What do you need to know about any paralegal online certificate program? The first thing to know is that no two are alike. They might be a two-year program meant to give you a very basic introduction to the field, but they could be even shorter and amount to a “certificate” only.
What you also need to know is that the paralegal online certificate program is not the same as getting certified as a paralegal. For example, anyone who wants to work in a law firm as a paralegal needs to have at least their associate’s degree in this field. They don’t need any sort of certification in order to get the job. This is something that is not mandatory, but it is going to give anyone a competitive edge as they enter the job field.
A paralegal online certificate program is more of an introductory course to the options that are available to those who decide to pursue a career as a paralegal. Over the years, many people mistakenly believed that any paralegal was just a glorified clerk or administrative assistant to a legal professional. This is not the case, and today a paralegal may be put in charge of a tremendous amount of research and may even work autonomously for a law firm, the government, a corporation, or many other types of businesses.
Choosing to pursue just the paralegal online certificate program from a reputable school is a good way to see what the responsibilities and opportunities can be for a person working as a paralegal. Just consider that the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics has shown that a 28% increase in the number of working paralegals is going to occur by 2018. If someone has no background in the legal industry today, they will want to consider getting their education started now if they are to benefit from this coming “boom”.
The online certificate is the ideal way to determine if this is indeed the most appropriate career choice. It doesn’t cost a lot in terms of time and money, and yet it provides the fundamentals for getting a “ground level” job in a legal setting. This is the perfect way to expand on the career because it will allow you to learn “on the job” even as you take more courses towards a degree in paralegal studies.
Get started today because this is a very high growth industry!