With certifications, we’re confusing education with expertise. There’s a difference between a NASCAR driver and a kid who just passed his driver’s-ed class. And certifications are on the driver’s-ed side of things.
All certifications show is basic competence that you won’t hurt someone. It doesn’t make you an expert. It just shows that you’re not an idiot.
Some people think that certifications are worthless. Yes, probably, but it’s hard to not pick them up on the way to becoming good. If you told me that you did martial arts for 30 years and you’re not a black belt, that’s kind of odd, right? You haven’t picked up any sort of third-party recognition of your ability.
Let’s say you come to me for a job and you’ve never had a certification in your life. It doesn’t look impressive. I would expect somebody who’s good to pick them up.
So I don’t put any faith in them at all, but I’ve learned something with every class I’ve been to and every book I’ve read. You’re not going to become dumber by going in and taking another class. You might learn one thing. So if you’re a professional and you’re trying to get better, you’re going to pick these things up. But in absolutely no way, shape, or form does a certification equal expertise.
While Mr. Cosgrove was talking about fitness certifications, it really doesn’t matter what field it’s in: fitness, martial arts, handguns, computers, any field you’re in can and will have certifications.
You just have to remember it only means so much.