Associate degrees

Associate’s certificates and degrees can surpass the bachelor’s degree

A new report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and Workforce finds that nationally, colleges award as many certificates and associate degrees combined as they award bachelor’s degrees. Colleges award about two million bachelor’s degrees and about one million associate’s degrees and one million certificates each year.

The study also revealed that the field of study is very important in determining the earnings of certificate holders and associate degree holders. A worker with an associate’s degree can earn one with a bachelor’s degree, and a worker with a certificate can earn one with an associate’s degree, depending on the field of study. Workers with lower-level degrees who studied in engineering, construction, or healthcare fields have a good chance of earning more than their peers with bachelor’s degrees who studied liberal arts or sciences human.

The report also revealed that more students are enrolled in certificate and associate degree programs than in bachelor degree programs. Enrollees in certificate and associate programs are disproportionately from racial and ethnic minorities. Students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs are disproportionately white.