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How Certification Can Help Validate Your Skill Sets

How Certification Can Help Validate Your Skill Sets

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Last Updated March 8, 2024

What does it mean to be certified? Certifications demonstrate an understanding of a particular field, and are one way to show you have obtained industry skills. While résumés can highlight experiences and achievements, they often lack the ability to prove that a worker can use a skill effectively. Certifications can show independent validation of skills, and in so doing, offer organizations the confidence that they are hiring someone who can do the desired job.

It is important to note that not all certifications are equally valued. Certification programs must be accredited by national organizations and audited to ensure that coursework meets national standards. An accredited certification shows that a reputable organization is willing to attest to a professional’s high level of expertise and specialization in a particular area of knowledge.

Obtaining a certification can do more than offer independent verification. Certifications from national accreditation organizations can offer networking benefits, often connecting successful examinees with other certification holders. Depending on the nature of the certification, organizations may also offer special events, ongoing support and other career benefits to professionals.

Benefits of Certification

In addition to the benefit of independent validation of skill sets, obtaining certifications can have number of other advantages:

  • Differentiate from competition – Certifications can be used to differentiate professionals from other competitors. Having a certification that a competitor does not have may offer an individual a significant advantage in the job application process.
  • Network opportunities – Certifications can offer opportunities to network and connect with others who have obtained the same certification. Whether through meetings, socials, classes or other events and forums, certification authorities typically offer a number of ways to stay connected with others in your field. In some cases, pursuing a certification may connect test takers to others with similar interests and career experiences.
  • New skills – Certifications can also broaden skill sets to include new tools and ways of thinking. While professionals can gain knowledge through working experience, certification may be a requirement to learn new perspectives and stay updated on industry trends and techniques.
  • Higher potential salary – Though annual wage can vary depending on education, location, industry and employer, business professionals with accredited certifications typically have higher potential salaries than those without certifications or continuing education.
  • Career advancement – Certifications can offer opportunities for career advancement and increased responsibility in new areas. Some professionals may want to use certifications as a way to change careers, particularly those who wish to take on more of a managerial role.

Certification Goals

When starting a new job, transitioning careers or further developing a career, certifications can offer opportunities for growth and may even serve as prerequisites for job advancement and other career milestones. While specific certification requirements may vary among professions, certifications can act as the next step toward pursuing your chosen career.