Certificates recognize a narrow segment of people specialized in a specific skill set, trained to perform specialized duties or tasks.

Attendees must go through a specialized training program for certain topics. They receive a certificate upon completion of the training course if they pass the assessment.

Certificate vs. Certification

Certificates and certifications are often confused for one another, or used interchangeably because of the similarities in their name. Most people, however, are unaware that they are two separate things. Below, find a list of some of the characteristics that differentiate the two.


  • Suitable for seasoned professionals as well as newcomers
  • Awarded by an educational program (non-degree granting)
  • Granted upon the completion of courses with a specific focus
  • Gateway for achieving a degree
  • Content is narrow in scope
  • Requires re-certification every so often to ensure candidates stay current in the field


  • Requires some professional experience
  • Awarded by a third party organization that sets the standards (degree granting)
  • Indicates mastery or completion usually with an application or exam
  • No relationship with obtaining a higher education degree
  • Content is broad in scope