Not everyone is cut out for the collegiate path, but skipping higher education can definitely make it more difficult to find gainful employment, especially in a recession economy. Even for those with the skillset needed to nab jobs in technological fields, the lack of a degree could bar you from consideration right off the bat. This can be a tough road to take, and it is especially frustrating when you know you can do the job. And yet, that’s the trade-off for missing four years of college and heading straight to the job market. Or is it? With so many certification programs available for technological skillsets you may be able to breeze through minimal training programs in order to get a piece of paper that proves you can do what you claim on your résumé. But is it worth the time and money?
There are a couple of things you’ll want to consider before you decide to lay out the cash for a certification program. The first thing you should know is that a certification is very different from a degree, despite the fact that they both come with a piece of paper saying you did your time. While a diploma from an accredited university avers certain standards of education, a certification awarded by a technical school may mean different things to different people. If the company hiring you requires a degree, for example, certification counts for nothing. On the other hand, companies that regularly hire technical professionals may be familiar with other students coming out of your particular program and expect a certain level of excellence, thereby helping you to secure employment. The real issue is that technical schools may not be accredited institutions, meaning that their results can be hit or miss.
Another issue is that certifications of various types may or may not require periodic renewal, meaning that you’ll either have to retake classes or simply go through testing again (often for additional fees). If you already have the necessary skills to do the job you’re seeking it may seem like a big waste of time and money to achieve certification. And unlike trade labor types of jobs, such as plumbing, electrical, or mechanical work, you don’t have to be certified in order to practice. The only real drawback of failing to attain certification, though, is that you simply might not receive the same consideration without it.
Over time, your work experience will likely do more to help you get new jobs than any computer certifications you hold, especially if you can arrange for some good referrals. But when you’re just starting out, with neither schooling nor experience under your belt, it really doesn’t matter how good you are at plying your trade; no one is going to consider you for a job. So start learning here at Upper Training or find a technical school in your area to attend. You might not learn anything you didn’t already know, but you should at least have an easy time earning certifications so that you can get a foot in the door and start gaining experience in your chosen field.