At Altierus Career College, we offer students the opportunity to pursue industry certification along with a degree or diploma in many of our programs. This is because we want to ensure you enter the job market ready to stand out as a candidate. Industry and professional certification is one way to achieve that. But does industry certification really make a difference to employers, and can it really have an impact on your career? In this article, we look at some of the ways earning industry certification really can set you apart when you’re getting started on a career path—and set you up for future professional growth, too.
An Additional Mark of Quality on Your Resume
While we’re proud of what we’ve achieved as a private nonprofit career college, we know that not every employer our graduates approach will be familiar with our name and the quality of training we offer.
Earning industry certification sends employers another signal about the quality of your education—a signal likely to include an organizational name they already know and trust. Plus, industry certification standards are usually set by employers and key professional organizations within the related industry. If you’re certified, it means you know skills the industry wants professionals to have.
A Sign of Your Commitment to a Career Path
Earning and maintaining industry certification requires an investment in time and effort on your part, and most employers know this. When you hold a professional certification, hiring managers can see that you’re serious about establishing a career in your field—not just looking for a job.
Shows You Are Ready to Work from Day One
When employers see a certification they recognize on your resume, they know it means you’ve already demonstrated mastery of certain skills and knowledge, so they won’t have to spend time teaching you those skills on the job.
In addition, professional certification organizations constantly update their qualifications to match what’s happening on the ground in the workplace. This means your certification is also a mark of relevance as well as quality.
Access to Ongoing Professional Development
Earning industry certification also directly benefits you beyond the added confidence of knowing you’ve mastered the skills your certification covers. You may also be eligible to take continuing education courses sponsored by your certification organization.
For example, our medical billing and coding students prepare for Certified Professional Coder (CPC) certification from the American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC). Someone who achieves CPC status can access online webinars and a library of course material to continue updating their skills and knowledge for as long as they maintain certification and membership.[i]
Networking and Job Search Opportunities
Earning certification from a professional organization may also give you access to exclusive networking events, job boards, or even mentorship for the field you work in. These national job-hunting resources can be especially helpful if you plan to move to another community, away from your current network.
Certification or Licensure?
There’s a difference between certification and licensure.
Certification is usually an optional process—you can still qualify to work in your field without it. There are multiple professional organizations which offer certification to people in specific occupational fields. Some of these organizations can be government organizations—for example, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies HVAC professionals who handle certain refrigerants.
Individuals who meet education and experience requirements can qualify to take a certification examination and then use that certification as a professional marketing tool. Some employers may require certification for some jobs. Others may just prefer it.
Licensure is usually mandated by a government agency such as a state board of nursing. Without a license, you can’t legally work in certain jobs. You’ll need to earn an educational qualification from an institution approved by the government agency that controls licensure and then take an exam to qualify for a license.
At Altierus, we offer our students relevant training and licensure exam preparation so that when they graduate, they should be ready to obtain the license they need to work in the job they want to pursue.
Our Tampa nursing program, for example, prepares students for the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) through a blend of classroom coursework, simulations, clinical experience, and exam prep. Once they’ve graduated and passed the NCLEX-RN, our students can then apply to the Florida nursing board for a license to practice.
Train for a New Career with Altierus
Certification offers Altierus Career College graduates and the employers who hire them multiple benefits—and it helps improve the services they provide to customers and patients. We research the certification options employers in our communities value most, then provide students with exam prep and test fees for the certification relevant to their program. Come discover what you can achieve with Altierus Career College. Browse our program options today!