Articles + Research

Does Certification Always Equal Excellence?

In today’s workplace, the need to keep skills sharp is crucial to maintaining your professional edge. With the rapid, ever-evolving pace of technology influencing changes in business processes and operational trends, professionals responsible for development and delivery have quickly embraced the need to become certified in their respective fields. But does certification always equal delivering excellence?

Certification Marketplace

Over the last ten years, the number of certifications has exploded. There are certifications ranging from security and project management to Agile and networking — all with multiple levels in each area. The certification marketplace has also increased exponentially, with several major organizations in the field. Certifications usually require people to show a certain amount of experience in their field, take some level of standardized testing, and attend a set of classes. The marketplace has also spawned additional areas that may supplement certification, such as coaching, mentoring, and facilitation. While certification is indeed valuable, specializing in one area should be balanced with taking an overall view of organizational needs.

Pros and Cons of Certification

An individual and a company can realize specific benefits from certifications. For starters, the individual often receives a morale boost once obtaining the certification. The employee can see a tangible improvement in his or her career, and that usually translates to a more productive worker. The employee can then show employers and potential employers that he or she has been successful in achieving a certain level in a given field. On the flip side, the company receives a more knowledgeable and productive employee. However, the company sometimes suffers a level of turnover when an employee receives a certification and then leaves for greener pastures.

Training companies and certification bodies have yet to address a number of challenges, such as quality of training that can differ greatly from supplier to supplier. This difference in training approaches and techniques by vendors results in certified professionals that present clients with inconsistent directions, abilities, and learnings. The critical ability to apply real-world experience to enhance the certification value for the business can be lacking.

Does Certification Equal Excellence?

If we are trying to determine whether certification always equals excellence, the short answer is no. However, there is one defining issue that companies and individuals must realize