CTE Certification: Is Microsoft IT Academy Enough for Employers?
CTE certification through the Microsoft IT Academy can be beneficial for students. Even when not required by employers, a CTE certification can give a student’s resume an advantage over the competition.
A certification can also give the student confidence during the interview process. However, a recent study on global job creation, published by Ernst & Young in January, reveals an urgent need for workers with both industry-specific skills and the ability to demonstrate soft skills like critical thinking, judgment and decision making.
Business leaders and hiring managers alike are struggling to find employees who have the skill sets needed to fill jobs. So Microsoft IT Academy CTE certification is great, necessary even, but is it enough for employers?
Microsoft IT Academy
The Microsoft IT Academy e learning program is a great tool to help students that want to achieve certification for Microsoft products. Microsoft supplies the software, lesson plans, e-learning content, test prep. They also write the actual certification tests. The company is clearly in the best position to help students who want to get certifications.
Students Need More than CTE Certification
Teachers and administrators understand the importance of CTE certification, but they also understand that it’s not the only piece in the business education puzzle. It’s just as important for students to learn soft skills, problem solving, applied creativity, and critical thinking.
CTE & Common Core Standards
Career and Technology educators are being asked to demonstrate the relevance of curriculum towards the common core academic standards. You know it’s important for students to understand how to apply the academic skills and concepts in real-world scenarios.
Deficiencies of Microsoft IT Academy
The Microsoft IT Academy is the best way to gain a Microsoft Certification, but it’s not going to help your students in all aspects of your curriculum. Microsoft uses the same e-learning material for professionals and students. The content leads to certification but may not address state and national education standards.
Curriculum Toolbox Approach
The days of finding a single curriculum resource to meet the needs of your students is over. You aren’t going to be able to find a single text or tool that delivers everything. The best teachers are mixing and matching resources from many different sources. The best for one topic may be a free YouTube video, and the best for another topic may be a paid iPad game.
Find the Best Online Resources
My recommendation for teachers who want students to pursue CTE certification?
Use the Microsoft IT Academy. The cost to schools is relatively low and they provide the best certification prep material. Take a close look at the material so you understand how it fits into your curriculum and where you need to add additional resources.
Take a look at the AES Business&ITCenter21 content to help teach core business concepts and soft skills. Continue using sites like Virtual Business from Knowledge Matters. Search for free resources from the Internet. Compare notes with other teachers to find out what is working for them.
Whatever you decide....don’t limit yourself to a single textbook or web site. Give your students the best you can find for each topic that you need to cover. Your students certainly won’t use a single tool when they enter the workforce.
Go Beyond Microsoft IT Academy with Business&ITCenter21
Don't restrict your curriculum to just one resource!
With Business&ITCenter21, you give your students a more well-rounded education when it comes to Microsoft applications.
In fact, Business&ITCenter21 has entire modules dedicated to teaching Microsoft for career readiness purposes.
Check out the computer applications curriculum for yourself!