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Workforce certificates can be earned by completing the requirements of an association for a particular trade, such as plumbing, security or certain types of computer technology. Often a certification takes only one year if you go to school full time. A certificate is sometimes earned in conjunction with an apprenticeship.

Questions to Ask

If you’re considering a workforce credential, ask yourself these questions.

  • Is this credential recognized in my field? Talk to professionals at reputable companies and ask them whether the credential matters when they’re hiring.
  • Will it increase my earning power? Again, talk to others in the field or do your own research on the internet to see if earning the certificate will increase your salary. Don’t read only what the certification organization provides.
  • How much does it cost? When deciding if a program is worth it, compare the cost with your expected increase in earnings over several years, not just this year.
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