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The child has one intuitive aim: self development

Why extra certifications matter in today’s time – overview and trends

Why extra certifications matter in today’s time – overview and trends

By Dr. Pratibha Jain,

( Scholar in Child Development, PhD in Child Development , Delhi University )

International Education Counselor

 

Life-long learning is increasingly becoming an essential component of a person’s work-life today

. With the dynamics of job profiles changing with new demands, there is a need for

continuous “re-learning and new learning” to remain competitive. In this scenario, certificate

programs are meeting the need by providing relevant learning in a short duration.   Most

programs do not have stringent entry criteria or pre-requisite knowledge. The content is usually

developed and approved by industry experts. Flexible timings, skill based  capsule approach,

easy access and abundant  variety    enables Certification  courses to cater to a wide spectrum of

learners  of all ages and backgrounds.

 

Multimedia tools, videos and simulated games give the certificate providers the freedom  to

design their own content  and delivery methods .  The “blended” teaching often includes  a

combination of onsite learning as well off-site  virtual classrooms. Modern pedagogy tools allow

adaptations according  to capability making the courses appealing   for people with varying

abilities . Thus, certification courses provide ideal opportunities  for self motivated people to

learn “any skill , any time at any place” .

 

There are three emerging models of  the additional  certifications  designed   for  different  target

audiences. The first most popular model has a vocational focus with practical training relevant to

a specific  skill  . The second model which is fast gaining importance  is  for the  conventional

student who takes additional  courses to supplement  the degree as evidence of interest,

indicative of capability to go that extra mile and to differentiate the resume.  The third

model which is emerging as a response to market need caters to the professional who needs

continuous upgrading of skills to keep in sync with changing work demands.

 

Certified courses have become a risk free way of  exploring non-traditional or inter disciplinary

learning .  Courses in music, art,  crafts, multimedia design, interior design , film making,

dance,  photography , animation, culinary arts, baking, chocolate –making etc.  attract students

from all backgrounds, feeding their “urge to learn” .   The vocational nature of many courses

develops practical competence in areas not offered by regular degree programs. These courses

designed and delivered by experienced professionals  directly lead to employment. Training

courses in  Beauty care, spa masseurs, health care , dietetics, horticulture, gardening, digital

marketing, event management, cake crafts, auto-mechanics, robotics, waste management  and

many more offer options to suit every person .

 

 

The academic curricula  in most Indian universities is  slow to change according to new

demands   . Private and government institutes cover the ‘skill gaps’   by offering  Certificate

courses with  specialized domain knowledge .The  Information Technology sector has been  the

first to  start the trend with an abundance of  certifications in  computer languages ,  cyber

security, web design,   ethical hacking , games design , android applications , data mining and

more.Other disciplines too have been  quick to recognize the value of contemporary

certifications   which reduce the training  time and cost of new job entrants. So , a number of

courses are offered by the industry itself supplementing theory with  ‘real world’ skills .  The

range becomes wider by the day  with courses in   project management,  inventory management,

quality control, six –sigma, supply-chain management,  Cyber law , Intellectual Property Rights,

Media and Entertainment laws etc. Short courses that teach writing a project brief, analyzing

case studies ,managing dependencies in a complex environment and so forth are in abundance .

 

Online courses offered by international institutes   are a cost effective route to gaining

international insights  . Globally accredited certifications like CIMA, CFA, ACCA dominate the

roster , closely followed by courses like International Marketing Communication,   Business

Analytics, SAP, ERP . Coursera  , the online learning collaboration between top global

universities like MIT and Harvard, is now offering certificates of completion for a range of

courses .

 

 

Continuous learning is the current buzzword among aspirants aiming to rise  to the  top

echelons  of their  world. Certification courses  at most  Business schools and universities  across

India and the world  are being tailored to meeting specific  objectives whether it's learning

to  implement strategic change, building new competencies, improving operational  performance

or enhancing   leadership skills. Right from Harvard , Kellogg, UCLA, Wharton, IE in Spain,

INSEAD in France to ISB in Hyderabad and IIMs of India, all schools  offer  “modular

certificate programs” valued for their  sharp, crisp and relevant  learning .

 

Thus, achieving an industry-recognized certification offered by local and international bodies has

become valuable in every profession.

 

There is no doubt that in the competitive  work  scenario every additional skill counts. Hence,

Certificate courses will continue to gain in popularity as they  enable people to acquire a variety

of  different   skills, knowledge, and proficiency on a continuous basis without

disturbing  mainstream education and even regular  work life.  The greatest advantage is that the

focused , skill –based, blended delivery  approach allows people to customize their learning,

choosing “what” they want to study, as well as “how and where”.   These  courses are  a vital

tool that allow people of all ages to keep themselves on a track of continuous learning for work,

for pleasure or for self development .

 

An indicative list of Certificate courses

Certified Financial Planner  gives a holistic view of all aspects of financial planning like Risk

Analysis & Insurance  Planning, Retirement Planning and Employee Benefits, Investment

Planning, Tax planning and Estate planning.

Event Management essentially deals with planning and managing events like conferences,

meetings, conventions, marriages, etc. It includes skills in detailing logistics for events, minute

planning, negotiation for prices ,  client liaison and communication . National Institute of Event

Management  facilitates  work on actual events giving students  the vital  hands-on experience .

Nutrition and dietetics  involves the understanding of the nutritive value of different

foods. Students    develop diet plans  to improve  health and to control  diseases. Certified people

may find work in hospitals, research centers, healthcare centers, sports centers or in consulting

.

Spa Therapy and Spa Management  : The training  qualifies  learners to practice  varied aspects

of spa-therapy largely related to the Ayurveda methods of healing mental and physical ailments

through pressure point massage .

Media and communication courses include Animation, Graphic design, Public Speaking,

Photography , Creative Writing, Journalism , Public Relations , Corporate Communications,

Digital Video Production,  Digital marketing and Search engine optimization . Beneficial for

those    looking  for a career in advertising, PR, print, broadcast & web based journalism.

ERP and SAP certification    equips students to develop and use software to manage the

Functional Areas and Business Processes of small and mid-size organizations.  SAP  is an ERP

system that handles almost all department of an organization like Finance , Controlling, Human

Resource, Sales, Distribution, Material management, Warehouse, Production, Security, Research

etc

Hacking and Cyber Security  Courses  develop competence to use software  for the protection

of sensitive data .  Modules cover  Ethical Hacking, Web Application Security, Network

Security, Penetration Testing and forensics . Hackers attempt to find loopholes in the security

systems  of companies and individuals . Students learn to prevent others from attacking the same

account and obtaining sensitive information.

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