Adding Arts Education and Industry-Recognized Certification to STEM Education

Certiport recently contributed to the STEM-focused March Issue of Techniques Magazine.

Seven in 10 hiring managers agree that students are unprepared for the workplace and lack the necessary skills to succeed there. STEM education is combating these numbers by preparing students with many of the skills required for success in today’s rapidly growing industries; however, over half of current hiring managers agree that there is one skill that still needs to be taught to those in non-creative majors: creativity.

Effective career and technical education (CTE) programs have begun implementing this philosophy of teaching and fostering creativity. Students in these programs are encouraged to take classes where they learn to develop creativity, engage in critical thinking, and master the technologies needed to amplify the impact of their innovative ideas. While schools like RISD point to an increase in student skills—problem-solving, flexible thinking, and risk taking as hallmarks of success for their arts-based model, these soft skills are difficult to quantify. Often the missing element in these programs is verifiable proof of the skills learned, as well as their potential application in a technology-laden work environment.

At the Academy for Digital Arts and Media at Viera High School, administrators chose to address this issue by integrating official, industry-recognized certifications into their curriculum. In addition to the creative skill sets of innovation and problem-solving, graduates of the program also possess a verifiable credential. Viera High School principal Jim Hickey contends, “When students receive a certification they are able to present it to an employer. It gives them something more than just a high school diploma to show what they have accomplished.”

The opportunities available in STEAM are growing every day. As an educator committed to preparing your students for future college and career opportunities, it is imperative that you not only develop your students’ creativity, but that you also validate their creative skills and tie them to the practical, technological skills demanded in the 21st century by offering industry-recognized certification

Certiport, a Pearson VUE business, is the official exam delivery provider of the Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) program, the industry-leading digital media certification. For more information, please visit

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