Certifications that Help Advance Your Career

Are you ready to expand your career possibilities? Adding a certification or license to your resume could do the trick.

However, it’s important to consider your options before jumping into anything. Certifications can be expensive and time-consuming to earn. Better to research the best choice than to pursue a credential that you don’t end up using.

Why Should I Get a Certification?

Before considering a certification, think about the power it gives you in the labor market. A government study run a few years ago showed that more than a fifth of workers (21%) held a work credential, such as a certification or license.

That number creates a sweet spot for those professionals. The credentials are common enough to receive widespread acceptance. However, the skills are rare enough that they demand more attention from employers.

Further government stats support the market value of these credentials. The same report showed that 82% of workers with these certificates found them “very useful” in getting a job. The figures also showed that higher-paid professionals were more likely to hold one of these credentials.

How Do I Pick the Right Certification to Get?

There are a few steps you can take to make a better decision about getting a certification. Here are a few sources of information you should check out:

Ask Your Boss: Your current employer might have guidance about the most valuable certifications. They may even help you obtain them.

Talk to Your Coworkers: Peer advice can guide your decision as well. Check in with your veteran coworkers to see what they recommend.

Look at the Numbers: See if you can find statistics about employment rates and additional income from various certifications.

Review Your Current Situation: Think about whether you are in a good spot in your life to pursue a certificate at this time. Can you spare the time and money necessary to get it?

See What’s Available Near You: Many certifications are available online, but you may find programs at local schools.

What Certifications Make the Most Sense for Me?

As we’ve seen, selecting the right certification has a lot to do with your personal situation. Take your current skill set into account, as well as your long-term career goals. From there, you can determine the type of certification that will make the most difference for you.

As you do this, look at the near-term balance of costs and benefits. This means looking at what kind of financial boost you can expect.

At the same time, consider the broader implications. Look at how the certification can become a steppingstone to your future dream job. This way, you can get as much value out of the effort as possible.

Much of this decision-making will circle around the kind of job you want. Here are a few career paths you can choose and examples of the types of certifications you can consider pursuing:

Skilled Trades

The precise certificates here will depend on your particular specialty. But in a broad range of trades, adding credentials can help you land jobs and increase your earning potential. Here are a few of the careers you can consider:

  • Plumbing
  • Construction
  • Equipment Mechanic
  • HVAC and Other Specialties

Computer/Office Certifications

Looking for work somewhere with air conditioning? There are plenty of certifications that can land you jobs in an office environment. These will take you well beyond tasks like filing or serving as a receptionist.

Here are a few categories you can target for a leg up in the office:

  • Office Software (Word, Excel, Adobe Suite, etc.)
  • Book Keeping/Accounting
  • Information Technology


Medicine and other healthcare fields represent one of the most promising parts of the economy. Government statistics project 15% growth in employment in the sector by the end of the 2020s.

Of course, the barriers to entry are often high in this specialized field. In most cases, you need at least a four-year degree to get most medical jobs. Obviously, the requirements are even higher for big-time positions, like doctors.

Still, there are certifications you can get that will let you tap into this fulfilling and lucrative sector. Here are a few you can consider:

  • Medical Billing/Coding
  • Dental Assistant/Hygienist
  • Massage Therapist

As you move through your career, you want to find positions that use all your skills and credentials. You also want jobs that add to your capabilities and set you up for further growth. A top recruiter, like SmartTalent, can put you in the perfect situation to accelerate your career development.

Contact SmartTalent today to find out more.


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