Degree granting universities have changed the world in terms of education and certification of knowledge.
The first established Madrassa (university) was Al-Karaouine in Fes, Morocco by Fatima Al-Fihri. Her school attracted many scholars and students in Africa. Her students were taught in religious and scientific knowledge as well. After studying for a number of years, if the student was considered qualified they would give him a certificate called an "Ijaza" which allowed them to teach and made them professional. This idea of a degree granting university spread out through the Muslim world.
Numerous universities became established by the Seljuk dynasty throughout the Middle East. During this time numerous subjects would be studied. In religion they would study Fiqh (Jurisprudence), Hadith, Arabic Language, etc.... In nonreligious subjects they would study math, astronomy, medicine, etc.... In Al-Andalus (Muslim Spain) universities were also established which caused many Europeans to travel there and get a degree. These Madrassas were the technically the first modern universities, because they had separate faculties for each subject, with scholars that had mastered their field of study. Students would pick a subject to study and spend a number of years studying under numerous professors. This inspired the Europeans to build universities of there own and continue the Muslim tradition of granting students degrees until today.