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Thread: The value of 'certificates'

  1. #1
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    The value of 'certificates'

    I have the option of picking up an undergraduate certificate in 'sustainable urban development'. I only need one more class to get it and I'm not pressed for courses (in my last year with space for electives). The thing is, mostly because of the teacher, I'm not terribly interested in the class.
    I'm already getting another certificate in GIS. So, what value are these things? Just padding for a thin resume or grad school application? Or do employers/schools take them seriously? There are a number of interesting electives I can take, I don't want to be stuck in this one if the certificate doesn't have any value.
    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    I have a certificate in GIS and Facilities Management.... but I don't use them on my resume or discuss them, unless asked or unless it is somehow relevant to a position.

    Personally, I don't think certificates mean much. They require A LOT less education than a Bachelors, and a fair bit less than an Associates, and can be taken in conjunction with other degrees.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  3. #3
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    I would get it. With our current job market every little bit helps when added to a degree. As for not liking the prof, you can set a goal to show him/her up.

  4. #4
    Not all certificates are created equal. The one in GIS is extremely beneficial since it's technical in nature. It should be listed on a resume for any planning job. Going for a certificate in sustainable urban development won't hurt. It's only one extra class, but its likely not going to help either. It would add nothing to your resume and might even detract from your other accomplishments. Ideally, you would pursue this certificate because you have a personal interest in this field, and are willing to give it your money and time. In reality, it's probably just a money maker for the universities.

  5. #5
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    Thanks all! A lot of good points brought up. I think I'm leaning more towards not going for the certificate. I'm going to pick up the textbook this weekend and give it a look over. That and the online material for the course. If it's strong enough sans the prof I'll do it. If it looks mostly lecture based I think I'll run for the hills.

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