I’m doing some work on communicating the value of (technology) certification. Opinions vary on the value of certification and in many disciplines there is little in the way of coursework or recognised competency levels.
Someone can be certified and be highly competent or self-taught and highly competent, or the opposite in both cases. When I achieved my project management certification I definitely saw the value in the practical advice and training it offered. In contrast, a lot of what is taught in universities is highly theoretical.
The best assessment if competency probably lies somewhere in between education levels and practical experience. Even some global firms have loosened requirements around academic qualifications.
There’s no doubt certification programs bring many benefits to both staff and the organisation so it is in the employer’s interest to support them.
The challenge for individuals will be being seen through the sea of equally-qualified people. In the US the MBA is the most popular master’s degree and there are nearly half as many more than there were just over a decade ago.
If only it was as easy to demonstrate the value of practical experience as it is to flash a certification badge.