About one in five American adults carries some kind of professional certification or license other than a traditional college degree. For many, these qualifications guarantee a job and a livelihood, but acquiring them can be a major investment. The big question is how to make sure that workers understand their job prospects in their chosen field before they put their money into training.
This year, the controversy around the costs and benefits of such qualifications has expanded beyond trucking, auto repair and software to an unconventional sector — yoga.
More and more Americans are signing up to become yoga instructors, committing to hundreds of hours of physically rigorous, emotionally demanding and expensive classes in order to earn the credential, The Wall Street Journal’s Rachel Bachman reports.
The number of newly minted yogis registering with Yoga Alliance, a trade group, has increased at an annual rate of 18 percent since 2008. Meanwhile, regulators are taking notice.
Their worry is that yoga students in teacher-training courses are enrolling with the hope of a career out of their newfound expertise. Some might plan to look for work as an instructor, while others might want to open a yoga studio of their own.
If so, then yoga schools arguably have an obligation to make sure their clients understand the financial risks before dropping several thousand dollars on a complete training course. At least, that’s what officials in Colorado and other states have said. Yoga instructors disagree vehemently.
Yoga Alliance is one of many industry organizations offering private or informal credentialing for people looking to hone their skills outside of community colleges and traditional four-year institutions. These qualifications cover operating a forklift, giving first aid, working with Microsoft products and more. As Wonkblog has previously reported, they can be valuable on the labor market, particularly for people without a college degree. Continue reading >>