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.
It goes without saying that in today’s digital world, workers need to equip themselves with the basic skillsets to both understand technology and being savvy technology users. Those skillsets are necessary for anyone seeking employment in the digital age, and are also essential for those seeking to transition into the tech sector.
Yet, McKinsey reports that 87% of companies around the world currently have, or will have, a skills gap in the next few years. While that data shows a huge gap in the workforce, it also represents enormous opportunities for both businesses and employees to grow their capabilities in the data and digital space.
These skills prospects are exciting and that includes for non-tech individuals and mid-career changers alike. Ready to grow your digital skillsets and data literacy capabilities? Read on!
What Can I Do?
If you’re already in a sector and/or job you love, talk to your employer about upskilling in areas such as using pivot tables in Excel, working with data in Microsoft’s Power BI (business intelligence) or learning introductory coding (read on for more information on that!). You can also try learning new marketing skills such as search engine optimization (SEO) or learning how to use creative software programs like Adobe and Figma.
But I’m Not Really Technical (Yet)
For those looking to pivot into tech but are not sure where to start, think about what you do on a day-to-day basis that is a transferable skill:
This is the process of finding solutions to often difficult or complex issues. It’s a vital skill in any sector and no more so than in tech. Every day you routinely gather and analyze ‘data’ of some sort to put forth a solution that remedies an issue in your job. In tech, for example, a frontend developer creates websites and a backend developer looks for broken code.
While you might think a tech career means sitting alone behind a computer screen, the reality is that a job in tech means working collaboratively within—and across—teams. Communication is crucial for career success and those transferable skills include developing effective relationships, assertiveness and active listening. For example, the role of an agile coach in tech is to foster effective, transparent and cohesive teams.
Building on interpersonal skills, good leadership is an excellent asset to have in a wide range of industries. And tech is certainly no exception. Effective leadership is the ability to build trust, have great communication skills and vision. A technical team leader is responsible for product delivery and it can touch on everything from design and development to finance to collaborating with customers.
We all deliver assignments and projects with deadlines in any job we do. We need to deliver on time and on budget. In tech, meeting deadlines is crucial as many other pieces of work can get held up until other jobs are completed. If the role of tech is to save time and effort, then time management skills are an excellent transferable skill you already have. For example, a scrum master uses a framework for project management to emphasize teamwork, accountability, iterative processes and yes, time management to reach the organization’s goals.
Being able to think creatively is another key transferable skill. Tech is another platform for creativity to thrive in. Creativity allows us tackle challenges with new insights or to design websites designed to appeal to users. Creativity is also about innovation, fostering growth and improving productivity, and isn’t just relegated to the designers.
I’m Still Not Sure
Your career path so far has been non-technical and perhaps you’re still thinking about your transferable skills. There are also non-technical roles you may want to consider. In this way, if you change jobs, you’re pivoting first into the tech sector to see if there’s a fit for you. Non-technical roles include:
- Finance (e.g. managing income and expenses; preparing cash-flow statements; budgeting)
- HR (e.g. recruiting; hiring; onboarding; training; compensation and benefits)
- Product Management (e.g. planning and co-ordinating product improvements; feature upgrades; product version releases)
- Product Marketing (e.g. introducing a product to the market; strategies to promote it; ways to sell it to customers)
Other non-technical roles can include branding, social media, content creation and customer success.
She Loves Data offers online and offline events that cover data and tech, digital marketing, business discussions and essential skills. Our events are free and, unless stated otherwise, our events are open to anyone. Start with online courses and introductions and we encourage you to attend as many events and courses as you can. You can test the waters and see where your interests and abilities take you. This month there is an Intro to Data and data analytics for complete beginners and an Intro to Python (a programming language used to build websites and software, and conduct data analysis). Our courses are a great way to begin your tech journey. And if you’re still not sure you can explore mentoring options as well.
Technology has boosted every industry and it’s an inevitability we can’t ignore. But it’s also not yet inclusive or diverse enough. Data and tech need you: your voice, your experience and your talent. Join us in helping to close the gender and skills gap in a growing field that offers so much positive opportunity for you and our communities.
She Loves Data and Development Beyond Learning (DBL) are delighted to partner to champion women to develop their full potential and to orientate themselves into new and growing industries and create more diversity and inclusivity in the workforce.
As industries grow and are ever-changing, the need for companies to ensure diversity and inclusion and foster diversity of thought is ever increasing. She Loves Data focuses on equipping women to be successful in an increasingly data-driven world supported by our community of like-minded women and DBL’s programs aimed at developing soft skills enables individuals to develop behaviours and mindsets, identify strength areas, create awareness of alternative career options, and coach them through the change process.
Together we offer the opportunity for women to Learn, explore alternative career options, and equip them with the soft skills and (community) support to help them on their journey of change.
To Launch our partnership with Development Beyond Learning (DBL) we are presenting an exciting workshop on 22 August 2018 (2-4:30pm) focused on:
Generating your Personal Brand and adopting a Growth Mindset
With social media making our lives more transparent, a competitive marketplace and personal development high on individual and business agendas – brand has never been more important for us to stand out.
A great personal brand is authentic, visible, consistent, reliable and resilient – in person, on paper and online. It’s about bringing who you are to what you do and how you do it. If we don’t willingly create this, others will do it for us – and that’s not a risk worth taking!
How you deal with setbacks, critical feedback or new challenges is also part of your Personal Brand.
We all have the ability to choose the way we think, and how we act accordingly. Adopting an optimal ‘growth’ mindset by recognising our ‘fixed’ mindset triggers, can help to consciously choose more helpful, positive beliefs – and therefore behaviours – that align with what we want to be known for.
Join us for an interactive session and learn how to:
- Identify attributes you want to be known for
- Consciously cultivate a personal brand that reflects your core values
- Identify actions for actively communicating your personal brand
- Identify opportunities or areas of life that are important to you, that will benefit from developing a stronger growth mindset
As we launch this offer a special promotion price for She Loves Data Community members: $60 (normal price: $100)
About Development Beyond Learning (DBL)
In today’s world, Everyone is organisations continue to be impacted by increasing volatility in the markets, ever-changing customer needs and technology-led disruptions. The future of business and the future of work is changing fast which means all of us need to become more so people have to be adaptable, effective and collaborate more than ever! And further developing your Soft Skills are a critical part of this , meaning soft skills are critical.
Development Beyond Learning (DBL) are passionate about learning and development, and have specialised in training the leaders of tomorrow for the last decade and a half – 2018 marks our 13th year. We understand how to help you develop the right soft skills and prepare you for the design and futureproof businesses and careers to ensure the talent required is attracted and retained, to succeed in the workplace of the future and for you to future-proof your career. .
About She Loves Data
She Loves Data was born out of the belief that women have many talents, virtues and value to bring to the table when it comes to data, technology, and analytics. We are passionate about Education and Community and the magic that happens when you bring people together. She Loves Data educates women and equips them with the relevant knowledge and skills they need to transform their personal and professional lives. Our local communities provide a safe space for women to come together to learn, connect, and support each other.
Our signature “Introduction to Data Analytics” workshop provides women from all walks of life the opportunity to learn the very basics of data analytics from experts, no experience required, with the aim to encourage more women to consider a career in data analytics, where diversity is so needed!