Awesome Online Certifications that Will Supercharge Your Resume


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, 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, 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: Gabriel Hogan

Gabe Hogan.jpg

Gabe Hogan is known around campus for being insanely fast. The freshman cross-country runner from Oxford, Michigan appreciates all of the beautiful diversity that Florida has to offer and is really enjoying his first year at Ave. Gabe is currently discerning which major he will pursue, and leaning toward a field in the health sciences. He is captivatingly funny, always in high spirits, and a joy to be around.

What are your hobbies? 

I love to play soccer, ultimate frisbee, and I love to run…basically anything that involves being outside. I don't belong in a chair. 

Tell me about your running career

I tried out for soccer my freshman year of high school just for fun because I really enjoyed the sport. We did a timed two mile run as part of try-outs and I did it in under eleven minutes. My coach looked at me and said, “You’re in the wrong sport right now.” I tried out for cross country shortly after and fell in love. Distance is my thing, not sprints. The fastest mile I ever ran took me four minutes and thirty seconds. My best 5k time is 15:52. I don’t feel like I’m all that fast, but the more I think about, it the crazier it is to me. I pick a pace and I don’t really slow down, that’s my strategy. I just tried running an 8k this year and definitely met my match. It’s a new beast and I have yet to figure out the distance and how to pace it accordingly. Running is applied to every aspect of my life in a ridiculous way…I’m sort of a running nerd. If I’m not running, I’m using running as an analogy. Running allows me to focus and push myself to be the best version of me. 

Is there a big difference training for cross-country in Florida vs. in Michigan?

In the beginning the difference was very noticeable. The first few weeks were really tough and I did have to adjust, but that mostly just meant running earlier in the day than I was used to. Here I almost exclusively run when the sun either has set or hasn't risen yet, that way I avoid the worst of the humidity. In that aspect I've lost sleep for the sake of running. One of the hidden perks of Florida is the lack of hills though! I would say Michigan offers more flexibility, but Florida in general is a bit easier to run in... especially because I can run year round!

As someone who is a Freshman and undeclared, where do you see yourself after graduation?

I like science and I like the idea of helping people. I’m leaning towards exercise science, but nursing sounds really appealing as well. I was helped by a bunch of physical therapists in high school because I was injured a few times. My achilles tendon is actually my achilles heel. My PT’s helped me with that and I was super impressed by how much they knew about the body. I liked the techniques they gave me to train more efficiently and I could definitely picture myself doing that. I also have interest in being a nurse. I see hospitals as a pretty foreboding place right now with a lot people that are sad. I like to make people smile as much as I can, so if I could go in there and make someone laugh while doing my job, it might be a form of medication.

What are your three favorite places in the world?

I like to wander because it helps me realize how great my home is. My three favorite places in the world are Canada, Spain, and Michigan. In Canada, there is this place called Prince Edward Island. We have extended family up there on my mom’s side and in the summer, we go up to this house that is right on the ocean. Our favorite thing is the water trampoline they have that is 400 meters off-shore. Being there with our cousins is just such great, innocent fun. We have a lobster fest, skip rocks for hours, make bonfires, and look at the stars.

My second favorite place would have to be Spain. It is very, very beautiful. I didn’t really get to see the touristy part of it because I walked the Camino with some guys from my diocese back home. I think we did about 180 miles in total. We were very much in the back country, so we really got a feel for normal life in Spain, rather than the hustle of the city. 

Michigan is my most favorite. My family and I live in the middle of nowhere on 10 acres and I love having our own little area. It has been an amazing place to grow up just because of all of the freedom. I also love the Sleeping Bear sand dunes up in Leelanau and the town of Petoskey. 

What keeps you motivated?

You know how I said earlier that I use running as an analogy for a lot of things? One of the things I love about running is that there is a very obvious goal in place. If you don't run as fast as you did before, the clock is going to show it. It won’t lie to you. Instead, it will make you want to step up your game! I like the idea of brutal truth keeping me accountable.  I try to be as honest with myself as I can and to evaluate what I’m doing right and what I’m doing wrong. I am very self motivated but there are definitely people that I look up to, and I think to myself, “They didn’t take off days, so neither should I.” I’m always looking to be a better me.

Do you have a resume?

I do not, but I know I need to make one! Thinking about going back home and working this summer, I know that I should have one ready in case a future employer wants to see it.

What do you plan on doing this summer?

I would really like to get into a facility called Health Quest near me, which is a physical therapy office. I don’t think I’ll get paid, it would just be more of an internship/shadowing job because I haven’t really taken any pre-health classes that are specific to the health field. I have a couple of jobs at home that I could go back to in the restaurant business. I'm hoping not to, but they seem to be the most convenient at present. 

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

Probably just the amount of craziness that comes with the college year.  I guess the funniest thing is just looking back on what I thought college was going to be like. For example, I was at a friend’s house in town and we made pizza rolls. I had a meeting back on campus, so I didn’t have enough time to eat them before the meeting. I borrowed a scooter and rode as fast as I could back to campus holding a plate of pizza rolls. I thought I was going to be put-together and official when I was in college, but there I was, scootering down Ave Blvd. with pizza rolls in hand.

Tell me about the Debate Team!

At the end of last semester, Ambrose, Augustine, and JP approached me and said that they needed a judge for their debate meeting. At that time, August was the only one with any formal training. Strangely, I actually ended up speaking at that meeting because one of the team members couldn’t make it. They asked me a few weeks later to formally join their team, and the first thing we did after I joined was go to Colorado to compete! We went in as total underdogs and got destroyed first round, but by the third round, we were holding our own and really competing. It was impressive because we have no formal training whatsoever. Some of the students there were crazy good speakers. You’re on a timetable when you’re speaking, so if you are fast, that’s a big factor. If you can be persuasive, fast, and coherent, though, you're deadly.

The biggest shock was at the end of the competition. The judges scored each individual teammate and announced the top three individual speakers of the whole competition. I remember sitting in the audience listening to the judges announce the third and second place winners, and I was just thinking, “Who could be number one? Those two were the best! I can’t think of a better person!”, but there were a few teams I hadn’t gone up against, so I just figured it was one of them. All of a sudden, my team mates were all looking at me and yelling “GO! IT’S YOU!”, and I was so confused. I did not have any clue what was happening. They said the look on my face was priceless when I realized I had won. I still don’t really believe it, but it was a really nice surprise!

What do you look forward to in your college career? What do you hope to accomplish?

*Laughing* First and foremost, I’d like to pick a degree. After that, I would like to feel very confident in my studies and be able to have fun studying for the career path that I choose. However, I also don’t want to miss the little things. I am so excited to be down here. It’s not a vacation, don't get me wrong, but there are definitely things I want to see or try before I leave Florida. I want to see the Keys, go on a fan boat ride, and explore the Everglades. I didn’t think I’d be joining a debate club and having such a fun year in general.  I’m excited for the surprises and the academic success which I’m hoping will continue to come. I want to rise to the occasion and have fun while doing it.

Who is your favorite Professor?

Dr. Dittus. Math is not my thing at all, and every time I’m sitting in class thinking, “When would I use this?”, he talks about its' application it to real life and gives specific examples as to when you could use what we are studying. He has just always made math a lot more fun. I also really like Mrs. Blanchard. She’s an awesome teacher. I love her sarcasm because it makes class so entertaining. If you’re falling asleep, you’re going to miss comments that may or may not be aimed at you.