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Can’t afford a college degree? Consider certification and a new job

By Jacob Lund /

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on The Penny Hoarder.

Many of us spent 2021 wondering if our jobs were satisfying enough. were we happy? Have we been paid enough? Was this what we wanted to do for the rest of our lives?

For anyone who answered “no” to any of these questions – and more importantly to all of them – 2022 is the year to get certified.

Getting certified in a skill or profession can be a great way to change careers without investing heavily in training or education. A certification can complement your current career and diversify your skills in the job market. And adding a certification to your resume or LinkedIn page can give you extra credibility.

If you’re in the mood for a change, certification could be your introduction to a new opportunity – side work, trial work, or even a path to longer-term goals.

It’s even better. Certifications can be earned in fields such as healthcare and green energy, which currently have some of the fastest growing jobs. Other common professions with certifications: construction, real estate and finance.

What is certification?

Black man in office thinking about possibilities
Roman Samborskyi /

When you are certified in a skill or profession, a third party has validated your abilities in a particular area. Certifications are different from licenses, which are usually issued by a government agency.

There are many types of certifications offered by many third parties.

Professional certifications can be issued by institutions such as professional organizations, professional groups, and educational institutions. Once you have met their requirements, they give their stamp of approval to your knowledge of a product or know-how.

Private vendors may award certifications to people trained in the use of their products or technologies. There are also corporate certifications, awarded internally to develop staff members. If you work for an employer offering this opportunity, this could be a good place to start.

Certifications can encompass a wide range of requirements, including fees. So do your research to find out if the level of engagement is right for you. And some are short-term, which means you’ll need to brush up on your skills to get recertified after a while.

Read on for four big career changes you can make with a certification. For a little extra training, they could give you a whole new outlook on life.

1. Notary Public


Have you ever needed to sign an official document and have it notarized by someone? Have you wondered how they got this esteemed position and what it entails?

It turns out that it does not require any specific training. You just need to be 18 or older and not a convicted felon. You will need to complete a notary course and, in some states, an exam to be fully trained. Of course, there are a few more hurdles to jump through, but when you’re done, you can earn up to $75 to $200 per signature.

Here’s how to become a notary.

2. Accountant

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If you have any ability with numbers, bookkeeping might be the job for you. You can earn up to $69 per hour. So why not try ?

You have to be good with numbers, but you also have to be good with people. Accountants do not work in silos and must also think on the spot.

Do you need to be a CPA? The answer to this question is no. There are also many work from home jobs for accountants.

You can check out a virtual course through

3. Virtual Assistant

happy remote worker
fizkes /

Think about the number of small tasks businesses need on a daily basis and freelancers who might need extra help.

Then think about all the possibilities to help them from home: proofreading, transcription, research, updating social networks and the website, to name a few. Virtual assistants can handle travel arrangements, perform customer service tasks, or help someone manage their email flood.

You could be that person.

Enter the virtual assistant, an independent person who performs recurring administrative tasks for businesses or individuals. Home-based virtual assistant gigs can pay up to $60 per hour, especially if they involve skilled tasks such as graphic design and bookkeeping.

And that’s where certification comes in. While certification isn’t required for these jobs, it can make a difference in what you can charge and how quickly you’ll be snapped up.

Do some research on job boards and you’ll get an idea of ​​the skills people are looking for when posting virtual assistant positions. Often these skill areas can be learned or developed through certification courses, many of them online.

For example, recently ranked marketing among the 10 most in-demand certifications. Facebook, Google Analytics, Hootsuite, and many more offer certifications in social media and marketing analytics, and some of them are even free.

4. Entry-Level Health Care Work

home care
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Health care jobs are expected to grow 15% through 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many, especially entry-level medical jobs, only require certification, and some of them pay $40,000 a year or more.

Consider becoming a physician assistant, dialysis technician, or ultrasound technician – all of these require some sort of certification, but not extensive medical and scientific training.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click on links in our stories.

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