These days, an accredited high school diploma is a must-have precursor for long-term career success. While a diploma itself may meet the baseline requirement for many employers, offering a diploma with an additional career concentration in an in-demand career field can provide many additional benefits for employers. Whether offered by high schools, colleges, workforce boards, or employers themselves, career concentrations can go a long way to creating a more prepared, career-ready workforce.
Here are three ways that a high school diploma with career concentrations can enhance workers’ skills and improve outcomes for organisations of all types:
Provide Students the Opportunity to Explore a Career Field of Interest
Choosing a career field can be challenging, plain and simple. Students are frequently surprised that their chosen career field turns out to be much different in reality than they had originally thought, but all too often students realise this too late. . For high schools, colleges, and youth organisations such as Job Corps and Youth Build, this can lead to lower student placement rates and poor job retention. By offering a career concentration, these organisations can provide students the chance to trial a career field of interest and figure out if this is really the career field for them. This chance can, in turn, increase a student’s excitement for a career and in the long term lead to better job retention, on-the-job performance, and post-graduation earnings.
Improve Graduate Employability and Marketability
In addition to helping students determine if they are in fact interested in their career field of choice, a high school diploma with a career-focused certificate of completion can help improve your student’s marketability and employability as they enter the workforce. A certificate of completion in a career concentration helps graduates stand out and can give them an edge when competing for a position against others with only a high school diploma. This certificate of completion shows not only that your graduates are career-oriented, but that they possess additional technical skills employers are looking for in new applicants. For high schools, youth organisations, and workforce boards, improving your graduate’s employability and marketability can lead to increased job placement rates and long-term student success.
Create up skilling Opportunities for New and Tenured Employees
A high school diploma with career concentrations also offers tremendous potential to improve outcomes for employers. Both new and tenured employees within an organisation can benefit from these concentrations. New employees are able to get up to speed quicker and learn the technical skills needed for on-the-job success. Likewise, existing employees can be unskilled with additional career-focused training that will help fill staffing gaps and create a pipeline of future management talent. In both cases the benefit to employers is clear: lower hiring costs and improved employee efficiency and productivity.
Penn Foster recently launched nine new career elective concentrations alongside a regionally and nationally accredited high school diploma. These pathways focus on in-demand career fields including skilled trades, allied health, information technology, and more.