If you clicked on this post, there's a good chance that you work or want to work in a field where certification is a possibility. I want to preface this post by saying that I will not be going into any details about any specific industry but rather discuss some of the ideas surrounding this issue.
Is It Even A Question???
First of all, if you want to work in an industry that REQUIRES certification before you can do anything, LEGALLY, then this is not a question you need to ask.
NO, do not become a back alley nurse, please!
If your field requires a degree or licensing, there is little you can do to bypass that. You can always look into other field related to your interest if going to school is just not an option!. (Check Out my post on Learning Without College)
Fields that have a legal grey area are different. Some of them have different laws in different states and some are just based on what you actually do and don't do. Some fields have a spectrum of certification, for example, nutrition can range anywhere from "Health Coach" to "Registered Dietitian" with one end requiring little to no formal certification and the other end requiring a bachelors and entry into a specific Dietitian program.
So How Do You Decide What To Do?
Honestly, it's up to you to decide. There are going to be people on both ends who advocate for their path and half of them will be successful and half won't be but it doesn't always correlate with their certification.
I've seen successful professionally certified coaches say that certification is the only way to go and I've seen professionally certified coaches who can't make a buck.
I've seen successful uncertified coaches making great money and helping people and I've seen uncertified coaches making zero money and not being able to help people.
It comes down to other factors.
Education and Knowledge
There is a difference between being educated and being knowledgeable. You can be know things without having a degree and there are people with degree who don't know things. Be honest...do you have the necessary knowledge to do the work you want to do? If yes, then certification may be just a way to appease clients so that they want to hire you but it is not necessary if you can prove that you know what you are doing. If no, figure out how to get it! Maybe going through a certification program will be the way to do so and maybe you need to spend some time under proper mentorship. In the end, if you don't know what you're supposed to know for the job, it won't work out.
Marketing and Investments
Look, some people have money. They will easily throw down thousands on a company to figure all the marketing, advertising, and website stuff for them. All they have to do is just start the work. Some people spend time and energy learning the stuff for themselves and still invest a good amount of time and money into their business in order to get things going for them.
without some form of marketing, or with the wrong kind, you won't take off. You may be brilliant but nobody cares. Certification is not the main issue and your focus needs to be on finding the right help. Some certification programs do a great job at incorporating the marketing and business part of the job. They will teach you how to do things properly before you go out there. Some won't even touch on the subject!
Look, you will pay with your money or with your time.
Trust me, I chose time. I am a DIY person and it is something I am proud of but it has taken time!!! Obviously, I have to insert my stuff here so go check out the Career Coaching page for a free training and the Business Products page and see what can help you. I'm not one for tricking people into things they don't need but if you need help, let me know and I can help you decide.)
Experience and Talent
At the beginning you will suck. :)
Only time and experience will help you do better. Having that correct base knowledge will help you make sure that you are not wasting people's money but how well you can execute your work will change with experience.
Some people are freaking talented but let me tell you that even they took time to hone in their craft. Im sure you've heard the quote "hard work beats talent anytime". So keep working hard.
A certificate will only help you as much as you're willing to put it to work. If you just breeze through the programs and not take in the knowledge, it will be a waste. If you work super hard then the certificate is just a paper on the wall that tells you what you already know!!!
Motivation and Empathy
Some fields work directly with people. Some work directly with a craft. You need to care in order to do them well and to want to keep doing them.
IT IS MUCH EASIER TO HAVE A JOB, than it is to have a business.
Go ahead and tell the MLM recruiter trying to sign you up to not waste their time. MLM people are notorious for selling an "EASY" experience but it's BS. The people at the top didn't get there easily. IT took work and most of all it took a whole lot of caring about what they do and the people they do it for.
If you choose to become certified in a field just because there is a promise of big money, you will HATE it! I can guarantee it. If you hate people, you will hate a people business. If you hate working with your hands you won't want to do it.
A certificate will not motivate you. It will not make you care about people.
Choose to become certified to ease your client's experience with you. Choose it so that you can know you are giving them the best you possible. Choose it so that you can know when you are not the right person to help someone.
Like I said earlier, it is really up to you. You get to make the decision and live with it. You also get to make the best out of any decisions now or in the future. You can be 10 years into your successful business and decide to get a degree that will impress your customers. You can use that useless certification as a way to inspire others who also made the "wrong" decision.
I hope this post helps you. I would love to help you make this decision! Book an appointment and I'll show you what I know :)