Certification Courses Should Balance Preparation With Education

When it comes to certification courses, it’s a delicate balancing act: You need to prepare your students for the exam, but you also want to educate them more broadly.

“I am not a fan of teaching to a test,” said Scott Bachrach, vice president of operations for Mobile Training & Education (MT&E), a provider of technical and workforce training. “That takes a class from being about education to being about preparation.

“A lot of people who have experience in these fields have gaps in their knowledge, and that’s natural. Taking a course where you have educational value allows you to fill those gaps.”

But that doesn’t downplay the importance of certifications. Bachrach believes they give professionals credibility and a leg up.

“If you go looking for a job, it’s another aspect on your resume that somebody else may not have,” he said. “When we talk to prospective students, we call it ‘tools in your toolbox.’ Anybody can walk in with a copy of a resume and say, ‘I want the job.’ It’s what’s on the resume; it’s what you bring to the table. What distinguishes you from the other candidate?”

While many certification courses just focus on the test, Bachrach said in recent months, he’s seen some providers shift their focus to education rather than preparation.

“The reality is, training is a business,” he explained. “[Private training institutions tend to cater] to the needs of the client, and I believe more people are interested in getting that piece of…


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