Top 3 ways students benefit from industry-recognized certifications   

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately four out of five (78 percent) 11th and 12th grade students are reporting their plans for after high school have changed, according to a survey by America’s Promise Alliance.

That begs the question: Is “college for all” the best way to prepare students for their futures?

Today’s students are looking for more affordable, closer-to-home options to make their next big step into the world, and that’s where industry-recognized certifications come in.

We know that Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs can play an important role in enhancing the economic competitiveness of our country on a global scale by creating a pipeline for the highly skilled workforce of the future. When combined with industry-recognized certifications, the impact is tenfold in empowering students and giving them an edge over the competition in their field.

Here are the top three ways students are benefitting: 

1. You Gain First-Hand Experience From Certifications

From channeling your inner Mary Berry to pull off the perfect bake to stepping into the shoes of Frank Lloyd Wright to dream up an unexpected building design, CTE programs provide students with opportunities for hands-on exploration of career pathways that interest them. Reading about and studying a subject is a critical piece of the learning experience, but hands-on training provides a deeper connection to and understanding of the material being taught.

For example, Virtual School in Riverside, Calif., built a week-long Customer Service Boot Camp using Precision Exams by YouScience certification exam learning standards and pre- and post-exams. Many students shared why the hands-on experiences were the highlight of their week.

“Where I learned the most was going to the mall, actually, because we got to experience first-hand how customer service works. After doing the Boot Camp, you’re going in with a different lens, and you’re paying attention more and paying attention to the little things,” said Aubree Gordon, a student at Virtual School.

Students are empowered to take the future into their own hands when they can actively explore potential career pathways while obtaining industry-recognized certifications that provide evidence of their skills.

2. Your Knowledge & Skills are Verifiable with Certifications

It can be difficult for a student to see the purpose of learning something when they can’t make connections to real-world situations. Through first-hand experiences, CTE programs help students see how what they’re learning in class relates to potential careers, learn what employers are looking for in prospective employees, and confirm the skills they’ve obtained in class.

With Precision Exams by YouScience, students who successfully complete a certification exam receive a certificate that includes a list of relevant and valuable skills they’ve learned.

They include actionable statements that can be incorporated on resumes, in cover letters, and on college applications to effectively communicate their talents.

“I was able to put the Precision Exams certification in my auto class that I had earned on my resume. The interview was great. I handed my boss my resume and he was very impressed with the certifications and what I knew how to do. He went on to hire me on the spot,” said Carson Sanchez, a student at Riverton High School.

Understanding how to clearly articulate their knowledge, skills, and abilities can reinvigorate and provide hope to students on what their future could hold.

3. Show Your Commitment.

A study by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute on CTE and student outcomes found that “Students with greater exposure to CTE are more likely to graduate from high school, enroll in a two-year college, be employed, and earn higher wages.”

Why’s that? It’s simple.

CTE programs connect the dots to the “why” of what students are learning in school. And for many, understanding that “why” is a great motivator to make it across that finish line to graduation. That same study showed that students concentrating in CTE programs have a 13% higher graduation rate than the national average.

Plus, it’s an indicator to prospective employers that the student is not only trained in the trade but that they’re committed to putting the time in to learn and grow.

“We look for anybody that’s taken any shop classes or any sort of certifications down the automotive route. They really help us to know that they’ve already got their hands dirty – so to speak – in our industry and they will perform well for us,” said Jason Burt, owner of Burt Brothers.

When it comes down to it, industry-recognized certifications help provide students with a feeling of empowerment, invigoration, and hope, while opening doors to explore future pathways and prove to employers they are career-ready.

Connect students to their best-fit pathways, careers, and post-secondary opportunities. 

To learn more about YouScience and how this unique platform is changing students’ lives, connect with one of our regional directors.