Career progression through credentials

Career Corner - By Harold Niehaus




As the information age continues to mature and we move into the experience age using Snapchat and other visual expressions of our lives, we have to think about how will we progress throughout our careers? As I share with students, they will need to be lifelong learners in our fast-paced society as they progress in their careers. A part of that learning will be the ongoing need for training and improvement in their knowledge and skillsets.

The days are well past us where we graduate from high school, get a job, and then work at that job for 30 years and retire. Not only are we living longer, but we will need to work longer to prepare for those retirement years. A part of this shift will include a need for our new workforce to be flexible enough to meet the ever-changing technology and advancements that will help to keep our country competitive and our economy strong.

Being flexible includes that “life-long” learning that I spoke of earlier. It is important to know and accept that our current and future workforce will need to have continual upgrades. Recently, our state leadership has focused on this need by offering businesses the opportunity to up-skill their workforce through a program called Tech-Cred. The Tech Cred program offers financial reimbursements to businesses that invest in the training of their workforce in a variety of skills through many different credentials. Other initiatives have included the option of earning credentials as a means of earning a high school diploma.

A few credentials that many may be aware of include Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) 10-Hour or 30-Hour Training Courses or maybe CPR First Aid, or even State Nursing Assistant (STNA). Others credentials include CISCO certifications that indicate skill level in setting up or maintaining technology networks, Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification, American Welding Society (AWS) – Certified Welder, a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), various trade apprenticeships, Six Sigma Yellow and Green Belts that serve to enhance the quality or efficiency of producing goods or services, as well as many others!

Being able to learn and being able to share that you have learned certain skills through credentialing appears to be a great way to enter the workforce and to stay current in your career as a lifelong learner. I often share with students as we discuss career options and their future, that you should not only find a career path that you enjoy, but you also have to have the training and develop skills that will differentiate you from others and make you “valuable” in that chosen career.

So, students, parents, and community members, what credentials will help you to continue to stay current and progress in your career path? Please feel free to contact me at if you have questions about available credentials or how to move forward to earn those relative to your career.

Niehaus Submitted

Career Corner

By Harold Niehaus