Certifications Do Not Give Jobs – Knowledge, Skills, and Talents Do


There’s this wave of misconception that’s going on around town that if you have this or that certification, you are sure of getting a job. And a lot of persons, most especially new graduates and job seekers, have fallen victims to this misconception by spending their precious time, hard-earned money and energy in acquiring certificates that they do not know how or if it will boost their career or job search, and some more will still fall victims.

There is a high rate of unemployment in Nigeria and in some other countries. And a lot of job seekers are desperate to do whatever it takes to get a job. So, it makes it easier for these persons to convince them – the job seekers – that all they need to get a job fast is to get this or that certification. And when these job seekers get those certifications and do not still get a job after some period of time, they begin to label those certifications as bad and valueless.

I’m not against you pursuing or getting a certification because I have even recommended some certifications to some of my students through my career coaching classes. Those certifications were recommended after some series of career counselling or coaching. I saw how those certifications could benefit their careers or job search based on their interests, aspirations, current skills and goals.

What I do not understand is you pursuing a certification all in the name of, “It will get me a job.” Having a certification will not get you a job no matter how popular or recognised the certification is. And do pursue a particular certification because everyone else is doing the same thing. You need to be clear on your WHY before pursuing any certification. You need to ask yourself certain questions to be sure on your WHY:

  • What do I really need this certification for?
  • Do I already have the formal knowledge that pursuing this certification will offer me? If yes, isn’t it not a waste of my money and time!?
  • Will I be interested in applying the knowledge gained from pursuing this certification?
  • How does the knowledge that I will gain from pursuing this certification fit or blend well into my career plan?
  • Does it blend well with my other existing skills?
  • Is this certification similar to my degree or other certifications I have gotten before? If yes, what makes it so special and different from them?
  • Is the price worth it? That is, does it offer value for money? If no, are there other similar certifications that offer better value for money and same knowledge?
  • Who are the people or organisation issuing this certification? Are they well recognised in the industry?
  • Apart from the knowledge gained what other benefits would I get in pursuing this certification?
  • Do I know anyone who has gotten this certification? How valuable was it to the person’s career or job?
  • Is this certification well recognised in my own field, industry or sector?
  • Will this certification make me a better person or do I just need it for bragging sake?

Take your time to answer those questions before committing your money, time and effort in pursuing any certification.

If you are a job seeker, some certifications will definitely boost your job search by helping your resume/CV get past the screening stage, but it will not get you the job. You will need to convince your potential employer that you have the skills or talents needed to do the job and that you can also apply the knowledge gained from those certifications.

Have you been a victim of certification scam and how was the experience like?

P.S. In my FREE 8-Day Email Course on “How to Attract Good Job Offers Without Submitting Your CV to any Company,” I teach students and job seekers how to build a good job search strategy. Click here to enrol!

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