Should You Pay For That Certification?

By Toucan

When you are living in a job or situation it grates on your every nerve, you feel suffocated, your chest is heavy and it takes effort just to breathe. Just getting out of bed on time is a challenge you lose every morning and Mondays? Forget about it.

You start looking for a new job hoping for the greener grass on the other side of the fence. Even if it is harder, at least it is different! Maybe you are trying to start a side business and are trying to make yourself seem more credible in a new field.

Some people look into going back to school and get a degree. Some look for certifications. I did both! I wanted OUT!

Opportunity Cost

One of the most obvious issues is the cost. Any certification worth anything has a cost. A $97 “certification” up to a $60,000 2-4 year degree program. Nothing was as frustrating to me the day I graduated with my MBA. I realized that if I spent just 6 weeks and $3,000 I could have a PMP certification which would have given me more income potential.

Not all our wallets can take that kind of abuse. But that is not the largest cost.

The time spent racking up certifications and degrees can range from weeks to years, delaying the advancement we crave. What could you do in that time?

Most people could take that money they would have invested to actually USE the skills and learn in the real world.  After, they would end up with experience instead of certification.

Do You NEED It?

I have worked with many people looking to get degrees or certifications in Marketing.

…but why?

Marketing firms don’t hire based on degrees. If I was to hire a marketer, it would be someone that demonstrated they know how to write a blog post that converts. Or a person that have used ads to drive targeted traffic.

If you take $25,000 and spent it on a degree, you would walk out with a degree trying to convince a boss that you could handle a $50,000 a month ad budget with zero experience. Never going to happen.

If you took $500 and put up your own website, take a couple clients, your could EARN $25,000 building websites, managing social accounts, writing blog articles, and actually building experience that same boss will be chasing you for!

Occam’s Razor

Occam said that the simplest solution is often the correct one.

Among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected.” Occam’s Razor

You could assume that the certification will add value.

You could assume that customers will know what the certification even means.

Let me ask you this, what certification does the guru have you are hoping to learn from? Chances are you are choosing them because of their experience.

Instead of putting off actually helping people, try applying the skills you already have. Stop spending money now, hoping to make more in the future. Start with small projects and build your experience.

As a bonus, make sure you record your projects on your LinkedIn profile. Much more valuable!

Fear: The Real Reason

If we get real with ourselves, it isn’t the certification we want. The certification is just an excuse.

Asking people for money is difficult. We were never taught that in school. The problem is that certifications don’t make that any easier.

We think that the certification will give us the confidence to talk to bosses and customers to make the sale. After spending thousands on courses, I can tell you most training and certifications don’t help.

The solution is to stop building obstacles and get started!

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