Does this certificate make me look accomplished?

By VHMA Admin posted 03-02-2020 10:17


According to the Institute for College Access and Success, the number of people who hold certificates has increased by more than 50% since 2005 — and that number is rising. Certificates may lead to more opportunities and increased pay but selecting a program that is worth the time and expense is a critical first step.

Search the Internet and you will find a vast array of certificate programs geared to practice managers. The subject matter, price and time commitment for each is just as varied. The best approach to choose the program that fits your needs is to vet carefully. Some of the factors that should be evaluated are:

Value: Value is a two-pronged consideration. The certificate should offer value to you personally, as well as the organization where you are employed or where you would like to work. 

Ask yourself the following questions:

Will completion of the program give me a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment?
Will the course of study enhance my skills and knowledge?
Will the certificate provide opportunities for career advancement and earning potential?
Does the certificate enhance professional credibility?

From the organizational perspective, as the holder of the certificate will your employer or a potential employer believe that you are better trained and more qualified having earned the certificate? Will the certificate enhance the employer’s image with clients?

Curriculum: If your motivation for enrolling in a certificate program is to pursue a new interest or carve out a niche in a specialized area, review the coursework to ensure there are enough introductory sessions to expose you to the basics. If this is your first foray into an area, think ahead. Are there additional programs you can build upon to grow and refine your expertise?  It’s okay to shop around and compare courses to find the program most compatible with your interests and career goals.

Flexibility: Many people who enroll in certificate programs have heavily scheduled lives and are juggling work, family, and other responsibilities. The more flexible the program, the more likely you are to cover all course material and devote the proper amount of time to the curriculum

Should I or shouldn’t I?

If you are on the fence about pursuing a certificate program, here are some additional issues to think about:

If you are interested in new job opportunities or expanded responsibilities in your current position, a certificate program can provide the skills and background that may help you stand out and gain a competitive edge. It can also help you test the water to see if this is an area in which you can thrive.

Learning new things just for the sake of it has intrinsic value: it can be mind-expanding, a springboard to new ventures, and can help you discover a side of yourself that you did not know existed. 

Finally, earning a certificate shows that you are committed to self-improvement and are capable of following through on what you started. When you conclude the program, you will have acquired new skills to perform your job more effectively and will have established yourself as a continuous learner.

Now that you have that certificate

Make sure the right people know you’ve earned a certificate. Not all certificates are relevant to all employers. Pick and choose and tell those who matter. If you are applying for a job with a practice that promotes preventive pet healthcare, and you’ve completed the Partners for Healthy Pets (PHP) Preventive Care Certificate Program, include it on your resume

What’s next?

After earning a certificate, continue your quest to acquire additional skills and grow your knowledge. For example, those who complete the Preventive Pet Healthcare Certificate program can use the credits earned toward VHMA’s continuing education requirement for the Certified Veterinary Manager (CVPM) program. Veterinarians and veterinary technicians can use the credits earned towards the re-certification of their licensing requirements. A certificate can lead to additional career opportunities.

Link for more information about the PHP Certificate program.