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Anthony P. Carnevale Stephen J. Rose Andrew. R. Hanson

Anthony P. Carnevale Stephen J. Rose Andrew. R. Hanson

earned both credentials

earned both credentials in the same year. 6 This means that the most common path (62 percent) for those with certificates and Associate’s degrees was to get the certificate before the degree. It is also interesting to note the college degree fields in which certificate holders are most concentrated. At the Associate’s degree level, nearly 60 percent of those with degrees in “Other Vocational and Technical Studies” also have a certificate. Engineering, drafting, computer and information services, and health sciences represent other fields in which workers commonly pair Associate’s degrees and certificates. For workers with Bachelor’s degrees, there is too much variation across majors to list the specific fields. Certificates are least concentrated among students from families with high parental education and income. One standard measure of family background is the highest educational attainment of either parent. For individuals whose parents do not have four-year degrees, roughly 17 percent have a certificate. By contrast, among those whose parents have a four-year or graduate degree, only 10 percent have a certificate but no degree. 7 Another indicator of family background is household income. 8 Household income is divided into four tiers: • Low-income households earned 185 percent of the poverty line or less. This is the level to which many public assistance programs are pegged and is equivalent to $34,000 for a family of three. • Moderate middle-income households earned between 185 percent and 370 percent of the poverty line or between $34,000 and $68,000 for a family of three. • Upper middle-income households earn between 370 percent and 555 percent of the poverty line, or between $68,000 and $102,000 for a family of three. • High-income households are defined as earning more than 555 percent of the poverty line, or families that make above $102,000 for a family of three. Figure 5 shows that, in the lower three family income tiers, between 14 percent and 17 percent earn certificates. For high-income households, by contrast, this figure drops to 10 percent. This relative consistency in certificates across the lower three income quartiles demonstrates that, below the top income quartile, certificates are a common labor market preparation option for children from widely different backgrounds. 6. SIPP only has year of completion for the highest education category and therefore cannot be used in this calculation of which credential came first. These results come from NLSY97, which does have complete data on the year each credential was received. This is a young cohort, however, and virtually all of the respondents with a certificate and a college degree have an Associate’s degree. 7. Despite the similar incidence of certificate holding across parental education levels, large differences exist among children based on the education of their parents. For example, only 10 percent of children from families whose parents do not have a high school diploma will get a college degree, and 21 percent if at least one parent has a high school diploma. By contrast, 35 percent of children who have at least one parent with some college or an Associate’s degree earn a college degree. Among children who have at least one parent with a Bachelor’s degree, 61 percent earn a college degree. 8. This metric is narrowed to the first three years of the survey when respondents’ ages ranged from 12- to 19-years-old. Certificates: Gateway To Gainful Employment and College Degrees 9

10 Figure 4. Workers with highest academic preparation/skill have the smallest share of certificates. Lowest Quartile Second Quartile Third Quartile Highest Quartile Source: National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97) Figure 5. Certificate holders tend to come from backgrounds of low to moderate family income. Low income Low to moderate income Moderate to high Income High income Source: National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97) Certi�cate Holders by Academic Preparation/Skill 9% 0 5 10 15 20 Percent Certi�cate Holders by Family Income 0 5 10 15 20 10% Percent 14% 15% 16% 17% 18% 18% Certificates: Gateway To Gainful Employment and College Degrees

Anthony P. Carnevale Stephen J. Rose Andrew ... - Inside Higher Ed
In J. E. Moody, S. J. Hanson, & R. P. Lippmann (eds.)