According to the latest statistics, more than 13 million students are involved with online education. Of those, approximately 78% take online courses while the remainder is involved with hybrid and miscellaneous "distance learning" courses. When this first became a viable method of achieving a higher education, there were few areas of study to choose from but today, "the sky is the limit". A perfect example of this being that you now have the opportunity to earn a music certificate or even a fully acreddited music degree online.
What is a Certificate?
Before addressing the various things that you can and cannot do with a music certificate, we wanted to provide a brief introduction. In simple terms, this certificate is geared toward someone with a moderate to advanced understanding of a particular area in music but with a desire to learn more specific specialized skills. As an example, certificate courses from colleges like Berklee Online allow you to get advanced training in subjects such as music production or songwriting while other colleges such as Georgia Perimeter College offer courses in music theory and music appreciation.
Although there can be slight variations with curriculum according to the online college or university chosen, certification programs can be found through a variety of other schools on topics such as the elements of music, universal language, music appreciation, music history, song writing, instrument skills, and music theory, among other things. Espie Estrella provides an excellent listing of dozens of online music programs via her About.com music education page.
For some people starting with a certification program is extremely important since it can play a key role in the next step of the educational journey. In some cases the GPA you earn in a certificate course will help determine your acceptance into a top college or university for earning an online Bachelor's degree. In other words, working hard and completing a Music Certificate Program can open exciting doors of opportunity.
Opportunities and Limitations
Having earned an online music certificate in a specific area brings with it the ability to move into a variety of professional fields. Possessing knowledge of composer characteristics, but also being able to analyze music theory, sight read, and perform simple compositions makes you a more marketable person. Even when moving into a "helper" or "assistant" role, you will discover many exciting and rewarding careers such as vocalist, symphonic instrumentalist, and school teacher. Once you have a certificate securing employment in a field such as music business is generally easier and your earning potential is greater. Seeing the various career possibilities with an actual degree can be a great motivation and incentive for completing an online Music Certificate Program.
For more advanced careers such as composer, arranger, conductor, and private instructor, you will need to continue your education by earning an Associate's Degree in Music or an online Bachelor Degree of Fine Arts in Music. Then depending on how high your sights are set, you may want to continue your education by pursuing a Master's degree as well.
As with anything worthwhile in life, there is a dedication of time and effort involved to reach the ultimate goal. However, if you have a passion for music and a desire to be the best, for many people the journey starts by with the act of earning a music certificate online. Good luck!