Looking for a good way to start or advance your career?
A degree or diploma can show employers that you have skills and knowledge. And work history can demonstrate that you have experience in a field. But earning a certification can do both.
Certifications are nationally recognized awards that can show an employer you have skills and knowledge in a particular area. Certifications are available in hundreds of career fields. You usually have to pass an exam to earn one. Sometimes you take formal training to prepare for the exam; sometimes you study on your own or apply your work knowledge.
Take a look at CareerOneStop’s Certification Finder to see what national certifications are offered in your field, or in another career of interest. You can search this collection of thousands of national certifications by occupation, industry, skill, or keyword. You’ll find three main types of certifications:
- Skill certifications: these certifications cover basic skills, and can often be applied in several career fields. Examples include a CPR certification or a desktop publishing certification. Some skill certifications are specific to a product, such as a software program.
- Specialty certifications: these have to do with specialties within certain fields. For example, an Oncology Nurse certification and a Pediatric Nurse certification are both nursing certifications.
- Advanced certifications: these certifications require an Associate’s degree or higher as well as more than two years of work experience; or sometimes they require that you hold a ‘core’ level certification from the same organization.
Learn more when you visit CareerOneStop’s Certification Finder. Then, come back and tell us what you think by leaving a comment below!