There are many certificate programs available now on the Internet and at universities. Some of these certificates are pure profit-making machines that might not help established professionals gain the skills they need to succeed in their respective industries. Some certificates however can be invaluable, and moreover help experts thrive in new organizational environments, where subject matter expertise is not the only thing needed.
Rather, some of the best in-demand certificates for researchers and analysts these days are skills-based applications and tools that help organizations run a little bit smoother and make working culture easier to navigate. One certificate, The Project Management Certification, is not an application based certificate but tests how well an individual can work in a team, on a tight deadline, and make a coherent presentation to a target audience.
Getting Certified in Project Management
For much of the humanities, getting certified in a Masters's program in Project Management can be highly advantageous. For prospective researchers and those looking to work for non-profits, NGOs, and government, more is needed than just subject matter and historical expertise about a given country, region, or political issue. These hard skills are definitely foundational to working in this sector, but project management skills and getting certified in project management shows experts in this sector that you know how to perform and use your knowledge base in a strategic and cooperative manner.
For example, project management classes have graduate students address major policy issues in a country context, allow them to design their own research experiments about how to address such an issue, and then present their findings to the professor who acts as an audience of a policy circle judging the weight of the presentation from a government perspective.
Getting certified in project management shows how an academic move from theory and knowledge base of systemic issues to practical application and appropriate research methods to address a problem. The series also forces prospective researchers to work with other students from different backgrounds and tests CQ when working in a group setting. Overall this certificate shows how well researchers can think when under pressure needing to collaborate with others. No easy task.
SalesForce and Customer Relationship Management
While getting into a pressing research role in the social sciences might offer great job satisfaction, managers will also need additional duties and tasks completed. Great researchers and academics might struggle with SalesForce if they don’t go through some type of training or certification program. Likewise, those who in research institutions can climb the ladder easier if they are skilled in using SalesForce to an organization's advantage.
SalesForce is being adopted especially by non-profits who deal with many clients, partners, potential partners, and donors. As a piece of relationship management software, SalesForce helps co-workers look up and find the right people they want to talk to regarding projects, proposals, or simply for networking or donor support. When employees can help other staff members by supplying them with the right information via SalesForce, it helps the whole operation go smoother and validates that employees worth to a small or large team.
The trade-offs of earning a certificate
Time invested in getting a certificate should be time well spent learning skills that will help you with your career, in the short and long term. Researchers especially, who tend to be more academically minded, need to think hard about which certificates will benefit them in the organizations they’d like to, or already do work for. Research roles can be stressful, so it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into and how technology is evolving with the workplace you’ll be a part of. In this way, certificates are a little bit similar to real estate, where you have to think strategically about where you’re going to buy property, as this decision will affect your livelihood in the short and long term.
On another note, the marketplace is also becoming saturated with certificates that do offer skills and training, but aren’t highly applicable to many jobs or are in fact too general to be considered essential.
For example, Facebook now offers a Marketing certificate that is all online but you obviously need to pay a fee for. But given Facebook’s worldwide presence and the younger generations savvy with social media, it might be excessive to spend time and money in getting certified in something Facebook oriented, as its ubiquity makes it less of a prized possession. Such a certificate is also not necessary if you can teach yourself Facebook marketing at a fraction of the cost.