What is a Certificate of Higher Education?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2019
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A certificate of higher education typically comes in the form of a diploma or degree. Symbolizing the full completion of a course of study, the certificate is presented to a student as a reward for meeting all requirements set forth by the governing body of the school or training authority. It is often used in technical applications and is occasionally presented in lieu of a diploma. In certain fields of study where completion of the prescribed course of study does not warrant a diploma or degree, a certificate is used to show that the program was completed successfully and often proves a person's qualifications when applying for employment within a specific field.

In many types of employment, some type of education is required before a person can be promoted or obtain a certain position within the company. Typically, a certificate of higher education is given upon completion of company-orientated training. This certificate can be displayed on the employee's wall space and is occasionally used as a motivator for other employees. When considering two or more employees for a single position, the decision can often fall to the employee with the certificate in a given area of company interest. Many of these training courses are related to employee leadership and quality assurance methods.


Worldwide, many countries give a certificate of higher education in place of the different degree offerings typical in American colleges. The certificates show completion of a level of education equal to or exceeding those shown by an associate's or a bachelor's degree. In certain areas of the world, graduate level courses as well as doctorate courses are rewarded with such a certificate. It can be used to prove the necessary requirements have been met to legally obtain a position, such as satisfying a teaching position or medical provider requirements.

In most cases, the recipient has undergone an intense course of study in accordance with the educator's standards. The right to be considered as a candidate in a given field of employment is often made possible through the presentation of such a document. Higher education is often the subject of a career-long goal or an educational achievement, and the recipient of a certificate is able to show off her accomplishment by displaying it.


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