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Old 01-05-2013, 06:47 AM
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Default Certifications...are they worth it?

I interviewed with a client yesterday who seems very keen on hiring me for ongoing work. She asked me several times if I had WordPress, SEO or a professional blogger certification. I told her I did not, but I do have experience in those fields. I gave her examples of published work and testimonials of work that I had completed for clients who use WordPress and SEO techniques. She was pleased with the samples, but asked if I would be willing to obtain one of the three certifications within a year. I'm still mulling it over because the client is located in the UK and has stated they would put it in writing that they would pay for the certification under certain conditions which I cannot go into right now.

I don't have a problem doing it. That's not it. I mean, I've had a lot of clients recently ask about this and seen a lot of business ads for people requesting new writers have a certification in at least WordPress. What I'm wondering is would it be worth it to get the certification? Not just for this client, but for future clients? Would it increase my client base and would it be a good idea to have as a fall back? I know a lot of people want someone who is skilled in WordPress, but does not necessarily handle the writing/content aspects.

What's your view?
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:23 AM
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I think that if the client is willing to pay for it, then it certainly can't hurt to get a certification in one of the three areas.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:29 AM
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Unless something's changed, I know someone once asked about WordPress Certification a few months back on the WordPress forums and the WP admins said there wasn't any such thing. The companies who state there are certifications aren't associated with WP I'd think.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:18 AM
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I did ask the client about that since WP itself does not offer or endorse any certification program. Basically they said that the certifications they would pay for may not be approved by WP but they would give the background and knowledge in WP the client wants to know the writer has. I guess its their way of making sure the writer knows how to use WP instead of just saying they do in order to land the job.

My concern is how well the certification would be received with another client. I suppose it couldn't hurt. I have always been the type of person to say "here's my experience, here's the work to prove it, here are the connections to prove it" and let that stand on its own. I'm finding more and more clients are asking for certifications so its a bit off putting. Like the SEO certification. I know its available, but I have a huge list of published samples that show I know what I'm doing with it. They are offering to pay for it, but I'm concerned because I have just an off feeling about the whole thing.

Last edited by jwinter; 01-05-2013 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:53 PM
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I've been seeing an uptick in certification requests as well. As far as I can tell, it's like the new "degree." There are so many open source classes out there along with micro-courses that it doesn't surprise that people want to see some sort of proof for the class. Most open source places I check into will give a certification for the same classwork that if you paid would receive a degree. Micro-courses have become so finely tuned that many of them are less than ten hours and offer a certification of specialization.

There was a time when a certification didn't mean nearly as much to an employer, but I'm guessing that with how job trends are going and people needing to be well versed in a multitude of different areas to fill a single position that will will see an even greater trend toward certs.

Personally, if the client was paying for the class, then I would take it. Being considered an expert in several fields only increases your marketability. If people had to get a degree for each and every area of expertise no one would ever get out of college.

The real question comes down to - do you have time in your schedule to get the certs?
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:52 AM
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I have the time if I make the time. I mean I can reschedule some stuff. It would be a bit difficult and I think that is one of the things holding me back about it.

I can see the benefit of having the certification and I did ask if I would be under contract to only use the certification with them or if I could put it on my site, etc. Some businesses that pay for things like that get a bit ticky. Apparently they are fine with me using it, fine with me having other clients, etc. They just don't want me using it with one of their competitors or outsourcing the work at all, which is understandable. Most of their competitors are in the UK so it really isn't an issue.

They gave me a list to choose from, so I think after I finish work today I'll look into the curriculum requirements and length of time and make my final decision. We have the baby on the way and from May through the following six months I have no idea how much work will be coming in or I'll be able to do. The thought of having that certification and being able to land clients with higher paying gigs and lower amounts of work is, as anyone can see, really appealing.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:43 AM
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This is interesting. I've never heard of these certifications before. Do you know a website where I can look into them?
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