My Background

Currently I have an MFA in Interactive Design and Game Development. I work as a software engineer (in higher ed) and teach adjunctly. In the next 10 years or so I see myself moving more into teaching.

My Question

Do Graduate Certificates hold the same value in conjunction with a terminal degree as masters degrees? Which is the preferred for additional degrees show casing abilities in other areas? With the end goal of either doing research for a university or working towards becoming a professor?

I've tried finding an answer to this on google, but really haven't come up with anything relevant. I've also checked out the Ph.D vs Masters Discussions on here. Any information and help would be appreciated.


I would like to teach at a research university or technical university. My main area of emphasis has been where computer science and programming meet design. Specifically in the web, multi-media, and game development.

  • What sort of teaching? Teaching in technical college, vs teaching in a research university, vs teaching in liberal arts school, vs teaching for a private training/consulting company, vs ... these are going to be different Oct 24, 2016 at 12:35
  • @Oxinabox I provided an update. I am hoping to research or technical university. Oct 24, 2016 at 13:44

1 Answer 1


From my experience teaching and applying to teach at various colleges and universities, in academia, only academia counts.
Having a degree, such as a Masters, or PhD, or DA counts. Generally, a grad certificate, and/or any industry certificates count for zero. A grad certificate might count if they have a requirement for a certain number of grad hours in the field.
Most universities with PhD programs want people with PhD's to teach, at any level. They might accept a Master's, they might not. A technical college might let some people in certain areas teach with a Bachelor's, or Bachelor's+15 (for example).

Essentially, look at job postings for what and where you want to teach, and see what they are looking for. You might find that you are already qualified, or that you need a doctorate.

  • 1
    Thanks for your reply. I think it is helpful and confirms some of my thoughts at this point. I still want to get some other answers, but if no one answers in a couple of days I'll mark yours as the correct. Oct 25, 2016 at 13:27

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