Certifications Have Gone from Meh to Beneficial
Back in my day! *Shakes fist* certification wasn’t a new concept… I’m not that old. Now I’m not like my sister, who was 14 when I was born, yet has been my younger sister since I turned 27. However, when it came to development or IT certification was scoffed at.
You learned from a book but that doesn’t go far enough they would say. They were my seniors so it’s hard not to respect their opinions.
Doesn’t click, does it? Yeah, it didn’t click with me either which sucked because it led to my original stance. In short, certifications suck, don’t waste your time, practical experience is key.
But how do I get experience without showing I know how to do things? A portfolio! Okay, works in graphics and to a point development. Except for the part where you were expected to be a one-person show…
I suspect a large disdain for certification is because it was often seen as a college degree. Coincidentally those who frowned upon certs would do the same about college degrees.
The one part that didn’t click was the fact that certificates didn’t expire. I’ll be honest I had initially considered certificates when I debated IT. You can see on CompTIA’s website they used to have certs that didn’t expire.
Certifications’ Perception Drove Change
Note “used to” which was a huge shift that changed the view of certificates. At least when it comes to knowledge bases that continue to evolve and shift over time.
Another element has been education being easier to get access to, which is great. Don’t get me wrong I love that knowledge is so much easier to get nowadays. However, it has caused a “problem” which is more competition. I used quotes because I believe competition is necessary for progress.
Now that there is more competition how do you stand out? How do you stand out to people who might not know any better beyond they need your service?
The answer varies slightly on the first question depending on your goals. Know how to find your target and what they’re looking for in that sense. Now when it comes to standing out, a cert can go a long way to stand out from a lot of competition. They can also help with how you present yourself to clients.
So Do Certificates Matter Now(2021)?
In Short, yes.
However, it depends on who’s certificate it is in a lot of cases. For example, when it comes to Project Management PMI is one of the most reputable names. So their certificates hold a lot of credibility. When it comes to digital marketing you’ve likely heard of Google and HubSpot. So certificates from them would have good value.
Don’t forget that now a lot of certs expire which adds a lot of value to them. After all, a lot of knowledge changes and evolves as people’s needs change. This is a big reason for the increased value.
You Have Experience so You Don’t Care
What happens when you have the same amount of experience as another person? After all, you’re not the only person who’s ever done what you’ve done right?
Does your company restrict some pay increases behind education requirements?
What happens when you don’t have an insider to help you shift jobs?
That’s just a few examples, there’s a lot of reasons to get relevant certificates. Depending on what you’re looking to learn a lot of certificates are free and only require a bit of your time.
No Hypocrisy Here
I don’t like the concept of “do as I say not as I do” so in that sense here are the certificates I’ve currently gotten:
- Google Ads Display Certification
- Google Analytics for Beginners
- HubSpot SEO Certification
- HubSpot Content Marketing
- HubSpot Digital Marketing
There have been 2 amazing aspects of getting certs for me. First is as I would go through them there was often a lot of “oh I knew that” moments. Even better is having moments where I didn’t know what has changed so I get to learn something new. That leads to my mind going crazy with various ideas of how the new knowledge could expand upon what I already know.
I’m working on several others at varying different paces. PMP is one on my list that’s at a high priority specifically because of continually having moments to the effect of “Oh, that’s what that’s called.” The reassurance definitely feels nice.
Do you think certs are worth it?
I’d love to hear your opinion either way.