#1 Demonstrates Proficiency
An industry certification verifies an individual possesses the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in the workforce. The standards assessed in a certification exam are established by industry leaders and are based on industry needs. Employers can be assured the individual has mastered the industry standards tested in the certification exam and are highly-qualified and well-trained employees.
#2 Leads to More Employment Opportunities
An industry certification can open doors when it comes to employment opportunities. Studies show individuals who earn industry certifications are more likely to be employed one year after earning a certification. Because those who earn industry certifications have a verified set of knowledge and skills, employers are more willing to hire them compared to someone without an industry certification. Comparatively, earning a certification can be a valuable asset to individuals who are looking to advance their career through promotions
#3 Increases Earning Potential
Because industry certification earners are more proficient and effective in their positions, they are more likely to earn higher salaries and pay increases than those without industry certifications.
#4 Offers Professional Development Opportunities
Some businesses and industries encourage employees to expand their knowledge and skills by offering professional development opportunities or requiring continuing education credits. Earning an industry certification is a way for a student or employee to strengthen their resume while becoming a more valuable asset to their company.
#5 Provides Job Security
While not all careers require a 4-year college degree, more than half of all jobs descriptions in the U.S. call for some form of post-secondary education. 53 percent of jobs are considered middle-skills positions. These positions require education beyond a high school diploma but less than a college degree. However, only 43 percent of individuals possess the necessary requirements to fill middle-skills positions. One way to meet the necessary educational and training requirements of a middle-skill position is by earning an industry certification. Researchers estimate by 2024 48 percent of all job openings will be middle-skill positions
#6 Offers Professional Credibility
Not only does an industry certification boost an individual's credibility with employers, it can also be a signal to coworkers and other professionals in the industry the certification earner is highly-qualified and possesses the necessary knowledge and skills needed to be an asset to the company. Individuals who possess professional credibility are more likely to be effective in their positions, find more enjoyment in their work and experience camaraderie with their coworkers and supervisors.
#7 Shows Commitment to Industry
An individual who earns an industry certification demonstrates his or her passion commitment to the industry. Earning an industry certification requires a significant investment of time and effort and indicates the individual is willing to put forth the necessary requirements to achieve success.
#8 Keeps up with Industry Changes
Earning an industry certification guarantees the individual is up-to-date with current industry standards and practices, especially if the individual has been in the field in for a significant portion of their career. Remaining current is particularly important in industries where the technologies and methods change quickly.
#9 Increases Employee Value
Regardless of an individual's career stage, listing an industry certification on a resume is a signal to potential employers the applicant has the necessary knowledge and skills needed to be an effective employee. On average, employers spend $1,252 and invest 33.5 hours to training a new employee. However, this investment does not ensure an employee will be fully productive after the 33.5 hours, and it take an average of eight months for an employee to be fully, independently productive. Individuals who have earned an industry certification require less on-the-job training and become fully productive at a faster rate. When an employer hires an industry certification earner, they save their company valuable time and resources by employing an individual who already possesses the necessary qualifications and training.
#10 Expands Professional Network
When an individual earns a certification from a recognized industry leader, he or she is automatically connected to the certifying organization. Not only does this allow the individual to associate themselves with the certifying organization, they also join the ranks of others who have earned the industry certification. This expands their professional network, connecting them to thousands of individuals who share their knowledge, skills and passion for the industry.
NOTE: Industry certifications have much more validity and value when they are created and accepted by potential employers as "industry-standard". For example, if you conduct an Internet search on Indeed or other job search web sites with the certification name (ie. CompTIA Security+, Cisco CCNA, or ASE), you will find employers specifically asking for them.
Other certifications or certificates, many times proprietary in nature ("for us by us"), have been created by testing companies or curriculum companies as a way to sell tests or books. These do not provide much benefit to the student in terms of their marketability to an employer.