Accelerate Your Education A Faster Way to Earn a Certificate
  • November 27, 2017
Accelerate Your Education A Faster Way to Earn a Certificate
  • November 27, 2017

After earning a degree in optical physics, Savanna Milton landed a job at a small startup that included managing the company’s projects. When her organization decided to create a formal project management office, they turned to her to lead the effort.

To pull it off, Savanna knew she could use some formal project management training — but she also wanted to address her company’s needs as soon as possible. That’s when she discovered the accelerated Certificate in Project Management, part of the UW Professional & Continuing Education Career Accelerator program.  

“It was very important for me to hit my work deadlines and get the funding to build this new department,” Savanna said. “I wanted to finish the certificate program by the beginning of summer, so this more intensive program was exactly what l needed.” 

Gain Valuable Skills, Faster

With the lightning-fast rate of change in the business world today, situations like Savanna’s are becoming increasingly common. Professionals need to keep learning — often quickly— to stay competitive. To meet this need, UWPCE is now offering an accelerated classroom learning option for some of our most popular business and technology certificates.

“Some people need a more intensive program to advance in their jobs, add skills, fit their schedule or for other reasons,” said Paul Del Piero, assistant director of academic programs at UWPCE. “A traditional nine-month program doesn’t work for them, but they can commit to a faster pace and finish quicker.”

The new format shortens the standard nine-month certificate to about five months or less. Students generally spend six to eight hours a week in class. Some programs meet in the evenings, some on the weekends and some do both.

People want these hot skills. If they’re getting ready for a new position or a career change, these more intense offerings work well, while still giving students enough time to absorb the material.

Brigid Nulty, Academic Programs Manager

Prep for Today’s In-Demand Careers

The exponential growth in jobs related to data and software development has created an urgent need for people with these skills. Not surprisingly, demand for training in these areas is high, especially among those switching careers or retraining for the 21st-century economy.

That’s why we’ve added accelerated options for some of our most in-demand tech programs, along with the Certificate in Project Management.

“People want these hot skills,” said Brigid Nulty, an academic programs manager for the Certificate in Python Programming, one of the options now available in the accelerated classroom format. “If they’re getting ready for a new position or a career change, these more intense offerings work well, while still giving students enough time to absorb the material.”

We’re also offering the accelerated format for the cutting-edge Certificate in Data Analytics: Techniques for Decision Making, helping to meet the soaring demand for these skills in today’s market.

“The accelerated technology certificates are perfect for those who are working part time, freelancing or are not working while they look for a new position or a career change,” Nulty said.

Get a Top-Quality Education

Although the length of the program is shortened, the full certificate content and rigorous curriculum are retained. The same number of courses are included and classes are taught by the same experienced UW instructors.

“You’re getting the identical material that students in the standard-length programs are,” Del Piero said. “The quality of the education and the outcome are the same — you earn a valuable certificate from the University of Washington.”

More Ways to Keep Learning

The accelerated classroom option is one of two new certificate formats being introduced as part of the Career Accelerator initiative. The other is a self-paced online format, which gives students the freedom to earn a certificate on their schedule, at a pace they choose.

As Hoover explains, the effort supports the educational mission of UWPCE, which has provided continuing education to non-traditional learners at the UW for more than a century.

“We developed these two new formats to create more access to education,” he noted. “That’s our goal and our purpose: to meet the demand for these kinds of programs and open them to more people.”


For more announcements from UW Professional & Continuing Education, visit the News & Features section of our website. To learn more about our certificates, degrees and courses, explore your options or contact us.