Assessing the Credibility of Professional Certifications

“Get Certified in a day”, “Legitimate certifications offered here” and many such are tall claims that the internet, today is abuzz with. The novelty or legitimacy, however, of any such claim is not easily ascertained. What they offer are certification credentials in a particular field of industry without any proper training or skills imparted. So, you pay a good amount of money to get a piece of paper that establishes you as an ‘expert’, which in turn, you use to get better salaries or wages etc. The ‘learning’ never happens, the ‘experience’ you never get. So, if money making is your ultimate objective, a number of professional certifications available in the market can do just that for you. The poor organization and the absence of a proper regulatory authority could well be cited as reasons for the plight of certification industry.
This is not to say that all the certification bodies out there are phony but as compared to the genuine agencies, unfortunately the number of fake ones are very high. So, the next question that comes to mind is that how does one differentiate the ‘good’ from the ‘bad’? How does one get the learning experience and imbibes the proper skill sets required and not fall into the trap of a scam?Following are some ways in which one can assess and evaluate the credibility of a professional certification body-:
The Passout rate-: One way of assessing the legitimacy of a certification body is its passout rate. If all the people enrolled in a course pass and there is a very limited scope for anybody leaving behind, there’s definitely something fishy going on! So to put it, the higher the pass rate, the bigger are the chances that it is a scam. Such quick-fix certification courses are available along almost every vertical of the industry. Some of these include IT certifications, HR certifications etc.
Public Reputation-: There are some certification courses that are well known in the market and so are highly sought after. People usually tend to go with the general reputation of a course which is actually not a bad idea. It takes time to form an image in the market and if something carries a positive outlook, it must have some substance to it.
Industry Reputation-: This is one of the sure shot ways of filtering the ‘junk’. Industry’s practitioners know the best and they know it all. Talking to professional within the industry, employers and getting valuable feedback from customers, one can figure out the ‘credible’ from the ‘fraudulent’. A particular course may have a positive public perception but the industry insiders know if that actually works or not. So, it’s always better to get advice from people who know things inside out.
With the proliferation of unwanted agencies that claim to offer professional certifications, it is about time that proper regulations are kept in place and a central authority be recognized to keep in check of such ‘phony bodies’. But, before that happens, let us be a little careful while choosing any such certification program. Doing a little research before taking out that credit card never hurts.

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