One of the best ways you can try if you want to quickly build up credibility in your chosen profession is through professional designations. Professional designations are subtle stamp of approval and seal of recommendation from recognized institutions that the bearer has achieved a notable standard of excellence in their chosen field.
That is why you see them everywhere, from resumes to business cards and email signatures. Whenever you see things like CFA, CPA, GPHR, when a name is being written, that is a professional designation. Depending on your chosen profession, there are different professional designations that can help qualify your job.
Professional designations vary widely, as are the institutions, associations, organizations, and licensing bodies that coordinate them. Some of these professional designations are international while others may be national or just for selected provinces.
Their requirements as well as their accessibility vary. While the requirement for some is your undergraduate degree, others require further study. Some of the courses have to be taken on evenings or weekends. Others are easily accessed online. Your choice would depend on your goals.
Here are some of the popular professional designations:
Certified Public Accountant (CPA) – Accounting
Awarded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, this designation is given to an accounting professional who has successfully passed the CPA exam and also fulfilled all of the requirements required to become a licensed CPA.
Since the accounting industry is, for the most part, self-regulated, it is not always easy to know a highly trained and capable accounting professional. CPA is a sign that the bearer has been properly tested and approved. This is why it is the most popular and sought after designation in the world of accounting.
Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) – Human Resources
Awarded by the HR Certification Institute, this designation is a globally recognized, competency-based credential designed for HR professionals operating across international lines to validate their skills and knowledge.
Such professionals are required to have a deep understanding of the profession and be able to deal in accordance to the national guidelines of various countries they may find themselves. It is also typical for a GPHR candidate to have at least two years cross border experience in which they developed and implemented global HR strategies.
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) – Finance
Awarded by the CFA Institute (formerly known as the Association for Investment Management and Research, or AIMR), the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation is the one of the most valued designation for any investment professional who wants to gain more credibility in the investment world.
This is especially so if such professional wants to be well recognized in the areas of research and portfolio management. Any professional that successfully meets the requirements and passes the exams is awarded the “CFA charter.” Such a professional can then be referred to as a “CFA charterholder”
There are many of such professional designations for different professions. Find out the most relevant for your profession and your goal, and choose accordingly. With the sea of designations out there, the opportunity to stand out as a credible professional is massive.