Which is better for business performance? Employee certification or employee skills. The founder of a leadership firm recently asked me this question. I wanted to answer it because it is a topic that business executives are constantly debating. It’s possible to find yourself in a position where you can move a highly skilled employee up within your organization. But are there any certificates they need to make that decision? Or, reverse the situation. Does someone who comes to your company with a portfolio of certificates and acronyms after their name, do they have the skills you need?
What do you think about the importance of professional certifications in the present and the future?
This is a great question. This is a great question that people will continue to answer for their entire lives. In my opinion, the education system is changing for the better. End users will want to make positive changes in their lives, as student debts continue to rise. It can happen at the business or government level. We are able to provide statistics and data about certifications all day because we work in the industry.
It will be difficult to sell until society hires certified people without college degrees at a rapid rate. My company is working on this. Because the government has a lot to do for funding and hiring, it is difficult to make the employee development solution that our company offers. It all depends on your industry or role.
For example, I see IT professionals changing faster than accountants. The technology and programs used by IT professionals change as the winds blow, while basic accounting structures do not.
Do skills or certificates need to be updated constantly?
I believe that the skills are what need to be updated. According to a recent study by U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, hiring managers believe that skills are more important than degrees. In the past, people could work in the same job for their entire lives. Maybe today, there are a few different jobs. The next generation of workforce could be working in a new job every 2-3 years. This is where I question the traditional educational model and skills versus certificates.
This is where I believe skills will be more in demand. However, the funding source for the certificate (individual, business or government) will determine the certification. If the business is funding it, they will be more concerned about the skills required to do the job.
Many cases may require certifications. Many certifications are valid for only three years. They become less interested in them after a certain point in their career. At the entry level, certifications are a validation of skill.