what are the Certificates & diplomas
It can be easy to get lost in all the different levels and terminology used when referencing higher education, so let’s just start with the basics: what are certificates and diplomas, and how do they differ from other degrees? Try thinking of it in this simple metaphor: If we’re baking a 5-layer cake, certificates and diplomas would make up the first layer. They are non-degree offerings that rest just under an associate degree. These certificates are often available in both vocational and technical fields such as medical assisting and automotive technology. They typically take less than a year to complete and, because they focus on teaching a single skill, they can propel you quickly into a career in medical administration, practical nursing, human services, early childhood education and so much more. You may recognize the term ‘diploma’ as the piece of paper you receive at a graduation. A ‘certificate’ is also a piece of paper that acknowledges a certain achievement. Although both of these terms can be defined as formal documents, certificate and diploma programs, usually available though community colleges and vocational schools, are types of academic programs that train you in a specific trade or skill. Although some schools use the terms interchangeably, diploma programs are typically more comprehensive than certificate programs. The length of time it takes to complete these programs varies by school; however, you can expect earn a certificate or diploma in less than two years. For example, a certificate program may take you between 30-40 credit hours, while a diploma program can be completed in 40-60 credit hours. Additionally, some schools may not offer financial aid if you’re enrolled in a diploma or certificate program. Certificate. These are academic programs of nine to 30 credits that are completed in a year or less by full-time students. Some programs provide specialized training for people who already have diplomas or degrees. Others are for those who want to quickly complete a program that leads to a specific job. Diploma. An academic program generally of 30 to 72 credits intended to provide students with skills leading directly to a specific job.