Most successful people will agree that a continuous thirst for knowledge is a key element in building a growing, thriving business. And although continuing education and certification programs can be an investment of time and resources, they help provide recognition for your specialized knowledge or skill set, which can be a significant benefit when it comes to landing certain clients or projects. Here are five benefits to keep in mind when considering pursuing a professional certification.
Having training that your competitors don’t can set you apart when pursuing new business. Certifications can differentiate you from other professionals in your field, showing that you have a demonstrated commitment to understanding and excelling in your profession. This can give you an advantage, which is particularly important in today’s competitive market. Stay on top of trends and learn how to use that new software or social platform before it becomes a household name.
Professional certifications can also help to provide your consultancy with a solid foundation. The advanced training, information, and knowledge you gain from specialized coursework can provide you with up-to-date tools and technical strategies that will serve to guide and direct you in the execution of your projects, allowing you to manage all aspects of your work more effectively.
The time and effort invested in professional certifications often results in increased income. Most clients will understand the higher costs associated with specialized training and are willing to pay for consultants who have industry certifications. In fact, one study found that online certifications increased salaries by 20 to 40%.
By acquiring new and updated industry information or techniques, you can hone current work habits that may be causing inefficiencies or quality issues with your output while increasing your competencies. This can help give you the skills and confidence to try something new such as establishing the groundwork to implement a more sophisticated working environment for your consultancy.
There are an increasing number of companies, non-profits, and government organizations that, when working with independent consultants, want (or may even be required) to engage those who have certain certifications from recognized programs. Certification demonstrates your commitment to superior professionalism, upholding industry standards, and continued learning. These merits can help boost your professional credibility and prestige within your own network, with your current clients, and when pursuing new business opportunities or bidding on projects.
Certifications are often a worthwhile investment because of the many advantages they can provide throughout your career. As you move forward and as your business evolves, be sure to keep your certifications up-to-date so you can continue to realize these benefits.
Five ways to keep learning as you continue your independent career.
Follow these five tips to create a grab-and-go profile that you can use to find work on independent consulting job marketplaces.