Role-based certifications

As the nature of work is changing owing to the impact of technology, so too are the roles of people within the organisation and the qualifications required of new candidates.

Johannesburg, 03 Jun 2019
Sharon Oosterberg, Business Development Manager, CTU Training Solutions
Sharon Oosterberg, Business Development Manager, CTU Training Solutions

Role-based certifications focus on building skills and knowledge aligned to specific job roles. Sharon Oosterberg, Business Development Manager at CTU Training Solutions, says there’s been growing demand for certifications that go beyond just teaching people how to use technology, to developing the skills required to fulfil a specific job role.

“Getting certified can accelerate your career and boost your odds of success, placing you ahead of other professionals and showing that you have the skills needed for today’s technical roles,” says Oosterberg.

Gartner research confirms that certain job roles are in demand. According to Gartner TalentNeuron, 49% of all job postings by S&P 100 companies in 2018 were for just 39 roles.

In-demand skills include data analysis, advanced coding and solution selling. However, skills and roles are ever-evolving to meet technology demands, which means business leaders may not even know what types of skills to hire going forward.

All of this is driving the need for role-based certifications, says Oosterberg. “Technology is changing at such a rapid rate, with new skills being required almost daily. As a result, there has been a change in what is expected of certification courses, with demand shifting from teaching the technology to learning how to use the technology for specific job roles.”

She adds: “Microsoft specifically engaged in an extensive job task analysis to understand the skills that are required for specific job roles, and have based job-role training and certifications on the results of those job task analysis studies. Individuals can now prove their expertise and show that they are keeping pace with today’s technologies and trends. When applying for a job or promotion, a role-certified individual has the evidence that they can perform the required tasks using the technology.”

Organisations are also driving targeted job-role skills so they can find job-ready employees with relevant certifications. Recruiters and employers alike are starting to demand these types of certifications as they indicate competence on the job.

Oosterberg explains how the nature of qualifications has shifted over the past few years: “Previously, certifications were a one-size-fits-all qualification – regardless of the job role. It was more about the technology and not the skills required to perform certain tasks. The new certifications focus on using the technology to complete the tasks within a specific job role. This then meets the user and business needs and objectives.”

Where does this leave members of the workforce who went the traditional route and completed a qualification that took several years and wasn’t role-based in nature? The good news, says Oosterberg, is that the new role-based certifications are broken up into courses, with each course taking up to five days to complete, making it very achievable even for a full-time employee.

Transition exams from some of the old to new certifications make it easy for individuals to move to and achieve the latest certifications. With the availability of online and virtual instructor-led training, it is no longer necessary to take five days out of the office, thereby allowing employees to train anywhere, anytime.

She says: “For the full-time employee, the certifications talk directly to the tasks that employees either perform or might need to perform. Whereas for the school leaver or unemployed, these certifications can provide the necessary skills for a specific career path.”

The number of courses required to achieve a certification depends on the individual and the skills they currently have. A typical course for someone with experience would be five days and between two and four courses may be required to complete a certification.

Oosterberg concludes: “Having a job role certification identifies the learner as having the skill for a particular job role and this is what recruiters are looking for. For the employed person, it shows that they have job relevant skills and will be able to perform the tasks required for a specific job role, thereby making them more productive in their jobs. Job role certifications validate skills in the job roles of today’s modern workforce.”