Hastings senior Corbin Hunter has earned 15 professional certifications while in high school. (Photo provided) Hastings High School career and technical education courses offer industry-recognized certifications to students in multiple areas, including agriculture, computer programming, digital/multimedia design, culinary arts, engineering, construction trades, business management and operations, finance, insurance, marketing and entrepreneurship.
In most cases, students earn one certification per CTE course, saving students time and money gaining these certifications after high school.
Senior Corbin Hunter is an exception to this generalization, teacher and mentor Bob Carl said. Hunter is graduating from Hastings High School with 15 certifications – all earned through the business and technology CTE courses.
Hunter has earned multiple Microsoft Office Specialist certifications: Office Word 2016, Office Word 2016 Expert, Office Excel 2016, Office Excel 2016 Expert, Office PowerPoint 2016, Office Outlook 2016. All of the above combined certifications earned Hunter a Microsoft Office Specialist Master certification.
Through the work of acquiring these certifications, Hunter was able to successfully compete in Business Professionals of America competitions at regional, state and national levels – earning 15th place in the nation for Fundamentals of Web Design.
As the world moves to a global economy with easier movement of employees and increased competition, a technology skills gap can be felt in almost every country. The 2018 IT Skills and Salary Report from Global Knowledge confirms that skills gaps are a global concern. In a survey of 14,300 information technology professionals worldwide, more than two-thirds of the IT decision-makers, reported a gap between their teams’ skill levels and the knowledge required to achieve organizational objectives.
“The increased need to match employer needs with workforce skills points out the value of certification,” said Carl, who also co-advises Hastings’ Business Professionals of America chapter.
Academic college is not the only path to post-secondary education. For students with a skill set and passion in any number of technical disciplines, there is a way to accelerate the process of completing one's studies and earn certification. College credit also can be acquired by proving professional certification.
“Certifications makes a resume stand out,” Carl said. “Certification, particularly entry-level certification, helps to build a skilled workforce that meets the needs of local employers and government tech initiatives.”