Professional designations provide proof of qualification to execute certain tasks or jobs issued by organizations or professional institutions.
What do I have to do?
You may have to complete the following to receive your designation:
Courses or exams (the most common way to receive a designation)
Working hours in your field
An apprenticeship or training with a mentor
Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA)
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
Certified Human Resources Professional/Leader (CHRP/CHRL)
Project Management Professional (PMP)
Designations may be specific to your country/region
Does this mean you should be pursuing a professional designation? Ask yourself the following questions!
Is It Required?
Can you pursue your career path without a designation? Certain jobs require the designation to qualify for a position whereas others are completely voluntary.
Required: you can't get the job without it.
Ex. In Canada, if you would like to become an accountant, you will need to complete the CPA designation in addition to your undergraduate degree.
Standard: there are some industries where a professional designation is not necessary. However, it is difficult to get a job in those industries without one.
Ex. HR or IT.
How Will I Benefit?
Improve your chances: this “stamp of approval” may give you a competitive advantage.
Increased earning potential: there is potential to increase your salary by 40%.
Expand your knowledge: the most obvious benefit from obtaining a professional certificate is an improved skill set and learning new techniques.
Access to a community: connecting with people in your field.
What Should I Consider?
Your Career: Will this designation help you achieve your dream job? Is this designation in the right field?
Time: Learning and developing skills can take a lot of time. Do you have time now to invest in your learning?
Money: Is this an expense you can afford right now? Check in with your employer, as they might have programs that will help you.
Dedication: Am I looking to learn new things or just pass tests?
Meet Some Professionals Considering A Designation
Manny recently graduated from university and finds it difficult to find a job without any experience.
Wendy is a marketing professional but she is looking to change fields into IT.
Mark is working odd jobs as he is unsure of his career path.
Rosie is looking for more responsibility and promotion to a managerial role.
Who is the LEAST likely to benefit from a professional designation right now?
Do Your Research
Is the organization issuing your certificate credible?
Is there a shelf life on this designation? Will this skill or system be extinct in a few years?
Whether you are looking for a job or currently employed, you can still benefit from getting a professional certification.