If you are considering going back to school to increase your earnings and career potential, you may be wondering if a certificate or an associate's degree is right for you. Here are a couple aspects you should consider when choosing an educational program:
- Training Required
The primary difference between a certificate and an associate’s degree is that a certificate is specific to one field of work. This means that certificate programs do not involve broader classes designed to introduce students to other fields of study. A certificate program may be more highly valued than a general associate’s degree in specific lines of work due to the specificity of the material covered. For other careers, an associate’s degree may be highly desired because of the broader training that students receive. Research the career field that you are hoping to pursue and the education required for the job that you want to determine if you need the additional courses provided by an associate’s degree program or if a certificate would be sufficient.
- Time Involved
Because associate’s degree programs cover more material, they take longer to complete than certificate programs. If you are balancing a job or a family with your education, a certificate program may fit better into your lifestyle. If a certificate is sufficient for entrance into your desired career field but you still wish to earn an associate’s degree, consider getting a certificate first so that you can be hired in an entry-level position sooner. You can continue to work on the courses required for the associate’s degree on a part-time basis as you gain experience in the career field that you have chosen.
If you are interested in certificate or associate’s degree programs in the paralegal, court reporting, or medical fields, New York Career Institute has the right program for you. To learn more, call us at (917) 267-2728 today to speak with one of our admissions representatives.