Breaking the Inequity of the Creative Industry

When we look at today’s digital design industry, we do not see equity.

For instance, women make up 61% of graphic designers, yet they only hold 11% of leadership positions in the industry.

The industry’s racial makeup is currently predominantly white, with only 8% Hispanic and 3% Black.

Tech-based design occupations are disproportionately dominated by men. Women currently hold 24.4% of the computer science-related jobs and receive median salaries that are only 66% of their male counterparts. Furthermore, almost half of the women who go into technology eventually leave the field, which is more than double the percentage of men who leave.

How can we better help our students, especially the minority students, stand out, stand strong, and break the inequity that we currently see?

Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) certification can help rectify imbalances in the creative industry in three ways.

ACA Provides an Industry-Recognized Credential

ACA gives objective and tangible evidence to students’ skills and knowledge. It is one thing to say you know how to do things; it’s another thing to have someone else say that for you. The ACA certification serves as evidence to the world that your students are capable and ready to join the rankings of working professionals. It gives them the edge that can jumpstart their careers.

According to Burning Glass, skills acquired through ACA can allow students to receive $55K in salary just after high school. Burning Glass also put ACA as #7 on the list of Top 10 Credentials that Employees Demand.

ACA Helps Students Get Their Feet Wet

ACA prepares students intellectually and mentally by giving them knowledge and a taste of what it is like to work in the creative industry. The ACA certification exam is based on feedback from educators, design professionals, businesses, and educational institutions around the world. It covers the skills and expectations of the industry. As such, the exam exposes students to concepts related to working with colleagues and clients as well as legal and technical knowledge.

How the exam is administered is unique as well. It is conducted in a Live-in-the-App (LITA) platform, meaning students are expected to complete a series of projects on the actual application as part of their exam. This means that the exam is not questioning whether students know which buttons to click; it is measuring if students can actually produce assets.

ACA Can Establish a Specific Career Path

ACA allows students to specialize in a specific discipline within the design industry. The ACA program consists of seven different certification exams that students can choose from. Each certification proves a student’s mastery of one specific Adobe Creative Cloud application.

When students advance beyond one Creative Cloud application/certification and master two or more applications, they can become an Adobe Certified Professional in a specific field of visual design, video design, or web design. This specialty credential called Adobe Certified Professional shows students’ cross-platform skills and abilities and sets them further apart from their competitors. To learn more, please visit the Adobe Certified Professional specialty credential page.


Are you ready to offer Adobe Certified Associate certification to your students so that they can better meet the challenges of today? Talk to your Certiport representative today to see how you can get started.