Educational technology is certainly a growing field of study, especially with the increased popularity of online learning programs in recent years. Students enrolled in an online educational technology certificate program will take courses in areas such as multimedia technology, learning psychology, learning assessment and evaluation, and educational design, to name a few. This type of program can help education professionals specialize their expertise or, if you already have a bachelor’s degree in another area, transition to a new career path.

Types of Educational Technology Certificates

Educational Technology

Prospective students looking to earn online educational technology certification can often continue with a full or part-time work schedule. Online programs are also ideal for busy parents, military students, or those who cannot regularly travel to campus. Many curriculums include classes in learning psychology, evaluation and assessment, innovation in education, instructional design, multimedia technology, and new media, among other topics. These classes can help students develop a specialty and/or prepare them to transition into a new career path in education technology. Below are a few common admissions criteria, however, please verify the specifics with the school you are interested in attending:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited school
  • Official transcripts for all undergraduate work
  • Minimum GPA (as outlined by the school)
  • Application form and fee

An online graduate certificate in educational technology can usually be completed in less than one year of full-time study. However, this will all depend on the specific courses required, the number of courses you take at once, and whether or not you remain continuously enrolled. Most online colleges and schools with distance learning divisions have asynchronous classes. This means students are not limited by specific course times and can log in to the virtual classroom at any time that works with their personal and professional schedules. Interactive features may include online discussion boards, streaming video and audio, chat, and virtual meeting software. These help to facilitate communication between peers and professors and also make presentations and group project collaboration possible.

Educational Technology

If you are researching options for online educational technology certification you will likely find a number of online schools or traditional colleges with distance learning options from which to choose. These programs provide working adults, busy parents, and students with travel restrictions the flexibility they need to further their education. Common curriculum staples include learning psychology, assessments and evaluations, instructional design, innovative technology, and concepts in new media, among others. Each school will set their own admissions criteria, but here are just a few requirements you might expect to see:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited school
  • Official transcripts for all undergraduate work
  • Minimum GPA (as outlined by the school)
  • Application form and fee

An online graduate certificate in educational technology will usually take six months to one year of full-time study. Other factors, such as the number of classes required, how many credits you enroll in at once, and whether or not any breaks are taken from the program will all influence time to completion. Most schools with distance learning programs run classes in an asynchronous format. This means students are free to log in to the virtual classroom at any time and from any location, without the limitations of scheduled class times. However, if you are concerned about the lack of face-to-face interaction, online curriculums utilize a number of interactive tools to help students engage with their peers and professors. These include web conferencing, chat, discussion boards, and streaming audio and video. These also help make group projects and presentations possible for distance learners.

What’s Next for Certificate Holders?

Graduates with a vocational certificate in educational technology may pursue entry-level administrative positions in fields such as educational consulting, curriculum development, or library media. Employers may include public or private schools, school districts, non-profit organizations, government agencies, or private education companies. Please note, some positions like those as instructional coordinators, typically require a master’s degree. However, students with a post-baccalaureate certificate may still be able to work in a supportive position. Otherwise, this type of program can help to prepare you for a full graduate-level program.

Students who earn their master’s and pursue careers as instructional coordinators can expect strong job prospects. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the demand for individuals in this occupation is expected to increase by 20% over the projection period of 2010 to 2020. The mean annual wage for instructional coordinators as of May 2012 was $62,420. Actual starting salaries and job prospects will depend on a number of factors like level of experience, educational background, location, general economic climate, and the specific position and employer.