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Careers in Aviation
  Step 3: Educational Requirements
The type of certificate, diploma, or degree you pursue depends mostly on what you are studying and your career plans. Some careers require on-the-job training and others may require an Associate’s, Bachelor’s, or advanced degree. Regardless of your educational or previous work experiences, the employer will give you some form of on-the-job training.

Below are descriptions of the various types of certificates and degrees that are required for various careers:
Certificates and Diplomas
Associate degrees
Bachelor degrees
First Professional degrees
Master degrees
Doctoral degrees
Post Doctorates

Certificates and Diplomas
A postsecondary certificate or diploma is designed to give students’ practical "hands-on" experience as well as theoretical knowledge in a specific technical/occupational area. Certificates and diplomas are offered for non-degree programs usually in a vocational or technical area to prepare students for entry into or advance in jobs requiring specific occupational skills. A certificate or diploma indicates that a particular person has completed coursework in a focused area of study, which can add value to your resume and provide a solid background in a given subject.

Technical certificates/diploma programs are often offered to meet the needs of businesses and industry to assist employees in meeting certification requirements for their job. Examples include: automotive maintenance, accounting assistant, pharmacy technician, etc.

A diploma will take at least two years to complete and will usually include a job placement.
A certificate program is generally shorter, less than two years, and places a greater focus on applied learning. Typically, students receive a certificate and not a degree upon completion of the program. However, some certificates are part of an associate degree program, in which case the credits earned in the certificate program may be used towards an Associate’s degree.

Apprenticeship offers applicants an opportunity to learn a highly skilled trade within a specific field through on-the-job and classroom training. The applicant enters into an agreement with an employer in which the employer assumes the responsibility of teaching the trade to the apprentice. Under the apprenticeship program, the apprentice is paid while learning the practical and theoretical aspects of the trade. All on-the-job training is under the supervision of a skilled (journey-level) worker. The length of the apprenticeship program is dependent on the trade, which usually takes two – five years to complete. Upon completion of the apprenticeship, the apprentice will receive a certificate(s). There are hundreds of apprenticeship programs available in construction, service, mechanical, and industrial occupations.

Associate's Degrees
Associate’s Degrees can be attained at two-year colleges, some four-year colleges and universities, and technical schools, which usually takes at least 1-2 years to complete. The curriculum for an Associate’s Degree program includes general education courses, specialized courses in your chosen field of study, and elective courses. Associate degree programs are typically designed to prepare students for a technical occupation. Depending on the program, some credits for an associate's degree are transferable to a four-year college or university that can lead towards a bachelor’s degree.

There are several types of Associate’s degrees:
Associate in Applied Arts Degree (A.A.A.) is primarily designed to prepare students for employment in jobs in fine arts, music, and photography.
Associate in Applied Science Degree (A.A.S.) is designed to prepare the student for employment immediately following graduation.
Associate in Arts Degree (A.A.) is awarded for the completion of two-year program in Fine Arts, Liberal Arts, and Music, and the courses can transfer to a four-year college or university for the completion of a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree.
Associate in Science Degree (A.S.) is awarded for the completion of two-year program in a variety of pre-professional programs, and the courses can transfer to a four-year college or university for the completion of a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree.

Bachelor's Degrees
Bachelor’s Degrees are attained almost exclusively at four-year colleges and universities, which usually takes at least 4 years to complete or 2 years beyond an Associate's degree. A high school diploma is usually the main prerequisite. The curriculum for a Bachelor’s Degree program usually includes general education courses, specialized courses in your chosen major or field of study, and elective courses.

Two most common types of Bachelor’s degrees are:
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degrees are usually awarded in the humanities, social sciences, and arts.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees are typically awarded in natural sciences, professional, and technical fields.

First Professional Degrees
Professional degrees are awarded upon completion of programs of study that prepare individuals to work in certain professions such as law, medicine, or architecture. It generally takes two or more years beyond a Bachelor's degree to complete. Though the degree may contain the term doctor, a professional degree is the initial degree awarded in that area. Higher degrees may be available, including Masters degrees and Ph.D.s.

There are several types of First Professional degrees such as:
• Dentistry (D.D.S. or D.M.D.)
• Law (L.L.B. or J.D.)
• Medicine (M.D.)
• Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.)
• Pharmacy (Pharm. D.)
• Theological Professions (B.D., M.Div., Rabbi)

Master's Degrees
Master’s Degrees are offered at select four-year colleges and universities. This degree usually requires 1-3 years of study after obtaining a Bachelor's degree, which is dependent on the program. The curriculum for a Master’s Degree program is much more focused than that of the Bachelor's degree. Most Master’s degree programs require students to complete a thesis and/or take a comprehensive exam.

There are several types of Master's degrees:
• Master of Arts (M.A.)
• Master of Science (M.S.)
• Master of Laws ([L.L.M.])
• Master of Fine Art (MFA)
• Master of Business Administration (MBA)
• Master of Education (M.Ed.)

Specialists and advanced masters degrees. (Ed.S., Adv.M.)
Specialists and advanced masters degrees represent study beyond the masters degree but less than the Doctoral degree. They are most often offered in education, but may be available in other areas.

Doctoral Degrees
Doctoral degrees are the highest degrees awarded to students completing a specialized program. It usually requires 3 additional years of study after obtaining a Master's degree, which is dependent on the program. It also requires original research to be conducted and written up in the form of a dissertation and the defense (check spelling for word) of that research orally and/or a comprehensive exam. In many cases, students need a Master's degree for entry into a PhD program, although some programs allow students to enroll in a PhD program and obtain a Master's degree as a part of their program.

There are several types of doctoral degrees, the most common are:
• Doctor of Philosophy Degree (Ph.D)
• Doctor of Psychology Degree (Psy.D)
• Doctor of Education Degree (Ed.D)

Post Doctorates
Post doctorates are not really degrees, but simply advanced study/research/training in a particular area.



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