Do Online Certifications Really Add Value?

The world is witnessing advancement and evolution, so is the ways of doing things. From agriculture to transportation, and from entertainment to healthcare, each and every industry has gone huge development. The field of education is no different. Earlier it was just about getting educated from a school or university. But now, as things are more complex, the business world demands more from a candidate than just their degree. Here comes the value to ‘Certification’, or we can say professional certifications.

A certification program usually consists of focused training for a specific career, such as a health care technologist or auto mechanic. Alternatively, one can earn a certificate in an area that can bolster their existing careers, such as security management or communications and media studies. Most certificate programs last less than two years. They do not result in a college degree, but depending on an individual’s specific certificate area they may be able to receive a state license for the individual’s profession. Earning certifications takes time and money, so it’s no wonder that people ask what they’ll get in return. But earning a professional certification has benefits beyond simply carrying a card in your wallet or posting a certificate on your wall. Certification helps in demonstrating an individual’s skills and knowledge. Having a certification makes the certification holder more competitive and employable. Certifications can help professionals jump from one domain to another. It also helps in keeping an individual up-do-date with industry trends. Now that’s all about certifications. However, in the current era, the actual buzzword is ‘Online Certification’.

But, how efficient these online certification are? Let’s have a look.
With the rise of online learning, professional certifications have increased in popularity and prevalence. They’re much easier to get these days. People can do everything from the comfort of their home. That’s both a good thing and a bad 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. Simply ‘being certified’ is not necessarily special anymore. Furthermore, any company can put a series of classes together and call them a certification program. Just because that’s what it’s called doesn’t mean the training is especially relevant or unique.

So, if you are one of them who is thinking to invest your time and money in a certification program in today’s world, then keep a checklist active in your mind. A checklist that includes questions such as how good is the source from where you are getting the certification? Do you trust them? Are they well known? Do you know others who have participated in the program and found value in it? Have you purchased other training from the organization in the past and, if so, was it worthwhile?

So, as you’re considering investing in a certification program, take a good hard look at the organization behind it. Do you trust them? Are they well known? Do you know others, your friends, colleagues, or someone who have participated in the program and found value in it? Have you purchased other training from the organization in the past and, if so, was it worthwhile? Proceed only after getting a desirable answer from the above-mentioned queries. Remember that the name of the certification isn’t all that matters, but it does carry some weight. A no-name program that means nothing to employers is less compelling than one that has an established, positive reputation.

Finally, if the marketing materials are heavy on the sales-pitch and low on concrete learning objectives and testimonials from past students, be cautious. Many organizations can talk a good game, but then offer little to back it up.

Nowadays, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are highly popular. MOOC is a course of study made available over the Internet without charge to a very large number of people, is increasing at a rapid rate. Course completion rates on MOOCs have been a massive subject of debate in online learning circles, with the average completion rate currently hovering around 15 percent. This rate increases dramatically, though, where students opt to pay for a verified certificate. In a study from Harvard and MIT, students who took this option were found to have a 59 percent course completion rate compared to only 5 percent when students enrolled in MOOCs without paying for a verified certificate. With this in mind, if you are serious about acquiring a certain set of skills with MOOCs and are unsure you have the necessary drive to complete the full course, then getting a verified certificate is worth it.

This article is not meant to portray that online certifications are not worth your time and money. Yes, they are worthy, but as an individual, you have to stay alert with the requirements that you want to fulfil through the certification. Even this is true that while many jobs require one or more certifications, lots of professionals have forged perfectly fine careers without them. There are a lot of different things to consider before jumping into a professional certification program; do your research and don’t get swayed by lofty promises. Don’t let the complicated world of certificates impede you from pursuing what you want.