Best Certifications for Consultants

In the world of freelancing and independence, it’s challenging to know what you should specialize in.

Independent consultants give a better impression when they are certified. Some certifications are quite impressive on a resume. Consultants with certification can gain higher pay or negotiate a more lucrative contract. This is especially true if they will further their knowledge and entice more clients.

Although clients won’t usually require certification, they will show preference to consultants who have it. Certification can give the appearance of someone more skilled, diligent, qualified, and willing. There are many certifications in fields such as graphic design, programming, information technology, communications, project management, and marketing.


Information Security and Technology

Information security is a top concern for businesses today. IT certification goes a long way. Anyone can claim to know data protection, but this is not an area clients are willing to take risks with.

CompTIA certifications are usually the best choice for freelancers and are vendor-neutral. This type of certification will show that a consultant has knowledge that applies to multiple environments and is not tied to a specific vendor such as Cisco or Microsoft.

Other IT certifications you may also wish to review:

•SANS GIAC Security Essentials (SGEC)
•Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
•Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
•Certified Ethical Hacker (CHE)

Certified Graphic Artist

For artists who want to monetize their abilities, becoming certified as a graphic artist is a great way to find success as a freelancer. Certification on the tool or software most often used is the best route. Examples are Photoshop, Flash, Illustrator, or Adobe. An artist can seek an Adobe certification or take classes at their local community college.

Certified Consultant

There are a few certifications available for general consulting. Most of them involve e-business solutions. A certified management consultant (CMC) is a popular example to consider.

Certified Project Manager

Great project managers are worth their weight in gold. Getting certified and adding a credential shows clients just how valuable a project manager is. There are several certifications in this area that range in level of difficulty. For example, qualification for a PMP credential requires a bachelor’s degree plus five years of experience. Clients tend to look for this credential and will pay extra for it. Obtaining each credential builds an individual’s credentials.

Certified Communications Specialist

This certification is suitable for consultants interested in pursuing writing, editing, or business communications clients.

Your clients are often more impressed by what you do than who you are. Having a certification can improve your knowledge base and entice more clients into your circle. Although it takes time, the pay off is almost certainly worth it.

Written by

Ross Sanner is the Founder and CEO of Think Growth Consulting LLC, a leading company that guides both nonprofit and for-profit businesses through smart, expansive investment and growth opportunities.