Business professionals who want to boost their skills and gain a competitive edge may want to start by enrolling in a certification course. These programs offer the opportunity to gain expertise in specialized areas, and the certificate you’ll earn can tell employers that you really know your stuff.
Some certifications are more widely recognized than others, and every industry has its top-rated or most-respected credential. Depending on your field, you should go after the certificate that will bring you a good return on your investment.
In other words, you should consider enrolling in the certificate course with salary-boosting potential in your field.
How do you find the best certificates for your field? Start here!
1. Project Management Professional
The Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification is recognized around the world as an important credential for project managers. Earning the PMP, which is awarded by the Project Management Institute (PMI), demonstrates a command of project management tasks, knowledge and skills, and the competency to lead teams to successful project completion.
Applying for the PMP requires a secondary degree, plus five years of project management experience and 35 hours of project management education; or a four-year degree, plus three years of experience and 35 hours of education.
If you don’t meet these requirements, you can apply for the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM®) certification.
According to the PMI, certification can positively impact project manager salaries up to an estimated $14,000 per year. It also offers a competitive advantage when seeking a new job.
2. Certified Public Accountant
The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential is not easy to earn, but it can really pay off. CPAs typically earn more than their non-certified peers.
CPAs can work as accountants, financial analysts, tax preparers, comptrollers or auditors. They may be self-employed, or work for financial management firms, government agencies, private businesses or public corporations. Their career possibilities are nearly endless.
Becoming a CPA means completing strict education requirements and passing the four-part, 14-hour Uniform CPA Examination. Then, you’d apply for a CPA license in your state.
3. Certified Information Systems Security Professional
IT professionals are often required to hold certain certifications as a condition of employment. Regardless of whether or not your employer requires them, it’s always a good idea to keep your skills sharp and your knowledge up-to-date, and certifications are a great way to do so.
Now that cyber-crime is in the news almost every day, an in-demand certification is the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) offered by (ISC)2. To become a CISSP, you need at least five years of full-time work experience. Experience waivers are available under certain conditions. You’ll also need to pass the CISSP exam and subscribe to a code of ethics. If you don’t yet have the required experience, you can earn the Associate of (ISC)2 credential and keep working toward full CISSP certification.
Earning a CISSP validates your technical knowledge in a fast-growing cyber security employment market, and gives employers confidence that you have the expertise to build and maintain a secure IT environment.
4. Certified Information Systems Auditor
The Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) designation is for IT professionals who focus on keeping data secure. CISA is often obtained by individuals who help organizations evaluate, test and monitor IT systems, and who update and ensure compliance with data security policies.
The CISA certification ensures employers that you have the necessary skills, expertise and knowledge to identify vulnerabilities, evaluate internal security compliance, and implement procedures to fix vulnerabilities. Many employers require this certification, and recruiters often seek CISA holders when filling IT auditor positions.
5. Certified ScrumMaster
Scrum is a management framework that facilitates agile projects. Certified ScrumMasters (CSMs) have the knowledge to ensure a project team properly implements Scrum, which can increase the chances of success. ScrumMasters also help the team avoid distractions, whether internal or external, and serve as leaders of team meetings.
Certification as a ScrumMaster requires taking a two-day course, which is taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer, and passing a test. The CSM credential is administered by the Scrum Alliance. Certified ScrumMasters are increasingly sought after by employers who embrace the principles of agile.
Business Certificates Can Boost Your Earnings
All businesses need the knowledge of experts to keep them profitable, successful and sustainable. Earning one of these five certificates in project management, IT or accounting can greatly increase your marketability, as well as your earnings throughout your career.
Consider your current education and skill level, and start preparing to take the next step to becoming a respected expert in your field!