What Is the Definition of Post-Secondary Education?

The educational system differs in various countries. The term secondary education refers to high school in some nations, whereas in others, it refers to a college education. It includes both private and public institutions. Let us know ‘What Is the Definition of Post-Secondary Education?

What Is the Definition of Post-Secondary Education?

What Is the Definition of Post-Secondary Education?

Post-secondary education is also known as tertiary education and is an education system that follows the successful completion of high school. Universities and colleges offer post-secondary education. It might also include vocational schools and generally culminates in an academic certification or degree.

Let us explore what post-secondary education actually is and its impact on the academic future of individuals.

What is Post-Secondary Education?

When students leave high school, they decide on different career paths. A vast majority of the students begin to pursue post-secondary education. It is an educational set-up that offers a different learning environment for students after high school. Post-secondary educational institutions can be of diverse types, such as,

  • private and public universities
  • community colleges
  • colleges
  • technical and career schools
  • vocational and trade schools
  • apprenticeship programs
  • centres for continuing education.

What are the Qualifications for Post-Secondary Education?

Post-secondary education demands its applicants have certain prerequisite qualifications. The applicants should have a high school diploma or an equivalent to enrol in schools of post-secondary education. Some of the post-secondary institutions demand special qualifications such as volunteer hours, extracurricular activities, prior experience in the stream of study etc. Some post-secondary qualifications, such as doctoral degrees or master’s degrees, ask for previous post-secondary education apart from a high school diploma.

What is a Post-Secondary Institution?

There are certain parameters to determine what is a post-secondary school. An institution where students can attend after high school to achieve a certain qualification or certification is considered to be a post-secondary institution. It is mandatory for post-secondary institutions to have required accreditation’s to make sure that they provide legitimate degree certificates. 

What are the Types of Post-Secondary Institutions?

The post-secondary institutions can be either public or private. This depends on the type of funding that these institutions receive. The government funds student tuition in publicly funded institutions, and most of them follow a non-profit model. Private donors fund the tuition in private institutions. Private institutions will have a higher tuition fee than public institutions. 

Tenure of Post-Secondary Education:

There are three different types of post-secondary institutions. They are universities, institutes and colleges. In the majority of post-secondary institutions, the school year is partitioned into two main terms. Some of them might also have an optional summer term. 

  • Term 1 of post-secondary education extends from September to December.
  • Term 2 of post-secondary education extends from January to April
  • The optional summer terms will extend from May to August. 

The recognized post-secondary institution is certified to have grand diplomas, certificates, and degrees. These institutions will offer programs on different topics with different levels of complexity and difficulty. After completing the university program, the student will be awarded a university degree, reflecting on the program they have completed.

The post-secondary institutions offer three different types of degrees, namely Bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctoral degree. The Bachelor’s degree takes about three or four years to complete. The Master’s degree takes an additional one or three years of study after the Bachelor’s degree. The Doctoral degree takes about three or four years of study, following the master’s degree. 

1. Should students have any experience in enrolling in post-secondary education?

In some regulated courses such as medicine, law, etc., students should have completed a few months of internship or a standardized test to enrol in post-secondary courses. 

2. What is the cost of post-secondary education?

Students have to pay a large tuition fee for most post-secondary schools. The fees will be higher for international students. Apart from tuition fees, the students may also have to pay for their course materials, food, transportation, housing and other expenses.

3. Is it possible to pursue post-secondary education through distance mode?

The majority of post-secondary schools offer distance education and part-time programs. Such programs can help you get an education while you are still working and completing your degree.

Reasons Why Post-Secondary education is Crucial for an Individual:

It is not mandatory for an individual to enrol themselves in post-secondary education for a bright career. But such education enhances your chances of seeking jobs with a higher paycheck. Post-secondary education can be of t2 or 3 or 4 years in duration and gets the student a certificate they require to land their dream job. Other reasons to enrol in an institution offering secondary education are as follows.

a. It will help you land the job of your dreams:

The job market has been very demanding in recent times, and there are a number of jobs that demand a four-year degree from the candidates. Most white-collar jobs, such as doctors, engineers, lawyers and police officers, require an appropriate college degree. Even management jobs that didn’t demand a degree in the past are now demanding a degree from post-secondary education institutions.

b. Enhances career choices:

Most of the companies hunting for talent look for employees who have post-secondary education. Thus, by completing this program, one can enhance their stance of landing their dream job. By attaining such higher degrees, a person can get themselves more marketable to a range of employers.

c. Possible to make more money:

According to statistics, graduates earn better than non-graduates. Thus, acquiring a post-secondary degree will enable an individual to support themselves financially and also support others, to prevent financial hardships in future.

d. Enjoy better job security:

Better the education of an individual, the better their job security. Thus, earning a post-secondary degree helps an individual to find a valuable job with great benefits. Apart from landing a highly secure job, college graduates also have better life security. They seem to have better retirement and health plans compared with their non-college counterparts.

Other Benefits of Post-Secondary Education:

There are many great benefits of post-secondary education. It is indeed seen as an important way to enhance individuals. Students who attend post-secondary education get the privilege of enhancing their skills and benefiting their career pathways. They also use this education to attain financial success. Such education is beneficial to both people and society at large in both monetary and non-monetary ways. 

When a vast population attain post-secondary education, society is benefitted at large. It helps them with better health and strong feelings of empowerment, and it also lowers the chances of committing crimes. 

a. Better outcomes of health:

According to researchers, those who have attained a high level of education are generally healthy, and they also have lower mortality and morbidity rates. According to experts, there could be four possible factors that could contribute to better health outcomes for an individual. These factors are,

  • greater access to quality health-care
  • monetary factors
  • social and psychological factors
  • health behaviors

b. Lower crime rate:

Over the past few decades, researchers have stated that quality higher education can contribute to a safe society. States that have a higher literacy or educational rate generally have lower crime rates. States that invest heavily in higher education have witnessed very low crime levels. It is thus proved that higher education contributes to a low crime rate. 

c. Improved self-empowerment:

People who have attained higher levels of education have a great sense of control and empowerment over their own lives compared with their peers. This increased sense of empowerment helps people to feel less threatened and more tolerant of others. When women get educational opportunities, they are able to achieve better control over their life outcomes.

Different Types of Post-Secondary Institutions:

Colleges and universities are the ideal places to get qualified post-secondary institutions. Some options with educational institutions to get post-secondary education are as follows.

1. Vocational schools:

Vocational schools are also known as tech schools or trade schools. These schools train students on the technical aspects of a specific job. They are different from colleges that render them academic training in professional disciplines. The vocational schools offer students specific training for the job. It imparts physical skills to these students more than learning.

Upon completion of the course, the institution will offer a certification of training that improves the competitive advantage of the person in the job market. An individual can attain multiple vocational training certificates to enhance their competitive advantage in the job market. 

2. Colleges and universities:

These are the most popular choice for students to complete post-secondary education. Colleges and universities provide bachelor’s and post-graduate degrees for students. Some students attend post-graduate institutions, such as business schools or graduate schools, to get jobs with very high ranks. 

Pro’s and Con’s of Pursuing Post-Secondary Education:

The Pros of Post-secondary education are as follows:
  • The student can become an expert in the subject of her preference.
  • The Post-Secondary Education offered by a university will prepare the individual for their specific career path.
  • Graduates who are experts in their field earn more in their job.
  • The student can land a high-paying job and will be independent in their career.
  • Education actually broadens the mind and renders a better outlook of the world. It gives an opportunity to meet new people, explore new places and mingle with people from diverse backgrounds.
Con’s of post-secondary education:
  • Some specialized post-secondary education, such as medicine, law etc., will prepare the student for a specific career path. They will not be able to apply for jobs in other fields and in other disciplines. In short, job transferability is not an option in professional education.
  • According to a recent research study, most graduates lack problem-solving and creative skills. They may also lack communication and teamwork skills as well.
  • Post-secondary education is a costly affair. A research study by the Sutton Trust in the year 2015 states that university students have a debt of over £44,000.


Thus, post-secondary education, also known as higher education, is what students pursue after the successful completion of their secondary education. The courses are generally offered in colleges, universities and also in vocational schools. After graduation from these institutions, the student generally lands a diploma, degree or certificate. 

Students who enrol and complete degrees in these colleges are able to get better jobs and enjoy a better standard of living in future. It is mandatory for students to choose their career path wisely so that they land a well-paying job. It is also important that students explore the different universities and the different courses offered by these universities before joining their courses.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Do I need post-secondary education to land a good job?

It is not mandatory to get post-secondary education to land a good job. But it broadens the chances of getting a high-paid job easily.

  • Is post-secondary education mandatory?

Yes, post-secondary education is important to everyone as it brings in invaluable good for the general public. It helps in enhancing the social, cultural and economic well-being of the individuals. It also helps to maintain a stable and vibrant democracy.

  • What are the non-academic benefits of post-secondary education?

Apart from landing a good job with a handsome salary, there are also other advantages of enrolling in a post-secondary education program. Colleges and universities have student groups who enrol in different activities according to their interest. Students might also enrol in an athletic club or an intramural sport according to their interests. 

  • Should post-secondary education be free?

Access for students to post-secondary educational institutions creates a healthy society and a very healthy population. It also mitigates the cost of health care and prison maintenance. When there are so many advantages of post-secondary education, society will benefit at large if it is given for free.

  • Is post-secondary education and tertiary education the same?

Yes, post-secondary education is also referred to as tertiary education. It is the education level that follows the completion of secondary education or high school. Post-secondary educational institutions include colleges, universities and vocational institutions. They can be funded either by the public or the private sector of the corresponding nations. 

What Is the Definition of Post-Secondary Education?

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