Associate degrees

What is the value of certificates and associated degrees? |

Black and Latino students remain overrepresented in certificate and associate degree programs

A new study sheds light on the earning potential of associate degree and certificate holders, such as these 2015 graduates of Howard Community College in Maryland.

The future earnings of associate degree and certificate holders are closely tied to certain fields of study and specific occupations, according to a new report, “The Overlooked Value of Certificates and Associate’s Degreesfrom the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.

In addition, colleges award roughly the same number of certificates and associate degrees as bachelor’s degrees, or about 2 million per year, according to the study. About 94% of certificates and 57% of associate degrees are career-focused.

“Field of study matters most when it comes to certificates and associate degrees,” Anthony P. Carnevale, lead author and that of the Center director, said in a press release. “A worker with an associate’s degree may earn more than a worker with a bachelor’s degree, and shorter-term degrees such as certificates and certifications may earn more than associate’s degrees.”

For example, graduates with an associate’s degree in engineering earn between $50,001 and $60,000 per year, compared to workers with a bachelor’s degree in education, who earn between $30,001 and $40,000 per year. . Workers with certificates in construction trades and other blue-collar fields earn the same salary as graduates with bachelor’s degrees in liberal arts and humanities, between $40,001 and $50,000.

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The study also found that black and Latino students are more concentrated in certificate and associate degree programs (56% and 62%, respectively) than in bachelor’s degree programs (44% and 38%, respectively). . The reverse is true for white students.

“Even though blacks and Latinos are graduating from post-secondary education at higher rates today, the fact that they are graduating from post-secondary education at lower levels than whites means we have a lot of work to do. to close equity gaps,” Tanya I. Garcia, co-author of the report and senior researcher at the Center, said the press release.

Label degrees

Another increasingly common way that colleges and universities prepare graduates for the job market is to offer business etiquette training at campus career centers, University Affairs reported in July.

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Etiquette is often misunderstood and confused with stuffy or contrived, Diane Gottsman, a Texas-based etiquette expert, told UB. “For students, it’s about learning how to build relationships so they can come out and stand out in interviews.”

On the one hand, that means teaching students when to put their phones down. A generation that always has a screen in their hands may not realize that it’s rude to walk into an interview over the phone, Gottsman added.

Today’s students also need training in online behavior. “We tell students to have fun with their social media accounts, but be very aware that potential employers can and will watch them,” said James Westhoff, director of career services at Husson University in the Maine, at UB. The university offers LinkedIn workshops for students.

Husson also offers an annual dinner on etiquette – a five-course meal where one or two professionals sit at each table and chat with the students, who also watch a presentation on dining, silverware and social etiquette. .

“It is so important to remember that the majority of [undergrads] haven’t been through the process before. It’s our job to show them how to be professional every step of the way,” he says.

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