Certificate Programs

SAA's Strategic Plan includes Goal #2: "Enhancing Professional Growth: Archivists have access to the professional resources they need to be successful and effective in their careers." It follows that professional organizations like SAA should not only provide quality continuing education to their members and others but package this education in a way that is equally attractive to potential employers.

A certificate program is a training program on a specialized topic for which participants receive a certificate after completing courses with specific focus and passing an assessment instrument. The certificate results from an educational process and is different than a degree-granting program. Certificate programs are incentive programs to work toward a tangible goal in an organized way within a designated time frame.1

Research conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles, on hiring managers’ perceptions of postsecondary certificate programs found that hiring managers:

  • View certificate programs favorably when listed on an applicant’s resume in addition to a relevant degree and experience
  • Consider the reputation of the certificate program provider as part of the value of the certificate
  • Acknowledge that many disciplines (e.g., information systems programming, accounting) have well-recognized industry-specific certificate programs
  • Believe completion of a certificate program indicates an applicant’s willingness to stay current in the field, or as one manager said, “a person who will go the extra mile”2

SAA certificate programs provide a credential to archivists wishing to expand their skills and advance professionally. 


1 Excerpted from “Value of Certificates” by Cathy Sandeen, Dean of UCLA Extension.

2 Excerpted from the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA), Guide to Understanding Credentialing Concepts.