To Certify Or Not To Certify

Posted: 2/6/2014

By: Elias Cobb, Quantix Recruiting Manager

I get this question a lot and it applies to degrees as well. Candidates want to know if they should spend their time and money on certifications and/or degrees and if it will help their career prospects.

Image Credit: Mindfire Solutions

My answer is yes, it IS worth your time to get a certification or a degree (keep in mind, the degree needs to be from an accredited institution). Neither will replace on the job experience, though; that is important to keep in mind. Think of the certification or degree as a tie breaker of sorts. If you and another candidate have similar experience levels and are both well liked in the interview, a decision could be made based on who has the certification and who doesn't.

A more likely scenario, however, is that the initial resume screening process will involve putting all candidates with a degree or certification (depending on which is preferred) into one pile and contacting those WITH the degree or certification first. Not only is it the "tie-breaker" I described above, but it is often used as a weed out to thin the overall number of candidates. Again, just having the certification or degree doesn't necessarily guarantee you a job or even an interview. There could be candidates who simply have more in-depth experience than you do.

But I have never, in my years of recruiting, had a candidate rejected by a client because they did have a degree or certification.