By Ken Lambert
The Acknowledged Value of Professional Designations
Business leaders overwhelmingly (95%) view applicants with a professional designation as more desirable than those without, according to a study released recently by Key Media.
Professional designations, those miscellaneous letters after peoples’ last names, are everywhere and are quite visible on resumes and on LinkedIn profiles. Some are quite well-known, like CPA, PE, and PMP. Others are a bit more abstract but are still relevant to those within said industry, like CCNA or AIA. Currently not well-known is the new CSE designation (Certified Sales Engineer) being offered by the North American Association of Sales Engineers. NAASE is hoping that its designation focusing on presales/ technical sales will be a boost for the industry as well as the career paths of its current and prospective members.
But whether one is a sales engineer or not, just how important are professional designations? Is it even worth the time, trouble, or expense? The following are a few 3rd party thoughts on the subject.
- According to https://www.the-cma.org/resource/newsroom/2020/Research-reveals-significance-of-professional-designation-for-marketers , the Key Media research found that 86% of business leaders would recommend hiring a candidate with a professional designation, and that those with professional designations command a higher starting salary/promotion/raise (80%). Even more relevant, is that ninety percent say that the value of having a professional designation is increasing (46%) or remaining constant (44%), while only 9% believe it is declining.
- Published in a report from a Canadian Human Resources association, https://www.hrpa.ca/Documents/Regulation/LinkedIn-Articles/01-The-four-types-of-professional-organizations.pdf , granting a designation is seen as the first step in the process of professionalization and supports the aspirations of members to be seen as professionals. Offering a designation is done initially to provide members with a means of signaling their professional status.
- Other input is shown here in this page from “Infosysblogs” at: https://www.infosysblogs.com/management-consulting/2012/07/what_is_the_value_of_a_profess.html
“Any highly motivated young person is well advised to pursue the knowledge and credibility that come with obtaining a professional designation. If obtained early in a career, this knowledge and credibility helps offset the disadvantages of less experience. When recruiting people for our organization, I always look for designations as an indication of motivation and persistence in addition to basic knowledge.”
“In my opinion professional designations surely hold value because each one of these reputed designations require one to have the necessary industry experience, expertise and aspiration to move forward. It also gives you multiple opportunities to connect with like- minded professionals.”
“A designation indicates seriousness. It shows that the person has a goal in mind…a sense of purpose.”
At NAASE, we agree with all of the above. While we realize that it will take time for the CSE to become a widely known and sought-after designation, we are currently starting that journey. Professional sales engineers, regardless of industry, deserve further professional recognition- both within and outside of their chosen fields and industries.
Should you have any questions, comments, or suggestions regarding this topic- please do reach out to us at the Association. We look forward to hearing from you!