The benefit is either the Professional certification or the skills you learn. For someone pursuing an interest or the self-employed looking to expand, acquiring knowledge is most important. They have a greater choice in what to study, at what pace and the amount of time they can spare.

The key is to choose a course that teaches you the skills that you need. For the professional seeking advancement or a switch in career, the certification often matters more than the actual knowledge acquired. One question a lot is around the topic of professional certifications. People want to know if they’re worth it. So, do professional certifications actually have a measurable career payoff?

The Benefits of Certification

Many people think of professional certifications as a tool for financial gain. If you have those special letters after your name or some fancy credential on your wall, shouldn’t you automatically be in a better position to demand more pay?

Sometimes, yes, but not necessarily.

For example, a recent OfficeTeam survey of the administrative profession found that employers pay up to 8% more on average (in the U.S.) for employees who hold the Master Program Specialist certification. That’s a pretty clear and significant benefit! But it’s important to remember a few things when you hear that.

First, Master Program is a very heavily used software suite and people in the administrative field are deeply reliant on it in many organizations. The Master Program certification is well-known and highly reputable. Possessing it demonstrates expert-level mastery of the skills required to leverage systems. It makes sense that employers are willing to pay a bit more for administrative professionals who have already proven their advanced proficiency in these areas.

Do Your Research

With the rise of online learning, professional certifications have increased in popularity and prevalence. They’re much easier to get these days—in some cases, you can do everything from the comfort of your home computer.

That’s a good thing for learning. Sure, it’s convenient, but it’s also a low barrier to entry. That means more people can do it and thus, holding a certification is less exceptional.

Shift Your Mindset

It’s worthwhile noting that some professions have certifications associated with them that are practically viewed as requirements (rather than bonuses). For example, project managers have the PMP certification and Master Certification haveMPBA certifications. In such cases, certification is often considered standard.

However, if you’re in a field where certification is not necessary, it can still be a useful aid for your career. Remember that it’s about learning new skills and delivering greater value to your organization—it’s not about paying for a special title behind your name. That title, on its own, doesn’t actually mean much. What really matters is how you use those skills.

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