Building Certificate Programs for the 21st Century

ManReceivingCertificateIt used to be that there were 100’s of jobs for millions of people. You could be a lawyer, journalist, doctor, and so on. In the second decade of the 21st century there will be millions of jobs for thousands of people. Jobs are now much more segmented and specific to an industry and need.

New jobs require new skill sets and those skill sets are best taught using certificate programs – a grouping of courses or a cohort program which is noncredit and can be completed in a short period of time. Generation Y (born between 1980-2000) is demanding certificate programs, especially those allowing them to move up the ladder or into a new job specialty.

Face2face certificate programs are very popular, but as the certificate programs become more targeted, you will be unable to find enough people in your local area who are interested. Thus the future of continuing education is online certificate programs.

While 80% of the certificate programs you offer will most likely be offered by third party instructors or vendors, the 20% that are targeted, you will want to own and be able to benefit from financially.

You need to be spending time identifying the new jobs for the second decade of the 21st century and being the first program offering the certificate program. To be successful you must:

  • Identify subject matter experts who can help you identify the job skills and competencies.
  • Have an instructional designer build the certificate program both for face2face and online delivery.
  • Be able to build a mailing list of people you can market the certificate program. Without the mailing list, do not do steps one and two.

Even if you come up with one “new job” certificate program per year, you will be ahead of many others in the field.