Entering the job market for the first time, transitioning careers or desire a promotion? Earning a certification can help to stand out by showing proof of advanced level competency in specific industries.
Whether for professional recognition or personal achievement, earning a certification is satisfying, as it is a reward for the efforts. In this article, we’ll address the top key benefits of certified programs and share some tips and recommendations if you consider enrolling on a certified program.
What Is Certification?
To start with, let’s clarify what certification means. Certifications are credentials earned by individuals to verify their legitimacy and competence to perform a job. The certification is typically displayed as a document stating that as a professional, a person has been trained, educated and prepared to meet a specific set of criteria for a role.
This document or statement is awarded only after the proper assessments are passed. Those assessments are administered by a recognized professional organization or educational institution. Most importantly, the certification is not a replacement for accredited degree work but is supposed to complement the education or professional experience in a particular field.
There are different types of certification, but one of the things to know is that some certifications do not expire, while others can expire. However, even if a certificate does not expire, the administering organization or institution will ask for proof that a required continuing education is obtained. That is the opportunity to re-earn the certification every year. There are also certified free programs and others that require payment.
Each certification also requires a commitment of time, motivation, dedication and other types of resources. Some issuers of certificates need a certain number of hours, weeks or months of professional experience in a discipline, skill domain or job function before becoming certified.
So, is certification worth it? And why go through all the trouble? What’s the value of a certificate to an individual and an organization? Let’s unfold some of the answers.
Importance Of Certification
If a person decides to follow a certified program and earn certification, that is important not just for the individual but for the organization that is the current or future employee. The value that the certificate can bring to individuals is in the form of professional credibility, professional growth, personal satisfaction, an advantage during the hiring process, and a salary increase. According to the Global Knowledge 2021 IT Skills and Salary Report, “an individual with six or more IT certifications makes over $10,000 more than those with just one certification on their resume.” On the side of the organizations, the added value is the job essentials, skills gaps, employee retention and enforced partner relationships.
In this article, we’ll emphasize the three key benefits of certified programs for individuals:
- Certification Can Help You Establish Yourself As A Subject Matter Expert
Earning one or more certifications demonstrates expertise in a related skill domain and knowledge and establishes an individual as a subject matter expert. It tells co-workers and managers that you possess the skills and knowledge needed to succeed. If you haven’t pursued a certificate yet and are undecided, look at it like an investment in your future. It’s likely to pay off. It will provide immediate professional credibility. Know also that many organizations with strong learning cultures provide employees that seek professional development, financial assistance and additional support.
- Certification Can Help You Stand Out To Hiring Managers
Many organizations require some employees to certify and maintain certifications, so having a certificate that aligns with the job you’re pursuing gives you a competitive advantage when hiring managers look at your resume. Getting hired would be far more challenging for those candidates who don’t meet the requirements, so in many cases, a certification can be a qualifier for the job position. Those who want a new or better-paid job need to gain new knowledge or skills. Earning a certificate is a way to show the hiring managers that you invest in yourself and have the ambition to improve.
- Certification Can Help You Gain Access To Networking Opportunities
Once you earn a certification, you join a group of certified and skilled professionals and peers. The certified programs are the perfect opportunity to grow your professional network, even internationally. This network can be a peer resource group when seeking support or sharing solutions for challenging tasks. The network opportunities through the certified programs can also guide how to enhance your career further.
Where To Start?
The benefits of becoming certified don’t end here. With the new technology, best practices, and processes that continuously emerge, the industry changes, too, and so will certifications and the benefits that come along with them.
This being said, the importance of choosing a trustworthy-credentialing organization or institution administering certified programs matters. Knowing this, how do you determine the best certification for you now and in the future? Your next step in this journey is to follow She Loves Data certified programs and choose the one that is relevant and beneficial for you and your personal and professional development.