Education Certificates Diplomas Degrees and Majors

Certificates, diplomas, majors and degrees are an important part of education and refer to different aspects of it. One might ask, what is education in terms of recognition and acknowledgement? suggests that education is the “science or art of teaching”.

Throughout the generations, education as knowledge taught from one generation to another on various levels, entitles successful students to appropriate recognition and acknowledgement of their accomplishments with the awarding of certificates, diplomas and degrees. The question becomes one of how these differ and how they relate to majors.  


Certificates recognize and acknowledge the completion of courses or programs, for example, a certificate for school age students for babysitting or first aid courses. In high school, certificates signify completion of various incentive programs like cheer leading, or the achievement of trade skills like carpentry.

On the college level, certificates mark the completion of specific programs like personal support workers or travel agents. The same holds true on the university or post-university level. In college, certificate programs may be several weeks or months in length; others require one or two years.

Note that baby boomers and other older people often receive certificates for participation in various programs like community leadership, or exercise programs. Certificates serve as incentives for those in senior’s homes. 


Diplomas awarded upon graduation to children as young as preschool or kindergarten age, signify their graduation. Throughout the lives of children and teenagers, the various diplomas they receive depict different levels of academic achievement. Grade school, middle school or high school diplomas for graduating students are important in terms of recognition and acknowledgement for their achievements.


Students meeting higher academic requirements on a college or university level, after completing a specified number of years of education, receive degrees. Degree programs vary from college to university and accreditation levels may differ. These range from a Bachelor of Arts (or Science), Bachelor of Arts (Honors), Master of Arts or a Doctorate. These university programs vary from one to four years or more, depending upon academic requirements. Other university programs may lead to different kinds of degrees.


When university students signify an interest in certain areas of academic endeavor, they can purse further study in these areas as majors, (as opposed to minors.) Majors can be determined relatively early in college or university life or be part of ongoing post graduation academic programs.

Education requirements tend to differ around the globe. Thus, when a student receives a certificate, diploma or a degree in one country, the requirements he or she has met may not be the same in another country. Not all certificates, diplomas or degrees are appropriate everywhere and upgrading may be necessary. 

Education is worth pursuing and certificates, diplomas and degrees offer proof of one’s academic achievements and prove beneficial in terms of potential employment. Majors focus on certain areas of academic interest.