Certifications provide validity.

In a world of buyer beware, where everyone claims to be an expert, the certification says “I put in the time”.

What if all you have is a certification?

Competing with those who have experience, but no certification. Does this mean your certification makes you more equipped?

Thinking you need a certification is a problem. The problem could cause you not to apply for a role when you want to change career paths. Cause you not to launch a business. Say things like, “I am not certified to talk about this” or “I don’t have the credentials”.

As we continue to have more readily available information, it is becoming easier than ever to certify yourself in a subject.

How do you do this?

If you want to learn a new skill, there are endless resources to do so. Some paid and some free. Resources such as lynda.com, Udemy, or Codecademy. These provide tools to learn new skills.

With these new skills, you can get a customer. Delight the customer, and use them as a referral. This is the new certification.

A piece of paper stating you have completed something is nice. A customer who can explain how you provided them value is better.

At times, even though you have the certification, you still need this customer to prove you can provide value. Quite a predicament. Maybe while achieving the certificate, you find the customer.

The certification does not need to be a traditional school or university to prove you have the experience to provide value. It could be as simple as one person you have helped being a referral.

I think the formal degree, in business, is holding less and less weight. What is desired is the ability to find unique solutions to customer problems. Being able to learn new skills as the market rapidly shifts. Providing value to customers and stakeholders.

These are things a certificate cannot accomplish, but are what is needed. Especially in the sales and marketing departments.

Sorry, your MBA doesn’t give you automatic credibility, so please remove it from your signature.

Good luck and good selling!

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