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Certification Verses Degree

Even before the economy turned sour, it was common for individuals to change careers. Now with the unemployment rate high and debt even higher, many are choosing to go back to school to pursue a steady career with the promise of longevity. As such, many students are choosing to earn certificates rather than degrees to save time, money and to join the work force quickly.
Joanne Jacobs from The Hechinger Report tackles this topic on mcclatchydc.com. Jacobs explains that, “Labor economists and some educators believe career-driven degrees should become an increasingly common choice and are advising students to pursue skills-oriented fields of study they feel offer better job opportunities. Fueling the trend is the worst economic decline in more than 70 years and a slowly falling unemployment rate of 9.4 percent. Add to that the staggering total of $830 billion in student debt nationally.”
What really surprised me was that, “Nationally, 27 percent of people with licenses and certificates also earn more than the average bachelor’s degree recipient, according to Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. Carnevale’s newest data show that at least half of all anticipated job opportunities in the next seven years will be open to ‘middle-skill’ workers like pharmacy technicians.” In short, you may not make as much to begin, but you’ll have a good paying job; that’s not such a bad trade off in these times!
Jacobs has some good news for those who are pursuing a certificate in the health care industry. “Nursing, medical technology and other healthcare jobs are growing rapidly, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even in Michigan, where the unemployment rate is 12.4 percent — tied with California for the second-highest nationally — those with associate degrees in nursing and allied health fields can find jobs, said James Jacobs, president of Macomb Community College in Warren, Mich.”
If you are considering going to school in the San Francisco Bay Area, Santa Clara, or Sacramento, consider Unitek College. You can get certified as a Pharmacy Technician, Medical Assisting, or Vocational Nursing in a short amount of time and have the skills you need to succeed in the medical field.

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