Why a Certificate instead of a Degree?

President Trump recently signed an executive order shifting the government’s hiring practices, that now prioritize a job applicant’s skills over a college degree. This decision reflects major changes about employability and competitiveness that are gaining increasing momentum in the employment marketplace. This change is really a return to the past, when a candidate or employee’s experience, skills, and ability to adapt to a job by improving skills through continual learning, were assets valued as much or more than a college degree.

Continual learning as a competitive advantage is not new to successful organizations; however, what is old has become new again, as certificates are now much more viable than in the recent past. For the past several decades a college degree was considered the major asset or credential for employability and continual learning; so much so, that many companies offered tuition reimbursement to encourage employees to earn college degrees. That bias is changing rapidly, as more and more organizations recognize the value certificates have over degrees.

Certificate programs are perfectly suited to meet the needs of continual learners and improve organizational competitiveness. They are much shorter, far less expensive, and much more manageable than a traditional degree. This makes them far easier to complete; more importantly a certificate focuses on the skills needed in a specific job, role, process, or function. The focus is on doing the job not education for life or the breadth of an academic discipline. The knowledge gained from a certificate is immediately ready for conversion to a skill that can be used now!

The fast-pace of change in many sectors of the economy is causing much faster skill or knowledge erosion than in the past; it seems what was learned in a degree is less applicable and may even become obsolete. By the time a student completes a degree today (the average is six years); the skills learned and knowledge gained can easily be outdated.

Discovery Northwest understands this concern and have developed certificates designed around skills that get a person going; focusing on application and doing, not merely reflection and theory. For example our Team Building certificate enables an employee to immediately utilize what was learned to effectively wire a new team after only a few weeks. That same person might have to spend the first two to four years in a degree program earning credits that have no absolutely no relationship to team building.

Discovery Northwest certificate programs are ideally suited to equip employees with the soft skills in demand at most organization; soft skills like communication, problem solving, conflict management, leadership, and teamwork. Time is so important because our economy is changing so fast today. It is a major factor, and that is why we have designed our certificates to be much shorter than a college degree. They are also much less expensive, skill-focused, and can be immediately applied. These attributes make them  ideal for adult students and employees.

Why earn credits that have no relationship to your job or career? Why keep yourself and your employer waiting until you complete a two or four-year degree program before you are ready to apply what you have learned?

Enroll in one of Discovery Northwest’s certificate programs designed for immediate application. Completion of our certificates ensures you will remain competitive and increase your employability.


Certificates at Discovery Northwest

Leadership Development Training Strategist

Our Leadership Development Training Strategist Certification Program (LDTS) provides you with a systematic framework and foundation to design, implement, and manage an organization’s Leadership Development Program or process. As a Certified Leadership Development Training Strategist (LDTS) you will learn how to collaborate with your organization or client to identify and develop a Leadership Development Program aligned with their unique culture, context, strategy, and goals, generating the outcomes needed to deliver a clear and positive ROLI ( Return on Leadership Investment).

Join the growing list of Human Resources Management and Organizational Development professionals who recognize that they MUST become certified in Leadership Development Training. If you are responsible for developing, implementing and/or managing a Leadership Development Program, then this is a MUST HAVE certification for you! Completing our certificate program will make a major contribution to your leadership development expertise and enable you to develop, deliver, measure, and demonstrate desired leadership development program results. You will be able to provide good evidence your program is actually producing leaders.

Partner with Discovery Northwest to advance your career in Leadership Development and create a robust and effective Leadership Development Program for your organization or client! 

Below are just a few of the career boosting benefits you will receive when you complete our Leadership Development Training Strategist Certification Program:

•            Building your personal brand as a Leadership Development Training Strategist expert

•            Creating a Leadership Development Program for your organization or client that earns and demonstrates a positive ROLI

•            Conducting a Leadership Development Program Impact Assessment to generate the analytics needed to effectively analyze and measure LDP results using our proven model

•            Enhancing your scholarship and expertise in the field of Leadership studies

You will benefit from our Leadership Development Training Strategist Certification Program if you are currently in one of the following roles or considering a career change into one of them:

•            Human Resource Management Professional

•            Organizational Development Professional

•            Learning and Development Professional

•            Training and Development Professional

•            Talent Management Professional

•            Management Consultant

•            Project Manager

•            Change Agent

•            Executive Leader

•            Front-Line Leader

•            Leadership Scholar

Assessment and Analytics Certification

Harness the Power of Data with our Assessment and Analytics Certificate

Data is the foundation of most effective organizations. Decision makers need data from analytics to make informed decisions; because without analytics, a decision maker is making decisions blindly and virtually deciding in the dark. It is no accident that data-focused organizations perform much better than those who fail to acquire and utilize data in decision making. Assessment is an indispensable asset for decision makers and a primary component of an effective management system. The analytics from assessment makes major contributions to an organization’s learning process; it provides invaluable feedback and essential clarity about the impact of organizational processes, systems, and initiatives; whether expectations are being met and goals are being achieved. An organization simply cannot improve, adapt, change, or grow without analytics that illuminate what is happening and why it is happening. Discovery Northwest considers assessment and analytics an essential competitive tool and asset.

Organizations want talent who will assess key processes, systems, and initiatives to collect meaningful data; analyze and make sense of it;  and present it in a clear manner to uncover insights for decision makers to drive the best possible decisions and solutions for the organization. That is why analysis is one of the most in-demand hard skills, organizations search for when hiring and promoting.

When you combine the skills gained from our certificate program with your current knowledge, competencies and experience, you will be in high demand; equipped with the ability to Harness the Power of Data!

Lean Learning and Development (L&D) Strategist Certificate (LLDS)

According to a recent article in the Harvard Business Review…….

•            75% of 1,500 managers surveyed from across 50 organizations were dissatisfied with their company’s Learning & Development (L&D) function;

•            70% of employees report that they don’t have mastery of the skills needed to do their jobs;

•            Only 12% of employees apply new skills learned in L&D programs to their jobs; and

•            Only 25% of respondents to a recent McKinsey survey believe that training measurably improved performance.

If accurate, and we know it is, then L&D in today’s organizations is often ineffective; its planning, staging, and even content consistently flawed. This is problematic because L&D is such a critical success factor for so many organizations. It is the foundation for effective competition and a major strategic weapon for most companies in virtually every industry.

Discovery Northwest has a solution for this problem: our Lean Learning and Development Strategist Certificate (LLDS) program. Our Lean Learning & Development Strategist Certificate equips L&D practitioners with the foundation needed to ensure that L&D efforts enable employees to learn the right concepts, develop the right skills, and do so at the right time and for the right reasons. LLDS certification enables practitioners to empower employees with the ability to retain and immediately apply what they learn, avoiding the trap so many L&D initiatives fall prey to: transferring of knowledge or even skills that are quickly forgotten or are never used.

At Discovery Northwest we know L&D effectiveness in fast-moving organizational environments requires agility and versatility; employees need to learn fast and apply new skills now, because circumstances and context change so rapidly. Employees including their L&D practitioners must always be learning. Continuous learning is the raw material for effective competition in our hyper competitive landscapes. Our LLDS prepares the L&D practitioner to effectively create, deliver, measure, and enable immediate learner capability.

Our Lean Learning & Development Certificate focuses on how to deliver and capture the best possible learning by developing L&D initiatives that have a clear positive impact.

Wiring Teams to Win: Team Building Certificate Program

Twenty-five years ago, teams were considered the “new way” of working for many organizations. Now, teams are integral to the way most organizations work. Organizations succeed today by learning how to tap into the power of teams; identifying how to align them to fulfill not only customer and client needs, but each team member’s, and the organization as a whole. For many organizations, teams actually “run” the organization and make it work. That is why making teams work effectively is such a high workplace priority and a core success factor for organizations who rely on teams as their primary work structure. Even though we have been talking about teams and teaching team process now for decades, organizations still discover assigning their best people to a team doesn’t always produce desired outcomes; because, individuals simply don’t or can’t always work well together. This is caused by faulty team wiring.

Our approach to team wiring is based on more than 30 years of collective research and effective work with diverse teams from different industry sectors. This experience tells us effective teams are the product of sound team wiring. Sound wiring includes effectively sharing information, managing conflict, collaboration, transparency, camaraderie, leadership, and working together toward a common purpose and shared goals.

Our Wiring Teams to Win Team Building Certificate Program focuses on the wiring required to empower team effectiveness. Wiring Teams to Win is designed for team builders, team managers, project managers, and existing or future teams. Team builders and managers develop the foundation required to understand how high performing teams are wired and the knowledge and skills to design wiring for a high-performing team. Wiring includes the how’s and why’s of developing trust, successful collaboration, and camaraderie; as well as sharing information, transparency, leadership, problem solving, managing conflict, and working together toward a common vision and shared goals. Existing or future teams assess and then focus on real team issues and develop solutions and plans to improve the team’s performance. This includes utilizing our comprehensive team assessment taken prior to the experience, to understand how the team is wired, enabling team learning that identifies specific areas for improvement and development. It is applicable to a team of any size and type, and all industry sectors.