Earn a graduate certificate today, become a more competitive job applicant tomorrow Photo by Lewis Keegan on Unsplash Did you know that as a UC Berkeley graduate student, you can obtain a graduate certificate in addition to your master’s, professional, or doctorate degree? Of course, you might be wondering, why jump through the extra hoops to obtain a graduate certificate? Well, a graduate certificate program can help you develop a specific set of skills that you might otherwise not acquire through your graduate program. In return, these skills can help you become a more well-rounded and competitive job applicant. Does any of this sound appealing? Not sure if a graduate certificate is still the right choice for you? Read on to find out more! You are free to choose from a wide range of certificate programs that are facilitated by staff and faculty across various departments. Each graduate certificate has its own unique set of prerequisites, application procedures, and deadlines, with many programs requiring that students complete a three-course curriculum. Therefore, it is important to plan ahead so that obtaining a certificate does not delay the completion of your degree, especially if you are currently enrolled in a one- or two-year graduate program. Many graduate certificates are open to UC Berkeley graduate students in good academic standing who are enrolled in any graduate program. Some of these certificate programs, and the skills you will obtain in the program, include: The Learning Sciences Certificate in Instructional Design, Learning Technologies, and Education Research: Gain skills in course design for K-12, undergraduate, and graduate level education, with a special focus on STEM education. You will, for example, gain experience with new technologies, such as educational games and interactive models. Certificate in Food Systems: Immerse yourself in the ecological, social, health, political, policy, legal, and economic dimensions of food productions and agriculture. You will be exposed to foundational frameworks and practical skills that will allow you to help address some of the diverse and emerging food-systems challenges. Graduate Certificate in Information and Communication Technologies and Development: Learn how to analyze, design, and deploy information and communication technologies in the developing world to address pressing societal problems. (Please note that applications have been paused for the 2021-2022 academic year.) Other certificates require students to possess certain proficiencies before applying. For example, the Social Work with Latinos Certificate Program requires Spanish language proficiency, and the Data Science Certificate requires proficiency in python programming and basic statistics. Other certificate programs are limited to students from particular departments or degrees. Terminal master’s students might consider the Graduate Certificate in New Media, while MBA students have multiple specialized business certificates to choose from. To learn more about how certificate programs might help you achieve your professional development goals, consider speaking with a Career Counselor at the Career Center or a Professional Development Liaison at GradPro. Martha Ortega Mendoza is a first-generation college student pursuing a doctorate in the Graduate School of Education. Currently, Martha serves as a Professional Development Liaison with the Graduate Division and is excited to connect with fellow graduate students.