Remote Work Certificate Course

remote worker at computer

Are you interested in a career that allows you to work from home? Equip yourself with the tools and skills needed to transition from on-site work into a virtual career or freelance work.

Intended audience: Adults interested in transitioning to remote employment
Format: Approximately 30 hours online, including nine self-paced modules and four interactive workshops
Certification: Remote Work Certificate
Cost: $249

Is remote work right for you? Take a self-assessment and learn more about how to become a remote worker.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has partnered with Utah State University Extension to offer the Remote Work Certificate Course. The online modules are hosted by Utah State University. Human sciences specialists from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will serve as your course coordinator and contacts.

Time commitment

A Remote Work Certificate requires approximately 30 hours to complete. Plan to dedicate 6-8 hours per week over the course of 4 weeks. Those seeking employment will continue to receive support and coaching after the 4-week course.


You will need the following tools and abilities to participate in the courses:

  • Broadband internet access
  • Web camera and microphone
  • Basic computer proficiency

Your participation in the Remote Work Certificate Course is supervised by four course coordinators from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. They will help guide you through the online course, host workshops, and provide mentoring and resources to help you successfully prepare for remote work and freelancing.

    2023 Schedule

    Enrollment dates start each month except July and December.

    Start Date End Date Application Deadline
    (All times are CST)

    Workshops Days

    Workshop Times
    (1 hour)
    Jan 9 Feb 3 Jan 4, 2023 @ 12 PM Jan 12, 19, 26, Feb 2 2 PM or 7 PM
    Feb 6 Mar 3 Feb 1, 2023 @ 12 PM Feb 9, 16, 23, Mar 2 2 PM or 7 PM
    Mar 6 Mar 31 Mar 1, 2023 @ 12 PM Mar 9, 16, 23, 30 2 PM or 7 PM
    Apr 3 Apr 28 Mar 29, 2023 @ 12 PM Apr 6, 13, 20, 27 2 PM or 7 PM
    May 1 May 26 April 26, 2023 @ 1 PM May 4, 11, 18, 25 2 PM or 7 PM
    June 5 June 30 May 31, 2023 @ 12 PM June 8, 15, 22, 29 2 PM or 7 PM
    Aug 7 Sept 1 Aug 2, 2023 @ 12 PM Aug 10, 17, 24, 31 2 PM or 7 PM
    Sept 5 Sept 29 Aug 30, 2023 @ 12 PM Sept 7, 14, 21, 28 2 PM or 7 PM
    Oct 2 Oct 27 Sept 27, 2023 @ 12 PM Oct 5, 12, 19, 26 2 PM or 7 PM
    Nov 6 Dec 9 Nov 1, 2023 @ 12 PM Nov 9, 16, 30, Dec 7 2 PM or 7 PM
    Course Schedule

    The certification portion of the ROI course can be completed in one month. You will complete online modules and attend interactive workshops.

    Week 1

    Workshop 1: Introduction to the Rural Online Initiative; Cohort introductions; Educational tool training (Slack, Canvas, Zoom)
    Online Learning: Modules 1-3

    Week 2

    Workshop 2: Review/Discuss/Apply content from modules 1-3
    Online Learning: Modules 4-6

    Week 3

    Workshop 3: Review/Discuss/Apply content from Modules 4-6

    Online Learning: Modules 7-9

    Week 4

    Workshop 4: Review/Discuss/Apply content from Modules 7-9 | Overview of remaining phases of the ROI course

    Certification Requirements

    Although the Remote Work Professional certificate course is a non-credit course, periodic online assessments are used to confirm and measure learning. The online assessments can be repeated if you need to improve a score on a particular element. To successfully complete the course and earn the certificate, you will need to do the following:

    • Complete all of the modules, including any assignments contained within each module.
    • Pass each assessment with a minimum score of 80 percent.
    • Attend four interactive workshops.

    Upon successful completion of all requirements, you will be presented with a Certificate of Completion to add to your work portfolio. You will also be supported by the course coordinators as you start to develop the virtual career of your choice.

    Online Modules

    The course consists of nine core modules that are self-paced and completed on your own. View the full course rubric for details.

    Module 1: Work Day
    Learn more about the components of an average day in the life of a remote worker, including mobile office, flexible schedule, and equipment.

    Module 2: Communication
    Discuss the unique strategies and requirements of virtual communication, including styles, tools, and empathy.

    Module 3: Workflow
    Understand the processes of task management, including projects, delegation, goals, and tracking.

    Module 4: Productivity and Time Management
    Evaluate the strategies for effective independent personal management, including productivity, motivation, and scheduling.

    Module 5: Teams
    Learn about how teamwork occurs in a virtual work environment, including trust, project collaboration, and "netiquette."

    Module 6: Compliance
    Discuss the legal precautions of working online, including information security, risk prevention, and office compliance.

    Module 7: Critical Thinking
    Understand how to problem solve autonomously, including finding resources for solutions, earning trust, and filtering information. 

    Module 8: Virtual Careers
    Evaluate and prepare for virtual career options, including personal branding, virtual job search processes, and remote industry options.

    Module 9: Remote Job Development
    Design the remote career of your choice and prepare a proposal for your Course Coordinator.

    Interactive Workshops

    The course includes four live, interactive workshops, hosted via video call using Zoom, a free video-conferencing software. Workshops provide an opportunity for participants to discuss career goals and review content from the modules in a virtual environment that mimics a real remote team.

    Due to the virtual hosting of the workshops, you can attend the workshops from any location with Internet access. Each course typically hosts workshops on Thursdays, with two meeting time options for participants to choose from, 12-1 p.m. or 7-8 p.m. Central Time.

    Participation in all four workshops is mandatory for this course.