To some, professional certifications are written off as not being worth the paper they’re printed on. However, with so many possibilities, there is much to gain from earning a relevant qualification in your industry.

Stand out from the crowd

A recognised certification in your chosen field can help you stand out from the crowd if you’re looking for a new opportunity. On average, a job seeker must apply for 27 different roles before they land an interview. Even then, though, applicants may not be successful.

This can be a stressful situation to be in, and with only 2% of applicants being interviewed for each role, the job hunt can be a long process.

With so many applicants vying for each position, hiring managers and HR departments face the tough task of whittling down the applications into a shortlist and having additional certifications can help a candidate achieve their end goal in many ways.

Now more than ever, job advertisements may expect a potential candidate to hold a university degree – but this isn’t always enough. Experience is also a key requirement, meaning that the average graduate will not have the necessary requirements to succeed in their application.

Employers are known to ‘fill’ a job advertisement with a list of must-have key skills, and this is used to try to filter out those who they believe wouldn’t be a good fit for their company. However, a candidate shouldn’t be put off if they don’t tick every single box.

By gaining certifications, potential employees can stand out from the crowd, and showcase superior knowledge that would help them succeed in the role.

Stay up to date

Technology is constantly evolving, and with it, many roles as we know them. Certain industries are at risk of being left behind because of developments, and many qualifications will have a ‘sell-by’ date because of this.

However, with such progression, comes new opportunities. By gaining certifications it’s easier to integrate and adapt to your role. Large companies are migrating to the cloud in their droves, but only 21% professionals currently hold a foundation certification in NetSuite.

Following Oracle’s purchase of NetSuite, the company is expected to dominate the cloud industry, meaning the workload is likely to increase. By staying ahead of your peers and gaining such certifications your skills will see you in high demand.

So, with the goalposts keep moving in the professional world, it’s important to stay up to date with what is going on in your industry to make sure you are a vital cog in your business’s machinery.

Earn more

Gaining extra qualifications can make a huge difference to your potential earnings. Accountants could boost their annual income by 10% if they held the relevant certifications to become a certified internal auditor, management accountant, or public accountant.

IT professionals must also regularly gain certificates through official sources, and can also expect their wage to rise. However, if they’re looking to expand their portfolio to earn more, it’s important they choose the right courses.

In a recent survey, three out of four people working in IT felt a certification was worthwhile as they pursued their career. Forty percent also claimed that they had received a wage increase of at least 10 percent, with those in the most senior positions also gaining extra benefits from being certified.

PayScale.com also found that a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification could increase a typical salary by nine percent, with the median pay of those who hold the certificate being $89,000.

Increased credibility

There are many ways to gain extra credibility, with certification programs helping those with little experience fast-track their way into a new role. Certificates can help in an array of industries and help to show an employer how dedicated you are to the profession by staying on top of the latest trends and skills within your industry.

Ninety-one percent of employers believe that IT certifications play a huge part in the hiring process, with many saying that certifications can reliably predict whether an employee would be a successful fit in their business.

A survey showed that 72% of IT employers are now listing certifications in their job descriptions in order to deter those who aren’t a good fit from applying. As well as this, 60% of employers make sure they confirm a person’s expertise by asking for additional certifications, and that they help to make a great first impression, with those who are certified more likely to learn faster once they’re in the role.

Research also found that those employees who are certified have greater knowledge, are more confident, perform to a higher standard, and are more reliable, as they work smarter and are more likely to stay in the position longer.

With so many certificates available, it’s important to research how each can enhance your career, but with the correct choice, they can be invaluable to you throughout your chosen career.