How has COVID changed education? Innovation through Crisis with Certiport.

Utah Success Stories

(DOUG JESSOP’S UTAH SUCCESS STORIES – ABC4 NEWS – Salt Lake City, Utah) Crisis breeds innovation. The COVID Pandemic certainly counts as a crisis. Its impact has been acutely felt with education. Craig Bushman is with Utah based Certiport, part of the world’s largest learning company, 176-year-old Pearson. They deliver software certification for companies like Microsoft.  

He explained to me; “You wouldn’t want a doctor operating on you that wasn’t certified, that has proven that they have the knowledge and skills to do what they can say what they can do. In the same way, in the IT world, people gain success in their career or prove themselves as a candidate for employment by showing they are certified in certain areas of expertise.”

Besides the Microsoft certification, they also work with and provide certification in software from companies such as Adobe, Autodesk, Intuit, and Apple.

Certiport has global impact.  According to Bushman; “We have over fifteen thousand Certiport testing centers throughout the world. The majority are in the classrooms where they are learning how to do those skills themselves and the teachers become the proctors.”

Certiport is especially proud of an event that they do called the Microsoft World Championship. It’s the largest IT competition in the world, with more than 1.5 Million participants a year.

Bushman beamed with pride as he told me about a young man, Kyle Forst from Hartford, Virginia.  Bushman said, “He had been bullied a lot in his life and when he was a sophomore in high school, he went into a testing lab to be away from all the other bullies and the teacher said, “if you are going to hang out here every morning before school, why don’t you start learning something here. There are these certification exams, why don’t you check these out. He became so proficient at doing that, that he became a national champion in the United States. He went onto the World championship.”

Kyle was the first person in three generations to graduate from high school.

Bushman smiled and said, “All because a teacher took the time to show him certification skills that could build up his confidence, his self-esteem and walk out of school with an industry recognized certification that nobody else had.”

How has COVID impacted Certiport? “When those testing labs shut down and everyone went come from school, our business shut down also. Within weeks our technology team came up with a unique solution to test students from home. In fact, we called it Exams from Home,” said Bushman.

It’s amazing to see Certiport grow from a company that had 5 employees out of American Fork grow to a global giant in the education field. They administer more than 3 million exams a year, in 148 countries and in 26 languages.

Everyone has a story. I strongly feel that “stories have power”. Chances are that if you are going through something, that someone else probably has as well. The shared experiences we humans have can help each other. That my friend makes the point that stories “help us understand each other.”

You don’t have to agree with everyone, but in my opinion, if people would take more time getting to knowing more about others and where they are coming from, we just might find out that we have more similarities than differences.

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A big shout out goes to my collaborator, Ed Wilets, who does a great job as my videographer/editor for all my stories. Your feedback is always welcome at

You can see my positive business profiles called “Utah Success Stories” every Sunday in the ABC4 News at 10 p.m. or online at

With another Utah Success Story, I’m Doug Jessop, ABC4 News.

This story contains sponsored content.

Doug Jessop
For Doug Jessop, it all started with a cassette recorder he got for Christmas when he was 12 years old growing up in Southern California. Doug interviewed relatives, friends and anyone else that might have a good story. You can follow Doug at, on, and @DougJessopNews on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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