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Career and Technical Education (CTE) | Industry Certifications

5 Top Reasons to Hire Certified CTE Grads

June 20th, 2024 | 10 min. read

Brad Hummel

Brad Hummel

Coming from a family of educators, Brad knows both the joys and challenges of teaching well. Through his own teaching background, he’s experienced both firsthand. As a writer for iCEV, Brad’s goal is to help teachers empower their students by listening to educators’ concerns and creating content that answers their most pressing questions about career and technical education.

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Career and technical education (CTE) provides a fantastic foundation for workers in a wide range of fields. Students who graduate from CTE programs have received specialized training which has helped them be ready for the challenges and opportunities which come with working in a specific industry. 

But as a business owner or organization leader, you want to know that the students you’re hiring are ready to make a difference in a professional environment. To ensure you’re making great choices in your recruitment process, it’s important to consider hiring industry-certified CTE graduates. 

In this article, you’ll discover five of the best reasons to hire certified CTE grads. In particular, you’ll learn how industry-certified applicants: 

  1. Show Initiative 
  2. Exhibit Proven Job Skills 
  3. Demonstrate Up-to-Date Knowledge 
  4. Reduce and Simplify Onboarding Processes 
  5. Are Good for Your Business 

After reading, you should have a broad appreciation of the benefits of hiring certified CTE grads so you can carefully consider them in your organization.

1. Certified Grads Show Initiative

One of the first and foremost reasons businesses should consider industry-certified graduates is because these individuals have demonstrated initiative through earning specialized credentials. 

Industry-based certifications test individuals on a specific set of skills and knowledge unique to working in a CTE career pathway. Compared with the average high school graduate, who may have learned a broad spectrum of general knowledge, these learners have developed a fine set of skills that will help them professionally in the industries of their choosing. 

More importantly, certified graduates have taken the extra step of studying and preparing for an assessment, completing required work and preparation, and successfully earning a credential backed by an industry partner. They’ve completed this work above and beyond the typical requirements of a high school diploma and they’ve shown that they have the work ethic and attitude required for success in a professional work setting. 

When you consider an industry-certified grad, you already know something about the individual’s commitment to personal and professional success. This increases your chance of hiring somebody who will succeed and grow with your company for a long time.

2. Certified Grads Exhibit Proven Job Skills

A second but more critical reason to hire certified CTE graduates is how they exhibit proven job skills. 

One of the biggest obstacles employers face in hiring high school graduates is an uncertainty over whether these new, young workers have the job skills necessary to be successful. Some companies are reticent to hire younger talent simply because they’re unsure of their experience and if they can get them up to speed with the fast-paced demands of their industry. 

However, the certification process works to mitigate these concerns. Graduates have already received specialized industry training as CTE students that includes many of the technologies new employees need to know in entry-level industry positions. 

Certified individuals have taken an additional step to be verified in these skills through an industry-recognized certification, proving what they’ve learned through their CTE programs and elevating themselves from other recent graduates. 

When you hire industry-certified grads, you’re taking on a person who has demonstrated they have the know-how to succeed, both now and well into the future. 

3. Certified Grads Demonstrate Up-to-Date Knowledge

One of the keys to being successful in an industry over the long term is keeping up to date with the latest developments and techniques as they develop. In fields that change frequently, such as STEM and Information Technology, keeping up with industry developments makes all the difference between being able to compete with other businesses and being left behind. 

Many companies keep their employees up to date through continuous professional development. While this is a terrific way to keep seasoned workers abreast of the latest changes affecting their fields, an even easier way to keep your team up to date is to hire new employees who are already aware of and have working experience with the latest technologies. 

Industry certifications—including those housed on the iCEV Testing Platform—are continually updated to ensure they satisfy the latest developments in a particular field. Certification earners are always tested on the most recent standards, ensuring they have skills relevant to joining an industry today. 

Hiring certified graduates acts as a shortcut in your professional development process. By taking on new employees who are already adept with the latest industry standards, you’re gaining assets for your team who can work with existing employees and make others aware of these technologies. You’ll save time and money while always keeping your team current with bright and motivated workers who bring new experiences and a fresh perspective to your organization. 

4. Certified Grads Reduce and Simplify Onboarding Processes

The fourth reason you should consider hiring industry-certified CTE graduates extends directly from their demonstration of up-to-date knowledge: you’ll be able to reduce the amount of time and energy you spend on onboarding new employees. 

Onboarding is one of the most frustrating and expensive parts of growing an organization. You spend countless hours recruiting and hiring talent you believe will be successful, only to spend added time, energy, and money getting your new hires up to speed with company processes and industry technology. 

While some degree of onboarding is an unavoidable part of doing business, you can greatly reduce the hours—and headaches—that arise from onboarding by taking on professionals who already have a fundamental understanding of what it’s like to work in your industry and the types of technology they’ll be using in their new positions. 

The industry certification process considers the job-specific skills, techniques, and methods earners will need to work right away, without going through lengthy periods of re-training. 

By opting for industry-certified hires, you’re able to simplify your onboarding process and ensure that new talent is incorporated into your teams quicker, increasing your company’s overall productivity. 

5. Certified Grads Are Good for Your Business

Ultimately, the last and best reason to hire certified CTE graduates is that they are fundamentally an asset to your organization and will promote the growth and success of your business in both the short and long term. 

The entire point of the certification process is to help individuals demonstrate the capabilities which set them apart from their peers and to make it easier for employers to find top applicants to industry jobs. 

When graduates showcase their industry certifications on resumes and other job application materials, they make it easier for potential employers to identify them as highly qualified applicants. Because they’ve shown a commitment to working in a specific field, choosing these well-prepared candidates reduces turnover and increases workplace productivity. 

Hiring certified graduates also helps build a relationship between an organization and a local school and its CTE program. By establishing trust, employers know they can rely on a steady succession of prepared graduates to join their business, which can lead to other opportunities such as work-based learning, apprenticeships, and field experiences. 

Schools also benefit by having more students choose to pursue industry certifications, which leads to an increase in certification performance. 

At the end of the day, selecting industry-certified graduates saves businesses time, energy, and money, valuable resources they can put to better use promoting their operations rather than refining their hiring processes. 

Learn More About Hiring Industry-Certified Applicants

Taking the step to hire industry-certified CTE graduates can make a tremendous difference for businesses, CTE programs, and individuals. When you hire certified, you’re taking on new team members who’ve shown initiative in learning new concepts, have proven skills experience, and are up to date with the latest developments in your field. You’re also taking a step to simplify your onboarding processes and promote your business in your community. 

Are you interested in learning even more about hiring certified graduates? Consider the ways building relationships with your local school district can help promote career and technical education and help close the skills gap. 

Visit the #HireCertified page to learn even more about considering industry-certified applicants, along with additional resources and specific certifications that could be relevant to your industry!

Explore the Hire Certified Page