Starting Your Career with Industry Certification: What You Need to Know
Maybe you’re nearing the end of your high school career, or you’ve been out of school for a few years now. You’re not sure what your next step is going to be, but you know that you’re not particularly interested in going to a four-year college.
Have you thought about pursuing an industry certification? Industry certificates are available for a wide range of fields, from health care to IT and from hospitality to manufacturing. You can usually earn certification in a year or less, helping you get started on a new career ASAP. If you’re on the fence about pursuing a certificate or would like more details before you jump in, here’s everything you need to know about the process and what certification can do for you.
Industry Certification Helps You Get Your Foot in the Door
Earning an industry certification can be the first step you take to a long and fulfilling career. It’s estimated that in the future, about 50% of all jobs will require a certificate, rather than a four-year degree.
No matter what industry you end up focusing on, earning a certificate sends the message to an employer that you are serious about your career and that you have learned the necessary skills to be able to jump into your new job with both feet.
Even if you already have a degree from a four-year college, earning a certification can be useful. You might decide to take the exam for an industry certificate if you want to change fields or pursue a new type of career.
Industry Certification Can Help You Move Up
Although some people stop after earning their certification, others look at earning an industry certificate as the first step on a long career training and education path. Not only will gaining a certification help you land a job, but it might also make you eligible for a promotion at your current place of work.
What Industry Certifications Are the Most Popular?
In the state of Florida, some industry certification programs are more popular than others. The top 10 most popular certification programs among Florida students are:
- Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) – Photoshop
- Microsoft Office Specialist Bundle Certification
- ACA ‐ Dreamweaver
- Certified Food Protection Manager (ServSafe)
- Certified Internet Web ‐ Internet Business Associate
- ACA ‐ Premiere Pro
- Certified Medical Administrative Assistant
- ACA ‐ Flash
- Autodesk Certified User ‐ Autodesk Inventor
- Certified Nursing Assistant
How Do You Earn Industry Certification?
It’s important to understand that earning industry certification isn’t exactly the same thing as completing a career certificate at a school such as Orange Technical College. Participating in a career certificate program helps to prepare you for earning an industry certification by giving you the skills and knowledge you need to pass the exam.
For example, if you participate in the web development career certificate program at Orange Technical College, you might decide to take the ACA – Photoshop exam or the ACA – Dreamweaver exam afterward. Passing the exam would lead to industry certification.
If you are interested in becoming a certified medical coder, you might decide to take the AI Coder exam from the American Academy of Professional Coders or the Certified Coder Associate exam from the American Health Information Management Association after completing the medical coder/biller career certificate program.
Is Industry Certification the Same as Licensure?
One thing that is worth pointing out is that earning an industry certification is not the same as becoming licensed, although the terms are occasionally used interchangeably. Certification and licensure both send the message that you are trained and that you are capable of demonstrating your knowledge and skill set in a particular industry.
The key difference between a license and a certification is who grants the honor. Licenses are typically awarded by government agencies. Some careers, such as those in the health care field, require a license. Without your license, you aren’t able to work in the industry. Certification, on the other hand, is usually something that will benefit you but isn’t always a legal requirement for getting a job.
Orange Technical College offers students the opportunity to earn a career certificate in a wide range of industries at its five campuses across Orange County. After completing one of our certificate programs, students are prepared to take examinations to earn an industry certification. If you’re looking to take the first step towards a fulfilling career, contact us today to learn more about our enrollment process.
- “Industry Certification,” Florida Shines, https://www.floridashines.org/find-a-career/earn-an-industry-certification
- “Will I need a license or certification for my job?,” Bureau of Labor Statistics, September 2016, https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2016/article/will-i-need-a-license-or-certification.htm
- “Industry Certification,” Florida Department of Education, http://www.fldoe.org/academics/career-adult-edu/career-technical-edu-agreements/industry-certification.stml
- “Why Should I Get a Certification?,” Association for Talent Development, April 3, 2018, https://www.td.org/insights/why-should-i-get-a-certification