Evaluating certifications that can improve your career can be challenging, but these certifications will help your career. It seems like every career has the possibility of achieving a certification. Some important reminders when researching this area are:

• Is the sponsoring organization the main organization for the career or the industry?
• How long has the certification been offered? The more years and decades – the better.
• Is the certification process difficult and how long will it take?
• What is the cost of the entire process from start to finish acquiring the certification?
• Can you do the preparation online or do you have to do classroom sessions?
• What have you read about the test? Are there practice tests available?
• What will the renewal fees be and how many years between renewals?
• Will you be able to find a job quicker, a better job, or make more money with this certification?

For some jobs, a certification is required to apply for a job. Many people earn specialty certifications to help them advance in their careers, once their education is complete and they are employed in their career.

Some popular certifications are:
• PMP – Project Management Professional
• CNA – Certified Nursing Assistant
• CPA – Certified Public Accountant
• CMA – Certified Medical Assistant
• CCM – Certified Construction Manager
• CPSP – Certified Professional Sales Person

Recruiters can be impressed with certifications if they relate to the job opening as either required or preferred. But before you spend your money, do your research, find others who have acquired these certifications, and ask a lot of questions. If you are currently employed, you should be sure to ask your company if they can cover the cost of your certification. Companies will often pay for your certification if they support your career development and certifications will ultimately help your job performance.

Lastly, once you achieve your certification, network with others in your field who also have this certification. Continue to learn through attending continuing education. Consider being a trainer to others to share your knowledge. If you receive an online badge, display that on your LinkedIn profile. Be sure to update your résumé. And be proud of the certification that you earned!

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