Before I write anything let me be the first to say I’m a degree snob. I think it’s important to get a degree, it shows you are capable of sticking through something difficult and does teach you a different way of thinking. I was brought up (read fed propaganda) to believe this and I’m sticking with it for now. However, in this day and age where studying is done online and self study is more and more common can you get away with just a certificate from a training organisation? I’ve been doing some research and came across the following:
On average, certificate holders earn about $39,000. That’s less than the $54,000 a bachelor’s degree holder earns but it’s more than the $29,000 the average high school graduate takes home. And, depending on the certificate you go for, you can actually end up with a higher paying job than someone with more education. A male with a certificate in computer and information service can earn about $72,000 per year—more than 72 percent of his peers with an associate’s degree and more than 54 percent of male bachelor’s degree holders.
It’s a matter of efficiency, if you can get a decent salary in your area of interest with a shorter course certificate then I don’t really see an issue. However, I do think everyone should attempt to spend at least one year at university, for the experience alone. That said, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea and it’s not exactly cheap. Would I say that certificates are the way forward? I certainly hope not since it could be considered lowering the bar but it does provide hope for a growing tertiary education problem.