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A certification is a credential that demonstrates that you have the experience, specific skills, and knowledge necessary for a job or specific field. A certificate is different from a professional license that may be required to hold a certain job. It assesses and verifies that an individual has at least minimal proficiency or has mastered skills and abilities that can be used to enhance career growth instead of a particular job.
Just one example is obtaining Microsoft Office specialist certification, which demonstrates to an employer, current or otherwise, that you have the expertise and skills when it comes to using Microsoft tools and functions beyond the basics. But that’s only one way that professional certifications can help your career.
People who have a currently active certification have a lower unemployment rate as compared to those who don’t, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It reports that in 2018 credentialed people had an unemployment rate that was less than half of those without any certifications or licenses.
When you have the training and can prove it with certification, it will set you apart from others in your field, showing that you’ve made a commitment to understanding and excelling in the profession. That’s a big advantage in a competitive job market.
The time and effort that you invest in a professional certification increase your earning potential. Most hiring managers understand there are higher costs associated with obtaining specialized training and are willing to pay more for those who have industry certification.
CNBC reports that by obtaining CAPM certification (Certified Associate in Project Management), a project manager can earn 25 percent above what a project manager would earn without being certified.
If you’re a business owner and a potential client approaches for the first time with an inquiry about your services, they don’t know how you operate. They want to feel comfortable knowing that they can trust your abilities. One of the best ways to demonstrate your credibility and win their trust is via certification. If it comes from a well-known awarding body, they’ll feel like they know what to expect. It shows that you’ve made a commitment to the profession and boosts credibility.
Obtaining certification isn’t about just showing what you’ve done to employers or clients. When you take courses and complete tests, it has personal benefits. By being successful in your effort towards achieving certification, confidence in your own abilities grows. Understanding your industry’s best practices can also give you a greater appreciation for your profession and how you can best support your clients. Throughout the process, there may be other opportunities discovered to enhance your standing in the industry, such as coming into contact with experts in the field that you can take advantage of when it comes to supporting and advice.
If you have an independent business, getting a professional certification helps give it a more solid foundation. The knowledge and advanced training gained from the specialized coursework is likely to provide you with tools and technical strategies that are up-to-date, helping you manage and execute your projects more effectively.