Whether you are looking for a new job or your first job, competition in this global economy, and especially in the wake of the pandemic, is fierce. The credentials arms race is a real phenomenon and what used to land you in good stead for gainful employment and a relatively easy time in the labour market 10 or 15 years ago is now looked at as the bare minimum needed to even be considered.
While this varies based on industry, location, education and a number of other factors, what is undeniable is that more people than ever before are trying to add value to their resumes by upskilling.
Below are some of the top certification courses you can have that will enhance your resume.
The CPA, or Certified Public Accountant designation is one that has consistently been in high demand for decades and there are no signs this will abate any time soon. Becoming a CPA requires formal education as well as in-the-field experience in order to become accredited, but once you have your certification, you are a highly sought after financial services professional able to work in a wide range of applications and industries.
The Scrum Master certification is a relatively new one that has emerged in response to the demands of the modern, collaborative, productivity and efficiency-focused workplace. Scrum is an agile business paradigm that initially began in the software field as a way to stay adaptable, responsive and forward-looking, but it has now been adopted across industries.
Scrum masters are in charge of optimizing organization, information and idea sharing, motivation, coaching, leadership, and acting as a liaison between the owner or upper management of a product or service and the scrum team members. Scrum Master skills imply a heightened ability to understand organizational needs and a superior set of soft skills to inspire people and help them maximize their output.
Certified Analytics Professional.
Data analysis is one of the most mission-critical skill sets across industries in the era of big data. Companies are increasingly collecting data from the market, their own processes, and their customers to better understand how to tailor their products and services to their target demographics; how to improve the efficiency of workflows, and ultimately how to reduce costs and protect and improve the bottom line.
The ability to turn raw data into actionable information with strategic value and organize and model it in a way that is readable and understandable to a broad range of people is a highly sought after skill and the kind of thing you learn during your training as a Certified Analytics Professional.
Microsoft Office Specialist.
While Microsoft Office might be one of those things you just assume you already know how to use if you have worked in an office or attended higher education in the 21st century, the vastness of these programs would surprise most people and the experience you need to truly consider yourself a specialist would also likely come as a shock.
Having this certification on your resume, however, is impressive to employers because it signals that you are an advanced user of all of the Microsoft Office programs and in particular PowerPoint and Excel, two of the most widely used and consequential in the Office suite.
Diversity and Inclusion.
Diversity and inclusion, even if you are not 100 certain what they mean, are likely words on the tip of your tongue as companies across industries reorient their businesses towards great concern for social justice-related issues. Diversity and inclusion experts are usually, though not always, HR professionals. There are many post-secondary institutions offering certified diversity professional certificates and all of them are highly sought after in the modern labour market.
Multilingualism is also a major leg up on a resume, but it is greatly enhanced if you also have a professional translation certification to your name. This is especially salient if you are applying to companies who do a lot of business internationally and particularly in a single market where English is not the first language and you have a translation certificate for that language. Not only that, but certified translators can also make money translating official documents for people as a viable side hustle.
Making your resume stand out in 2021 and beyond means taking the time and often investing the money required to add value to yourself as an employee. There are a lot of certifications out there claiming to help you do this, but you need to be selective when your time and money are on the line. The above options have been and will continue to be safe bets for some time but, as always, keeping your finger on the pulse of the labour market and understanding its needs are key.