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College Degree or Professional Certification: What Works the Best?

Pursuing higher education can be costly and the admission process can be tedious, but it’s important to note that you have options to pick from. With the rise of fast-tracked resources and career-oriented bootcamps, you now have the choice to either go the traditional route or otherwise. In this article, you will find a comparison between college degrees and professional certifications that can help you decide what works best for you.

College Degree

For the longest time, this has been the most common path for those who aspire to land an opportunity for a brighter future. A college degree is given out upon graduation. It typically marks the completion of courses that take between three to four years on average. In today’s tech industry, a bachelor’s degree is highly valued but it will not necessarily land you a job. The lack of one also does not mean you can’t get a good gig.


As previously mentioned, the duration of university courses is quite long, therefore, the curriculum is extensive. Generally, it not only covers topics that are relevant to the major, but also other core subjects that are pre-requisites for graduation. Even though the core subjects are not necessarily related to your field of interest, they are still mandatory.


On average, it takes about four years to finish a bachelor’s degree. The duration, however, is not fixed as it depends on a student’s performance and the major itself. For instance, a medical school attendee may require three more years of residency after their graduate degree upon graduation.


One semester can cost anywhere from $4,000 to over $30,000, depending on your major and the school you attend. While a lot of universities offer financial support or scholarships to those qualified, the four-year duration can easily leave you with a significant amount of student debt by the end of your degree.

Job Opportunities

A bachelor’s degree can bring about plenty of job opportunities. However, it also depends on the major you choose and how the associated industry is faring at the moment.

Professional Certification