The Year of the Certification

As a lifelong learner I am constantly learning in an informal manner. The professional learning I focused on in 2019 centered around project management, regular expressions, and Python. These courses were completed through Udemy ( and are of high quality. The Udemy courses created a just in time learning model which benefited me greatly. I took a course for Amazon Solutions Architect course in Udemy which was taught by the team over at acloud guru and I plan on purchasing a year subscription.

There are numerous resources online where I could have learned this information but the Udemy model stood out to me for a variety of reasons.

  • User Reviews
  • Question and Answer Forum
  • Quizzes
  • Videos (pause/rewind/rewatch)
  • Different “instructors” for the same topic

If I was in a Career Tech school setting I would be seriously looking into how Udemy could supplement the existing curriculum. This leads into the core subject of this post which is certifications .

In my experience, whether it is a fair assessment or not the real world values higher education diplomas and/or industry certifications for a job. If I’m hiring someone a diploma or certification may assist in helping me pair down candidates but there are other skills I’m looking for when doing an interview. A few of these skills are listed below:

  • Communication – How do they communicate with peers to explain an issue? This includes how do they explain an issue in a technical manner with their peers but also how do they explain that same issue in a non-technical answer?
  • Teamwork – How do they work in a cross functional team? Do they listen to feedback? How do they handle feedback?
  • Critical Thinking – We rely on standardized tests to determine how a student or district measures against another. The issue with relying on a standardized test though is that there is always a right answer. We know though in life there may not always be a right answer. When the answer for an issue isn’t a standard response how does a person react? How do they arrive at a solution?

The diploma or a certification certainly indicates commitment and understanding to a topic but in my opinion it doesn’t tell the entire story. In recognizing both sides of the equation my goal for 2020 is to obtain certifications in the areas listed below.