For years, it was common- and usually expected- for students to attend college right out of high school and pursue a degree. Today, that is not always the case. While degree programs certainly have benefits, students are more frequently exploring other educational avenues, such as different types of certificate programs. Comparing these options can be challenging as they both offer value in their own ways, but breaking down their components can help determine the right path for an individual.
Overview of degree programs
Data shows that millions of American adults hold a bachelor’s degree and over 44% of the United States hold a college degree. Earning a degree is a great way to learn new things and increases the chances of obtaining a well-paying occupation. Most colleges offer a wide variety of degree programs for students to research which interests them and can make a career out of.
Although degree programs- associate, bachelor's, and master's- are valuable things to earn, there can be drawbacks. As of 2023, Americans owe a staggering 1.7 trillion dollars in student loans, including private and federal. The average college student obtaining a bachelor's degree in the United States will borrow over $30,000 by the time they graduate. With other bills such as rent, maintaining a car, and some students taking care of their kids, this debt can be a large deterrent to working towards a degree.
Overview of certificate programs
While you will likely receive less content in a certificate program than you would in a degree program, certificate programs, such as boot camps or micro-credentials- are a great option to get an education within a much shorter span of time. Associate degrees can be 2 years or longer, bachelor’s degrees can be 4 years or longer and master’s degree programs are between 1-2 years. On the contrary, certificate programs are typically completed in a matter of weeks to months. While certifications may be seen as less valuable than a degree, they are still seen as a higher education benefit with many of the same advantages as degree programs.
Why are certificates becoming more common?
Certificate programs are becoming more popular for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to:
-Short program duration- less of a commitment
-Significantly reduced cost compared to degree programs
-Upskill and focus on specific subjects
-Increase chances of promotions and getting new profitable work positions
Focus EduSolutions recognizes the numerous benefits of certification programs and has created a variety of options in specific topics that research shows are growing career fields. If you are considering higher education but are hesitant due to cost and time, certificate programs are likely a great fit for you! Review our programs today.