From left, Amy Morrison and Letty Barnes. Photos courtesy of Lake Washington Institute of Technology

From left, Amy Morrison and Letty Barnes. Photos courtesy of Lake Washington Institute of Technology

Adding credentials can recession proof your career

Look at hard skills and soft skills to see where there may be a gap.

  • Wednesday, November 13, 2019 8:30am
  • Business

By Amy Morrison, and Letty Barnes

Special to the Reporter

It’s always a good time to add credentials, but there’s really no better time than when the economy is healthy.

One of the ways you can prepare, and recession proof your career, is by adding credentials. Look at your hard skills like new technologies or industry-specific certifications, and soft skills like communications techniques, and see where there may be a gap.

Think about it this way. How many upgrades have you had to make to your cell phone in the past two-years. Now, think about your career in the same way. Just like your mobile device, every few years, you need to update your professional operating system. When was the last time you took a professional development course or added a credential to your skillset?

It’s important that you do everything you can to update your skills before the recession hits, so that you stand out from the crowd. Yes, experience matters, but so does having current and relevant credentials. We’ve seen it happen before during an economic downturn, companies start trimming their overhead costs, and they look for who on their teams can do the work they need, the most efficiently, with the least amount of impact to the bottom line.

Look at the business systems you use every day. Microsoft Office skills are the No. 1 desired skillset, according to several national studies of employers in the United States. Robert Half, an international global human resource consulting firm, reports this, as does TechRepublic, which posted about what employers want now in a recent LinkedIn article.

“Every year, we place over 400 people in positions around the Seattle area,” comments Jeff Altchech, president of Temporarily Yours Staffing. “In the 33 years that I’ve been in the business of connecting employees to employers, I’ve seen countless industries change and pivot, and I’ve seen over and over again how important it is for people to make sure their skills are current, and that they are prepared for our changing economy.”

Adding credentials to your resume doesn’t have to take years and cost thousands and thousands of dollars. There are programs where you can earn a certificate of completion, (less than 45 credits), or a certificate of proficiency (more than 45 credits).

For example, Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWTech), offers an associate’s degree in business technology and eight certificates of completion and proficiency in areas like web maintenance, Microsoft Office applications and project management support. Additionally, LWTech, Cascadia College and Everett Community College have partnered to provide continuing education classes through their corporate and continuing education center, CCEC-Eastside, which provides professional development classes on the Cascadia and LWTech campuses.

Now is the time to show that you’re more than capable of doing the work of the job, and that you have continued to adapt and grow as the workplace has changed. Whether you’re trying to keep your job, or find a new one, make sure your skills are current. It’s absolutely essential whether the economy is boom or bust.

Dr. Amy Morrison is the president of Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWTech) and Letty Barnes is a professor and department chair of business technology at LWTech.

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Business

Relief fund formed to support Kirkland small businesses, nonprofits provided the $250,000 seed money for the fund, which is a partnership with the city, the chamber of commerce and Banner Bank.

Sound Publishing operates the following titles in King County: Federal Way Mirror, Auburn Reporter, Kent-Covington Reporter, Renton Reporter, Enumclaw Courier-Herald, Kirkland Reporter, Bellevue Reporter, Snoqualmie Valley Record, Issaquah Reporter, Redmond Reporter, Bothell-Kenmore Reporter, Mercer Island Reporter and the Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber.
Kirkland Reporter to suspend print publication

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to rapidly evolve across the globe, the… Continue reading

COVID-19 gathering restriction delays funerals

For one funeral home owner, the confusion came to a head after a recent service.

Jersey Mike’s Subs makes a difference during COVID-19 pandemic

Kirkland owner Tim Trieb leads the way with helping those in need.

Boeing plants in Puget Sound area to close; infected Everett worker dies

To the relief of anxious employees, the company said it will shut down factory operations for two weeks.

For sale sign hanging in front of house. File photo
Open houses close due to coronavirus concerns

Northwest Multiple Listing Service halts large group home tours amid pandemic.

Customers buying high volume of products at cannabis shops

Retail establishments get the green light to remain open during COVID-19 pandemic.

AG Ferguson warns of scams related to COVID-19

Washingtonians should be skeptical of claims about virus

Become an expert to recession proof your career

If you’ve lived in the Puget Sound area long enough you probably… Continue reading

Kirkland housing market shows early signs of spring

A snapshot of the local real estate market.

Google’s 6th St. office building in Kirkland, WA on Feb. 10, 2020. Staff Photo / Mitchell Atencio
Google to open two floors of office space in Kirkland

Google is adding the office space to accomadate growth in its Kirkland area.

Lounge by Topgolf, which features Full Swing golf simulator technology along with an innovative bar and restaurant concept, held its grand-opening ceremony on Jan. 24 in Kirkland at 425 Urban Plaza, Suite 200. From left to right: Sarah Rutledge (Lounge by Topgolf associate), Toby Nixon (Kirkland City Councilmember), Amy Falcone (Kirkland City Councilmember), Kirkland Mayor Penny Sweet, Hun Kim (general manager at Lounge by Topgolf), Ron Powers (president of Topgolf Swing Suites), Jon Pascal (Kirkland City Councilmember), Alyssa Jones (assistant general manager at Lounge by Topgolf) and Salena Cordell (Lounge by Topgolf associate). Photo courtesy of Bailie Pelletier
Lounge by Topgolf tees off new Kirkland location

Lounge by Topgolf, which features Full Swing golf simulator technology along with… Continue reading