Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



David Musto


This research investigated the nascent, growing online Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) certification and training industry. Developing countries faced a significant shortage in semi-skilled and skilled labor in STEM-related industries such as pharmaceuticals, light manufacturing, and technology. Despite the growth in the IT certification industry and the internet, the online STEM certification industry has yet to develop. The goal of this research was to evaluate the need for STEM certifications in developing countries. The hypothesis was that if online STEM certifications are marketed in a developing country, then there will be a significant need for these certifications. The methodology for this IRB-approved study involved administering online STEM certifications to individuals interesting in receiving a certificate to accrue one or more of the following benefits: increase salary, receive a promotion, switch companies, and improve reputation. For individuals who received a passing score on the certification (75% or more), the researcher administered a survey with questions regarding reasons for taking certification and the expected benefits. Results from the study support the hypothesis and show that there is a need for certifications in developing countries. This research has major ramifications for governments of developing countries, NGOs, UNESCO, World Bank, investors, and other organizations looking to increase GDP growth and positively impact education and economy in developing countries while engaging in productive commerce. Further research is required across a broader range of certifications and in trainings.


STEM certifications

Included in

Business Commons



Date Posted: 13 November 2019


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