Education Degree Hierarchy

Education is an extremely vital and inseparable part of life. Education stages are often supported by pre set curriculums and once a student completes the requisite curriculum in the standard time, he /she is required to attend the examination in order to attain the education based academic degree.  An education degree hierarchy illustrates the different degrees that can be attained by the students on completion of education programs in a vertical order.

Education Degree Hierarchy

Education Degree Hierarchy

Following are the major levels in the education degree hierarchy:

  • Certificate
  • Diploma
  • Associate Degree
  • Bachelor Degree / Graduate Degree
  • Master’s Degree / Post Graduate Degree
  • Doctorate Degree


 A certificate is the accreditation that recognizes a course of a very small duration with a span of a couple of years. The certificate level courses are the ones that cover a specific aspect of a subject.


A diploma is a sort of deed or certificate which is issued by an educational institution, like a college or a university which testifies that the receiver of the same has successfully finished a specific course of study or confers an academic program.

Associate Degree

An associate degree is usually awarded on the successful completion of about two years of schooling, though it may vary depending on the particular education program a student enrolls for. Students can get admission into such programs after completing secondary education from school and this degree is generally substituted as bachelor’s degree for the professions which do not require great deal of expertise.

Bachelor Degree

Bachelor’s degree can be pursued directly after completing the secondary school or sometimes after completing the associate’s degree through the duration in both the cases may be different. This degree provides the requisite level of professional or deep delved education in a particular stream. Most of the students are required to spend 4 or 5 years to achieve the bachelor’s degree but some courses award this degree in 3 years also. Most of the students are required to compete in the entrance examinations in order to get admission in a bachelor’s degree program with a reputed college that tests the caliber and capability of the student.

Master’s Degree

Master’s degree in general is the continuation to the bachelor’s degree where a student is taught in detail about the similar subjects which he /she attended in the undergraduate education program. The duration entirely depends on the course but generally it is a two-year degree program.

Doctorate Degree

This can be the highest degree which an individual obtains after putting in the hard effort on researching a particular subject topic. A doctorate degree is awarded to a student who completes his / her thesis in a specific subject after doing apt research on it. One can only opt for a doctorate degree after he / she completes the master’s degree as it is mandatory requisite for a doctorate education program.