6 Reasons You Should Consider Getting a Career or Professional Certification

Earning professional certifications, especially in the information technology (IT) sector, is a great (and fairly quick) way to boost both your desirability when it comes to hiring and your value in the office once you’re officially in. Still not convinced? Read on for some reasons why a certification may be exactly what you need to get ahead.


1. You’ll stand out from the crowd

Earning a career or professional certification when your job or boss doesn’t strictly require it is one of the fastest ways to make yourself stand out from your colleagues. That extra boost of education and knowledge will give you a competitive advantage over those in the same office or field as you, indicating to both the higher ups and your clients that you have a firm grasp of what’s going on in your industry and the tools, software, etc. needed to excel.

2. You’ll become more efficient

By earning a career or professional certification, you increase whatever particular knowledge and skills are essential to your specific role. This, according to the International Congress for Education, directly boosts both your efficiency and productivity in the workplace. In turn, this newfound expertise and capability will result in saving your employer both time and money—a result highly likely to get you noticed in the best possible way.

3. You’ll increase your pay

Check to see if your boss can offer an increase in your salary with the addition of a career or professional certification. Even if he or she can’t at the moment, that piece of paper will go a long way in convincing the higher ups that you deserve a raise when it comes time for your annual performance review. If you’re in business on your own, a certification can attract new customers, allow you to charge more per service because of your new qualifications, and help you learn new techniques in order to do your job more efficiently—all of which will result in more money in your pocket.

4. You’ll feel more satisfied

While extra money is pretty much always a good thing, it’s important not to forget about or downplay the personal accomplishment you’ll feel in doing something for yourself. The Association for Talent Development points out that earning an additional certification can help give you “greater confidence that you are a subject matter expert.” That boost in morale can help you feel validated as a knowledgeable employee and infuse more meaning into your job—which, let’s face it, is pretty priceless.

5. You’ll increase your chance for a promotion

This is particularly true if you specifically search out a job that says the company would like the candidate to have some sort of advanced degree or particular certification as a preference but not a requirement. That designation will likely put you at the top of the resume pile alongside others who went above and beyond. If you’re looking to advance within your current company, check out what kinds of qualifications those in more advanced roles already have via networking sites or by inviting a certain higher up to join you for lunch and asking them yourself.

6. You’ll increase your credibility

New customers who see you have a particular certification are likely to be reassured by that fact, earning their trust enough to give you and your company a chance. Entrepreneur points out that certification not only increases your credibility in the eyes of the customer, but also “demonstrates your commitment to the profession”—another step in gaining the confidence of those you serve.

When it comes to deciding whether career or professional certifications are worth it, it’s important to consider both your current role and where you want to be in one, five, or even 10 years. It’s rarely a bad move to improve your knowledge and advance your education, but only you can decide how much time, effort, and money you want to put into it.

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