Learn In-demand Skills, Obtain Industry Certifications and Always Have a Plan “B”

by Jeff - May 28, 2019


My father taught me many years ago to learn a trade or in-demand skill, as well as always have a plan “B”. In this day and age that is so important, especially for those in high school, going to college, or adults trying to obtain a well-paying job. It just so happens I took that advice back in the 80’s and learning my first skill/certification was how to use American Airlines “Sabre” reservation system. See, my trade was working in a travel agency. I learned reservations, ticketing, operations, business development, and sales.

Knowing and getting certified in multiple reservation systems like Sabre, United Airlines Apollo system, TWA’s PARS, and a few others allowed me to go from doing reservations to becoming a team lead, then operations supervisor, to Director, then V.P./General Manager. Yes, I was climbing the corporate ladder, even ran start-ups over my 30-year career.

But it all started with making sure I had skills. Now, in this day and age “first jobs” are on the cusp of being eliminated this article that speaks to “AI is replacing first jobs”  which is very concerning but not surprising due to advances in technology. So now more than ever, I stress to everyone learn a skill/trade, get certified, so you can have a fall back plan “B”. College degrees are important, however, in today’s world so is getting certified in many fields such as: Technology, Allied Health, STEM, Legal, and many more.

The good news is its not just me advocating the importance of certifications. A recent Forbes article just came out titled “non-degree certificates and certifications are fast, cheap and effective”. This is a great read and while they are not necessarily cheap it validates how important non-degree certificates and globally-recognized industry certifications are in today’s workforce. Here are some key highlights of the article & survey which are sure worth sharing:

  • Adults with a short-term certificate or industry-based certification were more likely to be employed (85%) than adults without such credentials (78%).
  • Adults holding certificates reported their median annual income to be $45,000, compared to $30,000 for adults without any certificates.
  • Among the non-degree adults with a certificate or certification, two-thirds were inclined to recommend the educational path they had followed to others, compared to less than half of the non-degreed adults without such credentials.
  • Among certificate/certification holders, 60% believed their educational experiences made them more marketable to potential employers, compared to 44% of those who had not earned certificates or certifications.

At LearnKey we are all about “improving employability every day” and we do that through ensuring our message around “Learn a skill, Practice as part of your preparation, and get Certified” is loud and clear. The world is changing and now more then ever, you need to have a plan “B” and I have my father to thank for that!

Jeff



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