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Phoenix Forward

5 programs that prepare you for exams

Career path

Given today’s sluggish economy, a lot of students are focused on improving their credentials to assist with finding employment at the end of their programs, says Bill Berry, dean of the University of Phoenix School of Business.

Fortunately, there are many programs at the University that prepare students for such things as professional licensing examinations or other industry certifications.  Here are five such pathways to consider:

Computer networking

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What it is: If you’re interested in connecting computers together, consider becoming a networking administrator, trained to implement these systems.

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What you study: Networking systems are both the hardwired and wireless computer systems through which people connect, communicate and collaborate at work. The curriculum includes local area networking (LAN), wide area networking (WAN), routing and switching implementations, and management dedicated to Cisco® technology.

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Exam you take: CCNA® certification exam (Cisco Certified Network Associate)

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What you’re prepping for: Many corporations and businesses look for network administrators, managers and programmers that have a Cisco certification.

Project management

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What it is: “Project management in a corporate setting has a broad demand across many industries,” Berry says. “It also integrates well with a student’s existing experience.”

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What you study: Students gain skills to more effectively manage both large and small projects. They also learn theoretical knowledge and Microsoft® Project software instruction, estimating and procurement, and risk management skills.

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What you’re prepping for: Applicants wishing to sit for the PMP® exam must also have professional experience in leading and directing projects. Certified project managers can apply for work in corporations as senior directors, finance project managers, regulatory affairs managers, compliance managers and supply chain managers.

Human services casework

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What it is: This social sciences program helps prepare you to work in the human services sector, administering programs.

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What you study: Students study everything from life-span development to personality theory. Legal and ethical issues courses are involved. Students also do research in statistics and study techniques, such as interview skills and how to do basic intake.

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What you’re prepping for: Certified human services caseworkers can be found in a wealth of government organizations, such as Child Protective Services, as well as nonprofit organizations like food banks and shelters for abused women.

Accounting

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What it is: Got a head for numbers and a Bachelor of Science in Business? Then this advanced degree might be the right move to help position you for a job in accounting.

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What you study: Students study auditing, taxation and budgeting, and learn accounting software, critical thinking, business law and corporate finance.

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Exam you take: CPA examination*

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What you’re prepping for: Certified public accountants (CPAs) may find jobs as accountants and auditors working for small and large businesses and government agencies, as well as in private practice. Jobs for accountants are predicted to rise 16 percent by 2020.

Mental health counseling

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Program: Master of Science in Counseling/Mental Health Counseling
Depending on where you enroll at University of Phoenix, this program may also be titled Master of Science in Counseling/Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

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What it is: “This program is designed to lead directly to work as a mental health or professional counselor,” says Stephen Sharp, PhD, associate dean for the University of Phoenix College of Social Sciences.

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What you study: Students learn a range of counseling skills, including how to assess clients; diagnostics, intervention and treatment; and critical thinking and ethics in a professional practice geared toward mental health and wellness.

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What you’re prepping for: Students who pass the NCE may become licensed mental health counselors and can seek employment in community health clinics and hospitals, or they can go into private practice working with children and adults. Important to remember: Some states require an additional exam.

 

* This program incorporates standards proposed by the National Association of State Boards of Accounting (NASBA). However, University of Phoenix cannot assure that graduates will meet their states’ specific eligibility requirements to take the CPA exam or apply for licensure or certification as a CPA. Applicants should check with their appropriate state organization to determine if this program, combined with their undergraduate degree and any other specific criteria, meets examination eligibility requirements. State requirements may vary from the time of admission to degree completion.

** In order to practice as a counselor in any state, the student must be licensed as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT), Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CMHC), or other comparable state license designation. License requirements may vary. It is the student’s responsibility to ascertain and meet licensure requirements in any state in which the student desires to practice.

CCNA and Cisco are registered trademarks of Cisco Systems Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and certain other countries.
Microsoft and Project are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the U.S. and/or other countries.
Project Management Professional (PMP) and PMP are registered trademarks of Project Management Institute Inc.
HS-BCP is a trademark of the Center for Credentialing & Education Inc.
NCE is a registered trademark of the National Board for Certified Counselors Inc.

Interested in furthering your education?