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November 2018
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TD Magazine

Take the Next Step in Your Career

Do your homework to determine what type of professional development is right for you.

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Do you feel you have what it takes to make the next step in your career? Maybe you feel a bit stuck and are eager and anxious to learn something new.

A professional certification may be right for you. In "Develop Your Career With a Professional Certification," Bob Collins offers insights into why you need to keep your growth and development at the forefront: "At a high level, you will want to retain and develop marketable skills—skills that employees and clients value and that, in an ideal world, are professionally and personally fulfilling."

To determine this, Collins suggests asking yourself where you want to be in five years.

If you're considering a certification rather than a license, endorsement, assessment-based certificate program, or other means of development, Collins warns that not all certifications are alike. He suggests asking yourself a series of questions:

  • Is the program accredited, or does it follow accreditation recommendations? The National Commission for Certifying Agencies and the International Accreditation Service have established standards for professional certifications.
  • Does the certification require you to take a class or purchase certain materials before you may take the exam? If so, that is not a professional certification. It may, instead, be an endorsement.
  • How well does the organization offering the certification program represent the profession? How well known is it in the profession?

These tips were adapted from the November 2018 issue of TD at Work.

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About the Author
The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.
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