Professional certification or qualification is a distinction a worker can earn that credentials them with a high level of skill or expertise in some area. Certifications can serve as an indicator of professionalism and aptitude. Certifications are often regulated by a professional organization. Obtaining a certification can have many benefits for workers and employers.
Working professionals use credentials to prove their value employers and clients. Like a college degree, professional certifications may also be required for some jobs. For instance, accountants can take an exam to become a certified public accountant (CPA) which may open up new job opportunities. A professional certification is something that can be listed on a resume which may distinguish you from other candidates for new positions. A company may be more likely to hire someone with a professional certification over someone who doesn't have one. The requirements for earning a professional certification vary, but it often involves passing a certification exam containing questions relevant to the area of skill to be certified. Becoming certified may increase your credibility and influence as an expert in a certain professional field.
Professional certification helps hone skills and build knowledge. Since certification may require passing an exam, it will force you to study, build and reinforce your skills. Organizations granting certification may require that certified professionals attend continuing education courses which can help improve skills and make sure workers are aware of current issues and trends in their industry. According to the Association of Energy Engineers, "Certification promotes quality through continuing education to assure a high level of competence in constantly changing fields."
Professional certification has the potential to lead to increased earning potential. For instance, earning a CPA may allow you to apply for a position with higher pay with greater chance for advancement.
Barrier to Entry
Professional certifications can act as a gatekeeper, reducing competition in the field and preventing underqualified individuals from getting a job. For instance, if a certain position requires a CPA, you will only have to compete with other CPAs for the position.
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