“We give students a real-life certification, in their hands that they can go and get a job after they leave the high school.” – Laura Deshazo, Utah State Office of Education
Skills have become the global currency of 21st-century economies. In a world where competition for jobs, pay increases, and academic success continues to increase, certifications offer an advantage as a credible, third-party assessment of one’s skill and knowledge of a given subject.
The value of certification
According to educationdata.org, national student loan debt has skyrocketed from 3.3 billion in 2003 to over 1.75 trillion in 2021. Industry certifications offer an affordable alternative for students to demonstrate their knowledge and credentials to pursue career opportunities without accumulating large debt.
Certification provides other significant advantages to candidates, including:
- validation of knowledge
- increased marketability, earning power, and confidence
- improved reputation
- enhanced credibility
Certification also offers specific benefits to high school-aged students. 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%
Picking the right certification
Now that we know how valuable certification can be, let’s discuss how we can start. There are thousands of skills that students can learn and hundreds of certifications that they can obtain. Where is the best place to start? What are some of the foundational skills that students must learn?
For several years, LinkedIn, along with many other thought leaders, has chosen “creativity” as the most important skill to have. They describe creativity as the ability to “creatively approach problems and tasks across all business roles, from software engineering to HR.” But are there certifications for such a skill? Fortunately, yes.
Showing your creativity with Adobe Certified Professional
Adobe® Certified Professional is a suite of seven certifications. Each certification measures the candidate’s skills and knowledge with the corresponding Adobe Creative Cloud application, such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere Pro.
“By teaching and certifying students in these creative tools, we are not only teaching technical skills but also the ways to think and problem solve creatively,” says Erica Blum, Associate Professor of Arts and Design at Lindenwood University.
“These tools are not only for professional designers or artists. In fact, most of my students are not pursuing design as their career. But by learning how to use these tools, they are learning how to visualize what they envision. They are learning how to communicate and problem solve creatively.”
Using effective training and certification preparation tools
Achieving Adobe Certified Professional certification can be challenging. Using the most effective training and certification preparation tools is essential. Pearson has launched new, online programs designed specifically to meet the needs of students hoping to earn their Certified Professional certification in a variety of Adobe applications.