Confused about the difference between certifications and certificates? Uncertain about whether a WordPress certificate will advance your career? Read on to clear up your doubts and understand the role of WordPress in the professional world.
- While similar sounding, certifications and certificates play distinct roles in professional development. Certifications result from passing a third-party administered exam, whereas certificates are diplomas earned from completing a specific course of study.
- WordPress, a free and open-source CMS, powers over 43% of websites and is used for a variety of purposes from blogging to ecommerce, making it a useful skill in the digital field.
- The WordPress Foundation does not offer any official certification, so recruiters have to use other methods to assess a candidate's proficiency with WordPress.
- Many IT schools offer certificate programs that include WordPress classes, though there is no standardized curriculum.
- The value of a certificate depends on the reputation of the school from which it was earned--a prestigious program can significantly enhance a resume.
- While certifications and certificates are not a top priority for recruiters in the WordPress field, having completed a certificate program is always an advantage on a resume.
How do you demonstrate your proficiency in WordPress? That’s something of a tricky question to answer. So are questions like:
- How do you distinguish a certification from a certificate?
- Is there any kind of official WordPress exam that establishes you as an expert in the field?
- Will getting certified (or will holding a certificate) help me get a job?
Read on to find out about WordPress certifications and certificates.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is an extremely versatile and powerful content management system (CMS) that is behind 43% of the sites on the world wide web. Yes, that’s well over a third of the internet. You can use WordPress for everything from constructing a simple blog to setting up a gigantic online emporium. It’s even being used today as a framework for creating new applications.
WordPress is open-source and free software. That means that the code is accessible to anyone interested, and you can download it without cost. (There are expenses involved in setting up a WordPress site, but WordPress.com makes it possible to create a blog or a simple website without any money changing hands.) Iif you wish to establish an online presence of any size, WordPress can help you.
Learn more about what WordPress is and the benefits of learning to use it.
What Can You Do with WordPress?
WordPress first came to digital life in 2003 as blogging software. It enabled people seeking to establish a voice for themselves on the internet to create blogs without the need for actual coding. As such, WordPress remains extremely popular with bloggers. Indeed, anyone seeking to set up a blog will probably find themselves directed to WordPress for its relative ease of use and wide variety of features that make it possible for lay users to create something “professional” in appearance.
However, 43% of all sites on the web can’t all be blogs, and, indeed, WordPress is currently employed for a great deal more than maintaining ongoing records of what its more casual users had for dinner. WordPress has grown exponentially over the nearly two decades it has been in existence and is used for a variety of purposes today. A range of software plugins allows WordPress to do practically anything. To choose one example from many, the WooCommerce plugin allows the user to turn a WordPress site into a store. As such, WordPress has become the internet’s leading ecommerce platform.
Perhaps the most salient aspect of WordPress is that the software is open-source and free. This has many ramifications, not the least of which is that it opens the software for use as anything a user can imagine. Thus WordPress has expanded beyond blogs and smaller websites and stores into major websites for major companies (zoom.us, indeed.com, and the cryptocurrency site coinmarketcap.com are all powered by WordPress; so is hairwrapsandbrading.au). The software’s server side has most recently begun to be employed as a framework for creating applications. And all these possibilities are within reach of anyone who knows how to make use of the software.
Certifications vs. Certificates: What’s the Difference?
You’ll hear a lot about certifications and certificates in the world of IT education. However similar they may sound, they’re not the same thing, and recruiters are likely to look at them differently.
As a general rule, a certification is the result of passing an examination, usually administered by a third party (many IT schools, such as NYIM/Career Centers, can arrange for you to take many of these exams). Certification is like getting a driver’s license: you attend an independent driving school to learn to drive and then go to the DMV, which functions as the third party that administers the exam and furnishes a credential that testifies to the fact that you learned what you were supposed to learn.
Adobe Certified Professional is an excellent example of certification; it is particularly significant as the parameters for the examination involved were established by Adobe itself. Other certifications are the ones required of cybersecurity professionals. There is an extensive bestiary of these, including (to choose one example from many) the CISSP certification from the Cybersecurity Professional Organization. A further field that comes with built-in official certifications is project management, where the PMP certification from the Project Management Institute is the benchmark for qualified professionals.
Certificates, on the other hand, are essentially diplomas that testify to the fact that you attended a school and completed its requirements (which may or may not include a final exam). There is an industry convention that programs that end in certificates are extended courses of study that cover a field (and not just one skill) in depth and prepare graduates to assume roles as qualified members of the workforce. A certificate program certificate is, thus, not just a piece of paper that says you went to traffic school for a day: it’s a credential in its own right that makes a strong adjunct to a resume and tells employers that you’ve gone to school and know a great deal about the field in which you hope to work.
Top Certifications & Certificates for WordPress
The certifications/certificates situation with WordPress is different from the situation with Adobe or project management, as there is no official WordPress certification you can get under the aegis of the WordPress Foundation (the governing body behind WordPress.org) to attest to the fact that you can drive a WordPress car. That means that there is no objective standard to separate qualified WordPress professionals from the rest of the crowd and that recruiters have to apply different methods to assess a candidate’s WordPress skills.
That said, there are a few independent certifications available. Those who use the freelancing sites Freelancer.com or Upwork.com will be able to take a brief certification test on either platform. Although these tests are hardly exhaustive, they look good on a profile and, bottom line, can’t exactly hurt your chances of landing a job.
For the rest of the world, the credential that can establish you as a WordPress virtuoso is a certificate from the school you attended to learn how to use the system. You’ll find that most IT schools offer some type of certificate program that includes WordPress classes, but there’s no industry standard curriculum for these programs. A certificate can therefore mean a lot of different things. As a result, the same rule applies as with college diplomas: the better known the school and the better its reputation, the more credence people will give to your certificate.
Should I Get Certified in WordPress?
The WordPress Foundation, which oversees the open-source aspects of WordPress, does not offer an official certification for WordPress developers. Since there is no professional certification available, It’s something you needn’t worry about if your goal is to make a career as a WordPress developer.
As far as attending a certificate program, that’s going to look good on your resume, regardless. It will say you attended an in-depth class and possess considerable knowledge of your topic. On the other hand, certifications and certificates aren’t a high priority for recruiters in the WordPress field and may well not be what HR departments are looking for first in a WordPress Developer. They may be more interested in your portfolio or in the knowledge of your topic you’re able to demonstrate during your interview. Still, no one was ever hurt by having a certificate program listed among their credentials on a resume.
- A certification in a tech subject is awarded following the passage of an exam to establish your knowledge of the field. These are especially important in areas such as cybersecurity and project management.
- A certificate is a diploma awarded for having attended a certificate program from an IT school. These are generally lengthier and more in-depth than regular classes.
- The WordPress Foundation does not offer any certification or other objective criteria for establishing proficiency in the software.
- Most tech schools offer certificate programs in WordPress and related website development topics.
Learn WordPress with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop
A highly effective way of learning to make the most of WordPress would be to take a class in the subject at Noble Desktop, a leading purveyor of live in-person IT training in New York City. Noble teaches extensively online as well, which puts its classes within reach of anyone in the world with internet access. Noble Desktop prides itself on its hands-on learning model, small class sizes, experienced and talented instructors, and a free retake option that makes it possible to cement or refresh your knowledge of what you’ve learned within the space of a year. Noble Desktop offers a wide variety of WordPress classes and bootcamps, one of which is sure to further your goals in using the CMS.
Noble Desktop’s WordPress Bootcamp is designed for students with a background in HTML and CSS who are seeking to learn how to use the system whilst bringing their knowledge of coding to the WordPress table as well. The course of study runs for three weeks, two nights a week for three hours a session, and takes WordPress novices through to customizing a website in ways that aren’t possible if you are limited to communicating in English with the software.
How to Learn WordPress
Master WordPress with hands-on training. WordPress is a content management system (CMS) commonly used to build websites and blogs.
- WordPress Bootcamp at Noble Desktop: live, instructor-led course available in NYC or live online
- Find WordPress Classes Near You: Search & compare dozens of available courses in-person
- Attend a WordPress class live online (remote/virtual training) from anywhere
- Find & compare the best online WordPress classes (on-demand) from the top providers and platforms
- Train your staff with corporate and onsite WordPress training