Two Different Pathways
ETA provides a stackable, latticed path for career advancement. Whether you need prove a basic understanding of electronics, or a specialized fiber optics certification, ETA can help you advance your career! ETA offers two basic ways to achieve certification through the Stand-Alone and Journeyman pathways. Reflecting the actual needs of the labor market, ETA certifications can be accumulated over time to build up an individual’s qualifications and help them to move along a career pathway or up a career ladder to different and potentially higher-paying jobs.
ETA offers over 80 certifications and endorsements that validate knowledge and skills in dozens of technology-based career fields. ETA programs are similar to the advance placement exams in core curricular classes and several states recognize ETA certifications for dual enrollment. Certification is voluntary but highly sought after, and ETA has certified more than 200,000 technical professionals since 1978.
What are stackable credentials? You can look at them two ways. First, if you already have a degree and decide to earn a certificate later, you’re stacking the certificate onto your degree. Or, if your education started with a certificate, you can stack on more courses and skills to earn a degree.
The emerging trend of stackable credentials has benefits for both employers and employees. As a potential employee, you can be confident that a résumé highlighting multiple ETA credentials will help you stand out and may lead to more job opportunities. If you’re still unsure how stackable credentials can benefit you and help you get a better job, be sure to check out available certificate options and call ETA to speak with a certified Customer Service Specialist who can help you along your career pathway.
Credentials can be stacked in many ways. The original and more traditional version of credential stacking, vertical stacking, thinks about credentials in a hierarchy -- with one level building on another, enabling the learner to progress toward a higher degree. With horizontal stacking, the level of the credential is less important than the subject matter. Learners expand their subject matter expertise by earning credentials in related fields that, collectively, prepare each person for a specific type of job. Unlike vertical stacking, there is no explicit ordinal ranking or prerequisites, although some credentials may build on others. Combining the concepts of vertical and horizontal credential stacking, value-added stacking is when a learner adds an area of expertise to an existing two- or four-year degree with shorter-term credentials to prepare for a specific type of job.
Regardless of the path you choose, ETA requires that your certification be maintained in order to align with ISO 17024 standards and keep accreditation through the International Certification Accreditation Council (ICAC). Certification maintenance shows that you are active in your chosen field, and your skills are up-to-date.