Is it really worth getting certification?
This question is one that comes up regularly and there really is no simple answer to it. In short, no, it isn’t worth getting one, but with everything considered, then yes it’s worth getting one. Its open to debate.
Now there isn’t really a right or wrong thing to do. I personally would go for the certification, purely because I’m very much for education and expanding my knowledge (although you don’t need education to do that). This is why it’s worth getting certified. The simple argument to this is you gain a much larger network in a shorter period of time because you meet a whole load of new people, and you can bounce ideas off each other helping you to learn more at a quicker rate. Plus its nice to say “look, I’m qualified in xyz” its more of an addition rather than a necessity.
With that said, a degree or certification isn’t required (although some places are now after people with a certain qualification) because you can still get the job you want through hard work and a cracking portfolio. A lot of people say its all about experience, and I too am fond of that being the case – I’m very much and experience person – but obviously there’s lots of things that need to accompany that experience, like good communication skills, presentation, accountability, you get the point. The major difference when not having a degree is getting into those places that require one. It’s much harder, but not impossible. After all, you’re after a job in a creative industry, so why not get creative? A creative proposal to the head of the company would go a long way to getting you that position. It makes you stand out and that’s important. Be unique.
Personally, I would go for the certification and degree, it makes things a whole lot easier, and who is to say that it won’t also build you an amazing portfolio? It’s harder and takes more time, but it will make you stand out that much more compared to other designers.