With the growing need for search engine optimization professionals comes a growing debate between “learning from the trenches” and getting formal training through an SEO certification program. While formal education does not guarantee workplace competence, most employers have certain expectations when it comes to knowledge and practical application.
The advancements in online marketing over the last decade has paved the way for many businesses. But it has also created a new set of issues for a lot of employers, one of which is the huge demand for qualified online marketers. While there are a lot of SEO professionals eager to help out small businesses, there isn’t enough quality professionals to actually deliver the expertise that is needed.
The Value of Getting an SEO Certification
Education is always a good investment, and the cost that you will be investing in an online SEO course and certification is sure to pay off once you have landed that dream employer or that major project. When deciding to take an SEO certification course, you need to look at the return on the investment of the time and money you’ll be spending vis-a-vis with your goals.
If you are still undecided, think of those who are willing to spend $60,000 a year to go to an Ivy League school. They are willing to invest that amount of money because they know that the education and pedigree of those schools will eventually pay off in the form of better jobs and higher compensation packages.
Of course, you can argue that there are several titans in the industry who never had formal education but were able to rise to the highest ranks through their hard work and ingenuity. But if you happen to be screening job applicants for Google internship, who are you going to go hire – the Harvard business graduate or the really smart kid who happens to have no degree?
If you are aiming at working at a large company’s online marketing department and this company requires or prefers SEO certification courses, it might not matter to them how much you know about SEO, if you do not have an SEO certification. You could be up to date with the latest in algorithms, but if you don’t fit in the parameters they have set for the position you are applying for, chances are you will not be considered for the job.
Another factor you will need to consider when contemplating about whether or not to pursue an online SEO training course is how potential clients might perceive you as a professional and your SEO business, especially if you are just starting out with not much client testimonials to prove your skills. Being SEO certified and having your certificate displayed on your office wall might give a good impression to some clients and motivate them to sign that contract with you.
Still not convinced? Maybe a trial course will help. Yes, there are trial courses available online like the one from ClickMinded which you can sign up for free. This free introduction to SEO should help you see the value of the SEO course and then decide later on if you want to push through with paid training.
Michelle Rubio is an experienced SEO copywriter and blogger since 2010. She has been working with various businesses, big and small, in the United States, UK, Canada, and Australia. You can see more of her works and experiences in her LinkedIn profile.