Post-Secondary Degree

Post-Secondary Degree (Meaning, types and benefits)5 min read

The majority of people aged 18 to 20 have completed secondary school, which takes 6 to 8 years depending on the country.

For instance, in Nigeria and Japan, it takes six years to receive a diploma or certification to prove to complete secondary school education.

In Nigeria, secondary education is split into two halves (junior and senior secondary), each taking three years to complete. The ideal age to begin the junior secondary school education is 11.

If all goes well, this student will have graduated high school at the age of 16 and will be making plans to continue his/her education at a later date. In Japan, it is fairly similar, but in the UK, this education system takes up to 7 to 8 years.

Post-Secondary Degree

What is Post-Secondary Education?

Post-secondary education is also known as university or tertiary education. The education level comes right after completing secondary school education (most times referred to as high school).

Post-secondary education includes universities, colleges, vocational schools and trade. The climax of post-secondary education is usually a “Post-Secondary Degree” in the form of diploma, certificate or academic degree.

This level of education is acknowledged as diverse because they are both private and public institutions across the globe.

Some tertiary institutions are small in size, and were coined from religious organizations, while the rest fall under the secular, rural, urban, or suburban aspects taking about usually between 2 – 4 years to complete.

Prior to a Post-Secondary Degree

Before someone acquires a post-secondary degree, he/she must have gone through kindergarten and preschool.

You need to look deep into yourself and thoroughly examine your passion(s) and interest(s) before choosing a tertiary institution for yourself. It is also essential to have alternatives just in case unpredicted situations arise and you, unfortunately, cannot do what you desire.

Despite the insanely high number of people that try all their possible best to gain admission into post-secondary institutions, it is a sad reality that at least 60% of them end up not gaining admission. However, there are various factors attributes to this.

And some of those that eventually gain admission end up studying courses they never had any intentions to, either because their parents made that choice or inadequate finances.

Public/private post-secondary institutions (degree)

Public post-secondary institutions are state or (and) federal supported. That of private (as the name implies) is profit-oriented and are not connected to the government in any way because these institutions are businesses for individuals, religious bodies or even donations. This is contrary to public institutions.

Four-year institutions anchor bachelor’s degrees(Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science), and some of those institutions offer advanced degrees(for graduates). But two-year institutions offer associate’s degrees.

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Types of post-secondary schools

  • Colleges
  • Universities
  • Community colleges (Junior college)
  • Career school, technical school, or vocational/trade school.


A four-year duration college grant post-secondary degrees like bachelor’s degrees (e.g. Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science). Many colleges even award master’s degrees, and some offer a two-year degree(like AA – Associate of Arts).

Colleges can be centralized to make provision to learn just a specific course (for example, business) or have a broader curriculum for interested students. College classes are often smaller than that of universities.


The university offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and some graduate programs which include law school or medical school. Most universities tend to be larger than colleges, pay more attention to scholarly or scientific research than others, and might even have larger class sizes than colleges.

They offer two-year degrees, four-year degrees, and graduate degrees that focus on advanced studies that can go beyond four years. Universities provide a large course selection and sometimes have much more extensive resources.

University professors are usually involved in research. Some students who graduated are often offered opportunities to teach at the universities they graduated from as Junior lecturers.

Post-Secondary Degree

Community colleges

Depending on the country, the phrase “community college” can have a variety of connotations. For students who have completed high school or secondary education, several community colleges offer “open enrollment.”

Initially, community colleges used to be known as junior colleges, but the term “junior college” is no longer recognized by most people because it happened to have fallen from popularity.

Community colleges always have played, and continue to play, an important role in preparing students for the workforce. There are at least a few hundred community colleges in other countries and way more than a thousand of them in the United States alone.

The majority make provisions for a post-secondary degree or certificate that prepare both local and international students immediately for their first entry-level job.

Community colleges also serve as a medium or bridge into a regular university for students who wish to continue their university or college education.

However, it is somewhat similar to a regular college but different from a four-year university. The difference between a community college and a four-year university is; a community college is precisely what it is referred to as; it is merely a higher education institution whose service is primarily offered to the community.

Community colleges give access to regular academic classes like mathematics, business courses, and history. It helps interested students transfer to a four-year college or university and offers community programs like swim lessons to youngsters.

Although it is a referee to as ‘community college’, community colleges have grown in popularity, and they are serving more individuals both locally and from across the globe.

Career school, technical school, or vocational/trade school

A career or technical or vocational/trade school is a type of educational institution, either secondary or post-secondary education, established to provide vocational education to students and teach the skills in line to complete a specific job.

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Post-Secondary Degree


Post-secondary education makes provision for; undergraduate post-secondary education, graduate post-secondary education and distance education. It is up to you and your level of education to decide which path to take.

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