Get Creative: Motivate Students to Earn Industry Certification

Students don’t always see the value of industry certification right off the bat. There are several things we have seen teachers do to help them realize the value, and to make it fun to earn certification in the classroom.

Here are some ideas:

Competition is king.

It doesn’t matter what else you do, make it a competition.  Students are motivated most by competing with their peers. You can create your own certification leader board, or participate in our competitions!

create your own certification leader board

Provide a fun reward.

Offer your class a pizza party, a day of listening to their choice of music, or a homework free day in exchange for passing certification. Sometimes bribery can be appropriate, as Aaron Grant, CTE Business & AP Computer Science Teacher at Harbor Springs High School showed us. Aaron had a few students who needed some extra motivation to get over the hump and pass their MOS certification exams.  He promised them a cake with their picture on it – it worked!

Microsoft Office Specialists Cake

Show off success. 

We’ve seen teachers who take photos of students with their certification certificates and post them on social media, share them on the school website, or even in the local newspaper.  Shout it from the rooftops when your students earn certification!

Twitter post, Advanced Accounting students earn Certiport IC3 GS5 and MOS Excel Certifications Credentials

Demonstrate the value of earning certification.

We know high school students (and even college students) aren’t always ready to be serious about their careers, but do your best to help them see how certification will help them on their path.  Invite local employers to come to the classroom and talk about the workplace skills they look for in job candidates.  Take your students on a field trip to see these skills in action.  Invite former graduates who got certified to share a testimonial.

Good luck, and when you find something that works, share it with us! Email or tag us on Twitter @Certiport.