Professional certification is renowned and even expected in traditional industries such as accounting, IT, teaching and management. In these sectors, a certification is known to help establish and enhance the career of a professional along with increasing their prospects and opening them up to a wealth of new opportunities.
As a huge driver of the economy - representing 22.5% of the world economy at last count - digital technologies have a huge impact on commerce and society. As a result, organizations - big and small - are investing in the technology that drives it and the talent that can harness it.
While the digital skills deficit may be well-known, for many businesses the path to digital enlightenment is not an easy one. Many organizations fail to see a skills gap when it begins to occur. Or when they do, they are unsure of the steps needed to introduce a scalable and effective digital skills development program.
For those in business, certification is becoming more and more important as a way to gauge digital knowledge and skills in order to make the right hires. For future and current employees, it's a way to keep up with technologies and trends in order to stay relevant and digitally aware. Below, we explore the benefits of certification and examine the importance of professional qualifications for organizational success and employee retention.
Certification for Organizations
As much as 80% of employee turnover is due to bad hiring decisions - Harvard Business Review
As global organizations continue to hunt for digital professionals with particular skillsets, certification provides a clear cut way to ensure employees - current and future – have the knowledge and talent needed to help progress their digital transformation.
Given digital’s incredible rate of progression and the current expansion of workforces, there has never been a better time to gain professional accreditation. Here are the ways professional certification can help an organization ensure long-term success:
Improved staff efficiencies: Certified staff are more conducive and perform better. A recent survey that explored the value of IT certification found that those with a certification were 90% more productive and 60% more efficient compared to those without.
Improved availability and risk mitigation: Employees with the right skills can identify problems and provide solutions with ease.
Superior business agility: Upskilling staff with professional certifications makes an organization more agile and serves to improve performance. With digital transformation now a priority for many companies rather than an add-on, staff that respond quickly, keep on top of trends and embrace shifts in technologies are key.
Improved productivity and reduced cost: Employees with certifications tend to stay with organizations longer, reducing hiring costs and minimizing disruption to the business. With 41% of companies stating a bad hire can cost at least $25,000 while a quarter claim that figure is more like $50,000, a qualification can go a long way to mitigating those type of losses.
Certification for Employees - Current & Future
When individuals pursue professional certification, they are validating skills and abilities that more often than not have been developed over time, through professional development and on-the-job experience. Training is optional and for the uninitiated, this alone will not be enough to achieve a professional-level certification.
However, professional certification doesn’t just benefit those running a business or an organization - accreditation also offers priceless benefits to an employee:
Assurance of quality: An external certification means that an individual is accredited by a certification body that is recognized and validated; therefore helping to improve career progression and salary expectations. In fact, 90% of employers surveyed by CompTIA agree that certified individuals are more likely to be promoted than those without, while 89% feel they perform better than non-certified staff in similar roles.
Employer recognition: An external certification will enable an employer to recognize and understand that a potential employee's skills adhere to a certain professional standard. This ensures that staff are being hired for the ‘right’ job that utilizes their skills, but also ensures a level of enjoyment for the individual in that role.
Transferable qualifications: Having a certification that is recognized from industry to industry, as well as from country to country gives a worker a chance to move roles to progress their career.
Proof of abilities: A qualification clearly demonstrates a high level of skill and gives an employee instant faith in your abilities. It also differentiates one employee from another in a competitive environment.
Validation of a continuous learning ethic: Certification demonstrates a staff members proactivity and motivation to learn and gain new knowledge that will not only benefit them personally, but also reaps rewards for an organization.
Improved & increased knowledge: A certification not only provides a qualification, but also ensures an improved level of knowledge in a specialist area - which in today's fast-paced digital world is priceless.
Earning a Certification
In the future, 70% of Americans believe it will be more important to have a degree or professional certificate to get a good job. For those working in and with digital, change is constant as technologies continue to evolve, platforms emerge and big data just gets bigger and more unwieldy.
Professionals with roles in large and growing organizations are drawn to certifications as they provide new skills and offer key insights. These new skills can be invaluable in industries that demand some level of continuous learning and are prone to constant change.
Individuals looking to change the path of their careers can benefit from earning a recognized certification as shifting from one discipline or industry to another can be difficult, especially when it comes to proving skillsets. Accreditation is the best way to validate your skillset and legitimize your abilities in the eyes of a potential, or current employer.
Most sectors have an industry-specific award or professional qualification. These kinds of certifications are a way of showcasing one's knowledge and competency in their field; it's also a way of ensuring staff can adhere to industry standards.
Accountancy, construction, teaching, engineering and hospitality are all sectors where people can gain professional certification - and by doing so, people have been able to advance their career prospects while helping their industry develop and grow. And digital marketing is no different.
In conclusion, professional certification is not about gaining a certificate after the completion of a training course; it can more accurately be described as a form of standardization, as it federates recognition for practical and specialist knowledge.
As industry qualifications become a genuine alternative to degrees, companies realize that they need people who truly understand the industry. The world of digital marketing is constantly moving, and it doesn't wait for latecomers. Essentially, for businesses and their staff the best way to close the skills gap, reduce staff turnover, improve efficiency and ensure skills and know-how remain relevant is through continuous learning and professional certification.
Are you an educator looking to provide digital certification?
With over 17,000 graduates worldwide, the Digital Marketing Institute has trained more professionals to a single digital education standard than any other certification body. Through external validation from the best in industry, our certification sets the digital standard. Download our brochure to find out what impact our digital education can have on your institution and students.