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Skills or Certificates?

Published: October 17, 2020
Author: sharmammahima

With Covid-19 modifying, eliminating, several job functions, how can job seekers keep themselves relevant? One needs to keep upgrading. What would be the right way to upscale? Are certifications a way to reskill? Can solving real-world problems help expand our skill sets? Let’s dive deep into each of these.

Skill, reskill and upskill

Skills are the ability to do something well. Solving real-world problems, assisting in solving real-world issues with expertise. There are a number of ways through which one can expand their skillsets. One way is through training. There are many industrial training platforms that provide training to job seekers. Training or virtual experience is important to make them prepared for the corporate world.

Involve yourself in research, dive deep into a particular domain, or a topic of your choice. Another way is to work on a real-life project which involves a real-world problem. A real-world problem means issues or problems faced by people in real life and no such solution for it exists. Following this, one gets a powerful insight into tackling real-world problems and how one should proceed with it.


Certifications allow learners to obtain workforce-ready skills. Industrial certifications from reputed organizations add a lot of value. The benefit of certifications reflects that a person has gone through various paths to be able to earn one. Benefits of the certification include personal growth, career advancement, financial reward, professional recognition, and perceived empowerment.

COVID-19 and upscaling

COVID-19 massively struck us all this year which led to the huge urge to upskill. As a result, many platforms came forward to provide certifications on ranging technologies. Providing both paid and unpaid courses. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in the month of July, skills are what, which is required to remain relevant in this fast-changing job market. Earning a certification through virtual means have changed many perspectives of getting one. Back when the situation was normal, people used to get practical exposure. Also, network with many others alike.

Virtual Certifications

Since certifications became online during the pandemic. There was no one to monitor the people who enrolled in the certifications. There’s no algorithm to determine if the person watching the videos has watched them properly or if they just skipped to the last minute to mark their videos as watched. Or getting a tick beside the videos indicating that the student has completed that video tutorial.
As far as assignments are considered, all of the solutions are available online for people to simply copy-paste them.

What went wrong

A few months back, LinkedIn went crazy when students started to boast about how they finished a hundred certifications in a time span of 4 months. If one thinks logically, that’s not possible at all. Students had this mindset that earning multiple certificates would prove that they have gained an ample amount of knowledge in a short period of time. Indeed, certificates are the best way to prove that you possess a certain skill. But that alone doesn’t suffice.

Certification signifies that the student has invested their time into learning something new. This also shows the ability of the students to learn new kinds of stuff and also apply the knowledge in real-life problems.

Today, the recruiters require an assurance that would make them believe that the candidate is not only able to retain a certain skill but can also apply the same in real life. How is learning a new skill for a candidate going to benefit the company’s norms is the basic idea behind sharpening your skills.


It is generally believed that both certifications and skills are equally important. If you possess certain skills then you need proof stating that you are prominent in that particular field. Certifications from reputed institutions are valuable enough. But even after being certified, if you do not have practical exposure then it means that you cannot apply your knowledge in practical life. As you all might have heard that bookish knowledge is not enough until you apply in real life. Similarly, what’s the point of learning web development if are unable to develop websites. Why learn Machine Learning when you can’t deploy a model with it.

“It’s not industry 2.0 where you did a four-year course and ended up with that engineering degree for the rest of your life,” Dr. Manish Kumar, MD & CEO of National Skill Development Corporation says in an interview. “It’s going to be industry 4.0 which means you need to keep upgrading yourself.”

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