Number of associate degrees and certificates awarded
All associate degree and certificate completers
In 2014, United States Community Colleges awarded 655,415 associate degrees, 284,431 certificates of less than one year, 191,025 certificates of one year to less than two years, and 8,183 certificates of two years or more, for a total of 1,139,054 subbaccalaureate credentials awarded.
Government officials, foundations, and researchers are calling on U.S. postsecondary institutions to graduate more students with certificates and degrees, and as the largest single sector of postsecondary education, community colleges are a major focus of this effort. Labor market demand for jobs specifically requiring postsecondary education at the subbaccalaureate level is growing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that 6 of the top 10 fastest-growing occupations between 2004 and 2014 will require a subbaccalaureate credential, the kind that is typically earned at a community college. Tracking the number of associate degrees and certificates community colleges issue each year shows how closely they are meeting this demand.
Certificate requirements range from less than 1 credit to more than 100 credits and are reported in categories of full-time academic years required for completion. Not all states award certificates in all categories. Students who complete more than one award in the same year are counted multiple times.
Data from the most recent year may not be final and are subject to revision.