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Industry Certifications

Why Schools Should Offer Industry Certifications

November 18th, 2019 | 5 min. read

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In the past weeks, our blog posts have specifically addressed reasons students and professionals should earn industry certifications. While our previous blog posts have shown a variety of reasons industry certifications provide value to a variety of stakeholder groups, this post will highlight reasons schools should provide their students the opportunity to earn an industry certification.

Differentiates Résumé

When a student earns an industry certification before high school graduation, they separate themselves from peers who only have a high school diploma. Students who possess an industry certification are more likely to excel in post-secondary education, secure better work positions and earn higher wages throughout their academic and professional careers. When a student lists an industry certification on a résumé or application, it signals the student has taken proactive steps to distinguish themselves from other applicants and is dedicated to achieving educational and career success.

Leads to Other Credentials

Not only does an industry certification verify a student possesses a specific set of knowledge and skills, it can also encourage the student to pursue other forms of education or credentials. Stackable certifications allow a student to gradually build their qualifications while working toward a specific career or industry sector. Stackable credentials create a seamless educational experience focused on enabling the student to progressively gain more knowledge and skills while offering opportunities for students to verify their proficiencies during their academic journey.

Prepares Students for Future

Students who earn industry certifications are more prepared for their future. Regardless of the educational or career goals, a student has, an industry certification ensures a student possesses the knowledge and skills assessed in the certification exam.  If the student plans to earn some form of post-secondary education, an industry certification can prepare students for the topics and skills addressed in post-secondary classes. If a student is planning to go directly into the workforce or is planning to enter the industry after furthering their education, an industry certification can help them be more successful in their position because they are more qualified and prepared for the job duties. Studies show industry certifications are more likely to find jobs and earn higher salaries than those without industry certifications.

Develops Interest in Career Field

Because industry certifications are based on real-world topics and issues, earning a certification can solidify a student’s interest in the career field. Earning a certification can boost a student’s confidence, and as a result, can convince a student of their future in the industry. Students who are interested and passionate about their future career are more focused on their studies and more determined to achieve their career goals. Those who are dedicated to their work are less likely to experience employee burnout, and subsequently, businesses experience less employee turnover.

Leads to Employment Opportunities Before Entering the Workforce

Not all the students who earn an industry certification will enter the workforce immediately after receiving the certification. Depending on when the student earns the certification, they may have several years of school left, or if they plan to attend a post-secondary institute, they will further postpone their entrance to the workforce. However, the timing of an industry certification does not negate its usefulness. In Louisville, Kentucky, Seneca High School students have found a variety of work experiences as a result of their industry certifications. Students who earn an industry certification can expand their knowledge and skills through an assortment of experiences like internships and part-time positions, and because they have a verified set of knowledge and skills, they are more likely to secure a job directly related to the industry of their interest.

Fulfills Graduation Requirements

As a result of the positive impact earning an industry certification can have on a student’s academic and career success, some states require students to earn an industry certification before graduating from high school. For example, in Kentucky, students can earn an industry certification to fulfill the requirements of the Kentucky Occupational Skill Standards Assessment (KOSSA). The Virginia Department of Education requires students to earn a CTE industry certification if they are pursuing an advanced placement, honors, or international baccalaureate course. Along with the minimum graduation requirements, South Carolina students who apply for a work-based program must meet several other requirements, including earning an industry certification.

Creates Higher Levels of Student Engagement

Because industry certifications have real-world benefits, students who earn an industry certification are more likely to be more engaged in their academic studies and are more invested in preparing for their future. The Florida Department of Education found students who earn industry certifications typically earn higher grades, are more likely to enroll in dual credit or advanced placement classes and have higher graduation rates. The study also found certification earners tend to have higher attendance rates and lower accounts of disciplinary actions.

Connects School to Local Industry

To best prepare students for their future careers, schools should build and maintain relationships with business and industry leaders in the area. Industry certifications can help bridge the gap between academics and industry. Students who earn industry certifications can find work at local businesses, strengthening the connection between the school and the business and demonstrating the value of industry certifications to their employer. Bartlett Yancey High School, in Yanceyville, North Carolina, fosters a relationship with local veterinary clinics by placing certification earners in positions at the clinics.  By connecting businesses to the school, educators can be assured they are teaching the proper information to students to prepare them to meet the demands of the workforce.

Schools that offer industry certifications are helping students prepare for their future. Students who earn industry certifications are more likely to achieve academic and career success. To learn more about the benefits of industry certifications and the certifications hosted on the iCEV testing platform, visit

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