Pathways to Credentials: Does the Timing of Earning an Industry Certification in High School Influence Postsecondary Educational Outcomes?
This journal article outlines how earning industry certifications prepares secondary students for not only careers but for success in college as well. Using data from two cohorts of first-time grade 9 students in Florida, the authors examined whether earning an industry certification was associated with postsecondary enrollment and degree attainment and whether the timing of the certification influenced that relationship. The patterns of certifications and college enrollment and degree attainment differed based on when students earned the credential. For early earners (grades 9 or 10), the certification was more closely associated with enrollment and attainment at 4-year colleges. For later earners (grades 11 or 12), the certification was closely associated with enrollment and attainment at 2-year colleges.