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Awesome Online Certifications that Will Supercharge Your Resume

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As a senior, I find myself constantly reviewing my resume as I begin applying for jobs post-graduation. Since I’m pursuing the competitive field of secondary education, my goal is to differentiate my resume from the rest—I want my potential employers to think, “Wow! That’s certainly something we’ve never seen before.” However, I had—and still have—difficulty finding the time to fit additional activities in my already busy schedule. In the midst of working two jobs, taking classes full time, and living off campus, cultivating my professional portfolio often takes a backseat. 

Like many students, I need something that will work around my schedule and pace so that I can invest into my future career.

Thankfully, I did not marinate in my pre-professional preparation plight for long—I stumbled across www.udemy.com, a website that offers online courses at an insanely discounted price, as I was searching for opportunities to expand my educational knowledge. From there, I took it upon myself to explore other options of free certifications and courses online that either pertained to my potential profession or indicated my desire to better myself career-wise. 

These certifications and courses will not only help your resume and LinkedIn profile stand out, but will also diversify your portfolio in ways thought not to be possible. Additionally, it is a convenient and time-efficient way a student can educate themselves online for free, which is perfect for the busy (and often broke) college student. 

Potential employers and companies will see that you are a candidate who invests in his or herself in a professional and personal manner, as evidenced in your willingness to explore options that cultivate your career. If you put in the effort, the outcome for job interviews will increase based upon your ability to continually learn new skills that will benefit your future employer.

Here are online certificates and courses that will boost your professional skill set and widen the horizon of job prospects:

 

The Digital Garage by Google

This free, online introductory certificate enhances your knowledge of Online Marketing in areas such as Analytics, Adwords, E-mail Marketing, efficient web-search processes, social media, and more. 

As an award winning platform, the Digital Garage offers various tutorials taught by experts in the field that can be taken separately based upon your specific interests, or taken altogether so that you can receive a certificate from both Google and IAB Europe upon its completion. 

It is a perfect way to convert your communicative and technological talents into a useful certificate that will enhance your resume and career prospects, as well as place you on track to further technological knowledge.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network’s Psychological First Aid

This online course is not only free, but is endorsed by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs. Hosted by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, it teaches you how to help children and adults who have experienced, or are currently experiencing, psychological distress after surviving disastrous circumstances. You will learn how to connect them to mental health professionals so that the individual can begin to heal in the wake of their trauma. 

There are also other free courses offered on the website that are geared towards aiding children and military families with their specific coping needs. This is an essential course for those who wish to pursue careers in psychology, education, law enforcement, and medicine, and will definitely enhance your qualifications in the eyes of a potential employer.

Microsoft Learning: Certifications in Microsoft Excel

Microsoft has an online platform that offers many certification courses for Microsoft Office—one of the most popular being a certificate in Microsoft Excel!

You will learn how to write formulas and functions that can be useful to many career fields, have constant access to course materials and instructor, and participate in interactive lessons that will keep you engaged. 

The courses offered will turn you into an expert of Excel and will be an asset to your resume and LinkedIn profile, especially if you are interested in a career involving business, accounting, finance, and even communications. 

In addition to Microsoft’s platform, there are many beginner and advanced courses on Microsoft Excel that are hosted by www.udemy.com, some of which retailing for only $12—93% off of its original sticker price!

Codecademy: Learn to Code

In this technological day and age, coding is playing a larger role in every career path as the demand for coding skills in various fields is on the rise. Be ahead of the curve, and use Codecademy! 

Codecademy is an online resource that offers free coding courses. It is perfect for those who are tech-savvy and innate autodidacts, and an extremely useful certification to have when entering any field reliant upon technology and computer programming. The website will help you facilitate the brain’s methodical faculties, as well as merge analytical skills into the technological field. 

The website boasts that 45 million people across the world have utilized the skills learned through their courses, which means that it is not only doable, but able to be applied to a number of careers.

American Association of Medical Assistants’s Medical Terminology Certification

The American Association of Medical Assistants offers a free certification in Medical Terminology that will be an amazing asset to your resume, especially if you are student considering careers in the medical field, such as Pre-Med programs or Nursing, or studying the Health Sciences. 

It trains and familiarizes you in the medical jargon implemented in healthcare settings, as well as extensive knowledge of Anatomy and Physiology. They offer practice examinations and study tools to help you ace the final certificate test, and enhances your knowledge in the field. (It will help you on Dr. Sallai’s and Dr. Curtis’s exams, too!) 

Students who wish to attend medical school will find this to be a perfect addition to their own prior medical experience, as well as a useful resource for future studies.    

Udemy: An Online Resource for Learning

Udemy features a variety of certifications and courses geared towards the enrichment of your studies or facilitating knowledge in a subject you were not particularly attuned to. Many of its courses are perfectly tailored for college students seeking guidance, diversity, and additional skills to help in their professional pursuits. 

While the courses and certifications offered are mainly geared towards business and technology, there are also many other curriculums geared towards one’s own personal development. Whether you are seeking to hone pre-existing skills, learn new ones, or simply invest into yourself as a person, the investment is certainly one that will prove to pay in spades!

Udemy has a plethora of low-cost courses, ranging from IT & Software to the Humanities. It is a wonderful resource for those who wish to grow in knowledge in many fields, as well as those who seek to better themselves on an intellectual level. Coupled with the essential assistance offered by the Office of Career Services, you will be fully prepared, confident, and secure as you enter into the professional world.

 

Whatever field you are interested in, there is an array of online introductory certifications and courses that are either free or low-cost that will bring your resume to the next level. Potential employers will wish to have you work with their company as a multi-faceted and well-rounded person, who takes the initiative to invest in yourself and your career aspirations. 

You will be well ahead of other applicants because you demonstrate your desire to learn and grow in knowledge of your craft, as well as foster the talents you already possess and make them THAT much greater as assets. 

Visit the Office of Career Services, or “The Den,” located on the first floor of the Student Union, to help begin your pre-professional pursuits and place you on the path for success!

Student Spotlight: Nicholas Cummons

Nick Cummons, well-known around campus for being the Jesus-loving skater dude from Ohio, has a bright future ahead of him. He is a senior, graduating in May with a degree in Economics and a minor in Business Administration. Nick recently accepted a job offer from Collier County Public Schools as a substitute teacher and will continue to spread his infectious joy to the kids of Immokalee through his service. He and his fiancée, Hailey McNeely, plan on staying close to Ave after graduation.

Why did you choose the career for which you are preparing?

I initially spoke to Hailey about this when she was a Theology major because she has such a charism for teaching and working with children. I told her that if she wanted to change the world and change the way people live their lives, she should be teacher. I always kind of wanted to be one, but I never gave it much thought because I was an Econ major and I just assumed that was where my life was headed. Not too long after I spoke to Hailey, I read a Career Services blog about Collier County Public Schools, and it was at that time that I was talking to Zach and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Being a teacher worked its way to the top of my list of possible job opportunities and we agreed that I should try to pursue a career in teaching. I learned that CCPS had a desire to hire more Ave students because of their outstanding work ethic, so I got a trial run with them and essentially got a job as a substitute teacher to try to see if this is really want I want to do. I guess I chose trial by fire.

What does a typical day at CCPS look like for you?

Well, the day of a substitute is always interesting. Each day is a new class and a fresh start, which can be a good thing or a bad thing. I have actually taken a job for the next month with the same class every other day (and college classes on my other days). That will be my first time being able to build longer standing relationships with the students and the school staff. Up until now, I have been going to different elementary schools in Immokalee as well as the middle school almost every day. After signing in at the office and asking a billion questions about the brand new school that I've never been to (which has been the case almost every time so far) and receiving my lesson plans for the day that the teacher has left me for their class, I usually scramble for the next 30 minutes preparing to deliver the lesson that the teacher intended all while trying to learn the routines of the classroom and the school. After my scrambling time, I pick up the students in my homeroom from wherever in that school that they meet in the morning and then go about class as normal (usually with a million questions about who I am, since I'm still a new face), or at least as normally as it can go with a substitute. I facilitate the classroom activities as best as I can, from interactive computer programs on the whiteboard to simple math worksheets, social studies readings and discussions, and homework reviews. At some point, I drop the students off at lunch and during this time I get to eat lunch, catch my breath, and ask the other teachers for advice, tips, and help. It's pretty straightforward, except for the part where it could be an entirely new set of faces in front of me everyday with an entirely new lesson plan/classroom structure. It’s awesome and crazy.

What is the best part of working for Collier County Public Schools?

First of all, when I was welcomed aboard at CCPS as a guest teacher, I felt right at home in the schools I started going to. The staff members at each school were welcoming, supportive, professional, encouraging, and very helpful. CCPS has an incredible amount of resources for their employees to continue learning and become the best educators that they can be. I really like the amount of support that the school district gives to all of their teachers and guest teachers. Additionally, the kids have been so wonderful to serve and work with. There hasn't been a day when I haven't come back from teaching with a big smile on my face telling Hailey all about the funny stories and crazy things that happened that day. It truly has been a joy to be a part of CCPS. 

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Probably still around here in the Naples area. I initially I started going to the Immokalee schools for substitute teaching, as well as for FIAT and some other after school programs, and I fell in love with the people I met over there. I’d really like to stay around here for the first couple of years after we graduate to give back to the community.

What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort?

First and foremost, my faith, because it gives me the motivation to be the best I can be, which is who God designed me to be. This motivation manifests itself as the desire to serve others. It’s for Hailey, who's going to be my wife, and also for the people I work with and the people I love.

What is the best compliment you have ever received? 

*Laughing* That I have nice hair.

No, but in all seriousness, my football coach and my dad gave me the best compliment when they described me as a servant leader. I know I don't stand out, but I am a hard worker with perseverance. That’s really important to me.

How have your dreams and goals changed throughout your life?

Oh man, they’ve changed a lot. I know when I first graduated high school I was determined to be either a rockstar or a guitar technician. The first year out of high school, I never thought I would spend time doing missionary work, but when I ended up serving for NET Ministries, it was two weeks before I left for Franciscan, I already had my classes and my roommate set up and I left that all behind. After I finished working for NET, my dad convinced me to go to college, but I didn't see myself getting a four year degree. As I progressed through my time here at Ave, a whole world of opportunities opened up.

What do you think older generations misunderstand about yours?

They probably fit all of us into a category that doesn't believe in traditional values. I wish they would realize that some of us really do have strong family values and lives rooted in faith.

Describe your most rewarding college experience?

Dr. Sugrue’s American Civilization class. She was just so challenging and I don't think I have ever worked harder for an A- in my life. It was so rewarding to see my final grade that semester.

In what kind of work environment are you most comfortable?

Definitely one where everyone works together toward a common goal. We might not all be doing the same thing, but having that unity and structure and camaraderie is where I find myself to be the most comfortable. 

Which do you think you have the most of: talent, intelligence, education, or persistence? How has it helped you in your life? 

Persistence, for sure. I’m not always really good at something when I start it, but that has allowed me to do things that I naturally wouldn't be able to do. Especially with teaching, my persistence helped me to find my way in and get the substitute teaching job. It has helped me to do well in school if i keep trying, and succeed in ways that I never knew I could.