What is Post Secondary Education?

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Last updated: June 6, 2019

Many students have used the terminology of going to college or attending a university but may not know exactly what the answer to the question of What is Post Secondary Education. Post-secondary education is the education received after secondary schools. Typically an optional level of learning, post-secondary education is also called higher education, third level education or tertiary education.Primary school is education at the elementary level.  High school is secondary education.

  In America as well as many other countries, both primary school and high school are compulsory through age 16 or until a certificate of completion, or diploma is earned.  So, to simplify what is post-secondary education, the answer is any school that is past the high school level and is at an optional level of learning.  This includes:

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  • Trade and vocational schools
  • Colleges and universities
  • Technology or career schools
  • Academies and seminaries 

The Goal of Post Secondary Education

Compulsory education, elementary through high school, covers all of the essential and basic knowledge that is needed for students entering the labor force.  Topics such as mathematics, science, history and English are taught to all students throughout their primary and secondary education.What is post-secondary education for?  While the goal of a primary and secondary education remains a basic education, post-secondary education expands and directs education for career purposes.  The higher education opportunity is not compulsory by law, but certainly a necessity for any student wanting to be successful.In the many avenues of career choices, a degree of some sort is needed in order to succeed.

  Students, who want to earn a degree, learn a trade or simply gain knowledge or certification in a particular field of study will need to understand in depth, what is post-secondary education and the benefits of earning a degree.Post-secondary education is school at the college level and the purpose of this education is to earn a degree.  A four year degree is called a Bachelor’s Degree while the two year is called an Associate’s Degree.

  Although an Associate’s is a good start, most employers will look for a Bachelor’s Degree as the standard.

The Benefits of a Post Secondary Education

The most obvious reason for taking advantage of the opportunities presented in continuing school with a post-secondary education, is earning potential. According to the latest data compiled by the Census Bureau, an average post-secondary education student has the potential to earn twice as much, in a career that utilizes his degree, over that of a high school graduate entering the workforce straight out of high school.What is post-secondary education and what does it mean to you? The answer to that lies strictly in the purposes you have in mind to make use of your education.  For those students who want to learn a trade, the benefits of a post-secondary education would clearly be learning the desired trade and receiving the certification necessary to promote your skills as a trained professional.  For example, many tech schools teach and focus on the technological skills that each student will need to not only get a job but also to succeed at a job in the field of technology.  This will hold true for plumbers, mechanics, repair services and a host of other careers.Students who choose other avenues such as business, criminal justice, bookkeeping and other procedural careers will need a college degree to certify that they have learned the basic criteria for each of their fields of study.

  As they enroll and enter college, they may ask the same type of questions. What is post-secondary education and why do I need it?  The answer is easy to explain.  A high school diploma is no longer sufficient to get you in the door in most areas of business.  Employers are looking for talent, prospective employees that have invested in their own future by earning a degree.Those students who have a doctorate or a master’s degree in mind need much more post-secondary schooling and will have to enroll in graduate classes after their undergraduate studies are successfully completed.  Graduate classes, although not compulsory by law, they are a mandatory requirement for obtaining the degree.

  For instance, a doctor must go on to medical school after graduating from college.  The same is true for lawyers and a few other professions that require a doctorate. So for a law student or medical student, the answer to what is post secondary education may simply be another step on their ladder of success.

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