Third-Party Providers Offer Students Specialized Manufacturing Certifications
There’s an interesting dichotomy in the world of manufacturing. While automation has displaced many entry-level manufacturing jobs requiring minimal skills, automation has also created the need for more specialized workers with higher-level skills and more education.
It can be tough for colleges and universities to provide the specialized instruction needed for students to fill the estimated 2.4 million jobs that Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute predict will go unfilled between now and 2028, according to an article in WorkingNation.
A potential solution? Turning to third-party partners that can offer certifications students can receive after successfully passing competency-based assessments.
WorkingNation reports that Ohio University is one institution offering certifications. Students in their Science in Engineering Technology and Management degree program can take an exam to receive Certified Manufacturing Specialist (CMS) certification through the Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineer (ATMAE). The certification covers 16 specialized areas of manufacturing.
In addition to minimizing the need for schools to develop their own programming, these certifications provide external validation of student performance, said Todd Myers, Ph.D., and chair of the Department of Engineering Technology and Management, Ohio University.
There are a few barriers, though, to offering these third-party certifications: alignment with existing curricula and cost. The first barrier can be addressed by establishing advisory boards to help review offerings. The second, potentially, through donors. At Ohio University, for instance, testing fees have been paid for by an alumnus, cutting costs for students for exams that can otherwise be costly.
The bottom line: third-party assessment providers can prove to be valuable partners in helping to prepare manufacturing students to fill an abundance of specialized roles.
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