Programs usually consist of at least 18 units or credits, and are intended to
certify that students who have successfully completed the program are
prepared to enter the careers associated with the chosen certificate.
They usually take at least one to two years to complete. These are typically
available at community colleges or junior colleges and are also
occasionally available online.
In addition, several
organizations offer certificate training programs specifically developed
for their products. For example, Microsoft
offers certifications for nearly every Microsoft application for IT
professionals, developers, office workers, home users, and technology
trainers. In addition,
Cisco certificate programs focus on customer service, support, and
the most recent U.S. Department of Education data,
between academic years 2003–04 and 2013–14, the total number of
postsecondary degrees awarded increased at all degree levels:
certificates by 41 percent (from 688,000 to 969,000), associate's degrees by 51 percent (from 665,000 to 1.0 million),
bachelor's degrees by 34 percent (from 1.4 million to 1.9 million),
master's degrees by 34 percent (from 564,000 to 754,000), and doctor's
degrees by 41 percent (from 126,000 to 178,000).
Note: Some resources
in this section are provided by the U.S.
of Education and the National Center for Education Statistics.