Earning a certification within a field of interest can be a valuable way to leverage your experience, knowledge, talent and skills. It can provide access to additional income while keeping you active in the work world. Certifications can be applied to a variety of industries and environments including private, nonprofit, or government agencies, and allow for part-time or full-time employment, giving you a high degree of flexibility and control over your time. A certification also lets you be self-employed or work for a company. You can earn certification in an entirely new area of expertise or within one you are already familiar with. Most of all, certifications give you the credential to quickly enter a field and begin generating income. Whether you’re just exploring this option or have already decided to pursue a certification, the information on these pages will provide you with clarity and direction.
10 yes/no questions to help you determine if this is a good direction for you
Am I willing to invest the time and energy required to obtain a certification?
Do I enjoy studying and learning an existing body of knowledge that is specific to an industry or skill?
Am I clear in my mind about how I would leverage the certification?
Am I prepared to pay to keep my certification active?
Am I prepared to pay for membership in a professional organization if necessary?
Am I prepared to accept that my initial certification may only be a starting point and the certification path may require further coursework and investment?
Do I need a certification to be more marketable in the field I’m interested in?
Am I willing to attend in-classroom or take courses online, whichever is required?
Am I willing to go through whatever testing is necessary to earn the certification?
Do I have the support of family members or others who will be directly impacted by the time commitment involved in gaining a certification?
* Some may also require licensure.
Here are questions and answers that address common issues and concerns for those interested in getting a certification.
Assess this option against the following eight criteria: