What Is a Postsecondary Education?

What Is a Postsecondary Education?

Postsecondary education is study that occurs after high school. In most cases it means four years of college. Sometimes people get specialty degrees which go beyond four years of study.

Many people opt for postsecondary education because they want to further their learning. It is true that high schools help form good students and get them ready for adulthood. However, depending on one's career path, this may not be enough. This is when someone opts to go to college or even graduate school. Postsecondary education is the learning that occurs after high school graduation. There are many ways different types of postsecondary education.

Vocational School

Vocational schools offer study for specialized career paths. This could be for career in cosmetology, healthcare or culinary arts, among others. At the end of study, students receive a diploma, certificate or license. Some vocational schools award associate and bachelor degrees. Students, who attend vocational schools are usually trying to start a career in the area of study. However, they can transfer the credits from the vocational school to a junior or four-year college. Vocational schools usually last two years or less. Some last as long as four years depending on the area of study. Vocational schools can either be public or private.

Community College

Community colleges provide two-year associate degrees. Sometimes, community colleges offer technical certificates. Most community colleges are less expensive than four-year universities and colleges. The requirements for getting into a community college is are usually not as rigorous as that for a university or college. Community colleges are usually public. Junior colleges are a type of community college but instead of being public there are private. Many students, who attend community colleges are using it as a stepping stone. While studying at a community college, they take courses, which they will transfer to a four-year college or university.

Colleges

Colleges offer four-year bachelor degrees. Some even offer graduate degrees. In colleges, students pick their course of study based on their career paths. Their main course of study is called a major. Students chose additional courses called electives. Colleges require that students have a certain amount of credits to graduate. All of the courses that the student selects counts toward this credit count. Colleges are private or public. Public colleges are supported by state funds. Colleges can be an independent entity are part of a university. The degrees awarded at colleges are the bachelors, masters and doctorate. Colleges provide dormitories or dorms where students live while studying.

University

Universities tend to be larger than colleges though this is not always the case. They have a diverse set of majors. Universities may have several departments or colleges within them. They usually have an undergraduate section and a graduate one where students further their learning. Some universities have research departments that conduct work on behalf of furthering the university's goals. Like colleges, universities can be private or public. In addition to bachelor, masters and doctorate degrees, some universities allow students to pursue post-doctorate education. Like colleges, universities provide dorms where students can live while they study. Universities have social clubs, such as sport clubs or sororities and fraternities.