Education never ends – nor should it. Even if you're a CEO or working fulltime in your dream career, there is always room for growth and knowledge, especially in the form of professional certifications.
According to the International Institute of Business Analysis, professional certification is a designation earned by employees that identifies they have demonstrated a standard level of skills, experience and expertise within their fields. Certifications are generally earned from a professional society that has a certifying body, and are granted based on a combination of education, experience and knowledge, rather than solely by passing an exam.
These certifications often help more than just the individual receiving it. Employers will often pay for their workers' professional certifications, from labor to PMP certification, which positively impacts the entire corporation. Here are four benefits of professional certifications.
1. It makes you a good competitor.
Competition is high in nearly every industry. Showing your customers and competitors that you have just as much, if not more, to offer will tell them you care and boost your credibility. Clients will trust you more if you are keeping up with industry standards.
To this end, Jonas Sickler, marketing director for ReputationManagement.com, said that because everyone else is doing it, you should, too.
"While this excuse never worked with your mother, showing management that the competition is certifying their team could convince them to pay for you," he said.
"See what the competition is doing," added Terese Kerrigan, director of marketing communications at FreightCenter. "Is there a way to differentiate your company from the competition? A certification can be a door opener to new opportunities in business development."
2. The ROI is high.
Sure, it might be pricy to pay for professional certifications; but if you're covering a program or course that offers relevant and insightful information, the return on investment will be well worth it.
"You can … offer to do a workshop for your team/company after you have completed the certification, where you can pass on important learnings to the rest of the company," said Jack Saville, online marketer for Bynder. "In this way you are extending the benefit of the certification to the rest of the company, and so increasing ROI."
"No matter what industry you work in, having expert certified employees can give your sales team one more pitch to help close a deal, or even charge a little more for your service, resulting in a revenue boost to offset the one-time cost of certification," added Sickler.
3. It can reduce potential risks.
Accidents can happen in any industry, but there are some jobs that are more dangerous than others. If your employees' work is risky in any way, prioritize their wellbeing by covering any safety certifications available to them. Many accidents can be prevented with the proper education.
"Paying for injured workers will always outweigh the cost of teaching them to be safe," said Stickler. "If an accident turns deadly, the cost will quickly balloon out of control, and your business' reputation may never recover."
4. It expands your company's network.
Networking is a major part of every successful business. By connecting with certification companies, you not only gain valuable insight on a given topic, you are also connected to credible organizations, which will only make you look better.
"Not only can you showcase your employee's certification on your own website, you may be able to leverage their accomplishments on other sites as well, benefitting from referral traffic, networking and an expanded digital presence," said Sickler. "Many certification companies list the businesses they certify in a searchable database like this one."
Joanna Douglas, owner of Clean Affinity Cleaning Service, added that she allows her employees the budget to attend seminars that might benefit the company.
"It becomes a benefit because it allows my employees to network properly," she said. "They are able to gain new skills and new knowledge which they willingly share with me when they understand what they have learned enough. So, it works out for both parties in the end because we earn revenue for their education, and at the same time the employee goes home happy and satisfied."
Additional reporting by Chad Brooks.