The Tertiary Education Level

Tertiary Education

The term “tertiary education level” refers to the level of education immediately after secondary/high school level. It is also called post-secondary education or third stage education.


Examples of institutions that provide this kind of education include: two-year colleges, technical training institutes, research laboratories, four-year colleges, nursing schools, distance learning centers, graduate schools, post-graduate schools, community colleges, and centers of excellence, to mention but a few!

These institutions generally confer diplomas, certificates, and degrees to their students upon completion of their courses.


For anyone to be admitted to pursue a course at the tertiary level of education, that person has to satisfy some minimum qualifications. These include minimum GPA scores, standardized test scores, and duly-completed coursework at the high school level of education.

Aims of the Educational Level

Upon the completion of this level of education, the graduate is generally expected to master a certain level of knowledge in the field of study, perform extensive research (in science/technology-based disciplines), and achieve professionalism in the respective career.

Vital Statistics

As of the year 2017, the following countries had the world’s highest percentage of adults (24-64 years) who had a tertiary-level education qualification: Canada (53%), United States of America (48%), South Korea (47%), Israel (46%), New Zealand (45%), United Kingdom (42%), Ireland (40%), Japan (40%), Australia (38%), and Finland (36%), respectively.

It is worth noting that these countries are coincidentally the world’s wealthiest, both in terms of the Gross Domestic Product as well as by the per capita income; which means that there is a direct correlation between tertiary-level of education attainment on the one hand, and economic prosperity on the other hand.


The subject matter of “tertiary education level” is pretty broad, so much so that, it could not be completely exhausted due to space constraints. It is therefore incumbent upon each prospective pursuant of tertiary education to conduct thorough due diligence and acquaint himself with all the relevant dynamics before enrolling for any course or in any institution.