There has been a surge in the number of companies (Online & Offline) offering specialized programs and certifications in Banking and Finance, Digital Marketing, Big Data, Analytics & Enterprise software.
This is thanks to the rising realization, that you need to differentiate your CV, develop functional job skills to accelerate career growth or even switch your career path.
So, how do you select the correct certification? You don’t want to end up with the wrong choice – losing precious money, time & landing up with no value.
Before you set out on the hunt for the right fit for you, make sure to answer these questions:
1. What’s your purpose of getting a certification? Which one or more of these, apply to you?
- I wish to add a CV differentiator.
- I’m just joining a new role and want to start off well
- I’m starting an MBA, and want a good foundation in my area of interest (e.g. Finance)
2. Basis the above, what topics and concepts do you wish to learn?
Having a clear purpose, will help you narrow down your choice.
Once you have these questions answered – all you need are the parameters below, to choose the right one.
1. Credibility of the certification:
Some good indicators of the credibility of a certification course, are:
- The number of years the certifications have been in existence
- The alumni – people who have taken up the certifications previously
- Reviews on Google and Quora
(You can check FLIP Alumni here)
2. Program Coverage:
Go through the course outline of the program and make sure, your criteria are met.
3. Industry Recognitions/endorsements:
Often overlooked, a co-branding or endorsement by leading companies, in that area, on your certificate adds tremendous credibility. Make sure you check all the recognitions and endorsements of a company, before signing up.
4. Course Authors:
Are the courses written by faculty – who were faculty all their life? (or) the courses are written by senior industry practitioners? Remember, your interviewers are practitioners. Your faculty are usually not. This is a key factor. It ensures the courses build the functional skills, you need.
Is it going to take 6 months, one year? Do I have that kind of time? Will a focused, short term course be better?
6. Your pace and place, or a center?
A call you need to take, basis the time you can dedicate. And if you wish to learn at your own pace, or are comfortable with a ‘ one size fits all’ pace.
Always take a demo of the course you are looking to purchase, thereby reducing the chances for an error in judgement.
7. Examination methodology:
A lot of credibility of any certification lies in the way the certification exam is conducted. That’s where free online courses like Coursera, lose out. A participation or completion certification is of no use on your CV! Always look for a quality certification, that’s a result of a monitored third-party examination – written at dedicated testing centers. (Surprising how monitored examinations always have a lower pass percentage?)
8. Cost to Benefit Ratio (ROI):
Last but not least, the cost to benefit ratio for a certification program is a crucial factor to make the decision. Free isn’t great, but a high cost isn’t either. Look for a certification, that offers good value.
Have you considered any other parameters before enrolling to a certification?
Let us know in the comments below! We would love to hear from you. ?