This article aims at giving you 10 reasons why you need a professional certificate.
Apart from earning a degree in a university, some jobs require that individuals have necessary skill sets to succeed. Needs of humans are changing, so are organizations, so they can stay relevant, hence their employees must join the game too. Coca-cola is relevant today because they continue to adapt to the evolving changes and demands of their consumers. They achieved this not just improving their products, but their employees. 50 years ago, there was nothing like a social media manager, but Coca-Cola now has gotten a certified social media manager for more publicity. One of such critical career fields is Information and Communication technology. It has even been noted that some popular tech companies do not necessarily employ graduates, they are in search of individuals who are certified and possess skills to thrive such as coding, designing etc. These certifications can be obtained in the university as a separate journey, but there are a host of organizations that provide certification in various courses.
Let us define a professional certificate first. A professional certificate is an evidence to show that an individual possesses certain competencies and is qualified to perform certain tasks. There are three different types of certification
- Corporate or internal certifications: This type of certification is usually issued within an organization to her employees after taking some certain course. For instance, a bank can organize a two-day course for some of their marketing personnel and they are issued certificates upon completion. It could be limited to just that organization.
- Product-specific certifications: Here personnel are certified on a particular product across all organizations. Google marketing certification is the same for anyone that takes the course irrespective of location. The IT industry and international organization make use of this type of certification. The World Health Organization can decide to provide a certification course for health personnel across the world. Those in the tech space can also get certified on a particular version of a software or hardware or application
- Profession Wide certification: this rather the most popular type of certification and it is based on the speciality of an individual. For instance, an accountant would need to be certified and chartered by taking some examinations. Medical personnel must also be certified before they are licenced to practise.
There are few of the popular professional certifications Accounting, Robotics, Data Analysis, Contract Management, Customer Relationship Management, Facility Management, Financial Planning, Graphic Design, Business Analysis, Data Science, Design Thinking, Computational thinking Human Resources, Marketing, Digital Marketing, Paralegal Studies, Project Management, Supply Chain Management, Store Management etc.
The aforementioned are just a tip of the iceberg. There are countless professional certifications in almost all career fields. Apart from the universities, there are also authorized organizations that provide certification courses. Some are virtual while others require a physical class. Some of such organizations include New Horizon, Microsoft, edx, Project Management Institute, Coursera, Institute of Organizational Development, NTL Institute, Linkage, Tata Institute of Social Sciences etc.
Having said these, it is important we look at some of the benefits of having a professional certificate.
BENEFITS OF HAVING A PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATE
1. Gain a Competitive Advantage
After completion of a university degree in a course like Business Administration, for instance, some organization would still ask if you are certified or have a certification in any area in business in today’s competitive market. Your potential employer would most likely pick the candidate with any business certification. Training and certification can distinguish you from other professionals in your field because it simply indicated that you have a demonstrated commitment to understanding and excelling in your profession. Stay up to date on new development, new software or social platforms before it even becomes popular. One trending course is Data analysis.
2. Increase your Earning
Some of the certifications can be very expensive like project management and also depends on the institution issuing it. The result is always worth it. When your company is considering who to promote, you would most likely be on the list because you have proven to be a forward thinker and are willing to grow. Your income increases, more social and professional networks, more responsibility and promotion at work. A study showed that online certifications increased salaries by 20 to 40%.
3. Expand Knowledge and Skills
This is actually one of the most important reasons why you should go for a certification. Gaining a certificate requires you to study the latest technologies and cutting-edge research in your professional field. You expand your skill sets and competencies. You are kept abreast with new and updated industry information and techniques which would eventually boost your confidence and work habits since you are going to try something new.
4. Build Professional Credibility
Apart from your organization where you work as a full-time staff, by virtue of your certification, other companies, non-profits, and government organizations can make a demand for your skill as a consultant. The fact that you are certified shows that you are committed to superior professionalism, willing to uphold industry standards and interested in learning more. These merits alone can help boost your professional credibility within your own social and professional network, current and prospective clients, and even while pursuing a new business endeavour.
5. Boost Your Efficiency
While taking some professional courses, you are assigned a mentor or consultancy which would have a lasting impression on your career. These training and guidance from mentors would provide you with necessary skills, information, technical tools and strategies that would help you perform optimally in your field.
6. Become an Independent Consultant
After spending a few years serving in an organization, it is possible to resign and be established as an independent consultant for big corporations and government agencies in your areas of expertise. You can only thrive in this journey, if you have proven skills backed up with professional certification. By this you are viewed as an expert who knows his onions. Make sure that your credential is from an organization that is credible and well-respected in your field. A Harvard graduate or certification from them would be held in very high esteem.
7. Networking Opportunities
Whether virtual or physical classes, obtaining certifications involves some form of classes, study groups or seminars along with other professionals in your field. This gives you the opportunity to network and share new ideas with other professionals from other corporations. There are few stories of partnerships between companies and new organizations established as a result of this kind of networks
8. Greater Customer Trust
Customers would rather patronize an organization with competent and well-skilled employees rather than a company with maybe degrees acquired a long time ago. In fact, the service delivery of both companies would be totally different. The former would be more professional and appealing. The increase in use of digital work management has led to continuous inventions of new technologies and rapid progress. Banks have adopted financial technology payment options like ATMs, POS, bank applications for their customers. Any bank without these benefits would certainly lose their customers. In the banks, the customers want to feel that the employees possess the technical know-how to deal with the latest methods of operation in their field, it assures them of their capacity, which in turn boosts trust.
9. Improves the Company’s Reputation
Your company’s reputation is also beneficial. The more certification and competencies employees of an organization possess, the better for the image and brand of your company. The market places in high esteem employees that are highly trained especially from relevant and trustworthy sources. That is why universities take pride in the number of PhD holders or their Nobel laureate alumni. It has a way of boosting the reputation of the school.
10. Attract the Best Talent
Still for the company’s benefit, when companies make certification of hiring priority, they are most likely to employ an individual who possesses relevant skills and is abreast with latest working ethics, techniques and strategies that are important for the companies productivity.
In conclusion, earning a certificate can be demanding, both financially and intellectually, but when you consider the end result like professional network, promotion, an increase of paycheck, credibility, it is actually worth it. However, it is expedient that the institution where you get the certification is carefully considered, they will also determine if you would be given that job or not. It is advised you go to apply to a reputable organization to increase your professional credibility and competitive advantage.