Certificates, not degrees, are the future of higher education, a Georgetown researcher contends in a new study, the Washington Post reports. Certificates are a relatively new and increasingly popular postsecondary credential, awarded typically by a community college or for-profit college for training in a particular occupation. Most certificates take less than a year to complete, although some “long-term” certificate programs can take as long as four years. Since 1980, certificates have grown from 6 percent to 22 percent of all postsecondary awards, making them the fastest-growing credential, according to a new report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. It is titled “Certificates: Gateway to Gainful Employment and College Degrees.”

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