Degree vs Certifications: Which Should You Go For? – A Detailed Guide.

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Don’t be sad if you already have a degree. I always wondered why people say a Certification is better than a Degree till I made a research.  You may have asked  questions like “Is the degree better than certifications or are Certifications better than a degree?” This argument will never cease to end, but I am here to support a motion that a Certification is better than a degree.

[box]From my numerous interactions with heads of Human resources after I opened up this question, I discovered that it wasn’t as expected.[/box]

I have written down the several reasons why Human Resource Managers feel that a Certification is better than a Degree.

Certification gives you profit faster

When I say profit, I mean the return on investment. When you get trained as a web developer, you start earning money even before you conclude your studies. My preferred training centre links their students to places they can get paid internship, which is a great opportunity to get industry exposure and make money also. So when we say a Certification is better than a Degree, we mean with respect to ROI.

The return on investment for those who acquire top skills like I listed on the blog is much higher than waiting for 5 years to get a university degree.

[box]Read Also: How to get a High Paying Job in Nigeria[/box]

Skills are needed to Acquire Certifications

If you don’t have the right skill, you might end up not acquiring a certification. What makes a professional stand out from an armature is the skill they have. When it comes to a sensitive industry like Information Technology, you depend more on practical than theoretical jargons. In most certification exams, you prove your ability to have understood both the practical and theoretical aspect of the course.

This is what Human Resource Managers term as a complete worker who is ready to hit the ground and running.

Certifications have Universal Standards

When it comes to acquiring certifications, there is no lowering of standards to favour anyone. The level playing ground in acquiring Certifications is one major reason why Human Resource Managers feel that a Certification is better than a Degree. Whether you studied in Canada, Russia, or Nigeria, the standard is universal. This shows that before you pass a certification exam, you have to show the same skill and competence level like someone who studied in a country different from yours.

However, this cannot be said for those with a degree. The conditions vary, thus making it an unrealistic yardstick to qualify candidates. No one has the capacity to truly verify a degree, but the same can’t be said for a certification that is universally accepted.

Certification is better than a Degree

Subject of Debate

Certifications don’t have Geographical Limitations

In a post on the blog, I wrote about the top skills that can get you a job abroad. This goes to show the importance of skills that has certifications attached to it. In top-tier countries, no one gives you a job because you have a First Class in Political Science. The political climate of your country and theirs can never be the same.

But when you have a certification in a course that is globally accepted, it gives you the leverage to penetrate the global market. When you penetrate the global market, you are treated like someone who has something to offer. The same can’t happen to a degree that is geographically limited.

Certifications are easier to acquire

This is just the irony of the whole debate. You spend an approximate period of 4 – 5 years to gain a college degree, and spend just a few months to get a certification.

University degrees are somewhat expensive, and the job opportunities that come along aren’t so interesting unlike when you have a certification.

Certifications are cheaper in terms of cost and duration. So if you mind getting one, it would be one of your best decisions.

[box]Read Also: Top Skills That Get You Hired in 2018[/box]

Employers focus on those with skills not degrees

An HR officer told me she would rather employ someone with a certification than a degree. With the increase in universities, degrees, employers are having a difficult trying to find those with the right skills to hire.

They believe that majority of graduates with college degrees aren’t employable, leaving a great opportunity for those with the skill and certification to get employed.

If you want to catch the attention of any employer on any social platform, then you should pitch your skills more than your degree.

Getting the right skill and certification even before getting your college degree has lots of advantage in the job market.


I have given you the reasons why a Certification is better than a Degree. The final decision boils down to you. You can ask questions regarding this subject matter, and I will be happy to answer them all.

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Do you think a degree is worth more? Join the contribution.


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Obinwanne Umunna
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