Investing in and keeping your skills current are paramount to career advancement.

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The Seattle tech scene is booming. For the past two years, the city has posted steady 12 percent increases in jobs, according to Forbes, making it one of the most desirable locations for professionals to grow their career.

Home to tech behemoths Amazon, Microsoft, Boeing and more, the competition for top spots is fierce. That’s why investing in and keeping your skills current are paramount to career advancement. Northeastern University—Seattle’s certificate programs are designed for busy professionals seeking an edge in their career.

The Seattle regional campus, launched in 2012, is located in South Lake Union — an epicenter for innovation and discovery. Home to a wide variety of companies and institutions that share the university’s vision, South Lake Union serves as a hub for cutting-edge thought leaders who inspire, create and execute on new technologies and research daily.

The certificate programs offered at Northeastern University—Seattle were selected based on the high-demand career opportunities available in the region. Currently certificates in data analytics, security and resilience studies, and project management give professionals an opportunity to polish and learn new, specialized skills, explore advanced degrees and boost career potential.

The high ROI, low cost of certificates

In today’s competitive job market, specialized knowledge and skills are at a premium. The more you know and the more you can do, the more attractive you are to employers. The Northeastern University—Seattle graduate certificates are short courses of study designed to meet the supplemental educational needs of professionals.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, certificates are the fastest-growing form of post-secondary credentials in the United States — and for good reason. Not only do they advance career potential in a short period of time, they boost salary, too. According to The Washington Post, graduate certificates can increase professionals’ earnings by up to 25 percent.

The Northeastern University—Seattle graduate certificates are worthwhile investments for all professionals, including individuals contemplating a career change and those considering an advanced degree. Certificates are earned quickly, cost-effective and stackable, so you can later apply your investments to one of Northeastern University— Seattle’s cutting-edge master’s degree programs.

Certificates that reflect industry trends

Three of Northeastern University— Seattle’s graduate certificates reflect the high demand for skilled data analytics, security and project management professionals in the Pacific Northwest. For a full list of available certificate programs, visit www.northeastern.edu/seattle.

Security and Resilience Studies

The Security and Resilience Studies certificate develops the critical-thinking skills needed to address a broad range of transnational risks. Students discover the principles, policies and strategies required to protect communities and critical systems.

Participants learn from experts whose shared decades of experience span systems resilience, homeland security, post-disaster recovery and countering violent terrorism.

“Our unique program teaches policy-oriented students how to ask the right technical questions and technically oriented students how to ask the right policy questions,” says Professor Stephen Flynn. “Our mission is to prepare future leaders who share our quest to build a safer, more resilient world.”

Data Analytics

According to the McKinsey Global Institute, the demand for data analysts will exceed the supply by up to 60 percent by 2018, creating a need for 140,000 to 190,000 positions. The graduate certificate in data analytics aims to improve students’ abilities to manage, analyze and draw actionable insights from large volumes of data.

“We designed the certificate program to appeal to a wide variety of students across the country and even around the world,” says machine learning expert Nick Beauchamp, an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science, who helped create the certificate’s curriculum. “We want Northeastern to become known as the place where you can learn a wide variety of skills for analyzing Big Data systematically.”

Professionals will improve their ability to manage, analyze, and draw actionable insights from large volumes of data; build core capabilities in data mining, analysis and communicating data in a meaningful way; and use critical skills for data-driven decision-making in any field.

Professionals also have the option to enroll in Northeastern’s Level program, which offers compressed, yet highly skilled courses in niche areas, including SQL, R and Tableau. Level makes Northeastern the first traditional higher-education institution to offer a bootcamp in the field of data analytics.

Project Management

This program provides the practical and theoretical knowledge for which the Project Management Institute tests. It is expected that individuals who successfully complete this program will be capable of fulfilling the education requirements of the Project Management Professional certification exam.

“Recently, we launched a new certificate in leading and managing technical projects, which was a direct result of trips to Seattle,” says Joseph Griffin, faculty lead of the master’s in project management program. “We were hearing about the great need in the tech space for project management and leadership skills.”

Project management principles are applicable to both manufacturing and service industries, including professionals in fields such as software engineering, construction management and financial services.

Northeastern University—Seattle’s graduate certificate programs ensure that students remain cutting-edge in the skills the industry demands. To learn more about Northeastern University— Seattle’s 2016 certificate programs, visit www.northeastern.edu/seattle.