Certification Classes for Teens, High Schoolers

certification classes

Certification Classes for Teens, High Schoolers

Published February 23, 2021 | Last Updated May 25th, 2024 at 05:37 pm

certification classes

Certification classes offer teenagers an opportunity to learn a marketable skill in specialized fields. They help prepare students for a job or their college studies. From art and design to business and technology, there is something for everyone.

Many companies, including Microsoft and Adobe, offer programs, and many of them are even free.

What’s the Best Certification for a High School Student?

One of the most useful is the Google IT Support Professional Certificate — and it’s free. This is a great starting point for students interested in an IT career. The course covers the fundamentals of IT support, including troubleshooting, customer service, networking, operating systems, system administration, and security. It takes three to six months to complete, and you don’t need a degree or prior experience.

What Certifications Can You Get for Free?

Starting May 25, your teen can participate for free in the University of Michigan’s certificate program Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python). The course aims to teach the basics of computer programming and covers Chapters 1-5 of the textbook Python for Everybody.

Learn every step of iOS App Development, from creation to submission, with a free tutorial featuring online video content from the App Dojo. Keep in mind that the free course does not include a certificate of completion the way the paid version does. Paid courses also include Q&As and messaging with instructors.

Hubspot offers a free certification course in Content Marketing that takes approximately six hours to complete. Sign up to learn how to create and repurpose content that both humans and search engines will love.

Master the basics of digital marketing with a free self-paced 40-hour accredited course from Google Digital Garage, culminating in certification.

Starting May 25, enroll in the free IBM Data Science Professional Certificate program and kickstart your career in data science, which takes approximately ten months to complete.

IBM  also offers a free IBM Full Stack Cloud Developer Professional Certificate, which starts May 25.

A free Machine Learning Specialization certification program is available from the University of Washington on building intelligent apps. The course begins May 25, and the course takes approximately seven months to complete.

All Google Analytics Academy courses are free of charge, including Google Analytics for Beginners.

A free three-to-four-hour certificate course on the Basics of Virology is available from Columbia University.

A free Yale University certification course on Financial Markets is open for enrollment starting April 2, featuring flexible deadlines and taking approximately 32 hours to complete.

More additional free certification courses are available through the frequently-updated Coursera online certification programs database. Search for topics that interest your child.

What Other Certifications Are Available?

Graphic Design

Adobe offers a multitude of programs in Photoshop, Magento Commerce Developer, Magento Commerce Front-End Developer, and Magento Commerce JavaScript Developer. Each program culminates in an Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) exam which costs between $95 and $225 to take.

For those interested in working in music, post-production, film, television, and broadcast facilities, Avid Education offers various audio, media composer, media storage, asset management, system administrator, newsroom, and support representative certifications. Course fees are set independently by Avid Learning Partners. Students are required to purchase a coursebook, which includes the cost of the course exam and a single retake, if required. Additional retakes are chargeable.

Unity 3D offers five types of certifications focusing on visualization and gaming development. Specifically for high schoolers and beginners, there are three entry-level Certified User programs: Programmer, Artist, and VR Developer. Exams may be purchased separately.

Programming, IT & Tech

CompTIA has certifications available for entry-level students in a variety of IT areas such as A+, CASP+, CySA+, Cloud+, Linux+, Network+, PenTest+, Security+, and Server+. These exams and exam prep bundles cost $338 and up, with some bundles in excess of $800.

Microsoft offers a variety of certification exams ($165) and prep courses, including free online programs and paid instructor courses in everything from Microsoft Power Platform Developer to Dynamics 365 Finance Functional Consultant Associate. You can also take exams and courses in Microsoft Office specialties like Microsoft Word 2016 and Excel 2019, to name a few.

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification exams are available for $100 (including $20 practice exams), though they are recommended for candidates with at least six months of experience with the Amazon Web Services (AWS)  Cloud in any role, including technical, managerial, sales, purchasing, or financial. AWS does provide sample questions and preparation guides to go along with each exam.

Cisco offers a variety of certification exams, including an entry-level Cisco Certified Technician (CCT) course that is available online and can be completed in multiple short sessions. The course is equivalent to 12 to 14 hours of classroom instruction.

Oracle has certifications on many of its platforms including Java programming language.

Marketing & Social Media

Hootsuite Academy has certification courses ranging from free training to full certification for $99 for its Hootsuite Platform Certification Course. Other programs range in price from $199 to $999.

Facebook Blueprint Certifications offers, among others, an entry-level Digital Marketing Associate program that teaches foundational competency in creating, managing and reporting on ads across Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. Exams are 90 minutes long.


HR Certification Institute – Human Resources (HRCI®) is an independent non-profit that offers various certification programs in Human Resources, including an Associate Professional program for beginners with a $100 application fee and a $300 exam with prep bundles included.

Amazon Advertising offers certification programs in everything from Sponsored Ad Foundations to Amazon Retail for Advertisers.

More paid certificates are available through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard’s edX university-level programs. 

Certifications can help your child land coveted internships, work part-time while studying, or jump into the workforce with a resume loaded with industry-recognized credentials. 


Use R2C Insights to help find merit aid and schools that fit the criteria most important to your student. You’ll not only save precious time, but your student will avoid the heartache of applying to schools they aren’t likely to get into or can’t afford to attend.  

👉 Looking for expert help on the road to college? See our Preferred Partner List!

Other Articles You Might Like:

Is Test Prep Necessary in a Test-Optional World?

Ways to Show a College Demonstrated Interest

Case Western Reserve University Merit Scholarships




In this article:

Upcoming Events

Similar Articles for You

Online AP Courses: How to Choose and Succeed

High School Academics & Activities

Online AP Courses: How to Choose and Succeed

Thousands of high school students take online Advanced Placement (AP) classes each year. These college-level courses offer deeper learning and...

6 Ways This High School Counselor Says You Can Best Help Your Student


6 Ways This High School Counselor Says You Can Best Help Your Student

When a high school counselor begins with, “Let me be real frank with some of you,” you know you’re about...

“The Best College Advice I’ve Received So Far”


“The Best College Advice I’ve Received So Far”

While there are tons of websites like this one that can help guide you on the road to college, there’s...

Become a Member

At Road2College you’ll find everything you need to make the admissions and paying for college process less stressful and more transparent.


Explore R2C Insights™ — your source for finding affordable colleges and merit scholarships.


Get coaching on admissions and college financing.


Join Road2College where parents and experts work together to inform and inspire college-bound families.