Academic programs offering a masters degree in diversity and inclusion in online format exist. Cultural diversity professionals need to develop management, leadership, and inclusion competence. This includes awareness, attitude, knowledge, and skills that make them a model and resource for others. Learning from experts that have conceptual knowledge and practical experience in applying that information is the key to developing inclusion and belonging competence.

Some will want to put the credentials from a university in their resume. Others will prefer learning how to be an expert cultural diversity practitioner above all. It is a matter of preference. In any case, here are the comparisons.

Alert! DELA DOES NOT offer a master’s degree program. We offer CDEI training is accredited for delivering continuing education.

Master's Degree in Cultural Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Master's Degree in Cultural Diversity, Equity, Inclusion
  • A master’s degree is an academic postgraduate credential that provides in-depth knowledge and expertise in CDEI.
  • It is typically offered by universities or accredited academic institutions. An example is the University of Kansas’ MA in Leadership in Diversity and Inclusion.
  • Obtaining a master’s degree requires completing a set number of credit hours, usually around 10-12 courses or 48 credits, although the requirements may vary depending on the program.
  • Master’s degree programs are designed to provide comprehensive coursework and often involve a thesis or capstone project. The duration of a master’s program can range from 1 to 2 years or longer.
  • A CDEI master’s degrees focus on building broad foundational expertise in the field, and they are generally more academically oriented than certification programs.
  • They are suitable for individuals who want to gain advanced CDEI knowledge, conduct research, or pursue careers that require specialized expertise in a particular subject area.

Cultural Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Certification Training

Cultural Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Certification Training
  • Certification training, on the other hand, is a shorter and more focused program that aims to provide specific skills and knowledge required for a particular occupation or industry.
  • Colleges, universities, or other continuing educational institutions often offer it. Few continuing education institutions for CDEI credentialing training are accredited. The Diversity Executive Leadership Academy offers accredited CDEI curricula.
  • Certification programs are designed to confer credentials to those with several years of experience in the field or be more practical and career-focused training, aiming to develop specific CDEI skills in demand in the job market. The former typically emphasizes assessing competence with a comprehensive test, while the latter focuses on skill-building training.
  • CDEI accreditation programs are typically shorter in duration than master’s degrees, ranging from a few weeks to several months, and they require the completion of three to seven graduate-level courses.
  • CDEI certification training allows individuals to acquire specialized knowledge in areas such as managing diversity, diversity training, diversity leadership, etc.
  • They are particularly useful for professionals who want to enhance their skills, pivot to a new career, or stay updated with the latest industry trends.

In summary, a master’s degree offers broader and more comprehensive academic knowledge in a specific field, while certification training focus on conferring credentials to seasoned professionals or developing practical skills for specific CDEI roles and responsibilities. The choice between a master’s degree and certification training depends on the individual’s professional and career goals, experience, desired level of specialization, and time and financial considerations. If you prefer graduate CDEI credentials instead of building competence, then a master’s degree or assessment-focused certification program is likely for you. If you prefer developing CDEI competence, seeking a certification program with courses that train you to apply what you learn is likely your best alternative.