FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

Learning Skills for Your Team and Gaining Industry Certifications

Jul 12, 2023 Written by Lori Birch, Senior Specialist, Education Workforce Development




In this blog, we will cover how to help your team increase knowledge and improve students’ learning for future careers by explaining resources available for students to gain industry credentials.

You might be wondering how to guide students who may or may not want to go to college but want to learn valuable content that can support them regardless of their path. Industry certifications can be an excellent way for students to jump-start on portable and transferrable learning. Industry certifications provide a way for students to document and prove what they have learned. Certifications provide career opportunities whether through further education or directly into the workforce. Many colleges and universities have a process for offering credit for prior learning.

One way FIRST® helps students with their career learning is by connecting learning to job roles and industry certifications. The graphic below exemplifies the different roles students might be involved in on a FIRST team.



Each team role has specific learning that can be reinforced and tied to industry certifications. We have released a FIRST® Robotics Competition Work-Based Learning Toolkit and FIRST® Tech Challenge Work-Based Learning Toolkit that mentors and students can use to track and document their learning on their team. The work-based learning toolkit also has industry certifications that students could obtain connected to each team job role area.



Industry certifications are an indicator of school performance in many states. Students can gain industry certifications through FIRST participation which can help schools with their performance indicators and help key stakeholders see the value of FIRST program implementation (industry certifications can vary by state). Many industry certifications can be used as stackable credentials that can help students show their potential employers the skills they have, such as mastery of a particular software or hardware component (CAD, CNC Mill, CNC Lathe, or Final Cut).



Specifically, several industry certifications are included in the FIRST Robotics Competition Virtual Kit of Parts that students can utilize to add stackable credentials to their resumes. A link to many of these certifications, badges, and other credentials are listed in the Workforce Development section of FIRST Education Curriculum Page.

In the next blog series, we will dive deeper into the learning modules on Thinkscape and how it correlates to industry certifications.

These modules can be accessed through the dashboard for teams for the upcoming season using Thinkscape.


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