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Certifiably the Best Candidates for the Job


New Certificate Programs Enhance Mount Students’ Resumes

This story originally appeared in the 2023 Annual Report.

Getting a job in today’s market is hard. Getting a job in a field you love and studied for can be even harder. Undergraduates entering the job hunt after college are often left perplexed by job descriptions requiring a laundry list of skills and qualifications—jobs listed as “entry level,” but asking for years upon years of experience or even a master’s degree.

To put it simply, it’s discouraging for today’s eager, young people aiming to begin their professional lives.

At Mount Saint Vincent, however, we’ve always been doing our part to ensure our students have the skills and preparation needed to not only get one of those jobs, but launch their careers. For decades, administrators, advisors, and professors at the Mount have been conducting research on the greatest up-and-coming majors, minors, programs, and certificates—ensuring our institution remains always ahead of the statistics by providing our students with the best educational experience and preparation possible. Our firm belief in the power of the liberal arts has given our graduates greater marketability for jobs in endless fields and subjects.

And now, the Mount is helping its undergraduate students gain even more of a competitive edge over their peers from neighboring institutions hunting for those same jobs by offering an array of professional microcredential certificate programs.

Beginning this past January, juniors and seniors—as well as students in Seton College—can pair their majors with one or more certificates, equipping them with some of the most current, in-demand skills and preparing them for job success. Offered exclusively through online coursework, these certificate programs offer students an opportunity to obtain information and context from a specific industry and connect their new skills and findings back to the root of their academics.

“We know a liberal arts education remains the best preparation for lifelong learning, and for the development of a satisfying career,” said Lynne Bongiovanni, Provost and Dean of Faculty. “Each of the disciplines in the liberal arts allow for a myriad of professional pathways; these new certificate programs are intended to help our students find a starting point to their professional journey.”

By expanding upon its already broad curriculum, Mount Saint Vincent will now aim to deliver practical, job-relevant learning experiences with professional content through online certificate programs taught by university and industry experts. By opting to add one of these certificate programs to their coursework, Mount students will gain common job skills that 21st century employers look for, showcase their skill mastery by maintaining a portfolio of work, and explore a range of in-demand roles across industries to help them land a well-paying job immediately following the conclusion of their studies.

Mount students come from extremely diverse backgrounds, representing nearly every cultural, religious, and ethnic group possible. Our students hail from the Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester, Long Island, New Jersey, California, Texas, China, Nigeria—the list goes on. However, the Mount’s students are also economically diverse, with over half of our students receiving Federal Pell Grants to help them pay for their education.

It’s no surprise then that, for the fifth consecutive year, Mount Saint Vincent has been selected as one of the top colleges in the nation for social mobility by U.S. News & World Report. In fact, we’ve been highly ranked every year since U.S. News began a separate ranking for social mobility—and this year, we topped the charts, coming in at #1 in Top Performers for Social Mobility among regional colleges in the north.

Our students find success at the Mount. They arrive on campus often struggling to balance school and work, knowing that a college education will help them earn more money in the long run, but facing the inevitable reality of having to work part- or even full-time jobs to support their families along the way. In their own words, our students hustle. They are diligent, they are dedicated, and, in the end, they are successful: climbing the economic ranks in the decades after they graduate and proving that a college education is not in vain. A college education is the ticket to a prosperous life and career.

By adding one of these new microcredential certificate programs to their resumes, students elevate their marketability and show potential employers that they are the best fit for the job—no questions asked.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that, in the next decade, the growth of the digital economy is expected to support an expanding job market across information and transportation sectors. At the same time, e-commerce is expected to take over traditional retail—no surprise there. The certificate programs offered at the Mount reflect the needs and opportunities of these growing fields.

More than 40 certificates will be offered through partnerships with industry leaders Google, IBM, Microsoft, Meta, Intuit, and more. Topic areas include cybersecurity, digital marketing, software engineering, project management, data science, network engineering, and social media marketing. By completing one or more of these certificate programs, Mount students will be more likely to land roles in software and IT, data, and business, just to name a few.

An English major with a knack for writing might earn a certificate in social media marketing to help her land a role managing the accounts for a global company. A business major might earn a certificate in human resources to help him lead the department of a major New York City firm. And a mathematics major with a hobby for coding might earn a certificate in iOS development to help her transform her passion into a rewarding career with an online software development company. It’s all about showing students that they can take something they love and use it to help them land a job.

“Our hope is that students utilize this opportunity—which we are delighted to make available to them at no added cost—and synthesize these supplemental learning opportunities within the context of their whole education at the Mount,” added Dr. Bongiovanni. “When they do, our students will truly distinguish themselves during job interviews and in their first job. A new professional who can demonstrate an appreciation of the latest developments in a field, as well as the critical thinking and reasoning skills necessary for continued improvement, is a must-hire in today’s job market.”

Helping our students make the most of their college education by constantly and consistently providing them with the resources needed to push them to the top of the list? There’s no doubt about it. The only thing left to do is see where their skills take them next.

About the University of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the University of Mount Saint Vincent offers a nationally recognized liberal arts education and a select array of professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Committed to the education of the whole person, and enriched by the unparalleled cultural, educational, and career opportunities of New York City, the University equips students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary for lives of achievement, professional accomplishment, and leadership in the 21st century.