At iCEV, we are passionate about preparing individuals for the future. One of the ways we help train the future workforce is by hosting industry certifications on our testing platform. Industry certifications help individuals communicate their level of education, knowledge, and skills to potential employers or customers. They play an essential role in our increasingly knowledge-based economy, where specific skills and experience are in high demand.
In this blog, we'll explore how earning an industry certification adds value to the lives of individuals regardless of whether they’re pursuing college, entering the workforce post-graduation or current employees looking to up-skill or update knowledge.
Industry certifications offer valuable advantages for students pursuing post-secondary education at a college or university that go unmatched in any other educational space. College-bound students’ first advantage of earning an industry certification is an increased ability to make informed decisions. CTE in and of itself is an excellent way for students to investigate potential areas of study in post-secondary education and gain perspective on where their interests meet a possible career. Industry certifications allow students to investigate an industry and learn concepts and skills used in the industry today. Examining an industry and its career opportunities is extremely valuable for today’s students as, in the end, it can save them both time and money in tuition, having a clearer idea of what they are pursuing.
The second advantage college-bound students can gain from earning an industry certification is a competitive advantage over other college applicants. Because industry certifications are based on real-world industry standards, recognized across the U.S., and continue to gain in popularity, certifications can increase the likelihood of a student being accepted into a college or university they apply to. Earning an industry certification signals to colleges and universities that a student has taken the time to gain valuable knowledge and skills in a field they wish to pursue. To learn more about how industry certifications benefit college-bound students, check out iCEV’s case study on “Meat”-ing the Demand.
For students who forgo continued education and aim to enter the workforce upon graduation, industry certifications can be a valuable asset when pursuing job opportunities. The knowledge and skills tested for in an industry certification exam are based on real-world industry needs. Because the certification exam and materials are developed by leaders in the certifying industry, students, teachers and potential employers can be assured the knowledge and skills tested for in the exam are relevant and applicable to the industry. Research shows 46 percent of employers have difficulty hiring qualified applicants, and one source found nearly 60 percent of employers have vacant positions for upwards of 12 weeks. Lengthy hiring processes cost a business or organization an average of $14,000. By validating an applicant meets the necessary skill and knowledge qualifications, industry certifications reduce the time it takes to hire the right employee for the job opening, saving the business valuable time and money and getting individuals into careers sooner.
Earning an industry certification also demonstrates a student is passionate about the career field and willing to put in the time and effort it takes to achieve success. Employers and other interested groups, such as scholarship, grant or loan committees, can observe the student is willing to go the extra mile to be successful in their chosen field. The hard and soft skills a student has demonstrated by earning an industry certification will be an indicator to others the student is committed to the industry. Those who earn an industry certification have exerted considerable effort, demonstrating their commitment to the industry and other employable qualities, including drive, determination and persistence. Employers who hire certification earners can be convinced of the employee’s passion for the industry and their dedication to personal and professional achievement, leading to increased production levels and revenue for the company.
For individuals already in their careers who are looking to up-skill or update their industry knowledge, earning an industry certification offers benefits including increased income, job security and opportunity for promotions. Research shows that earning a credential can offer a boost in salary. For example, supply chain and logistics managers who obtain additional certificates related to data skills to analyze traffic and order patterns can see their salaries increase from $70,000 to $85,000 as a result of earning a certification, according to research by Burning Glass Technologies. For higher-ups or managers in a business or organization, when an employee earns a certification, it signals that the employee is driven and willing to put in the work to be a better employee.
Earning an industry certification also shows employers and clients that an individual is committed to their profession and is well-trained. It gives them confidence in an employee’s abilities because it proves their skills have been evaluated and approved by a well-regarded professional organization. Not only can earning an industry certification help a student attain a long-term career in their desired field, it can also help a student gain employment experience during their educational career. Having an industry certification can help a student find part-time employment while they are still in school, and because they have a certification pertinent to a specific field or industry, they are more likely to find a position that is relevant to their future career goals. Learn how earning industry certifications are leading to employment opportunities for Kentucky high school students in this case study.
To learn more about iCEV’s industry certifications or the testing platform visit our website to view all of our certification options or to contact your local curriculum consultant.