In the quest to advance your career and cross milestones continually, certifications have traditionally played a vital role. As times have changed, though, organizations have started realizing that certificates are not absolute signs of talent.
Many multinationals have changed their hiring practices to reflect this declining need for certifications. But, the debate of whether or not certifications are essential for career advancement stays with us.
We don't have the decisive vote to settle this debate, but let's look at both faces of this coin to weigh what matters in certifications and how much-
Certifications take you through a learning process– This is the real reason behind employers relying on certificates to compare talent and hire. Certifications are a proof that a person went through a learning curve, sat an exam, and cleared it. While that means less in today's competitive climate, it was understandably an important factor once.
Certifications still get you hired*– Did we settle it with this point? No. *It entirely depends on the employer. While some companies still consider certificates as an indicator of employee's knowledge and expertise, others have moved ahead. These companies take practical tests and make you go through a challenging hiring process to make sure your certifications were worth your investment.
Certifications keep you competent– Once you get into the corporate world, you are bogged down by tasks and find little to no time to upgrade your knowledge. Continued certifications ensure you stay abreast with your industry. Here's your chance (and excuse) to upskill. Go for a certification.
Certification processes are often flawed– Some certifications that were once powerful have no worth in the marketplace today. Employers have realized over the years that anyone can get through any certification exam with illegal ways. Therefore, employers' trust in certificates has gone down. If you are investing time (and money) in a certificate, make sure you can justify your learning and retain it through practice.
Certifications can be fake– No matter how many secure practices certificates have, they can be fake or ill-earned. Certificates are rarely bought, but the probability has reduced their importance for employers. Even professionals take certificates with a pinch of salt when their colleagues flaunt them.
Certifications restrict learning– If you are a free learner and need no motivation to stay on top of current trends in your industry, a certification process might limit your learning for some time. Most certification courses follow a pattern and comprise of limited modules. Candidates need to restrict their education to the curriculum and focus on it to pass the exam. This is often considered forceful learning by natural explorers who like to upskill without rush and limits.
We are not against certifications and not for them as well. We suggest you to-
assess your field of work,
consider how important certificates are in your industry,
ponder how credible you can become with added certifications,
and then decide whether or not to pursue them.
However, we do recommend continual learning if you want to advance your career faster and better. Learn and upskill to become invaluable to new employers and irreplaceable to the current one.