(The new currency in the job streets)
Skills have become the global currency of the 21st century, and professional certifications are greatly valued as a proof of high level of skill or expertise in various fields.
Highly masculine societies like Nigeria are achievement driven, hence the high importance/value placed on certifications.
Certifications serve as an indicator of professionalism and aptitude, and obtaining a certification can have many benefits for workers and job seekers.
Professional certifications have the potential for increased earnings. Most organizations will offer a higher pay to one with professional qualifications over one who has only a Bachelor’s degree. For example, an ACCA certified accountant will surely be paid more than a BSc Accounting degree holder even though they are both qualified accountants.
Research also shows that a large percentage of employees get a pay rise after getting certifications.
Certifications serve as a value proposition for working professionals.
Becoming certified increases one’s credibility and influence as an expert in a certain professional field. The requirements for earning a professional certification vary, but where it involves passing a certification exam relevant to the area of skill to be certified, it is of more value.
It is so valuable to organizations that some even enroll and sponsor their employees for professional courses home and abroad.
Professional certifications help build skills and knowledge, hence the enormous value placed on them. Since most certifications require passing an examination, one is forced to study, thereby gaining more knowledge, building and reinforcing one’s skills.
However, not all certifications translate to practical skills and knowledge in the work place.
Certifications enhance employability. Research shows that, sixty-three percent of hiring managers believe certified individuals are more productive than their non-certified counterparts.
A professional certification listed on a resume/CV may distinguish an individual from other candidates for new positions, and companies may be more likely to hire someone with a professional certification over someone without one.
Networking: Some certifications give professionals certain privileges and access to professional networks. For example, Microsoft Certified Professionals belong to a community that only they can access.
Such avenues give individuals the opportunity to network with other professionals with like interests and may even give rise to new employment, career and business opportunities.
Having identified a few of the benefits of professional certifications, it is important to note that:
- The number of professional certifications one acquires don’t necessarily count if they are not related to one’s area of expertise or interest.
- Why do you need 5 certifications in different fields or spend months/years being Oracle 10g and 11i certified if you want to be a HR professional and you have no interest in IT?
- Identify your career path before going on a certification spree.
- Certifications don’t make you a professional. A certification means nothing if one can’t demonstrate proficiency in the specified area.
- Paper certifications don’t necessarily translate to practical skills in the work place even though this is the expectation.
- There are thousands of professional certifications which are not recognized. Endeavour to do a thorough research before taking up a certification.
As the name implies, certifications require a valid and physical proof. I mean, you surely need a physical certificate as proof of certification, so get your certificate handy.
Up skill yourself, upgrade yourself..