Gone are the days when career progression was linear and predictable. Gone are the days when a college education was enough to make you wise and employable. Gone are the days when career development is decided by the bosses.
This is an interesting time and change is the only constant. The workplaces are transforming at a rapid pace and the demand for new-age skills is rising steadily.
In these tumultuous times, young technology-savvy graduates can harness the opportunity of upgrading their skills through certification courses.
During the process of recruitment, potential employers seeking new hires have their own different selection criteria based on qualities they consider desirable but there is one common overarching question that everyone contemplates: what value can this individual bring to my organisation?
A strong potential candidate assures employers of this answer as affirmative. While it can be difficult to set yourself apart from your peers, showcasing the completion of relevant certification courses is a powerful starting point.
Certifications and extra qualifications indicate a passion for the industry or position you are interested in as well serve as evidence of specific expertise and skills. They fortify your degree and even positively impact your income. The certifications listed in your resume demonstrate to potential employers your commitment to improving and enhancing your skill set and enhance the perceived value you bring to the organisation.
Here are the top six reasons why you should make certification courses an indispensable part of your resume:
1) Disruptive Technologies
The key driver of transformed workplaces and skills needed is technology. They are leaping ahead exponentially. This creates a huge gap in learnings of the students and graduates since the teaching and latest syllabus based upon the industry demands is procedural in nature and sometimes academic regulation slows down their insertion into the curriculum. Certification in an area of emerging technology adds an extra edge. For example Blockchain Analyst and such courses.
2) Global experts on your fingertips
Most of us rely on our local community and experts to impart us knowledge. Certification courses, especially online courses open an entirely new pathway of opportunities. A student can have his/her pick of some of the top-notch universities and can enroll in courses from sites like NPTEL, Coursera, Udemy, Edx and so on.
3) Learning to learn
Alvin Toffler said, “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn. ”. Organisations value candidates who are eager to learn and relearn. Certification courses indicate your hunger and willingness to learn, and your attribute of the lifelong learner. All this presents an impressive candidature.
4) It makes for a better interview
Interviews are a time for you to demonstrate the value you can add to a company, and for employers to gauge what is unique about you and sets you apart from the other applicants. If your resume has relevant certifications, you will make a greater impression on your interviewer and make you stand out. It will also invite conversation, so it is vital to be ready to answer questions. Some questions you could be asked are:
- Why did you enrol in these courses and further your education?
- What did you learn from the courses?
- What has it enabled you to do now that you couldn’t do before?
5) It displays a suitable set of skills
Applicants sometimes struggle to communicate what they can actually do for a company. If you confidently convey to an interviewer the skillset you possess and have developed through the certificate courses, it can guide them in the right direction.
6) It showcases character
Pursuing professional education not only helps one develop important skill sets, but also demonstrates good character.
Completing reputed certifications in itself is impressive. It demonstrates personal drive, discipline, intellectual maturity, curiosity, and a strong willingness to learn: all of which are important to employers. It’s difficult for interviewers to always determine these qualities, but it’s what they’re trying to do. They want to see that you’re willing to go the extra mile, because that indicates passion and resilience, and both signifies value. Being a lifelong learner who is always keeping their skills fresh bolsters your strength as a candidate.
Two candidates with the same education from the same institute, who have had exposure to similar opportunities, are likely to have very different resumes and career graphs purely because of the certifications that are added or missing from their resume.
Doing anything to upgrade and upskill your knowledge in today’s information-intensive and fast-paced, competitive world, is beneficial. Some advantages of completing certifications are:
- They are evidence of skills acquired and knowledge gained
- They upgrade your knowledge bank with latest technologies and recent theories
- They give you an added advantage over your peers and other job candidates
- They give you greater negotiation power for a better salary
The best engineering colleges often provide students with the opportunity to pursue short term certification courses during their degree, in diverse specialisations so that students can learn the subject of their interest in depth. Some of these specialisation choices include infrastructure engineering and management, AI and machine learning, cyber security, embedded programming, and CAD, CME, and CAE.
The value certifications bring to your resume and employability is undeniable. But it is important to remember to include the right kind of certifications in your resume. This means you must only include certifications that are applicable to the job role you are applying for. Only mention a particular course if what you are thorough with what you have learnt from the course and are confident in putting that learning to practice. Thoughtfully add any certifications you’ve earned on your resume to benefit from the value it brings to your resume. Revolutionise the way you learn and work and create more opportunities for yourself.
Authored by Dr. Ketan Kotecha, director & dean, Symbiosis Institute of Technology.