How Will Certifications JumpStart My Career?


I have been a stay-at-home mom for the last 7 years.

Before that I was a SQL report/query writer for 10 years.

I'm wanting to update my skills and start looking for a job. What would you recommend?

I haven't kept current at all since leaving the workforce.

Should I look at certifications to add to my resume?

Thanks for any advice!

1 Comment on ... How Will Certifications JumpStart My Career?

1. IT CareerCoach

While certifications may help by increasing your self-confidence or theoretical knowledge, they may not at the same time, also provide you with the practical, real-world skills required for employment. 

Certifications are not as helpful as ... improving your skills or getting hands-on experience and here is why.


Do Certifications Prove Real-World Mastery of a Skill?

Certifications may measure your ability to recite, recall or remember the correct answers to technical questions.

However, this is not usually accepted as evidence of your real-world mastery of a skill.

Keep in mind that Information Technology is a practical, hands-on domain and as such, your performance in the real-world is what your employers really care about!

Are Certifications As Valuable As Handson Experience?

Hiring managers / employers are wary of hiring candidates with little or no real-world exposure on a subject (regardless of their cerifications).

That is because paper-based certifications are not usually good predictors of a candidate's real-world, on-the-job performance!

So, as far as the job market is concerned, substituting certifications for practical, hands-on experience may be an ill-advised strategy.

Can You Substitute Certifications for Real-World Experience?

Most employers are looking for some proof / evidence of real-world hands-on experience in a hot skill and because of that, they may not accept certifications as proof of your qualifications for a job.

You may gain hands-on experience by solving real-world problems for a client and by learning the technical literature that comes with the skill / subject.

You may identify a hot skill by its popularity in job postings that reference the following:

  1. Databases (Database Design & Database Development)
  2. Business Analysis (Requirements Gathering & Analysis)
  3. Software Development (Web Design, Computer Programming)


Hot skills are in-demand because they are needed for automating the core business processes of most organizations / corporations.

So, instead of acquiring more certifications, take the time to learn a hot-skill and then gain real-world, hands-on experience .. and you will significantly improve your chances of getting a good job!


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