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Vocational School Certificates Can Be More Valuable than Bachelors Degrees


Don’t know much about history?  Niether did I. But That’s okay, because you really don’t have to know much about it if you’re seeking a certificate from a vocational school that teaches, say, auto mechanics, drafting or electronics.

And with that certificate, you might be able to get a better-paying job, at least in the short-term, than someone who earns a bachelor’s degree after four years of college.  That’s according to a study released by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.

Anthony Carnevale, the center’s director, says that graduating from a vocational training program is often “the fastest, cheapest way to get a job that pays.”

More people seem to be discovering that it’s true.  The number of certificates awarded nationwide in 1994 was 300,000.  By 2010, it had grown to one million, although these vocational school degrees aren’t usually included in government surveys of educational attainment.

The center’s analysis finds that people who gain a certificate are paid on average a 20 percent higher wage than those with only high school diplomas, and even surpass earnings of some folks with bachelor’s degrees.

Overall, employers are putting more emphasis on vocational school training.  Also, a third of those who hold vocational certificates go on to get associate or bachelor degrees.

The study finds male certificate holders earn more than women and that the technology field is more lucrative than others, such as cosmetology.


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