Top 5 Education and Certification Predictions for 2022

Naturally, we focus on what is happening in the market to help determine what next big steps we need to make and which developments to prioritize to support our partners and customers. We have accumulated and prioritized a list of the top five predictions that we see in the education and certification front for 2022.

Our organization may be new to the industry, but fortunately, our team carry more than four decades of combined experience in the EdTech space. Naturally, we focus on what is happening in the market to help determine what next big steps we need to make and which developments to prioritize to support our partners and customers. We have accumulated and prioritized a list of the top five predictions that we see in the education and certification front for 2022.

  1. A very tight labor market means credentialing will thrive!

Today there are nearly 14 million jobs open in the United States potentially rising to 20 million in 2022. Hiring is going to be very hard this year as recruiting efforts focus on internal hiring, redeployment of people inside the company, upskilling and initiating “human-centered recruiting” -which you’ll read more about later in this article. When it comes to IT, companies will shift gears and focus on hiring people for skills and fit, not just experience.

The labor participation rate will be on the rise and massive numbers of people will be drawn to participate in it, therefore, increasing the more diverse range of candidates to source from, but this doesn’t mean the hiring process will get any easier. Today’s environment requires an agile mindset and great IT talent, which a lot of companies lack due to the talent shortage.

Although the labor pipeline is growing strong, talent acquisition efforts are increasing and recruitment is expected to be prioritized, certification for specific skill sets will be the key for organizations to establish a strong culture that lets their talent thrive or they risk falling behind.

  1. Organizations continue to adopt learning cultures, focusing on being human-centric and incorporating credential incentives

Employees want to work for a company that cares about global climate change, environmental issues, and sustainability. They’re looking for a company that cares about its people. So, the issues of culture, trust, and employment brand are going to be huge in 2022. When employers certify their employees, you see credibility and confidence levels rise which in turn promotes continuous learning and improves the learning culture of the organization.  There are three main reasons why people in IT positions stay in organizations that incorporate incentives learning and certification programs:

  • They aspire to become eligible for positions of greater responsibility
  • It helps improve their job status and gain greater confidence in key technology areas
  • It helps them gain prestige and recognition amongst their colleagues

While 91% of hiring managers consider certification as part of their hiring criteria, many more organizations are finding that internal training and certification incentivized programs are encouraging far greater results.

  1. The rise of certificates and other self-skilled certifications

To earn and maintain employee trust, businesses need to compete on culture. In the year ahead, that’s exactly what they’re going to do. With a very tight labor market looming, many are enticed by other opportunities and resignations are reaching historically high rates. 

Today’s executives recognize that they need to work to build a culture that dismantles barriers for potential employees. Many will stop requiring four-year degrees in favor of certificates and other self-skilled certifications. Business leaders will prioritize transparency about pay and promotion equity, using digital tools to track and showcase progress. Credentials that offer validation of core skills will be paramount to this process as it eliminates hiring imparity and supports unbiased internal promotions and development opportunities.

  1. Accelerated need for data science and AI professionals means Python certifications will dominate certification demand in 2022

Python had an astonishing 2021 when it overtook Java to become the most popular language in the world as indicated on the TIOBE Index and PYPL. According to Anaconda, Python will continue to expand to newer use cases beyond data science in 2022 and growth is expected in the adoption of Python due to the rise of MicroPython and CircuitPython.

Others believe that Python will be used more in game development as developers look to AI to create more immersive gaming experiences. When it comes to AI, a combination of data and compute is needed to be successful. It is expected that AI will converge with data and cloud requiring a more cohesive management approach.

This change will impact the critical need for a diverse number of professionals entering the market across software development, programming, software design, game development and others to start focusing on upskilling and validating their ability to code using Python. We expect huge demand for Python exams as employers seek to fill these skills gaps and look for credentials to accelerate the hiring process.

  1. Third-party credentials remain strong in academic institutions across the United States as CTE K-12 enrolment levels continue to reach record-breaking highs

From decision-makers at the state and district levels to teachers in the classroom, educators will continue to have an increasingly urgent need for highly efficient and effective skills measurement. This will drive increasing demand for highly adaptive, time-effective, and skill-specific assessments, whether embedded as part of the classroom curriculum or independent of instruction. The Florida Department of Education announced it had the highest number of Career and Technical Education Students enrolled at the K-12 level in the history of the state. A staggering 772,000 students. Florida is ranked third in the nation for K-12 achievement and is one of the biggest supporters of third-party credentialing. They see the value it brings to their state.

We will see a huge focus on industry-recognized third-party credentials, aside from traditional technical diplomas, associate degrees, university degrees and even high school diplomas on occasion. These credentials establish specific competencies and validate skills. With CTE curriculum flooding across the states, schools turn to certification as a hands-on authentic way to assess and demonstrate competencies across CTE disciplines. Last month, the state of Ohio allocated $13.5 million to schools to earn industry credentials. Funding programs like this will continue to accelerate through 2022, helping more high school students earn in-demand career credentials that lead to quality, high paying careers without the steep cost that comes with many college pathways.

Academic institutions continue to implement third-party credentials into their school curricula at steadfast rates because it inspires belief in others, it shows others that an individual has a skill, has an ability, has a competency, and inspires their belief that they can rely on that credential to enter the workforce or gain college credit.