11% job growth for computer occupations between 2019 and 2029, nearly three times faster than the average rate for all occupations.
Much of the demand in technology stems from the intersection with business occupations. Graduates with a technology certificate can also apply their training and skills to business or pursue careers in any field that leverages technological skills.
Discover how an online technology certificate can impact your life. Learn more about technology careers.
- Computer Support Specialist
Computer support specialists may perform various roles for organizations, including providing technical support for staff and consumers. They often work with a specific type of computer software or application.
- Web Developer
Web developers create websites for organizations based on design, organizational, and consumer needs. They may help organizations upgrade their website's technical specifications or monitor user activity.
- Broadcast and Video Technician
Broadcast and video technicians handle equipment for various broadcasts and performances. They operate audio and lighting boards, oversee video quality, and troubleshoot issues.
- Computer Programmer
Computer programmers write program code. They test code, make adjustments, troubleshoot issues, and make improvements based on designer and user needs.
- Computer Systems Managers
Computer systems managers handle an organization's computer needs, supervising information technology staff, upgrading and securing technology, and planning and organizing technology-related operations.
Technology Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Certificate in Technology Programs
- What is technology?
Technology is the equipment and processes that people use to improve lives and solve problems. Technology is the result of scientific knowledge and advancements, and it can be used in almost any profession and industry. While technology makes jobs and processes easier, proper usage usually requires advanced training.
- What industries can I work in with a technology certificate?
Technology certificates can lead to careers in most industries. Though information technology is among the largest and more common landing spots, graduates can also work in manufacturing, media and communication, and business and finance.
- Is a technology certificate worth it?
Technology certificates can lead to entry-level jobs and help experienced professionals advance their careers. These programs can help learners pick up new skills or develop a specialization, leading to increased salaries and responsibility.
- How long does it take to get a technology certificate?
It depends on the program. Some programs require only a few courses and can be completed in a few months, while others require several advanced courses and take more than one year to complete.
- How much money can I make with a technology certificate?