Professional certifications are credentials earned by individuals after the completion of specified programs from reputable global and national organisations, and institutions. Normally, one will require some years of work experience, and a bachelor’s degree qualification before they are accepted onto a certified programme. Some of the certification fields in Uganda include Insurance, Accounting, Marketing, Public Relations, procurement, Computing, Project management, auditing, secretarial, leadership and many others.
Here are 3 reasons this path will benefit your career and business efforts.
Despite being a graduate with experience, standing out of the crowd is no easy fit. Besides adding acronyms to your name, certifications tell a potential employer and your industry peers that you have been ably trained and have the required knowledge and understanding to take on certain tasks and positions in your industry. This opens doors for promotions and builds confidence and credibility for your side hustle. For job seekers, certifications will push you in the category of ‘added advantage’ almost every time.
In Uganda for example, the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) resolved in 2022 that all Chief Executive Officers of any insurance company must have a Diploma in Insurance (Certified Course) as a minimum requirement because they recognise the value of certification and its overall contribution to the professional output of individuals.
2. Increased net worth
In an ordinary certification classroom, there are high odds that the people you are sharing that room with are the ‘next big thing’ in town if they are not already. Classmates a side, your tutor is probably the Head of Marketing, Projects Lead, Head of Finance or CEO at some of the top companies in town. By simply being part of your cohort, you are exposed to a decent network of top professionals who could eventually transform into friends, mentors, customers, and strategic informants.
As a classmate, you have the advantage of engaging these individuals while their guard is down during casual class discussions, and discussion groups thus allowing you to create deeper relationships. Even if your classes are happening online, the principle still applies.
3. Relevant skills enhancement
Certified training programmes are designed in such a way that they keep students up to date with current trends to address market demands for certain skills. Through continuous professional development (CPD) programmes, institutions offering certified training provide several opportunities for current and former students to enhance their skills and knowledge through additional training in specific areas.
For those who may have completed a professional certification programme, you will always have an opportunity to take on additional modules to help you remain relevant in the face of a fast-evolving work environment. For example, the Chartered Institute of Marketing only recently introduced a module on Sustainability which is a growing global trend. Today, every marketer is expected to understand digital marketing which only became a thing about a decade ago.
4. Freedom to explore
We all know someone who studied a course at the University either because it was offered under government sponsorship or because an uncle who seemed successful at the time was in that line of work, so you decided to take on a degree in social sciences. If you finally discovered your passion or found yourself in a career with no qualification to show for it, certification gives you an opportunity to switch and stand tall in your chosen career path as a certified project manager, marketing expert and the like.
Ultimately, a professional certification could be just what your resume and business need to propel you to the next level.