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Certificate Programs usually consist of at least 18 units or credits, and are intended to certify that students who have successfully completed the program are prepared to enter the careers associated with the chosen certificate. They usually take at least one to two years to complete. These are typically available at community colleges or junior colleges and are also occasionally available online.

In addition, several organizations offer certificate training programs specifically developed for their products.  For example, Microsoft offers certifications for nearly every Microsoft application for IT professionals, developers, office workers, home users, and technology trainers. In addition, Cisco certificate programs focus on customer service, support, and technology.

Degree Statistics
According to the most recent U.S. Department of Education data, between academic years 200304 and 201314, the total number of postsecondary degrees awarded increased at all degree levels:  certificates by 41 percent (from 688,000 to 969,000), associate's degrees by 51 percent (from 665,000 to 1.0 million), bachelor's degrees by 34 percent (from 1.4 million to 1.9 million), master's degrees by 34 percent (from 564,000 to 754,000), and doctor's degrees by 41 percent (from 126,000 to 178,000).



Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Center for Education Statistics.



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