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Certificate vs. bachelor’s degree: Which is best?

With close to 100 online programs, Boise State University can help you reach your professional and personal goals anywhere you have an internet connection.

Each option provides flexibility and strategic design to help you balance school with your job, family, and, if applicable, military service.

By offering the same high quality and integrity of traditional brick-and-mortar courses, Boise State’s online programs open the door for higher education with a strong commitment to your success.

Whatever stage of your career or life, you can make enhancing your knowledge and opportunities a reality by enrolling. First, you need to decide which pathway is right for you.

Here is a look at two options and comparing a certificate vs. degree.

Why Choose A Certificate?

Although a certificate is not a degree, it is a brief program that includes coursework and will appear on your official transcript. Earning a certificate is a good option if you want to overcome time and geographical constraints. 

With undergraduate and graduate options, a certificate gives you a higher education sample with less cost and time commitment than a bachelor’s degree. However, certificates can provide a pathway to a bachelor’s degree or other higher education opportunities.

One of the most appealing elements of a certificate is that you can tailor it to whichever subject you are most interested in learning about, usually without any general education requirements. That also lets you focus on a specific skill set, credential or training.

Boise State offers numerous certificate options designed by expert faculty and staff. These programs fall into four categories:

  • Business: Add meaningful experiences to your resume as you prepare for career advancement through innovative course elements and outcomes.
  • Technology: Learn skills and credentials relevant to the fast-paced technology field from industry-leading faculty. 
  • Creative: Grow marketable skills by learning to create, design and innovate and prepare for the modern workplace.
  • General: Broadly applicable curriculum is helpful for all stages of your career or experience level. 

You will also have additional educational opportunities through any certificate program. Most of your credits will transfer to any Idaho university and numerous other accredited universities to help you supplement your academic experience.

Boise State Online Graduates
Spring Commencement, Graduation, Albertsons Stadium, Kristen McPeek photo.

Why Choose a Bachelor’s Degree?

A more traditional college route, a bachelor’s degree, can help provide opportunities and a promising future.

Although created specifically for online learning, Boise State’s online bachelor’s degree programs offer the same experience and support as on-campus programs.

The intentional design of the curriculum is designed by expert faculty and staff with the benefit of years of online instruction experience.

With a low student-to-advisor ratio, you will also receive strong support in finding the right program for you. Plus, you can utilize individual course offerings to fill gaps in course schedules or to stay on track for graduation. 

There are 12 online bachelor’s degree options to choose from:

  •       Bachelor of Applied Science
  •       Bachelor of Arts in Digital Innovation + Design
  •       Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Strategic Communications
  •       Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Professional Studies
  •       Bachelor of Arts in Public Health
  •       Bachelor of Business Administration in Management
  •       Bachelor in Project Management
  •       Bachelor of Science in Advanced Medical Imaging
  •       Bachelor of Science in Imaging Sciences
  •       Bachelor of Science in Cyber Operations and Resilience
  •       Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
  •       Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care

Whether you choose a certificate or bachelor’s degree, Boise State’s online programs provide you with advisors who will assist you from enrollment to graduation.

Want to Learn More About Boise State’s Online Programs?

Are you ready to enroll in a certificate or bachelor’s degree program? Join us for an online information session or connect with a student success coach.

Contact a Student Success Coach 

Attend a Live, Virtual Information Session