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With so much competition everywhere, getting a job and then progressing in it, is not so easy. You have to work really hard for it. 

One thing that is common for all types of jobs, in any industry, is a certain level of education and qualification. 

However, deciding on which education is best for you is another challenge. 

There is a wide range of institutions and schools offering different types of diplomas, certifications, and degrees for varying skills and industrial sectors.

Selecting the best one for your career growth and job development is quite confusing. 

One question which is quite common is “are professional certifications worth it?”

Requiring investments in terms of money, people are interested to know whether these professional certifications are worth investing in. 

Hundreds if not thousands are definitely at stake. In addition, you also invest valuable time and effort to achieve these certifications. 

So, do they really pay off in the long run? 

Let’s find out.

What is a Professional Certification?

It is a specialized credential that is presented to an individual after successful completion of a study course and its relevant examination. 

It acts a proof to the world that you have specific knowledge and measurable comprehension of a given skill or profession. 

Like a degree, these certifications are equally vital for your career development. They are practical training that sometimes acts as short and simpler substitutes to larger degrees. 

Is a Certification Better than a Degree?

The answer to this question depends on the circumstances and the situation. 

In many cases, certifications are far more beneficial than opting for long-term educational degrees. 

Reasons that make them better include:

  • Shorter Duration (Plus-minus 6 months)
  • Matching Current Standard and Latest Advancements
  • Quality of Training in Certification Courses is More Consistent 
  • They are More Widely Accepted and Recognized
  • Precise and As Per your Specific Profession
  • No Filler Courses like in Degrees
  • Certifications are Skill Oriented
  • Employers Prefer a Skilled Employee over a Degree Holder
  • Certifications can be Pursued Without leaving Your Job
  • Saves Time and Money. 

Now the question is, do they really pay off?

Yes, they do, because they are less costly. The investment you make to get a professional certification is much lesser as compared with degrees. 

Gaining a practical skill through this certification improves your return on investment through pay rises, better job opportunities, and more chances of growth in your profession.  

Whatever you spend, you are likely to recover in a few months or a year or two. 

On the other side, the recovery from a degree can take 5 – 7 years. 

Benefits of a Professional Certification

The benefits will highlight how the professional certifications are worth it. 

  • Better Chances for New Job Opportunities

Many candidates apply for the same job which has a set of underlying qualification prerequisites. You can stand out by displaying your professional certifications in your area of expertise. 

This is an additional skill that adds more value to your educational degree and experience level. 

  • Higher Salaries

Professional certification is evidence of your enhanced knowledge, skills, and capabilities. 

Employers hold individuals with additional certifications at a much higher level than simple degree holders. As a result, they are willing to pay you higher salaries. 

  • Better Job Evaluation and Advancement

In many sectors and organizations, your salary increase is linked with the certifications you acquire during a given tenure. 

It reflects highly on your professional development. Employers also prefer such employees because they need lesser on-job training. 

  • Career Growth Opportunities

Many organizations encourage their existing employees to acquire professional certifications. They want their workforce to develop better skills and improve their understanding of a specific field of work.

They offer employees opportunities to learn and promote participation in professional certifications of different levels and skills. 

  • Reimbursement of Certification Fees

If you go for a professional certificate course during your existing job, most organizations consider it as a development process for their workforce.

Because the organization itself promotes this process of professional education, they are willing to pay for the fees. 

Once your certificate course is complete they are likely to reimburse what you spent as a tuition fee. 

How to Select the Best Certification

Now you must be thinking about which certifications are best for you and your career. Here are some pointers to keep in mind.

  • Evaluate your existing career path and look out for certifications that match your development requirements. 
  • Select Accredited Certifications in your own career line. Avoid certifications just for the sake of adding a credential to your CV. Do something worth spending the time, money, and effort for. 
  • Not all certificates are equally valuable. Ensure to choose the right option for your career growth. Always assess is a certificate worth getting or not. 
  • Estimate your budget and make a choice that has a higher return
  • Select a course that is suitable according to your schedule and time constraints
  • Align your certification choices with your future career goals. 

Final thoughts

This was a brief roundup of an understanding of whether professional certifications are worth it and can they be better for your career and future goals. 
With all its benefits and competitive advantages, one should keep in mind that the payoff is not always immediate. You can evaluate is a certificate worth it or not but you cannot guarantee success. 

As an individual, the concept of lifelong learning should not be ignored. 

The key is to identify courses and certifications that are high-value-adding and do not clash with your existing career pattern. 

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