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What Are Short-Term Certificate Programs?

Short-term certificate programs are those that last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months and are often offered in information technology and medical billing, as well as a variety of hands-on skills areas. See if one may be right for you! View article »

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  • 00:01 Essential Information
  • 0:21 International Student Programs
  • 0:48 Non-Credit Programs
  • 1:14 Online Study

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Video Transcript

Short-Term Certificate Programs

Program Level(s) Certificate programs
Field(s) of Study Business, art, music, nursing, transportation, and health, technology, ESL, AIE, vocational, and general studies
Prerequisites High school diploma or equivalent
Program Format Online, traditional, credit, and non-credit
Program Length Anywhere from a few weeks to a few months

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Short-term certificate programs are education programs designed to prepare students to work in areas where a 4-year college education may not be required. Students in these programs are usually required to take only courses within the field of study.

Programs for International Students

Some colleges offer short-term certificate programs for international students who are only staying in the country for a short time. Short-term certificate programs for international students are available in business systems, business administration, art, music, and general studies. International students can earn an English as a Second Language (ESL) certificate and an American Internship Experience (AIE) certificate that documents skill learned.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Business
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Sciences
  • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Legal
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • Medical and Health Professions
  • Physical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Transportation and Distribution
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Non-credit Programs

Some colleges offer non-credit certificate programs that can be completed in a short period of time. These certificate programs are focused on specific skills in business, nursing, transportation, and health. Some of these certificate programs include CAD technician, Class A CDL driver prep courses, training in Microsoft Office, paralegal training, pharmacy tech career training, and travel agent training.

Online Study

Many schools offer short-term certificate programs online. Some of these programs are designed to help information technology workers keep abreast of the latest technology. Certification programs are offered in Cisco, IBM-Lotus, Novell, RSA Security, Linux, and UNIX.

Other online programs aim towards retraining professionals interested in making a career change. There are also short-term certificate programs that teach special interest subjects for students seeking personal enrichment. Such programs include screen-printing, computerized fashion design, toy making, flower arranging, and cooking.

Short-term certificate programs are courses of study that can be completed in a small amount of time. They can help enhance a person's career or personal interests.


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