Continuous learning is the key to growth in all careers. Building new and better skills advance you towards a better position, and taking certifications is a good way to do build skills. It makes you better at your job and reinforces the belief in employers that you are serious about your job.
Typically, the certification process is shorter compared to in-house training and development programs.
A person earns a certification after he/she has passed a rigorous exam administered under strict guidelines and frameworks which tests a candidate’s competency.
However, all certifications are not equal—in value or otherwise. Organizations offering certification need to go through a rigorous application process before they can offer certifications. Valuable certifications come from organizations that have been recognized by the National Association for Competency Assurance. While choosing a professional certification related to your profession, ensure to check the credibility of the credentialing organization.
Need for Professional Certifications
While employed, it is essential to keep learning and move forward. However, most employees are stuck in the same routine work and find it difficult to learn new skills. Smaller organizations lack employee training and development programs. In this scenario, certifications help to build new skills and pave way for progress.
In the last few years, new roles like data science, machine learning engineers, etc. have come up. However, the industry has been struggling to meet the demands for these roles. At the same time, university and other educational institutions have short term courses which can benefit professionals and deliver skills that are in –demand in the industry. A course that would otherwise take 3-4 years can be delivered in 6- 12 months and still have the same impact. This saves costs for professionals, universities’ infrastructure, and meets the industry’s demand for skilled professionals. So instead of going back to school or enrolling inexpensive courses, taking certifications delivers the same value.
Professional certifications are available for all experience levels—fresh graduates, seasoned professionals, and leaders across all industries. Fresh graduates who don’t have industry experience easily get exposure to real work and on-job experience. Employers always lookout to hire fresh graduates who have industry experience, making certified graduates easily break into the industry, which is otherwise very challenging.
Benefits of professional certifications
Certifications are available which can be accessed any time of the day. With restrictive working hours, flexibility in learning allows working professionals to learn and take the certification at their own convenience. So interested people can learn while they carry on with their daily life.
Some certification bodies award credentials to candidates who pass their exams. These credentials are recognized globally and provide validation of proven competency. This highlights candidates and helps them stand out from other applicants.
Last but not least, certified candidates are paid more than their non-certified counterparts. Further, the chances of promotion for certified candidates is 15 percent more than non-certified candidates, according to an SHRM survey.