A professional certification validates a particular skill set in the eyes of an employer. A certification usually run through an independent third party that's different from your employer, and it may take a few days, weeks or months to earn one. Take a look at four certifications that hiring managers look for in a top candidate.
1. Google Analytics
Learning how to improve your marketing efforts with Google Analytics is an ordinary part of doing business. Earning a professional certification for Google Analytics means you know the ins and outs of using the software to examine your website's performance in terms of traffic. When you know how to use Google Analytics, you take into account SEO, organic traffic, advertising pushes, email marketing and keyword searches to figure out if you are getting a good return on investment for your marketing dollars. Knowing your way around this website comes in handy for any company that hires you.
2. OSHA Training and Certification
If you work in a field where safety is of upmost importance, training from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, indicates you understand how to create a safe work environment for everyone. Safety regulations put forth by OSHA are designed to keep workers from getting into dangerous situations, and they might hold companies responsible for any mishaps in a work environment.
Consider OSHA training as a professional certification if you work in construction, manufacturing, logistics, wholesaling or transportation. OSHA runs several specialized classes for very specific work environments, such as shipyards, machine guarding standards and soil mechanics for trenching. Many OSHA courses are free and run online, so you don't have to invest a lot of money to take a specific certification.
3. CompTIA A+ Technician
Your professional certification as a CompTIA A+ Technician represents an entry-level course for IT employees. If you don't already know computer coding or don't have a degree in computer science, this certification lets your employer know that you took a dedicated course related to computer hardware, operating systems and mobile devices. People with this certification start out as help desk technicians or support specialists before earning more advanced certifications. Because IT and technology is such a huge field, having a certification for a CompTIA A+ Technician can give you a boost in your paycheck, even if you don't work in an IT department right away.
QuickBooks is a very popular accounting and invoicing software that's been around for decades. Small businesses use QuickBooks to keep track of the company's finances, and accounting firms may use it to integrate their systems with their customers' computerized bookkeeping. QuickBooks offers two certification exams, but they aren't easy and they require a lot of hard work, practice and study. Accounting firms hire people with this professional certification because it demonstrates dedication to their craft of accounting and company finance. Passing this certification sends a message to hiring managers that you're ready to advance in your career.
A professional certification can jump start your career or earn you a raise. The best part about a certification is that it gives you specialized, formal training that doesn't require two-to-four years of college.
Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net