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Thoughts on Post-Grad Certificates for early career and new grads

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[OP]
Newbie
Aug 3, 2010
58 posts
7 upvotes
Markham

Thoughts on Post-Grad Certificates for early career and new grads

Hey Everyone.

As the title suggests, I just wanted to see what people thought about in terms of the value of post-graduate certificates for relatively new graduates with little experience. Do you believe it bolsters one's resume and/or makes them more competitive?
15 replies
Deal Addict
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May 4, 2010
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gst4r wrote: Hey Everyone.

As the title suggests, I just wanted to see what people thought about in terms of the value of post-graduate certificates for relatively new graduates with little experience. Do you believe it bolsters one's resume and/or makes them more competitive?
edit
Deal Fanatic
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Nov 4, 2008
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Scarbs
I'll let you know when I finish my post grad diplo in a few months ;)

I suppose it really depends on the program, but I feel that I've gotten a lot out of mine: four programming languages, SQL and technical writing. Granted I'm not an expert in any of the languages, nor should I be from just 8 months of study, but I can handle most things thrown at me, and I have a foundation from which I can do further study (ie from other manuals and textbooks).
When given enough time, all threads on RFD can and will go off on a tangent.
Sr. Member
May 24, 2007
547 posts
205 upvotes
it really depends. I think it would add value if you want to get into an industry that has nothing to do with your existing undergrad. I doubt a CS new grad w/o exp + a postgrad certificate will have much advantage over other fresh grads.
Deal Expert
Oct 6, 2005
16772 posts
2444 upvotes
Only if you have trouble landing a job - in which case any advantage is better than no advantage.
[OP]
Newbie
Aug 3, 2010
58 posts
7 upvotes
Markham
Great responses everyone. I'm currently employed, but have been floating around with the idea of getting a certificate or certification recently (the CAPM designation). Just trying to see what people's experiences have been with a post-grad degree to supplement their education exp.
Sr. Member
Apr 30, 2013
825 posts
498 upvotes
King City
why CAPM, why not the regular Certificate in PM?
[OP]
Newbie
Aug 3, 2010
58 posts
7 upvotes
Markham
freeforall wrote: why CAPM, why not the regular Certificate in PM?
Good point. I don't have the time or money to do a full fledged program. Not to mention, most of these programs do not have night time classes (from what I have seen). I am thinking about doing a Masters, but would like some solid work experience prior to enrolling. Considering that I also have some experience in project coordination, I thought taking just one course in project management (to fulfill the 23 hours class requirement) and eventually writing the CAPM would be a good foundation and supplement my CV.

My goal is to get into public policy and research and believe this would also be useful when I do get into that field.
Sr. Member
Apr 30, 2013
825 posts
498 upvotes
King City
gst4r wrote: Good point. I don't have the time or money to do a full fledged program. Not to mention, most of these programs do not have night time classes (from what I have seen). I am thinking about doing a Masters, but would like some solid work experience prior to enrolling. Considering that I also have some experience in project coordination, I thought taking just one course in project management (to fulfill the 23 hours class requirement) and eventually writing the CAPM would be a good foundation and supplement my CV.

My goal is to get into public policy and research and believe this would also be useful when I do get into that field.
I got the regular PM certificate. Did all 3 courses online, one after another while working full-time... took just under 1 year to complete.
If you can afford to spare the $2100, why not... you are essentially investing in yourself.

You sound like a Poli.Sci. major... I would recommend you volunteer with your local MPP. Seems like the easiest way to get yourself out there and network.
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Sep 16, 2012
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Mississauga
I did one however only after i graduated a few years ago, i think it can be useful when interviewing in certain sectors because it shows that you care about personal development and trying to enhance skills/knowledge.
[OP]
Newbie
Aug 3, 2010
58 posts
7 upvotes
Markham
freeforall wrote: I got the regular PM certificate. Did all 3 courses online, one after another while working full-time... took just under 1 year to complete.
If you can afford to spare the $2100, why not... you are essentially investing in yourself.

You sound like a Poli.Sci. major... I would recommend you volunteer with your local MPP. Seems like the easiest way to get yourself out there and network.
I am networking quite a bit and trying to get my foot in the right door. I have actually volunteered with an MPP in the past during an election campaign. And yes I am a PSCI/Public Policy major.

Curious though, did you find the PM certificate beneficial to your career goals?
Deal Fanatic
Apr 25, 2006
7816 posts
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OP, how can a project manager certificate translate into a career in public policy? While PM skills are well sought after, I don't think it'll be beneficial for your goals since you can get better skills by TA'ing and doing academic publishing where then you cab apply for a MA in PP or fed. gov. PP jobs.
[OP]
Newbie
Aug 3, 2010
58 posts
7 upvotes
Markham
1xTiMeR wrote: OP, how can a project manager certificate translate into a career in public policy? While PM skills are well sought after, I don't think it'll be beneficial for your goals since you can get better skills by TA'ing and doing academic publishing where then you cab apply for a MA in PP or fed. gov. PP jobs.
I am trying to broaden my resume a bit, and project management is something I can fall back to if all else fails. From what I've seen, PM skills are very transferable especially in public policy which deals with various stakeholders. You're definitely right in terms of getting an MA and TA-ing would be great, but the number of unemployed MA students scares the heck out of me.

PP jobs are also very scarce in the public sector as well, and with the number of Masters students in PA/PP now there's only so many openings.
Deal Fanatic
Sep 23, 2007
5378 posts
1652 upvotes
gst4r wrote: Hey Everyone.

As the title suggests, I just wanted to see what people thought about in terms of the value of post-graduate certificates for relatively new graduates with little experience. Do you believe it bolsters one's resume and/or makes them more competitive?
It'll largely depend on your field, which certificate you're getting, how many people have that certificate, and numerous other factors. Common sense says if lots of people have something, its value will fall. Certificates are no different. If the job market is saturated, I suppose having a certificate can help you stand out.

If you have no experience, I wouldn't say a certificate is useless. I'd just say that having a certificate is better than not having one. Even if you feel overqualified, you always have the choice of leaving it off your resume.

All this doesn't get around the fact that most people care about experience and character. You can have all the certificates in the world but if you never take a shower and like to yell at people, chances are good no one will hire you. When you're unemployed and actively looking, I recommend taking a variety of measures to improve your chances. Don't think that any one thing will help you get a job. People are often too focused on single factor explanations to success. Life doesn't work that way. Success is a culmination of hard work, luck, social skills, and opportunities. You can work hard in school. You can't change your "luck" which could be things like how your face looks. But you can upgrade your social skills and also try to create more opportunities by getting into events more often. Basically expand your concept of "working hard" to include socializing and self improvement. I think far too many people define hard work as just sitting at a desk frantically doing something.
[OP]
Newbie
Aug 3, 2010
58 posts
7 upvotes
Markham
BananaHunter wrote: It'll largely depend on your field, which certificate you're getting, how many people have that certificate, and numerous other factors. Common sense says if lots of people have something, its value will fall. Certificates are no different. If the job market is saturated, I suppose having a certificate can help you stand out.

If you have no experience, I wouldn't say a certificate is useless. I'd just say that having a certificate is better than not having one. Even if you feel overqualified, you always have the choice of leaving it off your resume.

All this doesn't get around the fact that most people care about experience and character. You can have all the certificates in the world but if you never take a shower and like to yell at people, chances are good no one will hire you. When you're unemployed and actively looking, I recommend taking a variety of measures to improve your chances. Don't think that any one thing will help you get a job. People are often too focused on single factor explanations to success. Life doesn't work that way. Success is a culmination of hard work, luck, social skills, and opportunities. You can work hard in school. You can't change your "luck" which could be things like how your face looks. But you can upgrade your social skills and also try to create more opportunities by getting into events more often. Basically expand your concept of "working hard" to include socializing and self improvement. I think far too many people define hard work as just sitting at a desk frantically doing something.
Love your insight, BananaHunter. Definitely true when you say that qualifications are contingent on skill sets AND personality. Obviously its important to look at all sorts of ways that will improve your chances in the job market. I 100% agree with your post and I have definitely relied on my networks to find jobs (which is how I found my current one). Definitely more difficult to find something in my desired field, however am continually seeking ways to improve my skills.
Member
User avatar
Apr 26, 2012
423 posts
13 upvotes
I'm doing one right now, in advertising. It's definitely bolstered my resume and opened doors in ways my BA did not, though like the other guy, ask me in a few months how my co-op turns out and if it turns into a job.

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