Why should you do Certifications?

Certifications are given by institutes which have done years of research on the subject and have created a curriculum which is a reflection of the industry at that point in time. Good certification programs go beyond just a training. They are intended towards making you a professional who can do his work in a better way. Typical advantages that I see out of a good certification are:

  • Gain practical skills for the job, as it focuses on the knowledge and skills needed to perform real-world job responsibilities.
  • Realize maximum benefit from a wide range of expertise areas.
  • Learn all aspects of a specific type of career pursuit while also providing organization with a standard of assured excellence from these professionals
  • Effectively integrate these career pursuits into one’s specific work setting.

How does certification help the organizations?

I have done hundreds of interviews. Generally, I consider Certification as one of the primary filter while looking through the tons of resumes that we get when there is a need for recruitment. The reason that I give importance to certifications are as follows:

  • Certified individual reduces my training cost. Very clearly, this is one of the important objective. For example if a person comes in front of me with a Agile Scrum Master or DevOps Master certificate, done in the recent few months, I can safely assume that the person at least knows the basics of Agile, Scrum and DevOps.
  • If the person is doing certifications at regular intervals, it clearly shows the interviewer that the person is open to learning. I always consider that learning on the job is good and it should happen. However, one most always be aware that there is world outside your work life. There are always better ways of doing things. Openness to learn is what I look for when I am looking at a resume. For example, Agile was a concept which was unknown 10 years back. But look now. Almost 70-80% of projects are being executed in Agile. So if a person does not have an Agile certification on his resume, I would assume that the person is not willing to understand that there could be a better way of doing things.
  • Certifications generally update every 2-3 years. The reason why they update is that industry changes face every 2-3 years. Example is the PMP certification by PMI and Certified Scrum Master Certification by Scrum Alliance. PMI updated the Project Management Manual from version 5 to version 6 since Agile is the way of life for many industries. Scrum Alliance updated the learning objectives of Certified Scrum Master since the requirements of industry is much more detailed from the candidates.

Well Known Certifications in the Industry

While doing certifications is very important, one must be beware of the fraud certification agencies in the industry. The Agile, Project Management, Scrum, DevOps area that I work in, has a few good institutes and organizations. Some of the good certification bodies that I have evaluated are

  • Exin (www.exin.com)
  • Scrum Alliance (www.scrumalliance.org)
  • www.scrum.org
  • Project Management Institute (www.pmi.org)
  • Peoplecert

Value depends on how you are able to use the knowledge that you have gained from the certifications. Many of the times, my question to the candidates when they come for interviews is “What did you learn from the certification?”. Let me tell you, it takes about 2-3 minutes to find out if the person did certification for a logo, or did he do it for learning. So most important thing is learning and not just a logo on your resume. Focus on learning, rather than just getting a certificate. What gives you an opportunity is your knowledge and not just a certificate logo on your resume.