In a world where competition for jobs, pay increases, and academic success continues to increase, certifications offer hope to candidates and educators.
Certification helps to build a skilled workforce that meets the needs of local employers and government tech initiatives. Certification strikes the right balance of academic excellence and real-world skills, giving students the confidence and motivation they need to succeed both in school and in a profitable career.
“According to Pearson VUE’s 2021 Value of Certification study, 69% of IT managers believe certification significantly increases an employee’s productivity,” said Ray Murray, of Vice President and General Manager, Certiport. “Certifications are a great way to help candidates get their foot in the door and be more productive in their future careers.”
A certification is any credential that an individual can earn or achieve that validates a level of knowledge or a skillset related to a specific subject or discipline. Certifications are credentials that stand in addition to, in support of, or independently from degrees and diplomas.
Value of certification
Certifications, as defined above, are often created or supported by industry-recognized businesses or organizations and are administered in controlled environments by authorized and independent agents. Validating technical skill and knowledge has benefits in both academic and workplace settings.
Key benefits of certification in academia
Candidates who earn certifications while in school reap benefits early, including:
- Validation of knowledge
- Enhanced academic performance
- Improved reputation
- Enhanced credibility
- Increased confidence
- Respect from peers
Studies validate the specific benefits listed above, demonstrating the value of certifications for candidates as well as academic institutions. According to the Florida CAPE Performance Report, certification provides tangible improvements in academic performance, including:
- Higher grade point average for certified high school students: 3.12 vs 2.78 (4.0 scale)
- Higher graduation rates for certified high school students: 97.5% vs 78.4%
- Increased post-secondary enrollment: 84% vs 82%
- Reduced dropout rates: 0.2% vs 1.0%
Key benefits of certification in the workforce
The benefits of certification aren’t just contained to the classroom. Once students graduate, they’ll see the value of their certification in the job market. Certification provides significant advantages to professionals and job candidates.
- IT professionals with certifications have an average salary of $111,334, 7% more than non-certified professionals.
- IT professionals who gained new skills and/or certifications last year received an average raise of $12,000-$13,000.
- Certification makes job candidates stand out in a crowded job market.
- Certification makes a better case for that big raise or promotion.
Furthermore, certified candidates will provide value to the organizations where they will be employed. Many employers report a shortage of qualified workers. Although employers have many job openings, they struggle to find skilled, qualified applicants to fill those positions. Certification helps close that gap.
Many businesses and associations look upon certifications as designations that provide assurance of a potential employee’s ability to perform a job or task, making them more valuable to, and coveted by, employers.
Certified candidates from across the globe are seeing the value in their professional certifications. Luqman Hakim is an Adobe Certified Professional in Visual Design from Malaysia and aspiring digital arts lecturer. Luqman has already seen the impact his certifications have had on his professional opportunities. He said, “With my Adobe certifications, I am recognized as a professional designer. That allows me to receive a lot of design jobs and invitations to give workshops and classes. I have received job offers from companies like JobsMalaysia and Starbucks, in addition to the invitations to teach a workshop a month.”
Certifications in programs like Adobe and Microsoft help set candidates apart in a competitive job market. Katie Murray, a college student from the United States, used her Microsoft Office Specialist certifications to land her dream internship. When asked about her journey, Murray said, “My certifications have made a major contribution to my educational and career success. I landed an internship with Textron Aviation my freshman year of college above many older students because of my Microsoft certifications. That was brought up again and again during my interview.”
As Luqman’s and Katie’s experiences demonstrate, certification credentials are being viewed as increasingly valuable and given more focus and attention when considering skills and qualifications for open positions. When education is combined with certification, candidates receive tangible evidence of their ability to succeed as productive employees and citizens in their communities.
Interested in learning more about the value of certifications for your students? Get a free digital kit here.
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