As you transition from the military into civilian life, you’ll be looking for a job that will be rewarding—both personally and financially. To land that high paying job, you can take a couple of paths. One path is a college degree, but many of these programs are costly and can take years to complete.
The alternative to a degree is a certificate program. Certificate programs are short-term training programs that take less time to complete than a degree. Some certificates can be earned in just a few months, and are much less expensive than a college degree. You can pay for most certificate programs with your GI Bill benefits, so landing that great paying job is within your grasp.
Certificate training can help you get into your dream career without needing years of education and experience. Many certificate schools help veterans get into great careers in healthcare, information technology (IT), administration, and many other jobs that don’t require a college degree. A certificate can also help you by-pass entry-level positions, so you could meet the qualifications for exciting, rewarding, and lucrative jobs that are in high demand, even in today’s competitive job market.
So, what kinds of certification training programs are out there, and where can I enroll in a great certification school? Great questions! So, let’s get started by looking and what certificate programs are out there and the Top-20 career certificate schools where you can jump-start your new career after the military.
Why Get a Certificate?
Here are a few reasons that you may want to get a certificate instead of enrolling in a college degree program after you leave the military:
- As a jumping-off point that can help pay for a college degree.
- To bolster your resume and make you stand out in the job market.
- To advance your job by refreshing your knowledge in areas you are familiar with.
- To establish connections within the certification school to land that great job.
What kinds of certificate programs are available?
The list of certification programs is pretty extensive, so we can’t really include them all in this article. So here are some of the hottest jobs that you can land with a certificate. Good news! Salaries in these jobs are very competitive, so a rewarding career is just around the corner.
- Accountant and Bookeeper
- IT Specialist (software and networking)
- Court Reporter
- Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
- Pharmacy Technician
- Physical Therapy Aide
- Web Designer or Developer
- Auto Mechanic
- Medical Billing, Coding & Transcription Specialist
- Real Estate Agent
What are the Top-20 certificate schools in the U.S.?
With thousands of schools out there offering certification programs, it’s a challenge to single out a handful of schools that stand out in a crowd. We have done the research and have compiled a list of the best schools that offer certification programs and are military-friendly. We hope that this article will inspire you to pursue a certification program and land that job of your dreams.
Penn Foster College provides certification courses in bookkeeping, Accounting, Human Resources, and Veterinary Practice Management. They are accredited through the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) and Better Business Bureau and are a Bronze-Level Military Friendly School.
San Antonio College is known for its excellent certification program in Court Reporting. They also offer certification in Fire Science and Computer Information Systems. San Antonio College also has a strong veteran’s support center.
Keiser University has 17 campus locations in Florida and offers certification programs in Diagnostic Medical Sonographer as well as Medical Lab Science, Transportation, and Logistics. They are approved for veteran training and offers scholarships to qualified active-duty personnel, retirees, and dependents.
HCI College has campuses in South Florida and is dedicated to providing education to students preparing them for a career in Nursing or Allied Health. They offer certificates in Fire Science, EMT, and Advanced Cardiac Life Support. HCI College is a Gold-Level Military Friendly School.
Carrington College has campuses in Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington, and offers many certification programs. You can choose from Medical, Dental, Criminal Justice, and Vet Care programs. They participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program and are approved for GI Bill benefits.
Fortis College has over 30 campuses across 14 states. They offer certification programs in skilled trades, Pharmacy Technician, Healthcare, Dental, and Cosmetology. Fortis College offers many military-friendly programs.
Ashworth College is an online institution that offers dozens of diploma and certification programs. You can choose from certificates in Real Estate Law, Physical Therapy Aide, Medical Billing and many other specializations. You can also choose from certifications in Business or Skilled Trades. Their programs are GI Bill benefits-eligible.
Independence University is an online school that is approved for GI Bill benefits. They offer certificates in Web Design and Development as well as Healthcare, Business, and Graphic Arts.
Grantham University offers several online degree programs, as well as certification programs, in a variety of fields like Web Development, Electronic Health Records, Medical Administrative Assistant, Medical Coding and Billing, and Cybersecurity. They offer excellent veteran support services and are a “Top 10” Military-Friendly School.
Lincoln Tech is a technical school that has 21 Locations across 13 States. They specialize in skilled trades like HVAC Repair, Automotive and Diesel Repair, Healthcare, and Information Technology. They offer dedicated military student support teams and scholarships for veterans.
Florida Technical College has six Florida campuses as well as an online program. They offer certificates in Information Technology, Healthcare, Hospitality, and Beauty, among others. They strongly support active duty, veterans, and dependents who want to pursue an education at Florida Technical College.
McCann School of Business & Technology has campuses in Louisiana and Pennsylvania. They offer certificate programs in IT Specialist, Medical Billing and Coding, Surgical Technology, Massage Therapy and Accounting. McCann is a Yellow Ribbon Program School.
Mayfield College is one of the top technical schools in Southern California. You can pursue a career in Technology, Healthcare, or Business. They offer certification programs in Computer Support Technician, Medical Assisting, Medical Front Office, and Massage Therapy. They have an active Military & Veterans Services office.
Purdue University Global will allow you to pursue an exciting career in several areas. Earn your certificate in Legal Secretary, Accounting, Medical Billing and Coding, Elder Care, and Child Care. They offer many programs to support veterans like tuition reduction and scholarships.
SAE Expression College offers programs in Audio, Digital Film, Game Development, and Entertainment Business. You can get a diploma in Audio Technology and Entertainment Business. They strive to give the veteran community the opportunity to explore careers in the creative media industry
Colorado Christian University is an online university that offers degree programs as well as certificate programs designed to meet your needs as an adult learner. They offer certificates in Accounting, Biblical Studies, Criminal Justice, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, among others. They work closely with veterans and even offer courses at several Colorado military installations.
Southeastern Institute has campuses in North and South Carolina and can help you get into a career in Healthcare, Business, or Information Technology. They offer certificates in Pharmacy Technician, Electronic Billing and Coding, Radiologic Technology, and Information Technology.
Post University is a “Top 10” Military Friendly School based in Waterbury, Connecticut. They offer certificates in Finance and Legal Studies. They offer free course materials for veterans and scholarships for veterans learning on their Waterbury campus.
ECPI University has campuses in South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, and Texas. They offer an accelerated, hands-on education. They offer certificates in Sonography, Registered Medical Assistant, and Cybersecurity in a military-friendly, student-centered environment. ECPI is a “Top 10” Military Friendly School.
Remington College has 11 campuses 5 states as well as on online degree program. They offer certificates in Pharmacy Tech, Cosmetology, X-Ray Technician, Hospitality Management, and Real Estate, among others. They are a military-friendly college and accept veteran’s benefits.
Getting a certificate can be the first step in getting that high-paying post-military job. Most certificate-granting schools work well with veterans and accept your GI Bill benefits. Check out one of these top-20 certificate schools and start your career in a rewarding job today!
Jim spent 22 years on active duty, climbing the ranks from Airman Basic to a decorated Air Force Major. Stationed all over the world, he held many high-level posts, including Chief of Foreign Military Sales at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Jim earned his Ph.D. through the Montgomery Era GI Bill and spent 13 years teaching African Studies in Pennsylvania. Jim is also an award-winning travel writer.