Continuing Education Certs Worth Doing
Updated: Feb 28, 2021
I've been doing some research on what to pursue after getting a bachelor's and here are some certs I recommend putting the time and money in, but only if you have an interest in digital communications.
I enjoyed the Digital Marketing certificate at Brain Station. It was a 10 week course and mostly group work. I found that the homework load wasn't heavy, as a lot of it could be done in class. I much prefer going to class than doing it online, as you get to network with the instructor who actively works in the industry and your classmates who are usually in the industry too! No textbooks are required, you just bring your laptop to class as everything is digital. You keep in touch via Slack and the learning platform used is Synapse.
Another favourite is the Product Management certificate at BrainStation. It was similar format to the digital marketing course, except there was more homework involved. There were two instructors instead of one.
I particularly liked the Strategic Public Relations certificate at University of Toronto at St. George campus. It includes three courses that you can span out over three years if you are working full-time.
Pro tip: if you are taking a break, you could even do it all at once as it's manageable. I doubted at first whether I could do both the foundations and advanced PR class at the same time so I spoke with the instructor and he said with hard work, yes it can be done and former students have also tackled it that way.
I took the classes on campus which was a good decision, as there was interactive group work for each course. You keep in touch via e-mail and the learning platform used is Quercus.
SCS 2875 Foundations of Digital Communications Strategy & Social Media
I started a blog for a strategic business and marketing communications program. You can also choose to do a video series on Youtube or podcasts. I enjoyed the guest speaker visit from a former student who took this course that taught me much about podcasting. Quite a few deliverables each week but I found that if you are a good multitasker, you could even get it done during class.
SCS 3033 Foundations of Strategic Public Relations I wrote a communications plan for a case study, there was a midterm and a final assignment that includes writing another communications plan on a topic of my choosing. Lots of readings so make sure you stay on track to not fall behind when the midterm approaches.
SCS 3034 Public Relations: Advanced Practices & Case Studies
I wrote an issues management plan for a case study and for my final assignment, I created a PR plan and an issues and crisis management plan that applied the fundamentals of research, strategy, tactics and evaluation on a topic of my choosing. The readings for this course are quite heavy too, I would try to read at least the case study before class so you can come prepared to discuss. Yes, I explored many career paths. That included completing the Human Resources Management Essentials certificate at University of Toronto at St. George campus. What's interesting is that it can be upgraded to a Human Resources Management certificate if you take 6 more courses and you have three years from the start date to decide that. It's also possible to ask for an extension, although it isn't guaranteed to be granted.
SCS 0987 Human Resources Management
There were numerous assignments and a final exam involved.
SCS 1528 Recruitment & Selection
I developed a recruitment & selection strategy including assessment tools, behavioural interview questions and a job ad. There was a final exam.
SCS 1529 Compensation
I created a business case of recommendations based on an analysis of compensation philosophies of various companies in an industry. There was a final exam.