What benefit does professional and skill certificates offer? According to a 2012 Census Bureau it provides a level of growth and development. The certificate helps employers see that the job candidate has updated their skills and has kept pace with changes in the market. The certificate is another form of education even though no formal college degrees are earned. It provides an alternative track of learning new skills.
The report also indicates that those with less than a high school education, a high school education, or an associate’s degree or less benefit the most. Over 80% of respondents indicate their employer rewards their efforts even though the amount of this reward ranges from $300 to $700 per year depending on the certificate. Those at the highest end of the education spectrum such as master and doctorate graduates have less use for the certificates.
An employer may look at these certificates as an indication of motivation and skill development. If these certificates are relevant to them and contribute to specific positions they are likely to be seen as a positive attribute. A current employee who has updated their skills and can be more effective at their job is certainly better than one who doesn’t bother.
This brings up an issue of trainability. Employees who are seeking to update their skills and knowledge are likely to also be more trainable than other employees. This means they can be groomed for higher responsibility and higher compensated positions. They are more open minded, willing to change, and able to keep updated on industry changes.
The type of certificate earned is also important. A secretary that learns complex operations in Microsoft Office is certainly worth more than one who can only type a letter. The secretary is capable of moving into more complex database and tracking type work that helps the company. The same concept can be applied to skilled trades where a new welding cut or other skill can come in handy.
Updating skills is important for both the employee and the company and should be justly rewarded. This reward is dependent on the type of certificate earned and its overall benefit to the organization. When employers and employees partner to determine what skills can be learned and how that benefits both parties there is likely to be greater congruence of perspective and effort.