Money & Business

Study: Certifications Lead To Higher Salaries and Greater Job Fulfillment

By / Apr 7, 2016 (iStock/Thinkstock)

A new study found that a majority of professionals who completed an online certification course reported bumps in salary and job fulfillment—promising news for associations and their members.

Earlier this year the HR Certification Institute launched a new professional certification for early-career human resource professionals.

The Associate Professional in Human Resources (aPHR) helped fill a void in HRCI’s certification offerings for younger HR professionals just out of school and other more experienced professionals who may be transitioning into the HR industry from other areas.

Not only is the new certification a boon to HRCI because it increases the organization’s relevance to a wider audience, but, according to new research, the aPHR may also be a big benefit for those who complete it.

A recent survey of 400,000 people across the globe found that after completing an online certification, 76 percent reported a salary increase or promotion. And when compared with noncertified professionals, those who had completed an online certification were also more likely to report higher levels of confidence and fulfillment at work.

Conducted by Simplilearn, a professional online certification course provider, the survey found that the fields with some of the most significant gains in job titles and salary were digital marketing, IT service and architecture, project management, and big data analytics.

“Employees who go the extra mile to continue to build on their college degrees, particularly in areas that are in most demand by their employers, do receive upticks in salary, promotions, quality of work done, and quality of work assigned, across several fields and industries,” Michael Stebbins, Simplilearn’s chief innovation officer, said in a statement.

The findings, while somewhat self-interested given who conducted the survey, do highlight the value of certifications. An idea supported by research from the ASAE Foundation and North Carolina State University’s Institute for Nonprofits, which found that the benefits of a credential can include increased prestige and a competitive advantage for credential holders, depending on the industry.

While some jobs in the association industry are in high demand right now, others are less so, and a certification or professional credential could help set job applicants apart. After all, showing a potential employer that you have invested in your own professional development and take your career growth seriously might be the difference between you and 100 other applicants.

Meanwhile, for associations that offer certifications—given their reported value in leading to higher pay and promotions—following in HRCI’s footsteps and surveying where there are potential gaps in what you offer members might be beneficial to both your organization and membership.

Have you found that a certification led to increased growth and fulfillment in your career? Please share in the comments.

Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. More »

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