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Occupational Certificates Become More Important In Workforce

In today’s educational and workforce environment, a person’s field of study is taking on greater importance than the degree they attain. That’s according to a national researcher who spoke to the state education roundtable Monday.

Tony Carnevale is the director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. He said just earning a bachelor’s degree is often not enough in the current workforce.

“If you get a certificate in engineering, you can earn more than a very substantial share of BA’s, bachelor’s degrees,” Carnevale said.

Carnevale says there must be a shift in focus from attaining simply academic certificates to earning occupational certificates. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development is trying to do just that with its new GED Plus initiative. Workforce Development Senior Deputy Commissioner Gina DelSanto says the GED Plus program makes sure those who are working to get their GED also go through occupational training at the same time.

“So it’s not just a basic, generalized education but specific abilities, knowledge and skills within aparticular domain,” she said.

DelSanto says those who participate in the GED Plus program work with counselors to determine acareer path and match up the training program they choose with their progress in attaining the GED.

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