Certification – Which certifications to pick – Career Path
We are exploring key considerations for when you are choosing a certification. Today’s consideration is your Career Path.
After all my talk on passion, here is where the practical side has to come forward. It’s well and good to be passionate about something, but if it doesn’t relate to your job, you might not be able to get the full value out of the certification. You also have to consider what the certifications would convey to someone who looks at them. We live in a world where, to be successful, a person has to be good at both doing their job and talking about their job. One of the ways that a person talks about their job is with their job history, also known as a status report, yearly review, or resume.
It is important that your job history tells a story about you, and that that story is the same as the one that you are telling about yourself. For example, if you have been working in IT for over a decade, you might want to say that you have deep experience and can really do your job well, but all you have is a collection of low level certifications, your resume will say that you have no drive and always try to take the easy way out. Similarly, if your job history is focused on one technology, but you are certified in another, you are saying that you can do one thing well, but you really want to be doing something else. This is probably not what you want to say.
It is best to figure out where your career is headed, and pick a few certifications on that path. Be able to explain to anyone who asks why you have that exact certification and what distinguishes it from others in your field. You WILL be asked, and if you do not have a good answer, it weakens both you and the certification in general.
So, take a quick look at the certification you are considering and ask yourself why you want it. If your answer is one of the following, stop and pick a better one:
- It’s easy to get
- Everyone has one
- It’ll get me a good raise