Best Online Certificate Programs

N. Susan Emeagwali
by
Updated April 17, 2024
Edited by
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Whether you’re eager to boost your skills for a new career or level up in your current one, certificate programs are a quick and affordable way to do so. They offer training in many fields, including healthcare and counseling.

An online format means you can earn these credentials without sacrificing your job or other personal obligations. Plus, certificates cost less than a four-year degree, and the credits may transfer to an undergraduate or graduate program.

Explore some of the best accredited online certificate programs to see what’s right for you.

Featured Online Certifications

Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.

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Best Online Certificate Programs of 2024

#1 Best Online Certificate Programs

Eastern Gateway Community College

  • Location-markerSteubenville, OH
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,115
  • Out-of-state$7,727
  • Retention Rate64%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled45,173
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment96%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 Best Online Certificate Programs

Southern New Hampshire University

  • Location-markerManchester, NH
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$15,000
  • Out-of-state$15,000
  • Retention Rate62%
  • Acceptance Rate92%
  • Students Enrolled145,533
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment96%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 Best Online Certificate Programs

University of Arizona

  • Location-markerTucson, AZ
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$10,990
  • Out-of-state$33,739
  • Retention Rate84%
  • Acceptance Rate87%
  • Students Enrolled48,274
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment56%
  • AccreditationYes
#4 Best Online Certificate Programs

Purdue University Global

  • Location-markerWest Lafayette, IN
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$10,080
  • Out-of-state$13,356
  • Retention Rate75%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled43,458
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment100%
  • AccreditationYes
#5 Best Online Certificate Programs

University of Alabama at Birmingham

  • Location-markerBirmingham, AL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$8,568
  • Out-of-state$20,400
  • Retention Rate84%
  • Acceptance Rate89%
  • Students Enrolled22,289
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment66%
  • AccreditationYes
#6 Best Online Certificate Programs

Brunswick Community College

  • Location-markerBolivia, NC
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$2,432
  • Out-of-state$8,576
  • Retention Rate72%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled1,649
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment95%
  • AccreditationYes
#7 Best Online Certificate Programs

North Central State College

  • Location-markerMansfield, OH
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$5,088
  • Out-of-state$10,176
  • Retention Rate90%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled2,582
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment65%
  • AccreditationYes
#8 Best Online Certificate Programs

Lakeshore Technical College

  • Location-markerCleveland, WI
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$3,868
  • Out-of-state$5,802
  • Retention Rate65%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled2,322
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment66%
  • AccreditationYes
#9 Best Online Certificate Programs

Cowley County Community College

  • Location-markerArkansas City, KS
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$2,040
  • Out-of-state$3,480
  • Retention Rate62%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled2,407
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment67%
  • AccreditationYes
#10 Best Online Certificate Programs

Eastern Florida State College

  • Location-markerCocoa, FL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$2,048
  • Out-of-state$8,399
  • Retention Rate0%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled12,677
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment66%
  • AccreditationYes

Why Get an Online Certificate?


  • check Online certificates teach you specialized skills in 3-12 months — much faster than a bachelor’s degree.
  • check Accredited online certificates make it easier to explore new careers in an ever-changing employment landscape.
  • check Online learning provides more flexibility than traditional classrooms, allowing you to juggle multiple responsibilities such as work and family.
  • check As education costs continue to rise, short-term online programs cost less money while providing invaluable long-term skills.
  • check Online certificates also save money on transportation, relocation, and other expenses you incur in traditional classrooms.

How Much Does an Online Certificate Cost?

The cost of online accredited certificate programs will differ depending on factors such as the institution, program, and duration of study. Many institutions charge a per-credit tuition rate for certificate programs and degrees. Certificates cost a lot less than a bachelor’s degree because they take fewer credits to complete.

How much can you save? The average in-state tuition and fees at four-year public colleges was $9,596 for the 2021-2022 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The cost skyrocketed to $27,457 for out-of-state tuition and fees. Multiply that by four years and the price of earning a bachelor’s degree can be costly.

Students paid an average of $3,564 for in-state tuition at two-year community and technical colleges. These institutions offer not only affordability but also tend to deliver a large selection of undergraduate certificate programs.

8 Online Certificate Program Options

Online certificate programs prepare you for careers in many fields. Most programs focus on one area of study, such as law enforcement or accounting. See below for online certificate program options. Keep in mind that not all schools offer these exact programs.

1. Project Management Certificate

A certificate in project management teaches you the skills and processes to effectively lead and direct projects. The curriculum often follows the framework established by professional institutions such as Project Management Institute. Schools may offer graduate certificates for workers who already have a bachelor’s degree and want to learn advanced business and management skills.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), project management specialists earned a median annual wage of $98,580 in May 2023.

2. Accounting Certificate

If you pursue an online accounting certificate, you can learn skills such as financial accounting, payroll processing, and computer accounting applications. Schools may offer an accounting clerk certificate or specialized options such as accounting technician, payroll specialist, or QuickBooks.

According to the BLS, bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks earned a median annual wage of $47,440 in May 2023.

3. Paralegal Certificate

Your career in the legal field could begin with an online paralegal certificate. You’ll learn legal processes, research investigations, document preparation, and other skills. If you’re already working in the field, you could pursue accredited online certificates to continue your education and advance your career. BLS data show paralegals and legal assistants earned a median annual wage of $60,970 in May 2023.

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4. Web Design and Development Certificate

Certificates in web design and development teach you how to build and maintain websites. You’ll learn essentials such as coding with HTML, JavaScript, content management, and front-end design. And you might be able to transfer credits to an associate or bachelor’s program in digital arts and information technology.

With this certificate, you could work as a web developer and digital designer, graphic designer, and web and digital interface designer. According to the BLS, web developers and digital designers earned a median annual salary of $98,540 in May 2023.

5. Counseling Certificate

Licensed counselors can pursue online certificate programs in counseling for continuing education or specialized training. These certificate programs often require at least a bachelor’s degree.

The BLS projects an 18% employment growth rate for substance use, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors and a 15% growth for marriage and family therapists between 2022-2032. Counselors earned earned a median annual salary of $53,710 in May 2023.

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6. Teaching Certificate

An online teaching certificate can help you earn state licensure to teach in K-12 and other classrooms. Established teachers can use accredited online certificates for professional development. For example, you can learn how to teach English as a second language or pursue secondary education certification in English or math. High school teachers earned a median annual wage of $65,220 in May 2023, according to the BLS.

7. Medical Assistant Certificate

Medical assistants perform clinical and administrative tasks in healthcare settings. Certificate programs can prepare you for certifications such as Certified Clinical Medical Assistant. The curriculum covers concepts and skills like medical terminology, medical record-keeping, and taking patients’ vital signs. The BLS projects a 14% growth rate for medical assistants. These professionals earned a median annual wage of $42,000 in May 2023.

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8. Medical Billing and Coding Certificate

Medical billing and coding certificates prepare you to work in the administrative side of healthcare. Career options include claims specialist, medical records technician, and medical billing and coding specialist. The BLS projects an 8% employment growth rate for medical records specialists, who earned a median annual wage of $48,780 in 2022.

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Accreditation for Online Certificate Programs

Accreditation ensures that schools and programs maintain high academic standards established by an accrediting agency. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and Council for Higher Education Accreditation recognize regional and national accrediting agencies. The accreditation process conducted by seven main institutional accreditors and other agencies includes self-study, peer review, and site visits.

Degrees and certificates may also have programmatic accreditation in fields such as law, healthcare, social work, and marriage and family therapy. This ensures you receive specialized training that meets high standards recognized by employers and state licensing boards. Review a list of accredited postsecondary institutions and visit your online accredited certificate programs’ website for accreditation details.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Certificate Programs


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Note: The insights on this page — excluding school descriptions — were reviewed by an independent third party compensated for their time by Accredited Schools Online. Page last reviewed April 16, 2024.

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