Some people hate getting pigeonholed while some love being the ‘best in the business’. For those who prefer the latter, the path of specialisation is a suitable one to pursue. There are some fields where advanced expertise is not necessarily required or even appreciated. For instance, Marketing is an area where a PhD would not necessarily put you on a tangibly better trajectory.
There are certain career paths where being ‘well-rounded’ and experience in the field matter more than credentials. However, the higher education trends are showing no signs of slowing down. Higher education is expected to grow 200% by 2040 globally.
So what are some of the fields that’ll not only require specialisation or certifications but will greatly reward them in the form of career progression?
1. Health Sector
Given the impact on human life and well-being, the health sector has a high number of specialties to ensure that professionals are handling various health issues well. Physicians and medical professionals working with patients often have to complete extended years of education and apprenticeship. This is also the case for many other non-patient-facing areas of the sector as well.
Medical research, for instance, requires layers of education to ensure that those driving key discoveries and innovations in illness treatment and prevention are conducted correctly including the human testing process.
Much of the career advancement in the health sector actually often requires additional credentials and therfor continuous certification is almost necessary for career advancement. The preference for certified expertise is also applicable to non-medical areas of the industry. In light of the recent pandemic, the public health policies and global cooperation of health professionals are the hottest topics amongst the experts. While not dealing directly with the treatment of illnesses, health services and public safety policies require different types of knowledge and perspectives which is why separate specialisation such as master’s in health services management is increasingly gaining popularity.
2. Financial Advisor
If the health sector requires expertise regarding physical and mental well-being of the people, financial services requires expertise on the financial well-being of the people and thus has many credential requirements to ensure proper care and minimise mismanagement. There could be dire consequences to the country’s and global economy if the guidance and management over individual citizens’ finances are inconsistent and misguided. This is why there were worldwide efforts to strengthen regulations in this space such as Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and Basel III regulations in Europe and other countries.
There is a long list of professional qualifications a financial services expert will need and your chances of career advancement and mobility are definitely improved based on the range and levels of the credentials you hold. Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is the most globally common and recognised qualification that really certifies one as an expert handling investments, retail or corporate.
Due to the high level of risk inherent in construction work, there are certifications for each type of duties. You generally have to have a high-risk work licence to operate any construction machinery with sub-qualifications based on the range of construction work you want to be involved with. For instance, you will need a separate qualification or credential to work at heights or with demolition.
In addition, obtaining additional credentials enables you not only to move horizontally across various types of construction jobs for each project but also to move up to supervisory roles. Supervisors often have to receive additional or refresher training to ensure the safety of the workers is properly managed and overseen.
Proper qualification path is important in this sector not only for career trajectory but also for strict regulatory oversight. Consequences of conducting work for which you don’t hold proper qualifications can be grave including both hefty financial penalties and jail time.