Friday, July 19, 2013

College of iffy value--what about certification?

Like a big know-it-all, I have been going around for years saying four-year college (which often takes more time and half the time people don't finish) is being phased--and now I read in the WSJ, in a story by Caroline Porter, July 16, 2013, that my beloved idea of short-term certification for certain jobs is also a possible money-sink.

Many people who can't take the time or money for college consider "training up" to be an alternative--a gateway to a career.

This is the fastest growing segment of higher ed.

Courses can be whipped up in months, but the info can be obsolete almost as fast.

One expert says there are too many one-year programs now to make them pay. A certificate program costs around $7K in a community college, $20K in a four-year.

An aviation certificate holder can make $66K. A food services certificate grad may make only $18K, though.

Still, at Georgetown only 44% of certificate holders end up in their chosen field.

So, I guess the takeaway is to choose wisely. Talk to people. And if you do invest in one of these, finish it. You never know where it could lead. But not finishing ruins it.

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