Harmand St. Hubert turned into 23 years antique working complete time as a process price analyst for a production corporation in Palm Beach County, Fla., when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Four months into his new process, the enterprise closed its doors and St. Hubert changed into laid off. Despite the bachelor's degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting he'd earned from Kentucky Christian University in December 2018, he had trouble locating CompTIA Security+ a brand new activity. The pandemic, he said, opened his eyes. "It installed angle which you need a specialization, not just a degree. That specialization will … make you stand out," he instructed SHRM Online. Harmand St. Hubert Employers, St. Hubert found out, want task applicants with industry-identified credentials "so that they recognize what precisely you specialize in and what you may offer them as their employee." He's already had several employers attain out to him. St. Hubert have become one of the many males and females who've earned some sort of certification at some point of the pandemic to make themselves extra marketable to employers. The number of specialists investing in licensed control accountant certification, for instance, extended 12 percent for the monetary year finishing June 30, 2020, in keeping with a Reuters record, as compared to the 2019 economic yr. "We are attributing that to the fact that in those hard and uncertain instances, new candidates comprehend that they want to refine their competencies both due to the fact they have got lost their process or their process is uncertain inside the destiny, which sadly [is] the fact for a whole lot of human beings," Dennis Whitney, senior vice chairman of certifications on the Institute of Management Accountants, advised Reuters. "COVID made me recognise that what you do must be critical," St. Hubert mentioned, "and I trust that IT is important." Now he's spending nearly 20 hours each week in Zoom training to earn an IT certification. He said he expects the time and $11,000 in training paid to New Horizons South Florida, a pc training college, could be really worth it because he believes certification will make him greater marketable. When he completes the intensive 9-week online path in November, earning CompTIA certification in Security+, Network+ and A+, he will be qualified to work as a cybersecurity IT developer. The IT industry is converting hastily, pointed out Charlene Pou, executive director at Miami-based New Horizons South Florida. "By the time college students finish a 4-year university degree, the era has moved on," she stated. "As a end result, many college students face the need to re-teach themselves." About 60 percent of students at New Horizons have an partner degree. "They are trying to get into a place in which they are able to get a excessive-paying job without going thru years and years of training," Pou said. "That's the beauty of [certification]. You get skilled up speedy; it is very rigorous." Many Types of Certifications Certification packages are not confined to IT. Stefani Bolger, SHRM-SCP, is an HR generalist at The Loomis Co. In Honey Brook, Pa. She at the beginning planned to be a 2nd-grade trainer, but 18 months into her training she realized teaching changed into now not for her. She determined to follow in her mother's footsteps and pursue an HR career by means of incomes her Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) certification. "All credentials aren't created same—nor ought to they be," stated Mary Wright, manager of the human aid registered apprenticeship program for the SHRM Foundation. Some are designed to fill a small gap in someone's understanding, she defined, at the same time as others, consisting of the CPA or the SHRM-CP, are designed to create mastery. On Oct. 26, Wright will gift research findings on opportunity credentials at the SHRM INCLUSION 2021 conference during the concurrent session "Using Alternative Credentials Effectively." "Some have rigorous checks that validate a person's studying, while others are accomplished on the honour device," Wright determined. "There is also a great deal of bias in the system. Are new vendors of credentials as properly as agencies which have brought credentials to their repertoire?" One aspect using hobby in area of expertise credentials, she noted, is the high price of traditional postsecondary schooling. Learners "are looking for alternatives, and online or virtual lecture rooms are enough for plenty," a shift made greater dramatic in the course of the pandemic. Meanwhile, "employers are frequently sticking to standard necessities because they don't know the way to degree or examine the credentials," Wright stated. Alternative credentials that executives, supervisors and HR experts locate maximum compelling are enterprise or professional certifications, consistent with the brand new SHRM research. In July and August, SHRM surveyed 500 U.S. Executives, 1,200 U.S. Supervisors, 1,129 U.S. HR professionals and 1,525 U.S. Employees who did no longer have direct reviews. Executives and supervisors indexed schooling certificates and direction crowning glory certificate inside their top 3 choices of credentials they discover maximum compelling. HR experts desired digital badges that require passing an examination and registered apprenticeships, consistent with SHRM. Credentials that impress recruiters, in keeping with Glassdoor, encompass the following function-precise certifications: HR certifications, which include SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP. Project control. Salesforce. Help table/computing device analyst (A+, Network+). Network (CCNA, CCNP, CCIE). Software-related credentials, along with Hubspot Inbound and Google (Publisher, Analytics, AdWords), additionally seize recruiters' eyes, in step with Glassdoor. There also are certificates packages that provide specialized schooling inside a profession, together with the SHRM Foundation's new Workplace Mental Health Ally Certificate, the loose Getting Talent Back to Work Certificate application and the free Veterans at Work Certificate program. Earning additional certificate is valuable, Wright found, as long as the learner has a few self belief it will have marketplace value. Executives, supervisors and HR experts located opportunity credentials precious, but rated a job candidate's experience and traditional levels better in value while making hiring choices. However, greater than 3-fourths of all 3 groups said that their enterprise encourages employees to pursue credentials as part of their career development or profession pursuits. As for promotions or succession making plans, 80 percent of executives and sixty nine percent of supervisors agreed applicants with opportunity credentials are regarded more favorably; 62 percentage of HR specialists agreed.