In today’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) world, it’s important for students to have a way to clearly identify the applicable job skills they’re learning in the classroom. This not only benefits students, but it also helps employers qualify their present and future employees. By using stackable credentials, students (and industry) can do just that!
What is a stackable credential you ask? According to Jimmie Williamson and Matthew Pittinsky of Inside Higher Ed, “The most common description of stackable credentials goes something like this: over a lifetime of learning, individuals can assemble, or stack, a series of traditional degree-based and or/nontraditional credentials — certificates, certifications, licenses, badges, apprenticeships and more — that recognize achievements and provide an accurate assessment of knowledge, skills and abilities. The more credentials learners accumulate and stack, the more they increase their currency in our knowledge economy, creating more direct pathways to better jobs and higher wages.”
Let’s say a welding company is in the market for an employee with multiple skills. For example, when hiring a welder, the employer may want an employee that has the following skills:
- Basic Welding Skills – Welding Entry (Safety, Reading Blueprints, etc.)
- Welding Intermediate (Plasma Cutting, Arc Welding, etc.)
- Accounting 1 – Basic Accounting Skills
- Financial Literacy – Employee that’s financially literate can understand and manage their finances and live within their means.
- 21st Century Success Skills – Employee that can critically think, work in teams, communicate effectively, etc.
Using certifications earned from CTE courses, students can provide proof that they have the well-rounded skills needed for that particular job. The student who has taken the classes and passed the exams, now has a colorful resume to hand over to the potential employer with confidence.
Stackable credentials allow students to show off the knowledge and skills they’re learning, while providing employers with work-ready employees right out of high school. That is a big deal for both students and industry!
To learn more about how you can leverage certifications from Precision Exams, watch this quick video. Or to see how the Yakima School District uses Precision Exams certificates to help students get employment with industry check out this interview.