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Certification Vs. Degree: Which Is Better for your HRD Career?
01.10.2019
by: Ahmed Metwally

What is required in the labor market? It is changing and there is still more to come in the nearest future. Do you still think that a degree is better than certification?

This particular discussion has been a tug of war for quite some time now, but it seems as if the truth is already catching up with professionals in their respective industries. What is required in the labor market is changing and there is still more to come in the nearest future. Do you still think that a degree is better than certification? If yes, then I think you need to check out this concrete reasons why certification is better than a degree. These will no doubt make you change your mind and join the moving train.

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Certification Vs. Degree: Which is Better?

An Infographic

This infographic depicts the main differences between earning an academic degree or professional certification in the field of HRD. It might help you to make the right decision that leads to your success. Please feel free to download this infographic and share it with your network. If you need a high-resolution PDF file of this infographic, please leave a comment below in this page and we will email it to you.

It is important to know that this discussion lasts for ages and will never stop, at least in some in the near future. However, I do believe that the reasons given below could give you a solid basis to make a well-founded and balanced judgment.

Certification Vs. Degree

Top 5 Reasons Why Certification is Better than Degree

1- Certification Grades Based on the Level of Skills Acquired

If there is one thing that segregates a professional from an amateur, it is the level of skill acquired. No HR manager will ask you to “define”, the question that he or she will ask in place of that is “what are your professional skills.” All the modern industries that we have today are out to look for professionals that can do what they claim to know and not novice wearing the skin of professionals all because they have a degree.

2- Certification Has a Single Standard System

The level of standard is one major concern when it comes to degrees. The quality varies. Grades are not good when it comes to skills-based assessment because it varies depending on the standard of the college. While on the other hand, certification is always constant. If IBCT, SHRM or HRCI did certify an individual, the quality is assured. It does not really matter from which part of the world he or she got it from. This is because they have exams in place that tests both knowledge and skills at the same time. Frequently customer satisfaction (professional performance) and continuous education are included as well.

3- Certification Gives You Exactly What You Demand

Let’s take, for example, you wish to learn new skills because your employer asks you to pass your expert know-how and professional skills to your fellow workers or customers. With a certification body all you need to do is learn exactly what you need to conduct a training session and get certified without taking irrelevant courses. But in the case of college degrees, it a must pass through certain norms. Imagine a guest trainer that needs to attend session in competence management, mobile learning or gamefication all because it is part of the curriculum. This leads to work-overload which in turn, has a way of affecting courses that are important.

4- The Industry Wants Employees with Skills, A Degree is Only A Plus

This particular factor is most pronounced in the IT industry. Having a Masters In computer science is nothing compared to having a resume that shows that you are Microsoft Certified System Administrator, a Red Hat Certified Engineer or Cisco Certified Internetworking Engineer. Speaking of the pay, it is mouth-watering and handsome.

5- Certification Consumes Less Time And it is Cheaper

Attending lectures for a whole day is not the case when it comes to certification. To be certified in a particular field, it takes about a month to ten. This is little compared to the numbers of years that will be spent in college. Speaking of price, it can’t be compared either. College tuition is way more expensive than that of certified courses.

Certification Vs. Degree

Final Thoughts

Lastly, keep in mind that whilst a certificate program might take less time to accomplish, it’s still challenging. You’ll still have to make time to attend training sessions, participate in discussions, read and complete assignments. Alike any academic program, you get out what you put in to your studies, so consider your current lifestyle and commitments and whether you can devote the time necessary to excel in your study load.

by: Ahmed Metwally
Ahmed is a university professor at Cairo University, College of Agriculture. His main specialty is Food Sci. & Human Nutrition. Ahmed has been working as a faculty developer since 2004 & intensely contributed to developing a great number of university professors at all Egyptian universities and many other universities in the Middle East. His second career and passion are developing human resources. He is internationally certified as trainer & human resources development expert. Ahmed has been training and qualifying trainers since 2006. He conducted 100+ Train-The-Trainer programs across the MENA region.

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