The job market is tough. Even though the unemployment rates are slowly improving, there are still hundreds of applicants clamoring for every available job opening. Thousands of people who were unemployed one month are still unemployed the next.
In such a competitive market, job seekers need to do whatever they can to make themselves stand out to employers. For some, this could mean bolstering their resumes with additional training and certifications.
But many of these certification programs are not cheap. There’s an old saying: “You have to spend money to make money.” But if you’re living on unemployment and you’re savings are gone, is it really worth it to spend money you need to live, on additional training?
Employers are looking for the best applicants at the best price. In a world where you are competing with everyone from seasoned professionals to kids straight out of school, additional training and certification makes you look more attractive to employers.
A seasoned manager with advanced Lean Principles and Tools certifications might be a more attractive candidate than someone with the same level of experience and no certification. Conversely, a new graduate with additional certifications, could be more attractive than an older candidate who is behind the times.
The Side-Benefits of Training and Certifications
Taking certification courses also gives you something to show for your time. A block of training courses looks better on your resume than a big empty space. The unfortunate truth is that employers are reluctant to hire people who have been out of work for too long. By attending training classes you fill in the spaces on your resume—you’re not unemployed, you’re taking time off to improve your skills. Getting additional training shows that you are willing to take the initiative to keep your skills up-to-date.
Certification courses also give you the opportunity to network. Who takes and teaches these courses? Other professionals, just like you. Some of these professionals might have leads on other opportunities, be they employment or entrepreneurship. Also, schools that offer these programs could have career placement offices where you can find leads on jobs. So, not only will a training program improve your skills, you could walk away with the beginnings of a new business, or an appointment for a job interview.
Finally, employers are also reluctant to hire those who have taken a long break from the workforce—such as women out of pregnancy. In some cases, employers assume that your skills are out of date, or that you are out of touch with the corporate environment. Some training programs not only offer coursework, they also offer a chance to intern in an actual office. For anyone returning after a really long absence, taking training and certificate courses not only keeps your skills current, it gets you exposure to current corporate environments.
You have several options for paying for your training. If you get training through a private provider, such as the Business Training Institute, you might have the option to set up a payment plan, or you can take the training courses as you can afford them.
If you go through college degree or certificate program, you might be eligible for financial aid, including student loans, to fund your training. College programs have the added benefit of a placement office where you can get information on finding work after you complete the program.
Whichever option you choose, getting additional training and certification can give you a leg up over the competition.
“Computer Classroom” by sixninepixels / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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