To Certify or Not to Certify

CTE 2Since so much emphasis is being placed on kids to accelerate in school, earn college credit while still in high school, and learn more and more, earlier and earlier…one might ask, “Why should I consider getting an industry certification?”

The answer is quite simple: college and career readiness.

Had I been given opportunities to earn a drafting certification during my drafting years back in school (I know this is starting to sound like “I walked to school five miles, uphill both ways…”), my career may very well have taken a different road. I might have become a full-fledged mechanical engineer, instead of the only one in the shop who knew how to operate CAD software and earning the title by default.

I might have pursued a different college pathway than the one that led me into education (although that wasn’t really a bad option, all things considered). I might have started college with the document that proved I already had the skills being taught in some of those classes and would have been given credit for that experience. Think of the hundreds (now thousands) of dollars that would have saved me!

Certainly, industry certifications prepare students both for the career readiness skills they need to secure employment (or even college admission) in their field of interest. Certainly, certifications can give students a head start on college credit, saving both time and money. Certainly still, industry certifications give students something tangible to work toward and achieve that is both rigorous and meaningful. The certifications provide documentation that a student has the skills employers value. Most importantly, industry certification demonstrates a commitment to excellence and a willingness to work (and study) hard for something worthwhile.

To certify or not to certify? I give it a resounding YES!

Post by Mellissa Morrow, Former Curriculum Manager for Career & Technical Education (CTE)

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