Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Are you too young for the job market? The short answer is no. Your age should not discourage you from seeking higher education.
Advanced certification is a qualifier that adds credibility to your life goals.
It readies you for the complex challenges in the job environment and aligns your education with the skills being demanded in the real world.
Here are some pointers to consider:
Get a leg-up in the market
One of the things that fresh graduates have to contend with is competition for opportunities from thousands of other candidates.
In this case, having an advanced certification can differentiate you from the flock.
For recruiting managers, it’s a mark of proficiency, and it announces that you don’t need much training to get started on the job.
You have the time
If you can find a relevant course that you can pursue while still in college, please go for it. At a young age, you have fewer responsibilities from work and family as well.
That means that you can concentrate better and ace those exams in the first attempt.
When you are young, chances are you are both physically and mentally fit. You have an advantage over all others that sit for exams at an older age.
Start your career on a high note
You have heard about people getting stuck in the same job position for many years. Career acceleration is not an easy thing in the real world.
Trust us, setting yourself apart with excellent technical skills and leadership skills will help a lot.
Later on, as your colleagues go back to school, you will be focused on adding value to the organization. You will be ready to pounce when the opportunity comes.
Understanding from early on
Not understanding pitfalls in business decisions and compliance dilemmas is what keeps some junior professionals forever in their junior positions.
However, gaining advanced education improves your skills, including the ability to see the bigger picture and provide solutions to challenges that face an organization.
This boosts your self-confidence and your employer’s and clients’ trust in you.
A sure path to job satisfaction and personal fulfillment
Millennials are known for “job-hopping”. A poll by Gallup shows that 21% of millennials have switched jobs in the past year.
Job-hopping points to a person that has not found passion and contentment in what they do.
That said, certification can make you good in your area of work; it makes your job easier and improves your reputation among senior leadership.
Getting this accreditation earlier could be the guarantee you need for job satisfaction and also career stability.
Get that seat at the big table
Not many new-hires and entry-level employees get looped into strategy discussions.
At this level, none of them get to have one-on-ones with senior leadership or the chance to confidently express their professional opinion on the directors of the organization.
This happens because these employees have no title to their name. A degree may be all that they have in terms of qualification.
However, adding more to your name could change all that.
Break the stereotype
No one may want to point this out, but in most organizations, senior roles are reserved for ‘seniors.’
In such situations, it is assumed that by being 40 years and older, you would have amassed the right experience to sit in the driver’s seat (or near enough to it).
A professional certification can give you a short cut to the years of experience that you would need for career advancement.
You are good with technology
Technological prowess and professional certification make a powerful combo. These are the things that employers seek in the job market.
For you, these are empowerments to be innovative, strategic, value-centric, and a good leader.
They are tickets to asking for more at job interviews because at any given moment you will have more offers and counter-offers to choose from.
You are energetic and have an open mind
Most certification courses have tough exams. Passing these tests requires not only rigorous studying but also an ability to think fast, question facts, and link theoretical knowledge with practical cases.
When you are young, you have the energy to study for longer hours and think on your feet in convoluted tests.
Gaining networks that you can leverage
Advanced certification immerses you into two types of networks; those that are earning the qualification and those that already have it.
These are people that you will be introduced to they can come in handy later in life.
They could be who you turn to when you need your first job or a new one.
You get to fulfill certain requirements
In some professional fields, you must have certification from a professional body to practice.
Even where it is not mandatory, organizations may have an exclusive affinity towards specific accreditations.
In both these cases, the only way to kick start your career is to get qualified. Without this, you may end up taking much longer to find a job after college.
You are broke (maybe)
70% of college graduates get out of school with debt. It is no wonder then that the first thing you would want to do after graduating is find a job.
How else would you pay the bills?
But, at the same time, you know that you must advance your knowledge in your area of study.
At this stage in life, certification is the cheaper option.
It’s also the better option because it takes a relatively short time to accomplish, and you can focus on work even as you go through the program.
Start building your career while still in college
Taking a professional course alongside your degree has this benefit- you get an early start on your career path.
The program exposes you to mentors and even potential employers.
It can help you land internship opportunities or train you to focus your degree preparation.
Transforming into a person of desirable character
There are so many skills that employers wish college education programs could focus on.
These include soft skills such as time management, persistence, resilience, taking “no” with graciousness, analytical thinking, decision making, and others.
The rigorous nature of a certification program will equip you with many of these skills.
Pursuing your major and a certification course in tandem improves your ability to handle pressure, to prioritize, remain focused, and leverage your options.
Becoming a ‘Trumpeter Swan’
In the words of David Ogilvy, there are different kinds of employees.
(a) Those that are excellent on strategy and poor on execution,
(b) good managers that don’t have the genius in them,
(c) the genius that is a poor leader,
(d) a trumpeter swan who is a genius with inspirational leadership skills.
An advance accreditation sharpens you on all edges in this manner, allowing you to make an impression at a young age.
You have time to plan a career path
Right now, you can think clearly without having to base your career goals around family.
Getting certified helps you define (with confidence) where you want your career path to take you after graduation.
The family that you decide to have in the future will readily conform to your goals.
Gaining specialized knowledge
For some people, being a CEO is the peak of their career ambitions.
For others, the path leads further to a point where they establish and run their own organizations.
We have talked so much about the former, but certification is also critical for entrepreneurship.
This path can take you through employment just like everyone else.
It gives you the chance to show proficiency and earn the trust of clients and industry stakeholders.
When you eventually roll out your business, these people will follow you.
But this is a long term goal that needs a lengthy preparation.
Benefit from a broader world view
Earning that accreditation gives you global-standard knowledge and skills in addressing business issues and challenges.
It gives you the ability to think beyond your own scope and exposes you to diverse concepts and perspectives through various study materials, networks, and student collaborations.
The final message
You are never too young to obtain mastery. You have so much to accomplish in your career, start now by arming yourself with the right knowledge and credentials.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as we had creating it. Be sure to use the links below for much more information:
Don’t stop believing,
The QuestionBank Family