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Do I need external certifications to obtain the entry-level jobs in STEM?


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Nicole’s Answer

Hi Nievedha P.

I think it depends on where you are in your college or career journey. If you are talking about an entry level job out of college, it may make sense to begin your work first...and then determine the best certifications to pursue.

An entry level job, within your career journey, could also have different meanings. It could be that a candidate is considered entry level because they have decided to make a career switch, say from math to graphic design. Entry level could be one in which the job starts at something like "accountant level 1" and then there is the opportunity to move up to "accountant level 5" with the proper certifications.

In more general terms, it has been my experience to focus on companies that do the type of work or have the types of product that you like. In those spaces you are likely to learn more about how or if certifications exist and which ones offer the greatest value. Good luck!

Thank you for the advice! Nievedha P.

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Manu’s Answer

I would recommend getting certifications on your area in STEM . There are few basic certifications which will help entry level STEM . For eg: in IT fields Cloud certifications, any language certification like Java,Python etc shows both hands-on experience and your interest. This is all the more critical in systems & Operations area like Network security etc. When I started my career just out of college, I took Java certification and interviewer asked few questions. I couldnt answer all but few I answered gave them confidence that I can learn this and potential. An edge is all what you need !

Thank you for providing me a clear view of what would be expected of me in the industry! I will keep that in mind! Thanks once again! Nievedha P.

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Alexander’s Answer

In my experience I would definitely agree with the others that more certifications definitely aren't going to hurt. I haven't gotten any certifications and I don't feel like that decision has negatively impacted me. If you're thinking of getting a certification I would assess how meaningful you think it's going to be. I know a lot of certifications cost money, so I would try to weight that against what you think you're going to get out of the certification.

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Akshay’s Answer

Yes, certifications are great way to stand out in your resume and job hunt. Look for widely accepted certifications, either in technical or managerial , agile, etc. You can gain a lot of confidence with such certifications.

In any career level , there is a standstill point and we start questioning all sorts of questions to ourselves. We should never be in that situation.

Always ask :"what next"? I have completed many certifications, and always challenge myself either when i was just starting my career or currently as a Senior Manager.

Depending on your expertise, maybe entry level certifications like AWS Cloud Practitioner certifications or Agile Scrummaster .
Hope this helps!

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Jamie’s Answer

While it is typically not required, it does not hurt. I manager an application cyber security team. When I look for entry level employees, I look at their education over all. I don't expect a master's degree for a job as technical and hands on as ours. And I don't expect incoming jr level employees to have certifications, though many colleges are offering them as part of the curriculum now. Someone that has hands on certifications, vs memorize and test certifications, will get more "points" in the overall rating process when comparing candidates and interviewees.

That does not mean one with certs would be chosen over one without since there is more that goes into the selection process -how questions are interviewed, how well the person will fit within the team dynamic, education, experience, etc.

So would it better if I indulged in capstone projects and Internship more? Nievedha P.

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N’s Answer

Yes,external certifications go a long way in boosting your resume.Plus,it’s a great way to let the employers know your technical aptitude and exposure.
Hope this helps!

N recommends the following next steps:

Find a career path
Choose certifications in related field
Study -work hard-practice
Get certified
Boost your resume

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Zhe’s Answer

Certifications are not required but will help you to get an interview. Have certifications on your resume can show that you really know this, it's better than simply saying I have experience in this. Based on your interest, you can get certifications in SQL/Python/Java or AWS/Azure. These certifications will make your resume stand out and at least get an interview.

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Stephanie’s Answer

It may not be required, but it definitely cannot hurt. It likely more depends on the type of role and specific company you are looking at applying to work for. Some companies weigh different aspects, like behavioral interviews and interview skills assessments vs requiring certifications. I would recommend finding people on LinkedIn with roles similar to the one you are interested in and seeing if they have certs listed on their profiles.

Even as a aspiring cyber analyst, every company I have seen has a different certification preference. This does put me in a dilemma but I would definitely look at LinkedIn! Thank you! Nievedha P.

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Glen’s Answer

Not necessarily and certifications can be required or an option. Getting a certification shows aptitude but many may prefer experience over certifications. Certifications may help for entry level to show that you have gone above and beyond and had further interest in an area.

Thank you! I would try to get better experience Nievedha P.

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