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What is Post Secondary Education?



With the current struggles job searchers are facing in the job market, post secondary education is a vital tool to be able to add to one's resume. Without post secondary education, it can be difficult to be competitive in the job market and harder to land the job you are looking to fill.

There are several different types of post secondary education and a variety of different ways one can get post secondary education to add to their resume. For many, the type of post secondary education options depend greatly on the type of job or career they are working toward. With many careers, an actual college degree is necessary to get hired. This type of degree can range from an associate's degree (two years of college or university schooling), bachelor's degree (four years of college or university schooling), master's degree (can range from five to seven years of schooling), or a doctorate degree (can range from about seven to nine years of schooling at a university). Technical or trade schools are also another option for post secondary education. Other types of post secondary education include regular training, EMT courses, etc. There are options for about every area of training you wish to pursue.

What is post secondary education?

Overall, post secondary education is a tool used to train and educate individuals to learn more about a particular field of interest where they could potentially work or get a job in later on after the training or classes are complete. 

  • College
  • University
  • Community college/junior college
  • Training programs
  • Trade, technical or vocational school

College - With post secondary education through a college, you can get an associate of art or science, which takes two years, as well as a four-year Bachelor of Arts of Bachelor of Science degree. Some colleges also offer some master's degrees. Sometimes colleges are considered to be accredited institutions of higher education. However, there are also some colleges that are not accredited, meaning they do not award degrees that are recognized by the state. However an accredited college is not considered to be the same thing as an accredited university. Accredited colleges have not yet achieved university status, which requires different levels of status to be awarded by the state. 

University - Universities, like colleges, can award both associate's degrees of arts and science as well as bachelor's degrees of both art and science. Universities have typically achieved a higher level of accreditation by the state. Universities are often times larger than four-year colleges and have staffs that focus more on scholarly and scientific research.  Some universities are state funded while others are private institutions. 

Community college/Junior college - Community or junior colleges are most often publicly funded. They only offer 2-year training programs or associate's degrees. Most community and junior colleges have a higher percentage of non-traditional students than in comparison to colleges and universities. They are typically less expensive when it comes to tuition costs in comparison to colleges and universities. 

Training programs - One type of post secondary education that many do not realize counts as post secondary education are training programs. These training programs are usually offered by the job or employer themselves to train potential employees directly rather than having them attend a school of some sort beforehand. Training programs include police and fire department training programs, EMT courses and more. If the person knows exactly what they want to do in their career and it falls under one of these training program job opportunities, it might be more worthwhile of the person's time to jump directly into the training program instead of going to school first. However, for many, they find college an important supplement to these training programs.

Trade, technical, vocational school - These types of post secondary educational options are growing in popularity. With more and more adults who are already established in the workforce are looking for a faster way to increase their working skills, trade or technical schools are a great way to get that training fast and inexpensively. These programs usually last from about six months to 12 or 18 months depending on the type of program. They are also usually less expensive than a college or university.

When choosing a type of post secondary education program, it is best to evaluate what you want to do with your career options. For most, bachelor's degrees are becoming a necessary requirement. However, there is much to be said for the proper experience and training. Be sure to check out all of your possible options to decide what is best for you. 

Sources: 2.ed.gov, collegedegreeguide.com