Overview: This document will help you with basic information about certifications, difference between a traditional educational degree and details on the importance of certifications for jobs in Australia.
What is a Certification? What is the difference between a degree & certification?
Traditional Degrees are usually something which has a longer duration of time (12 months, 2 to 5 years etc.). It covers broad range of areas and mostly theoretical. Certification, on the other hand, relatively requires shorter duration of time and targets special skill, in depth. Due to this certifications also provide individuals with job- related or job oriented skills compared to the traditional degrees.
Why certifications for jobs in Australia?
The job market scenario varies with countries. In certain countries, more importance is given to hands on experience, whereas in few other countries, importance is given to certifications and real world experience and in very few countries, importance is given to individuals with certifications and local experience. Australia falls in the 3rd category.
On top of having an educational degree, many organizations in Australia, give preference to individuals who have specialized knowledge on a specific area, in other words a subject matter expert (SME). For e.g. a subject matter expertise is someone who is expected to know all the technical aspects of a particular subject and hence people with certifications are preferred for such roles. In other words, more credibility for individuals with professional certifications, as most organizations believe the skills required for a real time work place can be attained through gaining the certifications.
Degrees although cover a broad range of knowledge areas, they are theoretical in nature and students would still find it difficult to cope in a working environment though they have the required theoretical knowledge. Certifications, on the other hand, help one to gain the in-depth relevant, practical knowledge as the individuals are evaluated based on scenario based questions.
In few cases, industry recognized professional certifications might help in landing jobs without local or relevant experience which is entirely dependent on that organizations culture.
Globally recognized certifications & every changing Technologies
As mentioned earlier, with many certifications being globally recognized and are more specific to a job role, companies prefer individuals with recognized certifications rather than just having an educational degree.
The technology landscape is in constant flux & due to which IT certifications are in high demand. Due to the ever changing technologies and the coming of new technologies every year or so, the need to upgrade your skillsets and being up-to-date is more crucial than ever.
It also helps you in gaining the required confidence to make you job ready or switch careers.
Research data about certifications:
As per CompTIA’s survey (2016) of employers to better understand their attitude toward IT certifications when hiring, their findings are as below:
* Around 67% of employers use IT certifications to distinguish between equally qualified candidates.
* 72% of employers require certification for certain job roles.
* 60% of organizations use IT certifications to validate a job candidate’s subject matter knowledge.
* 67% of employers think IT certifications very valuable – in 2011 this number was only 30%!
Some of the Top Certifications:
Hot specializations range from networking, cloud computing, project management, ITIL and security, although it’s a partial list and there are many more specializations which are not mentioned here.
Around 80% of IT professionals believe certifications are useful for their careers and based on my research on the Australian job market coupled with my personal experience of over 2 years, I would definitely say professional certifications are highly crucial, if not mandatory, to land a job in Australia.
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