Though the traditional path to a rewarding career and higher income has typically been associated with a four-year college degree, recent trends show the value of becoming certified is rising.

It’s no secret that the cost of college tuition has been increasing rapidly over the last few years.  It has not only been the focus of those paying for school, but of the Federal Government as well.  And given the current economic challenges, many people simply cannot afford to make the financial commitment to attain a college degree.  As people struggle to look for ways to improve their position, they are looking for alternatives.  Are there any realistic options? Absolutely! Though many of you in Higher Education have long understood the value of becoming certified in a field of study, we are finding that there may be even more value than originally thought.  And the rewards are more than just financial. For the student, the benefits start with a sense of accomplishment and enhanced personal and professional reputation.  It shows potential employers a commitment to their chosen field and along with the validation of their skills and knowledge, certification improves their chances of securing gainful employment.  And in some cases, college credits are earned, which can motivate students to seek additional education. On the employer front, employers like to hire people with certification for a number of reasons.  First and foremost, it confirms to the employer that they have the skills necessary to do the job.  Secondly, in many cases, it keeps the employer compliant with industry and government regulations.  In addition, depending on the position, there might also be safety considerations that need to be met. All things considered, an employee that has achieved certification in their field should be a more productive performer.  And finally, there is the level of trust that employers are able to convey to their current and potential customers.  That’s the trust that comes with doing business with a company that hires people who have been certified in their area of employment. I think we would all agree that receiving certification in a field of study offers multiple benefits to the student, employer, and even school, as it improves its reputation by providing the employer with well-trained people.

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