Understanding Credentials

According to the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University, out of the 142 million workers in the United States, 47 million have earned a Bachelor’s degree, 38 million workers have either a certification or a license, and 17 million workers report a certificate as their highest level of education.

Each year colleges and universities award 1.8 million Bachelor’s degrees, 980,000 Associate’s degrees, 980,000 certificates, 750,000 Master’s degrees and 750,000 professional degrees.

On average per year certification holders earn $31,000. Men earn about $39,000 and women about $24,000. Those with an Associate’s degree earn about $46,000 and Bachelor’s degree holders about $60,000. Certificate and license holders without additional postsecondary credentials earn $39,000. Interestingly, about 48% of job openings for certification holders are employed in the healthcare industry.

Source: Georgetown University Center on the Workforce analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Education (2014 dollars). www.cew.georgetown.edu.