Is Accreditation Different for those Seeking Post-Graduate Degrees?

When seeking a post graduate degree, accreditation is often a concern for many students. There are several schools that offer an array of post graduate degrees. The needs of the post graduate student are often quite different than that of the first degree learner. In many cases, the student with the degree already has a job and is seeking to gain the next level education as a means to improve current skills or trying to expand their knowledge base. Many of these schools, particularly for-profit schools will offer huge incentives for the student to join and do so at a premium. Buyer beware as many of these for-profit schools are not accredited, as pointed out by the Better Business Bureau. The question for many students is then, how is accreditation different for post-graduate schools?

What is accreditation?

There are many sorts of accreditation. It can come from private trade related organizations to the US Department of Education. The Department of Education accreditation is the most sought out and universally accepted as the standards are set by Office of Post Education (OPE). These standards reflect the national standard on education and how the school prepares its student for the national workforce. Whereas trade related accreditation reflects directly on the school’s ability to prepare the students for the applicable trade itself.

Trade vs. National Accreditation

Trade requirements, such as medical or technological, may be vastly different than that of others. A school attaining a trade specific accreditation will indeed render itself as being beneficial to the person gaining that degree should that degree holder pursue a career in that field. The accreditation for trade specific studies requires that the school prepare its students accordingly to work in that field. This works well in some career paths but for others, such a business administration, that specific study may not apply or be too centralized. In any case, a trade accreditation often models its requirements to that of the national level.

The Importance of Accreditation

The accreditation of a school makes an impact on the school’s reputation itself. This is deeply reflected back to the students who attended schools. A student from an accredited college will be looked upon higher than that of one who has not received their degree from an accredited institution of learning. The accreditation itself stands as a testament of the student’s ability to operate and be compatible in their field of study. This provides confidence in employers that the student has the applicable knowledge in that field and makes them a valuable asset to the hiring company.Accreditation of post graduate degrees are no different than that of the graduate degree. The importance of the accreditation applies towards the field of study itself. It is completely feasible to attain a four year degree from an institution that is nationally accredited then receive a Master’s Degree from an institution with a different accreditation. The value of that accreditation is universal in the sense that specific standards have to be met but can be specific to the trade or industry in which you plan to achieve your career goals. In a general sense, the national accreditation from the Department of Education is the optimal standard and should be considered first over any secondary accreditation.