Certificate, Certification, or Completion? Differences between these Confusing Terms

No matter where you apply for your next tech-savvy or managerial job in a startup or established company, you will be asked to put information about your certifications. Nowadays, a college degree and work experience seem insufficient to win the HR team’s heart to hire you. However, there are countless types of certifications available online. You could get a certification, certificate of completion, or even badge after finishing some short courses. So, what are the differences between those quite confusing terms?

  1. Certification

Certifications are standardized credentials awarded by professional associations, independent bodies, or legal corporations. Some certifications are accredited by a government body such as the ministry or a state-owned enterprise. Most of the time, certifications require the participants to study for a defined amount of time before taking a final examination. Many companies need specific certifications for some roles to ensure the quality of the new candidate. A certification may guarantee that you have possessed a certain set of skills required in that job position. That is why it could be easier for job seekers to get their dream jobs if they hold a certain certification.

  1. Certificate of Completion

This term is arguably the most arbitrary one. You may need to learn for a specific amount of time, finish a short multiple-choice test, or participate in a webinar to earn a certificate of completion. There is no such standard for giving a certificate of completion to a student or participant in a seminar. Thus, a certificate of completion has less trustworthiness than a certification. Usually, the HR team would not ask for a certificate of completion during the hiring process because it does not define your skills.

  1. Badges, Pin, Star

The last type is the most recent type of award. You may have seen a digital badge such as ‘best sales of the year’, ‘most aspiring staff’, or ‘listed in Forbes 100’. Similar to a certificate of completion, you can earn these badges or pins in many ways. Usually, you need to enrol in short training or perform in some way to achieve these badges. These small emblems gain popularity because of their shareability nature. People could show it on their LinkedIn or company website profile as an achievement. It becomes an important aspect of someone’s professional profile.

Finding the differences between these terms may guide you in your next certification. Make sure to take the most suitable certificate related to your ability to enhance your portfolio (LLN).

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