For most professionals, a lengthy and rewarding career requires lifelong learning. While working in your field, you gain a lot of experience and insight that is invaluable for both your professional and personal enrichment. While you can learn a lot on the job, some things need to be taught in the classroom – for regulatory or other reasons.
Some professionals decide to go back to school to continue their education. For some people, advancing their career means completing their undergraduate or master’s degree, but for others, even after earning both degrees, the learning isn’t done! There are some options for learning in your field. Some choose to complete continuing education courses, while others specialize in new technologies or processes that can help them become more efficient through free resources and self-taught learning. Another option is to earn a post-master’s certificate (PMC) from a university.
What is a PMC?
A PMC is sometimes also known as a post-graduate degree. It is designed for professionals who hold a master’s degree and are interested in pursuing supplementary certifications that can provide them with additional training and experience to take the next step in their career.
Earning a PMC could enable someone to further specialize in an aspect of their field or move into a more senior position, or perhaps even a leadership position. Unlike an undergraduate degree, a PMC program concentrates on developing specific competencies for a particular specialty.
Others may choose to pursue a PMC as a way to change specialties or pivot their career without having to complete a second master’s degree. Earning a PMC is generally a faster alternative to completing another master’s degree.
What are the educational requirements?
A PMC requires a master’s degree in a related field of study although it doesn’t need to be exact. For example, a nurse who has a Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN-FNP) degree could pursue a certification to become Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) or a Nurse Educator. Master’s degree concentrations are not universal. For example, someone with an MSN could not enroll in a PMC program in Accounting and Finance unless they had an MBA.
Before deciding on a school and a PMC to pursue, do your research. PMC programs vary by state, so it is important to know if the school you’re interested in is authorized to offer your program in the state where you wish to work.
What PMC could I earn?
While every school and industry is different, more PMC options are continuously being introduced across the country to keep up with our ever-changing and fast-paced society. At Herzing University, we offer PMCs for MSN nurses and MBA graduates.
MSN nurses can pick from these PMC specializations:
- Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP), which can be completed in as few as 20 months.
- Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), which can be completed in as few as 16 months.
- Nurse Education (Nurse Educator), which can be completed in as few as 8 months.
- Nursing Leadership and Administration, which can be completed in as few as 8 months.
- Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), which can be completed in as little as 20 months.
The coursework for all of Herzing’s nursing PMC programs is completed online, giving working professionals more opportunities to earn the certification even with a busy schedule. Students can enroll in full-time or part-time programs for even greater flexibility. Additionally, through our Clinical Placement Pledge, Herzing is dedicated to helping students secure their required clinical experiences.
MBA graduates also have the option to continue their education with a variety of specializations:
The business PMC programs are available to part-time and full-time students. Most can be completed in as few as 8 months while attending full-time, although they are typically finished in 12 months. Another benefit for busy professionals, these programs are offered online. Small class sizes ensure that students can receive personal attention from our faculty, which is especially important as these programs can be intensive.
Is earning my PMC worth it?
Although some professionals were relieved to finish their master’s degree, continuing for a PMC could be worth the investment and even help them advance their careers.
Other benefits to earning your PMC include:
- Expand your knowledge. Increasing your expertise not only enriches your career, but it also puts you in a position to contribute more to your company and possibly the entire field. For example, as a PMHNP you could potentially facilitate and accelerate the adoption of telehealth. You can also use your added knowledge to expand your scope of practice.
- Develop more leadership skills. When you earned your MSN or MBA, you developed invaluable leadership skills. During a PMC program, you’ll hone these skills and discover new ways to use them. With a PMC under your belt, you could have the opportunity to help shape and develop new policies and business practices, or it could be just what you need to earn that next promotion!
While a PMC might not be best for everyone, it is an opportunity for many professionals to learn more about their field and potentially grow in a career field that they love.
* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2021. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.