The Differences Between Certificate and Degree Programs

When deciding to further your education, you may want to research the different types of certificate and degree programs available to you. Each type of program has different requirements and benefits depending upon the career goal of the student. It is important to discuss your education and career goals with a college counselor to ensure that you don’t waste any time or money taking classes that are not required, or won’t benefit you in your chosen path.

Certificate Program

A certificate usually takes a very short amount of time to complete — most are completed in less than one year. They are popular choices if you want to quickly obtain skills needed for a particular job. Certificates are popular in the medical field, since there are so many fields of study, and they allow students to focus on just one specific skill set. Certificate programs can enhance a person’s skill set in a selected vocation. Certificates can be earned on their own, or during the course of pursuing a diploma or degree.

Certificate programs are also popular among adults looking to enhance their resumes without attending college full time. Earning a certificate allows them to expand their skill set while still working.

Associate’s Degree

An Associate’s degree program is the next step up from a certificate. These are usually granted at junior colleges, community colleges, and technical schools. They almost always require 60 semester units and take an average of two years to complete, when attending school full time. Depending on the field, some students stop once they complete their Associate’s degree classes, and others proceed on to a Bachelor’s degree.

Bachelor’s Degree

A Bachelor’s degree program lasts an average of four years working full time, though some take less time to complete, and usually requires 120 semester units to complete. Two common types of bachelor’s degrees are Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science. Some careers require a Bachelor’s degree, and some people complete this degree simply for a sense of personal achievement.

A college advisor can advise you on the best track to take for your career. For some, a certificate will be enough to achieve their goals. For others, a full degree may be in order. There are many fast-track options that allow students to complete degrees in a short amount of time, if you don’t have two to four years to devote to college.

The author of this article knows all about different Certificate programs. This article about Associate’s degree program carries most wanted information for career seekers as well.