In this post, I would discuss the value of certifications in a job search or the demand for certifications by employers.
Certifications Help You Standout In A Competitive Job Market
In a competitive job market, where everyone has a lot of experience and educational qualifications, getting certifications may help you standout.
Certification As A Legal Requirement
In some professions or jobs, getting certified by a board, council or a body is a legal accreditation requirement. So, you need to be certified as a competent professional or risk facing some form of legal action or prosecution.
Certifications As A Marketing Requirement
Chip advises professionals looking to use certifications to land new business or jobs to consider that potential clients or employers may not see the benefit of additional certifications.
Here is some of Chip’s advice:
- Certifications are a sign that you are not busy enough or that your skills are not in-demand
- Certifications are a sign that you are showing off because you think that you are smart
- Certifications are usually vendor centric and employers may prefer that you are solution minded and not biased towards specific vendors
Certification Demand and Quality
In an article written by Gustavo Duarte titled Certification Demand and Quality, Gustavo addressed a number of concerns or questions like:
- Is there a market demand for certifications?
- Do certifications truly verify knowledge or ability?
- Do employers ask for certifications when hiring?
Gustavo says that certification providers make a lot of claims about jobs and improved incomes due to certifications.
According to Gustavo, certification providers skip over the sticky issue of correlation versus causation because correlation does not imply causation.
There are some points on the topic of certifications and you may click here to read more about it.
- One good reason for taking certifications is that it helps the candidate to review or consolidate their knowledge of a topic.
- On the other hand, certifications may be abused by those who want to take it, so that they can get a job or impress people with their credentials.
Because of the latter set of people, employers use a number of criteria to judge a candidate’s skill level. This includes an evaluation of the candidate’s skill level, handson experience, educational credentials, training, certifications, social networking profile, etc.
Out of these, the candidates handson experience and skill level tends to be the two (2) biggest reasons why job candidates get hired or passed over.
Do Certifications Guarantee Knowledge Or Skill Level?
Though certifications may be used to increase skill level they do not guarantee knowledge or skill level.
Certifications can be gamed because a certain percentage of certification results measure a candidates ability to take standardized tests.
You can use Quiz or Testing Software or even books like the ExamCram series to memorize the answers to frequently asked questions for most certifications.
Some go as far as posting the answers to real examinations online on BrainDumps making the certification process a zero-sum game for those looking to distinguish themselves.
Is Experience More Important Than Certifications
If you are lucky, focusing on certifications will help you get a job with an employer who is probably unsure of how to evaluate job candidates
However, you will certainly and definitely be helped both in the short and long run by getting into am industry, learning all that there is to know about that industry, getting all the right exposure by paying attention to the skills that are in-demand, sharpening your skills using all sorts of practice tests including certifications and working your way to the top.
Employers place more emphasis on certifications than on educational qualifications, college education, certifications or any other measure.
Why, because employers prefer to hire candidates that have solved the problems facing their industry or have practical knowledge of the types of problems facing the business.
Here are some examples of what I am saying:
A web business analyst is hired because a business wants to bring a new website or product to market and they want to hire a business analyst who has had some experience marketing business, products, services in an online, e-commerce environment.
A database developer is hired because of practical handson experience writing sql queries or designing databases. Potential employers want to see descriptions of databases that were built by the candidate and not database certifications.
A computer programmer is hired for real-world, handson experience building or developing websites over web developer certifications from any type of university. Employers would hire for practical web development experience over any type of paper certification from any type of university or college.
In the internet or information age, employers and businesses have a prove-it / show-me mentality and professionals who build their real-world, experience building, practical expertise will find their careers or skills in-demand!
While certifications may be helpful, job candidates should take the time to consider meeting other more important requirements for getting a job.
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