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ERIC Number: ED538982
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jan
Pages: 35
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 12
Characteristics of Certificate Completers with Their Time to Certificate and Labor Market Outcomes. Web Tables. NCES 2013-157
Radwin, David; Matthews, Morgan
National Center for Education Statistics
The number of certificates conferred by U.S. postsecondary institutions increased 64 percent in the last decade, from 572,000 in 2000-2001 to 936,000 in 2009-2010, surpassing the 850,000 associate's degrees conferred in 2009-2010. Certificates are overwhelmingly conferred in vocational fields and are intended to prepare students for the growing number of jobs requiring education at the subbaccalaureate level. National statistics on certificate requirements are reported in three broad categories of completion time (less than 1 year, 1 year to less than 2 years, and 2 years or more) but do not indicate credit requirements in detail or actual time to completion. Therefore, few statistics exist on how long it actually takes students to earn a certificate, in contrast to more extensive estimates of completion time for associate's degrees and bachelor's degrees. Because time spent earning a certificate may equate to reduced time in the labor market, accurately measuring time to certificate is critical in understanding certificate students' true investment when earning this form of human capital. These Web Tables provide estimates of certificate credit requirements, completion times, and labor market outcomes for undergraduate students who entered postsecondary education for the first time in 2003-2004 and whose postsecondary transcripts indicated the first credential earned by spring 2009 was a subbaccalaureate certificate (certificate completers). The results are based on data from about 1,700 certificate completers representing a population of approximately 311,000 students in the 2003-2004 Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study, Second Follow-up (BPS:04/09), a nationally representative sample of undergraduates first interviewed during the 2003-2004 academic year and followed over a period of 6 academic years. Table 1 presents empirically derived credit hour requirements for certificate completers. Given the wide range in the number of required credits, table 1 displays the number required at the 10th percentile, the 25th percentile, the 50th percentile (median), the 75th percentile, and the 90th percentile among certificate completers. The credit requirements are presented for certificate completers overall and by selected field of study, the sector of institution where the student earned the certificate, and various enrollment, demographic, and employment characteristics. Table 2 describes certificate completers overall and separately for each of three categories of credit requirements. For each category, the table shows the percentage distribution by sector of the institution awarding the certificate and selected student characteristics. These distributions are also reported for the 23 percent of certificate completers whose certificate requirements were missing. Tables 3-5 report the time certificate completers took to complete their certificates in terms of the average number of months elapsed (table 3) and the median number of months elapsed (table 4) from first enrollment to certificate completion. The estimates in both of these tables are broken out by enrollment, demographic, and employment characteristics. The estimates in table 5 present the time to certification completion by credits required for certificate completion. Tables 6 and 7 focus on employment outcomes for certificate completers and noncompleters (that is, students who initially enrolled in a certificate program in 2003-2004 but had not completed any degree or certificate and were not enrolled as of spring 2009). Table 6 shows median and average salaries, labor force participation and unemployment rates, past unemployment, and satisfaction with various aspects of employment by categories of credit requirements. Table 7 reports additional employment characteristics, including full-time employment status, occupation, and availability of employer-provided benefits, by credits required for certificate completion. (Contains 14 tables and 1 endnote.)
National Center for Education Statistics. Available from: ED Pubs. P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Tel: 877-433-7827; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Center for Education Statistics (ED); MPR Associates, Inc.
IES Funded: Yes