Are You Collecting Certificates or The Skills?

Do you ever see the ads from a tertiary school, a private school or even just a random person on Facebook, touting their new course and when you scroll through the comments, the first question asked is…”Do we get a certificate?” I see this happening relentlessly now and I keep having to ask myself, what is more important, the certificates or the skills?

The reason why this is becoming a problem has to do with the mindset of these individuals. Many people want the paper just to make themselves more desirable for employment but don’t actually care about learning the skill.

I do feel like the institutions have some of the best sales & marketing reps because I am seeing more and more random courses and these exorbitant fees for these 1-day courses. They can get away with charging them because they have built their brands and also because they are a recognized institution.

I am sorry but I saw an ad yesterday about learning how to transition from supervisor to a manager and the course was $4000ttd for this 4-hour session. Then, the first question asked was, “Will I get a certificate?” Scroll a bit further down and I see someone else asked, “…but what on earth would this certificate say?”

I get it, people want the certificates, it’s the international symbol that you have accomplished something. But it’s almost like we forget that certificates only matter when they are coming from accredited institutions and then on top of that, some of these institutions know that people will buy anything from them, once their insignia is on the piece of paper. So we are starting to see even more random courses, with high price tags, that won’t help you to much in the long run.

When the institutions are offering some courses that make sense, say something like…social media marketing, you then need to start asking who the facilitators are. How is it that you are facilitating a course on social media marketing when you haven’t even built your own social media following or have any proof of your portfolio? But because you have the co-sign from an institution, this now warrants the course to cost $3000?

I mean, I can’t knock the hustle (ok…I gotta knock it a little bit), but consumers need to get smarter at this point. If nobody is buying or going to these courses than they will need to change up their game.

On the flip side, what is also funny to me…is that you will have people who have a proven portfolio or skillset, trying to teach you the skill that they have shown is working or putting out a book/online course/etc…and the public will be scared or question whether or not they should patronize the individual because they are not an institution…like WTF?

I am at a loss at how this makes sense. You would rather spend 10x the amount at an institution, for a piece of paper, with no guarantee of results, than the small money with someone, who has an actual skill and proven results? The first question in the comments shouldn’t be, are we getting any certificates but what are the skills we will learn and how will it enable us?

If you have been keeping up with the times, the people getting sent home from jobs downsizing, are typically the ones with all of the paper and designations to their name. Business is business and it’s never personal. Throughout all of the tough economies, you know the people who are still making money and still land on their feet after getting let go? The people with actual skills.

The mindset for most people is still to stack up on certificates but what is a certificate when the jobs aren’t hiring or they are looking for people with a portfolio of work.

The goal for people has to change. People need to question if they are in it for the certificates or the skills. I have currently started a digital marketing course and I am buying the necessary equipment and courses to start learning videography. The goal is to learn how to use the technology to best promote my business, shoot more of my own content and also, then better be able to teach people how they can leverage the technology to help build their own businesses.

The people who are making the real money in the digital age are constantly asking themselves, “what skills do I need to succeed?” And if they are already making great money, they are asking themselves, “what skillsets are my business lacking, so that I can go out and outsource or higher the relevant parties.”

It’s time for you to make that shift mentally. So while the institutions are constantly releasing 1-day courses with the high price tags and the coveted certificates. Ask yourself, what this course is going to do for you. Is it mandatory to get a raise or move up the ladder in your job? If not, you are better off looking for courses to take that will teach you tangible and practical skills, so that you can leverage them in any fashion you choose.

So I ask you, are collecting certificates or the skills?

If you want to figure out what skills you should learn, start by looking at your passions and reverse engineer what skills you will need to bring them to fruition. Check out my article on how to find your passion and pick your niche.

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