If you were to poll 100 engineers and ask whether certifications are valuable to their careers, you’d walk away with a variety of answers. The problem is that is can be difficult to determine whether a certification led to a promotion or a step forward, but most engineers who do have certifications credit those credentials with providing proof of skills and value to employers. While certifications are certainly not the only factor that determines whether you land a job, they can certainly help you make the case that you are a skilled, qualified engineer.
Certifications Enhance Licensure
According to Qualified Engineer, an organization that provides certification resources, certifications offer proof of expertise in a specific field. They do not replace a professional license if a license is required for employment, but they can make an engineer stand out in a talent pool and add value whether you are licensed or not.
Why Should Engineers Pursue Certifications?
There are many reasons why engineers should pursue certifications to help advance their careers. Credentials can:
- Validate knowledge
- Increase marketability
- Boost credibility
- Help close gaps for newer, less-experienced engineers
According to a survey by HR.com, 100% of respondents said they favor certifications in the hiring process for both external and internal candidates. They provide a means for benchmarking candidates, and if all things appear equal between two finalists, the candidate with certifications definitely has an edge over someone who is not certified.
Where to Find Engineering Certifications
Engineering is a vast field with many specializations. The best places to start a search for worthwhile certifications are governing bodies for your specific field of engineering. There are also industry-specific certifications for professionals in fields like manufacturing, aviation, nuclear, etc.
Keep in mind that certifications do require fees, learning and testing. Some certification classes can be completed online while others require in-person, classroom-style preparation. Make sure you understand the requirements, the financial commitment and the time commitment before starting a certification and check with your employer to see if they will reimburse you for any fees upon successful completion of the certification exam.
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