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Stand Out with Certifications

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Invest in yourself and your career with certification exam prep

Do you want to advance your career while you’re still in high school? Professional certifications show employers that you have the knowledge and skills to jump into specific roles, help you negotiate a higher salary, and boost your credibility in your field.

With Stride Career Prep, you can prepare for industry certification exams as part of your coursework at no additional cost. Students can prepare for several certification exams in in-demand industries in as little as two years!

Certification Basics and Benefits

Build the skills you need for the job you want AND show employers you’re ready to work. Adding certifications to your list of credentials is a great way to advance your career, whether by applying for a better job right out of high school or advancing in a career.

Certifications help you:

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Build the skills you need for the career you want

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Demonstrate to employers that you meet an industry standard of skills in your area

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Negotiate for higher salaries, raises, and promotions

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Set yourself apart, become more marketable to employers in your field

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Increase your confidence in your knowledge and skillset

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Show employers that you are dedicated to building your expertise in your field

Student Spotlights

Hear directly from Stride Career Prep students how valuable certification exam prep has been for them.

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11th Grade1

” With my school, the course itself covers everything on the exam. I plan to pursue computer science. Earning certifications allows me to show employers that I know the basics and can improve upon that knowledge to get up to date. “

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11th Grade2

“Through my career prep classes, I prepared for both my CPR and First Aid certification exams. I no longer believe that certifications are only for adults or college students.”

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11th Grade3

“I’m interested in pursuing IT, and professional certifications helped me learn skills early on that the industry really values. They also help establish a more powerful résumé.”

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12th Grade4

” It took me at least one semester to  study for my exams, but the time was worth it because now I have more career opportunities. My teachers were really, even created study guides for me!”


Professional organizations develop certification exams to show that people meet a specific industry standard for knowledge and skills in that area. Once someone has earned a certification, employers can be confident that person is strong in the needed skills to fill a role. Certifications from professional organizations are different from certificates received from completing certain academic programs.

Employers look for a combination of education and experience when hiring talent. In some career fields, employers are also looking for specific skill prerequisites that can be demonstrated with certifications. Certain certifications may be required to move up in specific careers and companies. Certifications help you build your skills and knowledge in a specific area. Adding certifications to your resume of credentials makes you more marketable in your field and shows potential employers right away that you meet an industry standard. Certifications can also give you leverage when negotiating starting salaries, raises, and promotions.

It depends on the specific field and certification you’re interested in. In many cases, earning a certification requires studying for and passing an exam along with paying an exam fee.**

The length of time it takes to prepare for a certification exam varies by specific certification. Within Stride Career Prep, some certifications can be prepared for in four years of coursework, while others take as little as two years of coursework.

Stride Career Prep provides certification exam preparation as part of the program coursework at no additional cost. There is often a fee to take the exam itself. Exam costs vary by field and specific exam. In some cases, K12-powered schools may cover exam fees for enrolled students. Students should check with their school counselor for details

Learn more about course offerings to get your student started in their career. Explore Stride Career Prep career fields:

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Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources

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Business Management & Administration

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Criminal Justice & Community Services

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Education & Training

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Engineering & Manufacturing

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Health Sciences

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Hospitality & Tourism

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Information Technology (IT)

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Visual Arts & Communications

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*Opportunities vary by school; please visit your school page or check with your school counselor.
**Timing for sufficient exam preparation, necessary prerequisites, and exam fees vary per specific certification. Students should check with their school counselor for details on exam fee coverage opportunities.
1Desi is a 2022 student at a K12-powered school in IN, and their statement reflects their experience at their school.
2Mia is a 2022 student at a K12-powered school in CA, and their statement reflects their experience at their school.
3Andrew is a 2022 student at a K12-powered school in TX, and their statement reflects their experience at their school.
4Trista is a 2022 student at a K12-powered school in FL, and their statement reflects their experience at their school.