6 Certifications You Can Get Online To Help Advance Your Career

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated October 13, 2021 | Published December 12, 2019

Updated October 13, 2021

Published December 12, 2019

A certification can help with career advancement at your current company and give you an edge over other candidates in the market. It demonstrates to employers that you are well-trained as well as committed to professional growth within your profession. With so many professionals working from home in light of COVID-19, we’ve compiled a list of certifications you can get online without traveling to a testing center.

Related: 12 Online Certifications to Boost Your Resume & Career

In this video, we explore 12 top online certifications to improve your skills and boost your resume. We discuss certifications like CPR / First Aid, Foreign Language, Leadership, Business Analyst and more.

What are certifications?

A certification is a credential that demonstrates that you have the knowledge, experience and specific skills needed for a specific field or job. Certifications are different from professional licenses that may be required to hold certain jobs. Certifications assess and verify that a person has proficiency or even has mastered certain abilities and skills, which can then be used to accelerate career growth in a field, rather than a particular job.

Benefits of getting a professional certification

Here are some of the benefits you may experience after completing a certification:

  • Better employment or advancement opportunities within your current organization

  • A competitive advantage over other candidates in the market who don’t have a certification, as it verifies both skills and ambition through the initiative you took to obtain it

  • Higher earning potential

  • Possible tuition reimbursement for continuing education that enhances your own professional development and makes you more valuable to the company

Related: Setting Goals to Improve Your Career

Online certification options to advance your career

Here are some popular certifications you can get online during this social distancing period to help advance your career:

  1. Project Management Professional

  2. Human Resources Certifications

  3. Leadership and Management Certificate

  4. Certified Professional Sales Person (CPSP)

  5. CompTIA certifications

  6. Salesforce certifications

1. Project Management Professional

A PMP certification can help you advance your career as it reflects your level of education, skill and persistence. It’s also ideal because it isn’t just limited to one industry. It can apply in healthcare, publishing, information services, professional services, construction, finance and insurance.

This certification is offered by the Project Management Institute and includes prerequisites, such as a high school diploma, 7,500 hours of leading projects and 35 hours of project management education. The alternative to that is a four-year degree, 4,500 hours of directing projects and 35 hours of project management education. To obtain this certification, candidates must organize their work experience on the application and pass a 200-question multiple-choice exam, which is now available online. You must earn 60 professional development units every three years to maintain the certification.

Related: Types of Project Management Certifications

2. Human Resources Certifications

There are several human resources certifications that you can earn that can increase your marketability and salary potential as a human resources professional. Two well-reputed credentialling bureaus, the Society of Human Resources Management and the Human Resources Certification Institute offer various certifications to begin, fulfill and advance your career.

Society of Human Resources Management

The SHRM offers two exams you can obtain online:

  • Society of Human Resources Management Certified Professional® (effective June 1)

  • SHRM Senior Certified Professional® (effective June 1)

Human Resources Certification Institute

The HRCI offers several exams you can obtain online:

  • Associate Professional in Human Resources® (aPHR®)

  • Professional in Human Resources® (PHR®)

  • Professional in Human Resources - California® (PHRca®)

  • Senior Professional in Human Resources® (SPHR®)

  • Global Professional in Human Resources® (GPHR®)

3. Leadership and Management Certificate

A leadership and management certification can make you more competitive for new jobs, increase your earning potential and position you for promotions within your current company. This certification includes learnings on topics such as strategic decision making, motivating people for high performance, coaching skills for leaders and leading collaborative teams.

Wharton Online (University of Pennsylvania) offers a 100% online certificate program in leadership and management which you can complete in 4-6 weeks.

4. Certified Professional Sales Person (CPSP)

While not appropriate for every position, candidates for sales positions can stand out by becoming a certified professional salesperson. This demonstrates competence in a well-known sales philosophy and that the holder has learned from an expert on how to improve their sales abilities.

The National Association of Sales Professionals (NASP) offers a six-week online training course available to those interested in advancing their sales profession.

5. CompTIA Core Certifications

If you’re seeking an entry-level or associate-level position like a help desk role, analyst certifications like the CompTIA A+ or Network+ certifications can help your resume stand out. Both examinations are offered online and plenty of resources are available from various IT online communities.

  • A+ certification is designed to certify the competency of entry-level computer service professionals, verifying that they can maintain, customize and operate personal computers.

  • Network+ certification is a mid-level certification for network technicians that verifies their ability to install, maintain and troubleshoot a network. It also certifies their abilities to understand different networking technologies.

6. Salesforce Certifications

Many departments, from marketing to sales, rely on the Salesforce software as their customer relationship management platform. A candidate who is certified on the Salesforce platform can more quickly assimilate into an organization that uses it, allowing for less training and more rapid onboarding.

Salesforce offers multiple certifications based on your role that you can prepare for online and obtain through a virtually proctored exam. If you are pursuing a role in sales, marketing or customer service, this is a great software certification to consider.

Tips for finding the right certification for you

Here are some suggestions to help you decide which certification is right for you:

Talk to your employer

If you’re considering pursuing a certification but are unsure of which will best support your career goals and advancement, start by talking to your employer. They may have some suggestions for certifications that would give you the necessary skills to enhance your resume or even position you for a promotion. Your company may even be willing to pay⁠—or provide a partial refund⁠—for a certification program if it’s related to your current job.

Talk to other professionals

Ask coworkers or others in your field what kind of certifications they suggest pursuing. Start by talking to those who are in a position you aspire to hold. They may hold certifications or be able to recommend some that could help you advance your career. They may also have advice on where you can go to obtain the certification. You can also read reviews from professionals on Indeed Certifications.

Check local schools

Often, local colleges, community colleges and vocational schools offer certification programs. Review what they have to offer before you make a final decision.

Find one that fits your schedule

To better ensure you complete the certification and do so quickly, you need to be sure it fits into your schedule. For example, if you will be working full-time while pursuing a certification, you will need to find a class that is offered at night or online.

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