Study Examines Certificates’ ‘Bang for the Buck’

(Bainbridge, Ga.) Technical certificates now make up 22 percent of postsecondary education awards in the U.S., a new study by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce shows.  The study examined the role of certificates in the American workforce, especially how they compare with traditional higher education.

Bainbridge College (BC) currently offers 45 different technical certificate and diploma programs, most able to be completed in less than one year.

“Professional certificates are often a cost-effective way for students to achieve their goal of higher education,” said Dr. Richard Carvajal, Bainbridge College President.  “BC is proud to be a leader in workforce development and a partner with students as they begin a new career or attain advanced training in a current field through our varied certificate programs.”

Technical programs with the highest enrollment at BC include:  Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN), Medical Assisting, Criminal Justice Technology, and Early Childhood Education.

“By providing our students with the options of day, evening, and online classes at campuses in both Bainbridge and Blakely, we are committed to the future of Southwest Georgia and surrounding areas,” said Carvajal.

According to the study, certificates with economic value are cost-effective, partly because they are the quickest education and job training awards offered by American higher education. Certificates almost always take less than two years to complete, and more than half take less than one year. The study shows that workers with certificates, on average, earn 20 percent more than workers with only high school diplomas.

Certificates are often a starting point on a student’s path to a college degree. The study says, “one-third of certificate hold­ers also have an Associate’s, Bachelor’s, or Master’s degree. Of these workers, two out of three earned their certificates first, while one in three earned a degree first.”

Certificates: Gateway to Gainful Employment and College Degrees is comprised of a full report and an executive summary, both documents are available online at http://cew.georgetown.edu/certificates

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