Stackable credentials provide a step-by-step approach to obtaining continuing education. Students pursue an undergraduate certificate, associate degree, and ultimately a bachelor’s degree one step at a time.
Significantly, each step holds merit in academia and the workforce, enabling students to pursue their education and career simultaneously.
Stackable credentials provide a straightforward path into a career, creating opportunities for career advancement as more credentials are earned.
Certainly, every student has their own career goals but the path to reach those goals may begin with earning a stackable certificate. Using the information technology (IT) field as an example, let’s take a closer look at stackable credits. This can help you decide if this flexible format is right for you as a student or employee.
What are stackable credentials?
Stackable credentials are an emerging trend in higher education. It provides students with a set of core courses or a certificate in a field of interest. Credits from the certificate can be “stacked” toward an associate degree. Credits from the associate degree count toward a bachelor’s degree.
Although this process provides a quick route to obtaining a relevant form of education, there’s no need for an immediate commitment to a bachelor’s degree.
What is a stackable IT certificate program?
Undoubtedly, IT certificates are emerging as a popular choice as many IT employers require training in entry-level skills and programs. This includes exposure to operating systems, the Internet of Things (IoT), networking and troubleshooting, and more. An information technology certificate provides a foundation for success in many entry-level positions in IT.
Additionally, stackable IT certificate programs provide an ideal opportunity for college-aged students entering their career or seasoned employees seeking upward movement in the IT field.
What are the benefits of stackable credits?
Increased flexibility is a primary benefit of earning stackable credentials. The stackable credits approach supports a clear and manageable path to reaching educational goals. Students can use the knowledge gained during an IT certificate course to find an entry-level job in their field. This immerses the student in their field toward the beginning of their educational path.
There are three primary benefits of stackable credits:
- Career Relevance: Career relevance is a powerful advantage of undergraduate certificates as students gain real-world skills. Certificates are evidence of formal education from an accredited institution. This helps instill confidence in employers regarding a candidate’s skill set.
- Speed: Generally, students can complete stackable credits at a rapid clip, often much faster than an associate or bachelor’s degree. For students looking to accelerate their career path, a stackable credit — such as an online IT certificate — might be a smart choice.
- Affordability: Certificates provide an affordable option for education due to their limited credit requirements. For example, those enrolled in an online IT certificate may only take 18–24 credits. This provides increased financial freedom for students.
Stackable credentials allow students to earn an online IT certificate quickly.
If you want a relevant and affordable education you can build upon, consider earning an IT certificate. In today’s market, this online IT certificate equips you with the basics needed for an entry-level career in IT. Simultaneously, it also prepares you to take professional IT certification tests that may be required by employers.
Afterward, you can roll your credits toward an associate degree and ultimately a bachelor’s degree. If you choose, your end goal may be a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology and Networking, Computer Information Systems, Engineering Technology, or even Software Development.
If you’re looking to jump-start your IT career, gain academic credentials, or pursue a bachelor’s degree at your own pace, consider stackable credentials. Step into your career with an information technology certificate and see how stackable credits can benefit your vocational and educational goals.