Certifications are truly useless. Only if….
This is a very interesting discussion topic among professionals.
Many professionals support and many professionals oppose as well.
Before I go ahead with the topic, I would like to narrate a very interesting real life story that happened to me and my classmates when we were doing a post-graduation in management.
One of our professors asked us to be formally dressed for a session. One of our class mate had a very interesting question for the professor, when he asked the following to our prof:
“Sir, when Mr. Russy Mody (who was the chairman of Tata Steel) can wear very colorful clothes, what was the need for junior professional like us to wear formal clothes?” For those who may not know, Tata Steel is one of the world’s largest steel manufacturer who purchased Corus Steel of UK sometime back. Tata group is the largest and most respected industrial conglomerate in India.
Our learned professor paused for a minute and then he replied, “You can also wear colorful clothes but first be like Russy Mody.
This explains that the same rules don’t apply to all. If you are established in corporate world and you have a past which is used to be proud of then you don’t need anything more to prove. However how many offers have reached the stature of Russy Mody?
Back to my topic, I see five types of professionals.
- Those who love certifications (Disclaimer – I belong to this category),
- Young professionals who are looking for jobs without any work experience,
- Those who hate certifications,
- Those who criticize certifications publicly but pursue it privately,
- And the last types who think about certifications after they are laid off.
Majority of professionals do not care about certifications. Possible reasons could be
- It takes a significant effort (much more than the cost of training and certification) to complete most certifications. There are some certifications which are awarded by just attending a training (the most popular one being Scrum Master some time back). Most certifications require rigorous test for qualifying professionals such CBAP®.
- Many professional are simply afraid of giving any exam as they have not taken exam for a long time. To some extent, certification bodies are also to be blamed where they ask very bookish and memorization based questions to senior professional. Any senior professional juggles with many variables, such as manage client, manage projects, manage organisational overheads and also manage family. Such examination pattern demotivates many professionals to go for the certifications.
- Many professionals also believe that there is no additional value add by going in for certification. It is their belief that the practices followed in their organisation is much better than what the body of knowledge prescribed by the certification body.
In my humble opinion, following types of professional truly do not need any certification.
- Always buy unbranded product as they do not see any additional value in buying branded products. Branded products are expensive and it is not worth buying a branded product as it costs more.
- Professionals who are truly happy with their organisation and vice-versa. The only problem here is that the love your organisation has for you can drastically change in just couple of bad quarterly performances.
- You organisation is doing extremely well and has an assured contract with you for paying you 2 years’ salary as severance package.
- There is nothing more for you to learn by studying an exhaustive body of knowledge as you have already experienced all varieties of experiences possible.
I have been working in a particular field for more than 24 years. I spend every month close to 200 hours working, studying, and researching business analysis. I still find I probably haven’t understood even 10% of what I ought to be knowing.
When I took my CBAP® examination, I studied business analysis body of knowledge more than 10 times, I have learnt a lot of new things which I would have never learnt buy just working. No one will get opportunity to explore aspects which are beyond our current roles and responsibilities.
The true value that I received by going in for certifications are
- Maintain a culture of continual learning for myself
- Have the courage to judged my knowledge an independent standard
- Give confidence to my partners that when they speak to me, they are talking to a professional who has understood the subject reasonably well.
When I see professionals who haven’t done a single professional certification in a decade, I would sincerely doubt their commitment to their own self development and commitment to their profession.
Let me close my topic with another story another real life true story. We were ask by my organisation to go through a six sigma training and project. One of my colleagues asked the director as to why we are going through this additional program when our salaries are going to remain same after the training. My CEO had a very apt reply saying you are inside the discussion room with the CEO and others are not.
My sincere request to all my professional friends would be not to sacrifice your self-development with the comfort of your job and organisation.
Given the turbulent times, organizations will stop loving many of the employees whom they pampered for years. If you have invested in yourself, your organisation will see better value with you and possibly keep you on board. In a worse situation, you have a better chance to complete in the cut throat marketplace.
Now the choice is yours.
I am a professional BA, trainer, coach and author.
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You can also reach me at LNMishra@AdaptiveProcesses.com
About my organization, Adaptive Processes
We provide training, study guides, question banks, necessary PDUs for ECBA, CCBA, CBAP and CPRE certifications.
For more details, please visit www.AdaptiveProcesses.com
24+ years of professional experience inbusiness analysis, software product development, business analysis, ERP implementations, software processes , strategic Change Management Consultancy.
Author of 12 books on Business Analysis and Requirements Engineering
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