Initiative Builds Workers' Skills, Helps With Job Placement
By Megan Polakowski
April 6, 2009
Certiport, which provides training and certification opportunities for digital literacy and desktop productivity, recently teamed up with Utah's Kelly Services in a new initiative to help candidates improve their skills and get placed in jobs.
"Part of the reason why we ended up looking at partnerships with employment folks is that the DNA of certification required that we prove content of knowledge and skills," said Certiport President and CEO David Saedi. "And the people we get to [participate] also need to be familiar with what [the program] can do for them."
Under this new partnership, Certiport will offer its certification programs to Kelly workers, and in turn, Kelly will place certified workers with employers in Utah. These certifications include the basic IC³ (Internet and Computing Core Certification) and the Microsoft Office Specialist Certification.
"These certifications provide a foundation for any type of information worker," Saedi said.
"[Jobs for information workers] constitute about seven out of 10 new jobs created in the United States today. Anybody who wants to be employed and have to work in an office environment needs to have office skills," he said. "Our certifications are focused on moving people from the digital literacy steps, if you have no knowledge, to get those digital literacy components out of the way, then move to desktop proficiency. And then there are options afterwards: You can either go into the IT industry as they prepare you for programs such as the A+ program for CompTIA or the other programs with Microsoft that lead to an IT career, or even for Adobe as you go into creative media."
The new program is in line with Certiport's vision for helping workers throughout their careers: "We are in the business of providing lifelong advancement through certification programs," Saedi said. He also noted the importance of the alignment between educational achievements and employment, which often is not clear.
The program also is particularly relevant during the recession.
"In a good economy, most people would have had and promoted themselves using [certifications]," Saedi said. "Now, where there are far too many applicants for a given job, every credential that you have that distinguishes you from others matters."
Indeed, Certiport's research has found that certifications "can improve your chances for landing a job," Saedi said. "We also find that many individuals have reported back that it improves their job security while they're at the job right now. So those are very important points in an economy like this."
In addition, Certiport studies found that workers who hold certifications earn 12 percent more than noncertified workers, and they convert to full-time jobs 20 percent more often.
The program also offers perks for hiring businesses, Saedi said.
"For the employer, it allows them to have a certain level of confidence in hiring these individuals because many people are claiming too many things on their resumes right now," he explained. "There's far too much misinformation on people's resumes, and there's not enough guidance to individuals entering into the field as to the clear pathway that leads to a job.
"I think this is really important for us, as leaders in the field, to come to the market and help those individuals who would otherwise not necessarily know how to bring about the alignment their educational accomplishments and the needs of the 21st-century jobs," he added.