postgraduate certificate
If you have limited time to spare and face budget constraints, a postgraduate certificate might just be perfect. Source: Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP

Learning doesn’t stop the moment you earn an undergraduate degree. Employers often encourage staff to engage in continuous learning to remain relevant throughout their career. A postgraduate degree is held in high regard by employers, but a postgraduate certificate is ideal for those who want a shorter and more affordable option to upskill themselves.

A postgraduate certificate is a master’s-level course that can count toward a master’s degree; it’s considered a third of a full master’s. Such programmes typically focus on a particular area of study. You can find a wide area of subjects available, and it doesn’t culminate with a dissertation. 

Such programmes could help you develop new skills to advance your career or branch into a new industry. Alternatively, it’s also ideal if you merely want to explore a new area without committing too much time and money to it. 

Many professionals can benefit from the course. 

Digital content writers, for instance, might be interested in pursuing a postgraduate certificate in digital marketing as content writing can play a role in successful digital marketing. A communication professional might want to bolster their skills with specialised government relations training to broaden their careers. 

Is a postgraduate certificate right for you?

postgraduate certificate

You can always convert your postgraduate certificate into a master’s when you’re ready. Source: Ulises Ruiz/AFP

If you’re looking to enjoy a credential that’s more advanced than a bachelor’s degree, a postgraduate certificate could be enticing. It can help bolster your résumé without spending too much time in school or in engaging in research if the latter doesn’t interest you. 

The certificate can also be taken on its own or as a pathway for you to pursue your master’s when you have the time and financial resources to do so. It’s also a valuable way to develop practical skills in a specific field.

A master’s could take one to two years to complete and is usually worth about 180 credits. A postgraduate certificate, conversely, is worth 60 credits. Some universities offer these courses on a full-time or part-time basis, either online, in-person, or in a hybrid format.

While there are many appeals to pursuing a postgraduate certificate, this course might not be ideal for you if you want to gain deeper insights into a particular industry or wish to pursue a PhD in the future. A master’s degree will likely give you better networking opportunities than a postgraduate certificate course would. You might also have limited funding options with the latter, so these are some things worth considering before you enrol in a course.

Ultimately, those with time and financial constraints may find that a postgraduate certificate could be ideal. It’s also worth remembering that you can always convert your certificate into a master’s when you’re ready.