The top nursing informatics degree programs offer training in this new area of the nursing profession. Nursing informatics is where nursing and Big Data meet; NI specialists are responsible for wrangling, organizing, and analyzing the mass of information that is generated in the process of nursing. All of the medical coding and charting that so many RNs complain about taking up so much of their time? That’s where Nursing Informatics thrives.
Nursing informatics is a complex occupation, requiring knowledge of nursing and the healthcare system in general, but also a highly technical understanding of data management. Because of this complexity, nursing informatics is often taught in an interdisciplinary field, sometimes as a collaboration between different colleges. Nursing School Hub has ranked the best online nursing informatics MSN programs, with an emphasis on programs that understand working nurses’ need for flexibility and convenience.
Crunching Numbers: Ranking the Best Online Nursing Informatics Programs
NSH researched all of the online MSN-NI programs in the US. So that students can trust their program to show a real return on investment and impact on their career, we ranked programs according to four elements:
- Reputation (U.S. News Nursing rank)
- Salary Expectations (College Scorecard)
- Student Satisfaction (Niche reviews)
- Tuition Cost (IPEDS)
With these factors, students know they’re getting a program that has proven itself to students and experts alike.
1. Rutgers University
Looking for a stellar Nursing Informatics Masters in Nursing program? Graduates of the MSN Nursing Informatics program from Rutgers University will take their careers to the next level. NI is an up-and-coming field that continues to gain prominence in hospitals, corporations, government agencies, and more in order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the American healthcare system.
Rutgers University’s MSN Nursing Informatics program can be completed entirely online for students’ convenience. Students love the flexibility the MSN Nursing Informatics program provides as well as the potential for career advancement. Rutgers University’s School of Nursing was rated in the 20 Best Graduate Nursing Schools 2019 for its Doctor of Nursing Practice and Master’s Degree, according to U.S. News & World Report. The faculty at the Rutgers School of Nursing holds 100 clinical certifications. A degree from Rutgers University School of Nursing is recognized and respected at hospitals, healthcare facilities, and many other workplaces throughout the US and many other countries because it is CCNE certified.
Degree: MSN Nursing Informatics
2. University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
The MSN Informatics program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus allows nurses to combine their clinical expertise as well as their interest in clinical informatics. Students will refine their nursing skills while learning a considerable amount of computer and information science skills, as well as organizational theory. The MSN program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus is an entirely online program that involves the completion of an MS in core graduate nursing, core Informatics, and 6 credits of specialty informatics courses. What’s especially great about this program is that it can be completed in as short a time as 2 years. This enables graduates to reach new heights in their current workplace or start a new job with plenty of specialized training.
The MSN program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus is fully accredited through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). This program has been issuing degrees through online programs for over 20 years. What’s special about the MSN program is that students are given learning guides that outlines all the content for each course so students can achieve the intended outcomes. Each learning guide is carefully crafted according to each student’s experience in the field of Nursing Informatics.
Degree: MSN Informatics
3. Duke University
Pursuing an MSN Nursing Informatics degree from the Duke University School of Nursing is a wise choice. The U.S. News and World Report ranked Duke University School of Nursing #5 in the entire U.S. for 2020. The MSN Nursing Informatics program requires just 2 days on campus, 2 times total, during the MSN Nursing Informatics program. This hybrid program allows students to hold down full-time jobs, take care of their families, and get a supremely high-quality education from Duke University at the same time.
The Duke University School of Nursing employs highly experienced faculty in both the biomedical and nursing field to deliver superb coursework that delivers instruction on informatics and real-world applications of the material. Duke University is committed to furthering the scholarly practice of nursing through promoting diversity, emphasizing the importance of global impact, real-world clinical practice, and involved alumni networks. The Duke University School of Nursing MSN Nursing Informatics program is accredited by the CCNE.
Degree: MSN Nursing Informatics
4. University of Illinois Chicago
One of the best online nursing informatics programs in the Midwest can be found at the University of Illinois, Chicago Nursing School. An MSN Informatics degree from the University of Illinois Chicago can open doors for many excellent positions in the Nursing Informatics field – Director of Nursing Informatics, Nursing Informatics Analyst/Specialist, Clinical Informatics Coordinator, and more in health care provider offices, insurance agencies, medical software firms, and more. Lead the future of American healthcare IT with a degree from the University of Illinois, Chicago Nursing School in MSN Informatics. This school is accredited by the CCNE, so a degree from the University of Illinois, Chicago is recognized and respected at schools and other institutions everywhere.
Graduates from the University of Illinois, Chicago are able to genuinely make a difference in the modern American healthcare system – and perhaps even the entire world. Those with MSN Informatics degrees from one of the best online nursing informatics MSN programs, like the one from the University of Illinois, Chicago, go on to assist organizations with developing and applying wise healthcare informatics strategies and achieve optimized patient care.
Degree: MSN Informatics
5. University of Alabama at Birmingham
Consider applying for the MSN Informatics Track program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, which is accredited by the CCNE. Once accepted to the program, students are required to visit the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing to begin their studies with an orientation. The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing is accredited by the CCNE, so prospective students can confidently apply, knowing that their degree will be accepted at schools, workplaces, government agencies, and more. In order to graduate, students are required to complete didactic study, 36 clinical hours, as well as 240 hours of direct contact application. They must also pass a comprehensive exam in order to graduate.
One reason candidates choose the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing is because of its real commitment to excellence, which is made clear in the plans underway for a $32 million, 72,000 square-foot expansion of the School of Nursing. This space will include new nursing competency and skills labs, gorgeous, high-tech classrooms, The Leadership Institute, and more. Those looking for a school that’s leading the way in the nursing profession would be wise to consider the online nursing informatics MSN program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Degree: MSN Nursing Informatics Track
6. University of Pittsburgh
One of the best online nursing informatics programs can be found at the University of Pittsburgh. Students can open so many doors with an M.S. Nursing, Informatics degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Coursework includes 31.5 hours of didactic credits and 6 hours of clinical credits for a total of 37.5 credits. Students must also pass a comprehensive exam in order to graduate.
The University of Pittsburg’s School of Nursing has been recognized by various organizations for their fantastic nursing programs, and has one of the best online Nursing Informatics programs in the country. The program is asynchronous, though there are still plenty of opportunities to communicate directly with expert faculty and fellow students in an active, engaging learning environment. The University of Pittsburg’s School of Nursing is one of the most enriching online nursing informatics MSN programs in Pennsylvania.
Degree: MS Nursing Informatics
7. Vanderbilt University
Looking for the best online Nursing Informatics programs? The Vanderbilt University School of Nursing has one of the best online nursing informatics programs. In fact, it’s been ranked as one of the top ones by the U.S. News & World Report – for both 2019 and 2020, it was ranked #3 in the entire U.S. This NI program has been designed and calibrated with working professionals in mind. Graduates will be prepared to take on leadership roles in their current and future workplaces in the Nursing Informatics sector. Students will be required to come to the campus in Nashville 3 or 4 times per year, where they’ll meet faculty, network with fellow students, and participate in in-person activities that’ll prepare them for post-graduation.
One unique aspect of the NI program at Vanderbilt University is its curriculum, which combines foundational and modern methods to give students the best possible experience. It includes current and up-and-coming data analysis tools, consumer and population health information, virtual reality, evidence-based practice, and much more. What makes Vanderbilt’s MSN Nursing Informatics program special is also its 1-on-1 mentoring of students, which provides impeccable career coaching and a genuinely personalized experience.
Degree: MSN Nursing informatics
8. Texas Tech
Looking for a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Nursing Informatics track program that is definitely a worthwhile investment of time, money, and energy? Look no further than the MSN Nursing Informatics track program at Texas Tech. This hybrid program can be completed mostly online, though periodically, students will travel to Lubbock for field experience as well as immersion work on technical and analytic coursework.
Worried about the cost of this sought-after program? Don’t stress it. Student loans, grants, and scholarships are available for those who qualify. Students should apply and be accepted to the School of Nursing first and then a financial aid package will be prepared. The School of Nursing at Texas Tech was established over 35 years ago, so it has a well-established tradition of nursing excellence that graduates will be a part of upon completion of the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Nursing Informatics track program.
Degree: Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Nursing Informatics (NI) track
9. Jefferson University
The MSN Health Informatics program from Jefferson University’s College of Nursing is rigorous, challenging, and rewarding. It’s considered by many to be one of the best online nursing informatics MSN programs. The MSN HI program combined nursing science, information science, and computer science disciplines. It takes between 2-5 years to complete, and allows graduates to move onto their doctoral program or advance in their careers with confidence and skill.
The motto of the Jefferson College of Nursing is, “Honoring Tradition, Igniting Innovation.” This motto is a perfect synthesis of the goals of all the programs at the Jefferson College of Nursing. Jefferson College of Nursing has been educating people for over 120 years, and graduates are proud to be part of this long-standing tradition. The Jefferson College of Nursing is CCNE accredited.
Degree: MSN – Nursing Informatics Specialty
10. Allen College + University of Minnesota (UMN) School of Nursing
Allen College has established a collaboration with the University of Minnesota School of Nursing to offer an exciting, rewarding program: the MSN: Leadership in Health Information Technology (LHIT). All courses are taught online, making it an ideal flexible learning program for working professionals. Students will only need to travel to Waterloo for a one-day orientation program and a graduate project presentation at the end of the coursework. This program is one of the best online nursing informatics programs in the U.S., so graduates often go onto very fulfilling careers at the MSN level or continue on to the doctorate level.
What’s special about the MSN: Leadership in Health Information Technology (LHIT) program at Allen College and the University of Minnesota School of Nursing is that classes are held on both campuses, and settings include classrooms, labs, clinical settings, and online. Graduates receive both an MSN degree from Allen College and a post-baccalaureate certificate from the University of Minnesota School of Nursing. Consider applying to this competitive, fulfilling degree program – investing the time, money, and energy required is definitely worth it. This program includes an in-depth look at information technology, healthcare, and communications in an effort to improve the care patients receive as well as the efficiency of the health care data recording and management processes.
Degree: MSN: Leadership in Health Information Technology (LHIT)
11. Chamberlain College of Nursing
One of the best online nursing informatics MSN programs in the US can be found at the Chamberlain College of Nursing. The MSN Informatics Specialty track program is the ideal way for nurses to give their career a boost and help nurses secure the most lucrative positions in today’s healthcare system, corporate settings, and more.
One aspect of this program that stands out is that it combines informatics specialization with the study of information systems. This is done to ensure optimal patient care and cost reduction at every point of the healthcare system. The Chamberlain College of Nursing is CCNE accredited.
Degree: MSN Informatics Specialty Track
12. Nebraska Methodist College
An MSN Nursing Informatics degree from Nebraska Methodist College is a wise investment for nurses of all kinds. Nebraska Methodist College’s School of Nursing is CCNE accredited, and it can be completed in as little as 21 months. The entire program can be completed online, and is the perfect addition to any nurses’ resume.
This program is the only one of its kind in this region! Nurses who wish to make their resumes stand out from the pack should apply to Nebraska Methodist College’s School of Nursing today. Salaries are higher for nurses who hold Nursing Informatics degrees, so it’s the perfect investment that’ll pay lasting dividends for decades to come.
Degree: MSN Nursing Informatics
13. CUNY School of Professional Studies
Looking for one of the best online nursing informatics MSN programs in the U.S.? The MS in Nursing Informatics online degree program guides nursing professionals to assess institutional data needs, manage data effectively, and improve patient care quality. In addition to taking courses focused on enhancing communication and patient outcomes, students enroll in a six-credit practicum to gain experience with compliance and accreditation mandates, staff education, and the design of new data management systems.
The Online MS in Nursing Informatics is a great degree program for nurses who are ready to meet the demands of today’s job market. In fact, according to the above school website, up to 70,000 health informatics specialists will be in demand in the American healthcare system in the next several years. Get ready to have a stellar, lucrative new job in this sector with a degree from the CUNY School of Professional Studies.
Degree: MS in Nursing Informatics
14. West Texas A&M University
West Texas A&M University offers a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program that is available entirely online from the College of Nursing & Health Sciences. This comprehensive MSN degree program prepares nursing students to operate at advanced nursing levels. Degree graduates find rewarding careers in various healthcare environments, which include outpatient clinics, educational facilities or nursing administrative leadership roles.
West Texas A&M University is a public institution of higher learning that was established in 1910 as one of the several teachers’ colleges funded by the state of Texas. The school’s 342-acre campus is situated in the greater Amarillo area and home to more than 10,000 students. West Texas State became a member school of The Texas A&M University System in 1990.
Degree: Comprehensive MSN
15. Ferris State University
Ferris State University offers a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) that emphasizes a Nursing Informatics track that can be completed mostly online; however, there is a four-hour orientation on campus for students new to one of the online nursing informatics MSN programs offered by Ferris. The school’s curriculum requires the completion of two separate practicums covering 120 hours for each, plus the successful completion of 37 credit hours.
Ferris State University is a public institution of higher learning that was established in 1884 as the Big Rapids Industrial School, and today it continues its tradition of providing educational opportunity to the people of Michigan’s industrial regions. Ferris University operates with two campuses — the urban campus is in Grand Rapids, while the rural campus is located in Big Rapids – but has become well known nation-wide for its fully online degree programs.
Degree: Online MSN – Informatics Track
16. Grand Canyon University
The College of Nursing & Health Care Professions Grand Canyon University’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program with an emphasis on Health Informatics. GCU’s graduate degree program is recognized among the best online nursing informatics programs in the country. Grand Canyon University’s Health Informatics degree has received accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Students graduate ready to enter the job market a Researcher, an Informaticist, or Data Analyst, among others.
Grand Canyon University is a private institution of higher learning that was established in 1949. The school is affiliated with the Evangelical Christian Church. The student enrollment for on-campus coursework exceeds 20,000; however, Grand Canyon’s online student enrollment is approximately 70,000 students strong. In terms of enrollment, Grand Canyon University holds the distinction of being the largest Christian institution of higher education across the globe.
Degree: MSN Health Informatics
17. Nova Southeastern University
Nova Southeastern University’s Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine offers an online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program with an education path focused on Nursing Informatics. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredits NSU’s MSN degree programs. Many publishers have recognized Nova Southeastern University’s MSN health informatics program as one of the best online nursing informatics programs in the country. Coursework for NSU’s graduate nursing Health Care Policy, Evidence & Practice, and Advanced Nurse Roles.
Nova Southeastern University is a private school that was established in 1964. The school’s main suburban campus is home to more than 21,000 students study from 18 colleges/schools. The school operates with two campuses; one of which is located in Davie (technically part of Ft. Lauderdale) and North Miami Beach.
Degree: MSN Nursing Informatics
18. Liberty University
Liberty University offers an online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with an emphasis on Nurse Informatics. Liberty’s MSN Nursing Informatics program is delivered online in 9 –week mini-terms across an average of two years. Degree candidates are required to complete 42 credit units to graduate from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). This university offers a generous transfer credit program that allows up to 50% of the program’s required credit hours.
Liberty University is a Christian nonprofit institution of higher learning that was established in 1971. The school is affiliated with the Christian Church and its curriculum requires the completion of bible study classes. The school’s 6,800+-acre suburban campus is home to more than 75,000 students and 2,500 academic staff members.
Degree: Master of Science in Nursing – Nurse Informatics
19. Troy University
College of Health and Human Services offers Troy University’s MSN in Healthcare Information & Nursing Leadership that can be completed entirely online. Troy University has been recognized by the Princeton Review as a top regional university in the Southeastern portion of the United States. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredits Troy University’s healthcare informatics MSN program.
Troy University was founded in 1887 as the Troy Normal School. The school’s total enrollment for on-campus and online students exceeds 18,000. Troy University operates with four Alabama campuses and more than 50 teaching sites in 15+ states and 10+ countries. Degree candidates study for 70 different degree programs (at different levels) offered by five schools/colleges. Troy University is the first institution of higher education to have created an open publishing house in the state of Alabama.
Degree: MSN Healthcare Informatics and Nursing Leadership (HINL) track
20. Norwich University
Norwich University offers a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Healthcare Systems Leadership with a focus on Nursing Informatics that is available online. This program requires a one-week on-campus residency to complete the graduate program’s culminating experience. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredits Norwich University’s graduate online nursing informatics MSN programs. Norwich University’s MSN program qualifies students to sit for the NLN Nurse Educator Certification test.
Norwich University is a private institution of higher education that holds the distinction of being The Military College of Vermont. The school’s 1,100+-acre campus is nestled in a valley near the Green Mountains and is home to more than 2,000 students. Norwich University is recognized as the country’s oldest military school that operates as a private organization, and has become a leader in online education due to its outreach to military veterans and active duty personnel.
Degree: MSN – Nursing Informatics
21. Concordia University Texas
Concordia University Texas offers a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Nursing Informatics that can be completed online. This Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredits graduate nursing degree program requires the completion of 30-34 credit units and a graduate practicum that acts as a culminating experience. Students graduate prepared to enter the workforce as a Nurse Educator, Nurse Manager, Chief Nursing Officer, or Nurse Informaticist, among others. Additionally, students are required to complete 2 separate clinical practicums in the area of Health Informatics. Many degree candidates complete the MSN program in just four semesters.
Concordia University Texas is a private school that was established in 1926. Concordia University is affiliated with the Missouri Synod’s Lutheran Church and a member school of the Concordia University system. The school’s suburban campus is located the funky town of Austin and home to more than 2,500 students. Concordia University Texas’ mission is to educate and create future Christian leaders.
Degree: MSN NI Track
22. University of South Alabama
The University of South Alabama’s College of Nursing offers an online Master of Science in Nursing Degree program that focuses on the specialty of Nursing Informatics. The University of South Alabama’s graduate nursing program in nursing informatics requires the completion of 37 credit units to graduate. Coursework includes Health Data Security, Nursing Administration finance, Seminar in Nursing Informatics, and Quality of Improvement Care Using Informatics.
The University of South Alabama was established in 1963. The school holds the distinction of being a research, space grant, and sea grant university. The school’s main campus is home to more nearly 15,000 students studying from ten schools/colleges. The University of South Alabama’s School of Medicine is only one of two state-funded medical schools in Alabama. The school holds claim to being the second biggest employer in the city of Mobile.
Degree: RN-MSN with NI track
23. Western Governors University
Western Governors University offers a Master of Science in Nursing degree program with a specialty track dedicated to Nursing Informatics. This Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredits Western Governors University’s graduate RN To BSN Nursing Informatics degree program. Coursework for the Nursing Informatics portion of the degree program includes Data Modeling, Applied Information Technology, and Foundations in Nursing Informatics, among others. Western Governors University is recognized as a National Center of Excellence in Nursing Education.
Western Governors University was established in 1997 as a nonprofit institution of higher learning with only an online campus. The student enrollment for Western Governors University exceeds 100,000 online students. Western Governors University was established by the governors of 19 states. Its original purpose was to expand undergraduate and graduate degree offerings to students around the world.
Degree: Nursing Informatics (BSN-to-MSN Program)
24. DeSales University
DeSales University offers an online Master of Science in Nursing degree program in Nursing Informatics that allows students to earn a Certification in Healthcare Information Management. The university’s graduate nursing degree program can be completed as a full-time or part-time student. Additionally, students can opt for an all-online program, an on-campus program, and a hybrid format. Students must complete 45 credit units plus a practicum of 450 clinical hours in order to graduate.
DeSales University was established in 1964 and named for its affiliation with the Catholic Church (Oblates of St. Francis de Sales). The school became a full-fledged university in 2000. The school’s 400-acre campus is home to more than 2,300 students. The school boasts small average class sizes (less than 20) and a student to faculty ratio of 13 to 1. US News and World Report recognize DeSales University among the top fifty schools considered to be a ‘best value.’
Degree: MSN in Nursing Informatics with Certification in Healthcare Information Management
25. Columbus State University + Georgia Southwestern University
Columbus State University (CSU) and Georgia Southwestern University (GSU) have partnered to offer an online Master of Science in Nursing degree program with a concentration in Nursing Informatics. Students graduate prepared for careers as Health Educators, Case Managers, Patient Educators, and Program Planners. CSU/GSU’s graduate nursing degree program requires the completion of 35 credit hours, in addition to a nursing practicum and a culminating project in nursing.
Columbus State University and Georgia Southwestern University are both accredited nursing schools within the University System of Georgia. The two schools have combined of the Georgia Intercollegiate Consortium for Graduate Nursing Education; GSU & CSU have partnered to offer a graduate degree-nursing program that has received accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The Georgia Intercollegiate Consortium for Graduate Nursing Education offers up to nine transfer credits for incoming students.
Degree: MSN w/ NI track
How Do I Start a Career in Nursing Informatics?
The variety of specializations in nursing means that there is a place in nursing for nearly every kind of interest and skill, from research to law to technology. Nursing informatics, in particular, has become one of the most in-demand and fastest-growing nursing specializations. The level of training and experience necessary to succeed in nursing informatics means getting a Master’s of Science in Nursing. An online MSN is a sound choice for working nurses who want to move into nursing informatics, and to guide prospective students to the best programs for their needs.
The practice of nursing informatics refers to using databases of patient health records to improve health outcomes. As technology takes on a greater role in healthcare, nursing informatics has become a much sought-after specialty. Nurses who specialize in informatics may be able to command larger salaries and take advantage of employment opportunities that other nurses cannot. This leads to many nurses and prospective nurses to research how to become nursing informatics professionals. Many nursing informaticists have graduated from nursing informatics certification programs. There are some nursing informatics degrees, but usually, nurses in this area have a standard nursing degree, a certificate, and specialized experience.
The first stage for many people who want to know how to become a nurse informatics professional is to look into nursing informatics certification programs and degree programs. As previously mentioned, there are more certificate programs than degree programs, but full nursing Informatics degrees have become more common. Nursing informatics degree requirements usually include courses in various aspects of healthcare technology as well as considerable practical experience. Of course, nursing informatics degree requirements vary from program to program.
Are There a Lot of Jobs in Nursing Informatics?
Demand for healthcare professionals, in general, is going up sharply as the population in the United States ages. Nurses, especially, are in high demand. Nursing informatics specialist is in even greater demand because of their unique expertise and the growing role of technology in healthcare services of all types. There are many nursing informatics jobs available. In the future, even more, nursing informatics jobs will open up. The American Medical Informatics Association reports that roughly 70,000 specialists in this field will be needed in the next few years.
For some nursing informatics jobs, entry-level education and experience are all that is required. Such positions may require only a certificate and an internship of some sort. Many of the nursing informatics jobs that work from home are entry-level positions. However, for the most lucrative nursing informatics jobs, entry-level education and experience are not enough. This includes the most desirable nursing informatics jobs that work from home. Many positions in this field require a bachelor’s degree and significant practical experience.
How Much Can I Make in Nursing Informatics?
Nursing informatics can be a very lucrative field. A recent survey reports that the average nursing informatics salary is roughly $100,000 per year. The nursing informatics jobs salary average is only expected to increase over the next few years as the demand for nursing informaticists increases. A specialist in this field that has a graduate degree can command a significantly higher nursing informatics salary than a professional who only has a bachelor’s degree. Information for the Masters in Nursing Informatics salary statistics shows that 53% of professionals with a graduate degree make over $100,000 per year. Comparatively, just 37% of those without a Master’s degree make six figures.
Even a quick look at nursing informatics jobs salary estimates shows that professionals holding an MSN informatics salary is significantly higher. Not only is a Masters in Nursing Informatics salary higher, but those with a graduate degree can expect more career opportunities. An MSN informatics salary thus will increase more often and at a higher rate than a nursing informaticist who does not hold a graduate degree in the field.
As the field grows and more jobs appear, there will also be more competition for these positions. Many experts recommend that students planning on going into nursing informatics pursue a graduate degree or certificate to distinguish themselves on the job market.