Certifications - why, when and how?

What certifications do you have? Why? How did you achieve them?

Do you have to renew them even after you first obtained them? Are they are key part of keeping up your skills?

Please share below with the community! 

  • I have many in the EHR world and of course, being a physician comes with a few beauties, too! I stay updated via news letters and tip sheets produced by the software manufacturers. Reading on the internet can get you want you need!

  • As far as IT Certs, I've never been a fan. I got some product specific certs in the past, spent hours studying and learning, then we changed products, rendering them useless to me. I see more and more agencies putting less weight on IT Certs.

    That said, some Certs are important, especially when required by law, like the Part107 FF Cert for commercial drone use. Another hard test, but required to operate a drone for any commercial use. It has to be renewed every 2 years.

  • Experience in the real world is most important, but learning new skills via certifications is always encouraged. 

  • I am currently working to have a trainer certification

    it is a prestigious center, and to have the right level is important to be able to train for them. So to check that we still have the level, we need a recertification every 3 years.

    every 3 years, I have an exam where I stress like a child at school to be able to teach managers !

  • I dont' care that much these days for that piece of paper (i know it's all digital) as long as I am comfortable with obtaining the knowledge. 

  • One aspect of certification that I have used in the past 5-7 years is starting small, or starting simple. The area I focused on with this is learning to code. I started with free services, online, without instruction. Then after a year or so, I worked with learning via certification from a vendor, with pre-recorded instruction. Then I worked more on my own time. Then actual university, with both pre-recorded sessions and occasional live input from faculty or staff. This "ramp up" has made a positive difference. Also, putting in 1 hour a day coding, for now 7+ years has made a difference, separate from the learning, via doing. There is always updates and more to learn. However, once you can build things you need, that is worth the investment of time, money, and effort. In long term perspective, it is more than a saving, it is creating efficiency, effectiveness, and opportunities.

  • There's an old piece of wisdom (I think it might come from the Roman philosopher Seneca but I can't think of the source right now) that says, You have to be rich to understand how unimportant money is. General paradox that applies to lots of things, including certifications. I'm multiply certified on the FileMaker platform, starting back in 2008 when their certification program was still new. Before I took my first exam, I tended to think I already knew it all. (Stupid me!) After I took (and passed) my first exam, I felt a certain satisfaction in knowing that I'd met somebody else's standards. Gave my confidence a better foundation. Kept taking the exams every year and they had a good effect on me: Made me study topics that were outside my normal work experience, which was good. Discovered I had a lot more to learn than I used to think.

    And then a couple of years ago, I decided, not that I don't have anything to learn (hardly!) but that I don't any longer need to prove anything to myself or others. Maybe if I worked as an employee in an institution, I'd keep getting certified every year. For those folks, it may be a job requirement, like continuing legal education is for my wife, who's an attorney, or continuing medical education for our daughter, who's a doctor. But I'm an independent consultant. My clients (mostly law firms) don't care any more about my certifications than they do about my Ph.D. So for me, it's been there, done that, on to something new.

    I tend however to agree with those who have already said that getting certified mainly proves you can take a test.