Florida Department of Education Commissioner Pam Stewart announced this month that industry certification completions are on the rise. In 2015-16, high school students earned a total of 81,970 industry certifications, and in 2016-17, that number jumped to 102,044.

According to a press release from the Florida Department of Education, students enrolled in industry certification programs have higher GPA’s and are less likely to drop out or be chronically absent than students who don’t participate in such a program.

“Tomorrow’s work force is sitting in our classrooms today,” said Commissioner Stewart, “and it is critical that Florida students are prepared for a successful future. Industry certifications offer Florida students lifelong learning opportunities that will open the door to high-skill, high-demand career opportunities.”

Florida law requires industry certifications to be (1) assessed by an independent, third-party entity who recognizes a critical local or statewide economic need; (2) connected to an emerging field; or (3) linked to occupations that are included in the state’s workforce system’s targeted occupation list.  Industry certifications are also included in the state’s school grading (accountability) system, with some leading to college credits that can be used toward a postsecondary credential.

Currently, more than 400,000 Florida students are enrolled in secondary technical education programs.

According to Florida Department of Education data, the top 10 industry certifications earned in 2015-16 by K-12 students were:

Industry Certification Name 2015-16
Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Bundle Certification (3 of 6) 18,004
Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) – Photoshop (Creative Cloud 2015 or later) 10,606
Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) – Illustrator 4,782
Certified Food Protection Manager (ServSafe®) 4,656
Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) – Dreamweaver 4,472
Certified Internet Web (CIW) Internet Business Associate 4,398
Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) – Premiere Pro 4,363
Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) – InDesign 2,825
Autodesk Certified User – Inventor 2,804
Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) 2,554


To learn more about Career and Technical Education in Florida, visit the Florida Department of Education’s Career and Technical webpage at http://fldoe.org/academics/career-adult-edu/career-tech-edu.

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