How we rank for
Price is always important for ranking purposes. Companies not only vary on pricing options but also on what they offer. This criteria takes into account pricing as well as the benefits included. Affordable rates will come with a higher score. Price for career certification means tuition associated with certification. Many potential students are looking for cost effective ways to increase their education and skill sets to help land higher paying careers.
- Any scholarships or discounts available?
- Does tuition vary by program?
- What sort of financing is offered?
A lot of people seeking certification programs are already working and trying to gain more expertise in a specific area. For that reason it is important to know:
- How long are the courses?(in weeks)
- Is it at the pace of the student or is it a set pace?
- Are there multiple options?
11% Programs Offered
When it comes to furthering your career and education, having a variety of options is essential. Institutions that provide potential students with varying levels of certifications, degrees and programs are better able to serve their users.
This score is based off of the following questions:
- What sort of programs are offered for career certifications?
- What is the total number of programs?
- Are they all distance learning courses or do some require in-person training?
The larger the variety the better.
Not all career certification programs are provided from universities. It is still very important to have the institution be accredited. Having an accredited school attests to the quality of an educational program. Getting a certification from an accredited school shows future employers that it is a legitimate program.
6% Career Support
Another major criteria point is the ability to get a job after receiving the career certification.
- What does the career certification institution offer students who have completed their certification and are now looking for a job?
- Do they have relationships with companies already in the field?
- Does the institution have alumni which current students can seek out for advice about jobs after graduation?
6% Credit Rollover
A career certification is sometimes chosen as an alternative to a degree. Some people seek the certification route as they can be more focused in one area and are usually shorter programs. On the other hand, some people choose to further their education and career by getting a certification.
- Would the career certification credits rollover should the student decide to pursue a degree?
- Can it transfer to other institutions?
4% Application Fee
It is common practice for educational institutions to charge an application fee when applying to their programs. Those programs that waive or do not charge an application fee will be scored higher than those that do.
- Do they charge an application fee?
- If so, how much?
4% Better Business Bureau Rating
Although not a perfect indicator, and sometimes biased (based on some things that we’ve seen in the industry), the BBB ranking is a very important data point for most consumers, and therefore we have given this a higher weight. Keep in mind that there are many companies that have very low ratings on their BBB score that are based on the industry they are in, and not consumer feedback.
15% Consumer Reviews
This site is designed to let consumers share their experiences. Given our expertise in many industries and the knowledge that we have gained over the years, we know that some of the most important opinions come from real customers. That is why we have allocated so much of our overall rating to the voice of our validated customer reviews. The Consumer Reviews Score is broken down into three metrics:
- The Average User Score
- Total Number of Reviews
- Total Number of Reviews in the last 12 months
These 3 metrics not only help us understand what consumers are saying, they also help us gain an understanding of volume and recency. All of which are critical to understanding the value of a company in the eyes of the consumer.
Note: this is different from the user score that is displayed on each company profile. The “user score” that is publicly displayed is the average of all user scores published for a given profile.
User Review Moderation
In order to prevent fake and misleading user reviews, BestCompany.com has a review moderation team specifically assigned to moderating all user reviews for all companies listed on the site. This team follows a very specific and strict moderation process that has been designed by gathering learnings from mistakes other major review sites have made in the past.
This moderation process involves a “flag” system where a flag is assessed for each negative attribute associated with a user review. Too many flags result in a disapproval of a user review. Some of the things our moderation staff looks for and assigns potential flags to include:
- Email address verification of the user
- IP address duplication and region check
- User review semantic verification
- Is the user an employee of the organization?
- Is the user associated with a competitor of the organization?
- Foul language of any kind
- Relevance of the content pertaining to the company and the review
As you can probably tell, we take our user review moderation process very seriously. We believe accuracy and authenticity is critical when it comes to user reviews, and as a result we are constantly finding new ways to evolve our user moderation process to make it better. Please note that while we do our best to manually moderate each and every user review, mistakes can be made; however, our dedication to resolving errors in our process is what sets us apart from other review sites in the industry.
20% Expert Review
Along with the criteria points mentioned above, we take into account a variety of other factors that help determine the viability, stability and trustworthiness of a company. As experts, we conduct an extensive research process specifically tailored to each industry that considers many additional factors including:
- Financial Standing of the organization
- The number of industry experts and professionals on staff
- The company’s ability to scale
- Historical revenue/growth
- Past and current lawsuits
- Customer service and transparency
- And much more.
We consider this Expert Review process a vital component of how we rank and review companies. As a result, the factors included are always changing, adapting, and updating. We also reserve the right to voice our expert opinions as a part of each review.