Are Graduate Certificates a Ticket to a Career Change?


A longtime Clue Wagon reader emailed me this weekend about his situation.  His question is the sort where opinions are going to vary, so I offered to put it out there for the group to answer, since many of you are hiring managers, HR people, or just smartiacs in general.

Here’s the situation:

Joe graduated a couple of years ago with a degree in finance.  He’s had a job or two with big, well-known companies, and…well, to make a long story short, he’s figured out that neither finance nor corporate life are for him (sometimes newer grads have adjustment issues, but I’ve been talking to this guy for some time, and I agree with his assessment—this just isn’t his cup of tea).  Up until now, in his words, he’s “made a lot of choices based on what I felt I should do and not what I wanted to do.”

So Joe’s looking to make a change.  He wants to work for a smaller firm, and he wants to do something other than finance.  He’s especially targeting at an account manager or business development role with a firm that focuses on web design, web marketing, user experience, etc.  He wants to be client-facing, in a tech-related firm.  I think he’d be well-suited to this.

He’s already take a couple of post-graduate courses, in web design and project management.  His question is this:  would a graduate certificate in project management, internet marketing, or business development (from an accredited university) help with the transition? Would it be worth the time and money?  Are there other things he can be doing to make this happen?

I’ve already given him my thoughts.  What are yours?

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19 Responses

  1. Thomas MacEntee 8 years ago
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