To be continued ...
Becoming Certified –What are the Benefits?
By BC Management’s Cheyene Haase
The question I hear more and more from candidates is, “Will becoming certified benefit my career?” The short answer is absolutely and enthusiastically, “Yes!” In this tight job market continuity professionals must take advantage of every opportunity to elevate their marketability. Achieving a certification has become one of the leading credentials that employers base hiring decisions on. Research has also indicated that companies are willing to pay increased compensations for the most qualified candidate. However, obtaining a certification should not just be about getting the attention of an employer and increased compensations. Professionals often overlook the long-term benefits a certification may offer. To get the most out of your certification in the long run, it is important to assess your career goals and to determine how a particular certification aligns with your career aspirations.
Companies are increasingly selective in their hiring decisions. Employers want to hire the best of the best and a majority will either require that a candidate be certified or will place a strong preference on certified candidates. With a larger pool of qualified candidates, companies can afford to take their time in selecting the most talented individual and in many cases they do not have to settle for a candidate that does not meet every requirement on their wish list. So why is certification so important to hiring managers? With such a large pool of qualified candidates, hiring managers are seeking assistance in identifying the most experienced and knowledgeable professional who will elevate their program. With this in mind, they tend to place a great deal of confidence in the certifying body’s due diligence in not only testing the professional’s expertise and understanding of best practices, but also verifying their hands-on work experience. Employers also understand that many certifying bodies require continued education guidelines to keep a certification in good standing, thus the employer feels that they have hired a leader.
If companies are seeking the most qualified candidate then they should be willing to pay higher compensations to attract the top talent, correct? As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for… The research conducted by BC Management has been tracking several consistent trends relating to certification and earning potential. One trend is that on average certified professionals will out- earn their non-certified counterparts. A second trend is increased earning potential based on the number of certifications.
Figure 1 highlights both of these trends. Not only do certified professionals on average out-earn their non-certified counterparts, the data also indicates an on-average increase in earning potential by number of certifications. The data in figure 1 reflects the study responses exclusively from the USA, as this was our largest sampling from one country, which includes 967 full-time employed professionals.
Our research also points to direct compensation increases that can be attributed to obtaining a certification. In fact, from 2005 through 2009 there has been an incredible surge of professionals attributing a direct compensation increase to becoming certified.