Use any internet search engine and type in “fake certification” or a similar phrase and you may likely find offers for certification credentials in your profession of choice with no skills assessment, training, or experience required – except for a legitimate credit card. Obviously, entering “fake certification” will result mostly in offers for “novelty” credentials; however, many so-called “legitimate” certification credentials can be just as worthless as the fakes. Just how can this be so? Well, the certification industry is largely unregulated. Basically, you will find no regulating agencies to enforce standards, so each certifying body can make their particular.
In reality, pretty much everyone can become a certification granting entity employing a desktop computer along with a printer. This may not be to express that all certifications are phony; you will find certification granting bodies that indeed have high standards, but unfortunately, most usually do not. For every credible and recognized certification, there could be several competing ones that have been unrecognized, questionable, or outright fakes. Being unregulated, the certification sector is truly a “wild west show”, which makes it hard for the uninformed to distinguish the great from your bad. However, with some footwork, it’s not really that hard to remove value from your “junk”.
Assessment Criteria – Should your goal is to acquire a credential that really validates your expertise, it will probably be based on a mixture of experience, a skills assessment, training and education, along with a reference check. Keep in mind however, that also a program proclaiming use of these criteria may be “lower than credible” if it waters them down or enables them to be “gamed” to an extent that enables anyone to qualify. For example, a skills assessment can be quite a questionnaire that even a five year old could pass, training could be within an unrelated field, and experience or references could be stated and unverifiable. A good way to gauge the validity of any fake certificate is to discover its pass rate. Usually, the greater the pass rate, the much more likely it can belong to the “less than credible” category.
General Reputation – Name recognition may be negative and positive; good like trusted, valuable, and respected – bad like infamous, notorious, or scam artist. Before signing up for a certification program, it would be prudent to learn of its reputation which of the organization granting it. Search the net, ask friends, family, coworkers, yet others. For obvious reasons, the objective is to remove certifications and/or organizations with negative reputations. However, remember that because a certification or organization isn’t popular doesn’t mean it provides no value. You can find well known organizations offering certifications which are considered a “joke” by its industry practitioners, but those same credentials may seem credible for an uniformed public as a result of name recognition factor. Also, small organizations offer certification programs which are often respected inside their professions, however are relatively unknown to most people. Adding to the confusion, some popular certification granting organizations may offer multiple certification programs, some which can be credible plus some that are not. Although name recognition itself can offer an initial short-term credibility kick, it should be considered only when other indicators of quality and credibility exist.
Peer Acceptance – After filtering out the obvious junk, the next thing is to learn which certification credentials are valued by your industry’s practitioners. Talking with practicing professionals, employers, and customers can uncover lots of valuable information. Respected certifications as well as those regarded as “worthless” tend to be well-known within particular industries, but there may be little information, good or bad, on them in the public. Certification programs wbsfqn a high acceptance among affected practitioners, employers, and customers enhances ROI (return) and can reduce your odds of earning a worthless credential that will label you being a “wannabee” or “phony”. It’s just like important to discuss certification with seasoned practitioners who are not certified.
Practitioners might have valid factors behind not seeking certification because they may take into account the available credentials as not credible, unnecessary, a gimmick, or fraudulent. Sometimes, particular certifications become quite popular within an industry. If this sounds like the truth for a certification program you are looking for, it might be worthwhile to discover why. Often certifications become popular only because they are easy to obtain, the selling point being that any paper credential provides you with an “edge” over the competition. But impressive looking credentials granted by official sounding organizations are only able to go up to now regardless of the ribbons, buzz words, signatures, along with other trappings used so they are appear legitimate. Also, nearly all experienced practitioners and employers won’t be fooled by appearances and are certain to investigate any unfamiliar credentials they are offered across. Whatever the case, because of all the variables, it’s crucial to check out each of the available certifications within your field of interest and to discuss your findings with professionals in that field.