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ERIC Number: ED532679
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 68
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 30
Certificates: Gateway to Gainful Employment and College Degrees
Carnevale, Anthony P.; Rose, Stephen J.; Hanson, Andrew R.
Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce
Certificates are recognition of completion of a course of study based on a specific field, usually associated with a limited set of occupations. Certificates differ from other kinds of labor market credentials such as industry-based certifications and licenses, which typically involve passing an examination to prove a specific competency, completing an apprenticeship or attending company or government training programs. Certificate programs take place in the classroom, mainly in public, two-year schools or private, for-profit, non-degree granting business, vocation, technical, and trade schools. The number of certificates awarded has skyrocketed more than 800 percent over the past 30 years. In 1984, less than 2 percent of adults 18 and older had a certificate as their highest educational attainment; by 2009 the percentage had grown to almost 12 percent, according to the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). This report is divided into three sections and a conclusion. Part 1: Who Gets Certificates? discusses the population of certificate earners and their demographic characteristics. It also covers certificate earners who combine certificates with two- and four-year degrees and the various paths they take. Part Two: Occupations and Earnings Returns for Certificate Holders looks in greater detail at the different outcomes for certificate holders in the labor market. Specifically, this section details how earnings vary by sex, race and ethnicity, and field of study, and whether certificate holders work in field. Part Three: Where Are Certificate Programs and Workers? examines institutions, such as public two-year colleges and for-profit institutions, that are largely responsible for certificate awards and how certificate awards and workers are concentrated across states. The section also shows how costs vary across these institutions. Appended are: (1) Data Sources; (2) Regression Analyses of Earnings (SIPP and NLSY); (3) Individual State and Community College Certificate Reports; (4) Occupations by Certificate Requirement (O*NET); (5) Occupations with High Concentrations of Workers with Certificates (SIPP); (6) States Ranked by Share of Workers with Certificates (SIPP); (7) Certificate Awards per 10,000 Population (IPEDS, U.S. Census); (8) Certificates as a Share of Sub-Baccalaureate Awards by State, IPEDS; (9) Certificate Awards by Institutional Control by State, IPEDS; and (10) Certificates with Economic Value by States (IPEDS and SIPP). (Contains 16 tables, 13 figures and 31 footnotes.) [For "Certificates: Gateway to Gainful Employment and College Degrees. Executive Summary," see ED532677.]
Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. 3300 Whitehaven Street NW Suite 5000 Box 571444, Washington, DC 20057. Tel: 202-687-4922; Fax: 202-687-3110; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Lumina Foundation; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Authoring Institution: Georgetown University, Center on Education and the Workforce