Career and Education Definitions

Career:  The work part of your life, paid or unpaid. Can include being a parent, caring for the home, being a student as well as all other paid or unpaid work.

Occupation:  A type of paid work.

Industry:  A type of workplace, each industry exists for a specific purpose: to produce a “good;” transport, store or sell “goods;” provide a service; or govern and protect society.  Industries are sometimes referred to as sectors.

College Degrees and Training Options Explained

College Degrees and Certificates

College degree and certificate programs are typically divided into two categories: 

Undergraduate College Programs

* Number of years to complete a degree or certificate is based on full-time attendance.

Graduate Programs

Admission into a graduate program usually requires completion of a four-year Bachelor’s degree first.

Other Education and Training Options

What does certificate and certified mean?

A certificate means different things in different situations.  A few examples:

  • If you complete a specified group of classes in college (typically fewer classes than would be required for a college degree), you may earn a certificate to prove you completed that group of classes. Learn more about college certificates.
  • If you attend a seminar, workshop or training program, you may receive a certificate to verify you attended or that you acquired knowledge or skills that might be verified by a test.
  • Being professionally certified is required for employment in some occupations.  Certification (or licensure) requirements may be determined by the state or a professional organization.  Certifications (and licensure) have specific and various requirements such as completion of certain courses, completion of supervised or unsupervised experience, an age requirement, passing an exam, continued professional development or a number of other requirements.
  • Whenever you are considering completion of a certificate, find out what the certificate means.  If you are considering an occupation that requires certification or licensure, find out what the requirements are to enter and remain in that occupation.