Credentials: Tomorrow’s Career Leverage, Earned Today

credentials-tomorrow-career-leverage.jpg 28 September 2016

It was not so long ago that the biggest aspiration for one’s career was to get a master’s degree from a university and enter the workforce. Any further training was provided in-house by the employer and was restricted to the company’s latest projects or practices only. There was hardly any major upskilling or knowledge upgradation outside of the company’s policies.

Well, the good old days aren’t around anymore. The era of professional certifications has quite literally changed the way we look at qualifications. According to a study conducted by CredForce, not only do professionals with specialized credentials have a significant competitive edge when applying for new jobs today, they also tend to earn significantly higher compensation – between 18% and 28% higher, in fact, going by the statistics.

What is perhaps more prominent than the impact that professional credentials have had on an individual’s career life-cycle is the impact that professionals with the right certifications have had in their respective industry domains.

Further research by CredForce into the biggest advantages that adequately credentialed professionals bring to organizations have pointed to the following:

  •    -  Significant advancements in organizational practices
  •    -  Standardized communication for Business Functions
  •    -  Process Orientation, both intra departmental and intra-organizational
  •    -  The implementation of uniform best practices at par with industry leaders

These are just some of the numerous benefits that candidates with specialized professional credentials bring to the table. In fact the massive favor that certifications have gained among organizations across the world are best exemplified in the following disciplines, each of which have pretty much become industry standards:

Project Management – Project Management Institute’s Project Management Professional certification was one of the first to be widely accepted as the de facto standard for professionals in the Project Management discipline. Today, PMP certified project managers are among the most highly paid professionals in project management, earning an average of at least 16% more than their non-certified counterparts. In fact, certified PMPs earn an average salary of $116, 094.

Finance – Finance is the domain that probably has more certifications than most people would think. Almost every specialization in a finance discipline requires the individual to be certified. Chartered Public Accountant, Chartered Financial Analyst, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, and a lot more. Not to mention, given the sensitive nature of the industry. The CPA is the most rewarding professional credential in finance, as of 2016 with a median salary range of $ 61,000 per annum, excluding performance based incentives.

IT – Certifications abound in IT. From ERPs and database maintenance to network security. Most major technology product companies have their own set of certification based on their own products. However, professionals with vendor neutral credentials are the ones with the major advantage here, especially with emerging disciplines like data science and artificial intelligence.

One of the most important things to note, as experts point out, is the importance of research by the aspirants for professional credentials. As with any career related investment, one must carefully consider all factors including average earning potential post credentialing, digital badging and other factors.

CredForce, in it’s extensive research into the different surveys and studies conducted by several certification and industry associations and bodies, found out that an astonishing 63% professionals believed professional credentials provided significant return on the investments that the incumbents put in.