Millions of jobs across the U.S. have vanished in the months since the coronavirus pandemic began, and many Tennesseans may have to gain new skills, or refresh the ones they have, to stay afloat.
New research from Lumina Foundation finds more workers in the state are completing industry certifications.
Carol Puryear, president of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Murfreesboro, says certifications are typically centered around associations and career clusters.
“You’ve got CompTIA, who works with the computer industry,” she points out. “You’ve got MSSC that works with the manufacturing folks. You’ve got NCCER. You’ve got all types of industries.”
Puryear adds that certifications typically take less time and money to earn than degrees, and can improve job prospects.
According to the Lumina Foundation report, about 45% of Tennesseans now hold some form of post-high school credential, compared to the national average of about 51%.
Black and Latino workers are among those most likely to have lost reliable income because of COVID-19. The Lumina Foundation report shows these groups also are less likely to have post-secondary education or qualifications.
In Tennessee, around 28% of Black residents and 20% of Latino residents have some form of higher education, compared to nearly 40% of white residents.
Photo: More than 50% of U.S. adults ages 25 to 64 have earned a degree or other education credential beyond a high school diploma, according to data from the Lumina Foundation. (Adobe Stock)