ReachWhen looking to grow in your career, certificate programs offer a measurable way to build your mind and expand your marketability. Here are a dozen potential careers in which specialized degrees and programs are creating new opportunities.

1. English as a Second Language

English remains the established international language of business, medicine, commerce, technology, and tourism, making English language teachers an invaluable commodity. Holding a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) certificate gives candidates a distinct advantage in the field.

2. Medical Transcriptionist

As long as there is a healthcare industry, there will be a need for those trained in writing concise, organized medical reports. Transcriptionists have the flexibility to work in nearly any aspect of healthcare. Veteran transcriptionist can even switch to a freelance career and work from home.

3. Nonprofit Management

There are approximately 1.4 million nonprofit organizations in the United States, and the annual growth of nonprofit agencies has exceeded that of business or government organizations, creating a demand for management personnel with a background in fundraising and community development. A specialization in nonprofit management sets you apart by demonstrating your knowledge of grant writing, social issues, and the framework of international non-governmental organizations.

4. Terrorism and National Security

With terrorism at the forefront of the federal government’s mind, those with specialized knowledge of the social, religious, and political earmarks of terrorist groups are highly sought after by both private- and public sector employers.

5. Desktop Publishing

The market for those trained to use the latest publishing software is expanding and will continue to grow as more companies cut the cost of printing and publishing by hiring their own in-house staff. A certificate in desktop publishing will introduce you to the major computer programs used in publishing and teach you how to create your own professional portfolio.

6. eCommerce

Both standalone e-enterprises as well as traditional businesses with eCommerce outlets are actively seeking individuals with backgrounds in Web-based business management.

7. Dental Assistant

A dental assistant certificate will give you the credentials to begin work as a dental assistant, front-office receptionist, or dental-office manager. A program of dental assistant study will introduce you to the clinical, laboratory, and administrative aspects of dentistry.

8. Paralegal Studies

If you’re looking to break into the legal field, a certificate in paralegal studies will provide you with an excellent introduction. If you want to specialize or move up, a certificate will prepare you for your next career move.

9. Network Security

A certificate in network security will give you the ability to recognize different forms of security threats, detect system weaknesses, and implement disaster-recovery strategies. Creating protected networking systems is crucial in safeguarding both commercial and governmental operations.

10. Forensic Nursing

For current RNs, a specialization in forensic nursing will provide the legal, medical, psychological, and social framework to work with hospitals, law enforcement, protective services, and/or assault counselors.

11. Disaster Management

A certificate in disaster management not only outlines response procedures for environmental catastrophes, ranging from earthquakes to accidents involving radiation, but also provides guidance on how to assess and administer relief efforts for multifaceted disasters.

12. Leadership

For individuals who want to solidify their ability to plan, prepare, and execute business initiatives, a program in leadership is a way to separate themselves from other administrative professionals. Leadership programs focus on developing the critical-thinking skills necessary to devise and implement business plans and corporate initiatives for private, public, and nonprofit organizations.

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