Career Pathways

Career Pathways Employability Certificates

Career Pathways students have the opportunity to earn two different certificates related to employability skills.  One is called the Employability Certificate (EC) and the other is called the Career Readiness Certificate (CRC). This document explains the differences between the two certificates, as well as the benefits to students of earning one or both. Please do not hesitate to ask if you have questions or would like help using your certificates to prepare a resume or for an upcoming job interview.

The Employability Certificate is awarded after a student demonstrates proficiency in several different areas, but is primarily designed to address what are called "soft-skills," and requires 12 hours of soft-skills training. These are topics not generally taught in the college classroom, but area employers have stated that they believe applicants need these skills to be successful in today's job market.  The topics include, but are not limited to:  teamwork, ethics, etiquette, speaking, listening, employer expectations, time management, self-esteem, non-verbal communication, etc.  NWACC's Career Pathways program uses both online modules and in-person workshops to deliver these trainings. 

The Career Readiness Certificate is awarded based on a student's score on the WorkKeys national standardized exam given in the NWACC Testing Center.  The 3-hour exam measures an applicant's ability in three areas:  Applied Mathematics, Reading for Information, and Locating Information.  The test questions focus on your ability to use those skills in workplace-related scenarios.  A CRC can be awarded at three different levels:  Gold, Silver, or Bronze. Out of a possible 7 points, a student must score the following to earn each certificate:

A 3 and above is a Bronze.
A 4 and above is a Silver.
A 5 and above is a Gold.
A 6 and above is a Platinum.

Before a student can take the CRC Exam, they will be required to pass pre-tests administered through the KeyTrain program. 

Benefits:  Both certificates can be used on a resume to help make a student stand out as a job candidate.  The EC and CRC do not overlap in the areas they cover.  The EC will help a student attain the "soft-skills" that employers are looking for, as well as demonstrate proficiency in typing and computer basics.
The CRC is an objective test that shows an individual has certain essential skills important across a range of jobs. 

Depending on the style of resume, a student can put the certificates under topics such as "achievements," "certifications," or "trainings."  In an interview, a student can use the certificates to answer such questions as "What makes you the best candidate for this job?" 

Example Answer:   "I believe I am the best candidate because I have taken the time to earn an Employability Certificate and an Arkansas Career Readiness Certificate.   I have received training in ___________________ (list some soft-skills areas), and my scores on the CRC exam show that I have the math and language skills necessary to perform the functions of this job.  The extra time and effort I spent to earn these certificates show that I am a well-trained and highly motivated person."