How Important Are My Training Certificates?
There are few career fields with as many opportunities for certifications as emergency and disaster management. FEMA offers hundreds of free courses, and most states offer a mile long list of prospects. Certification programs ensure the competence of professionals through a measurement of skills and knowledge. Their often-associated exams go beyond training and provide an actual measurement of this new knowledge and skills.
You do not need to look any further than an EM job listing to find the requirement of many of these courses. When employers are looking to hire or promote, education is an important determining factor. We are a relatively new field so not everyone has an EM degree, which is why it is important to earn certificates in your field. In addition, our field is still forming so the EM degree you earned 5 or 10 years ago may not hold the same validity as it did when you received it. By gaining certificates, it shows employers that you are up to date on the most up-to-date practices.
A savvy emergency manager could theoretically have a foot thick three-ring binder full of certifications and trainings if they wished. The emergency management field is living and continuing to grow. There should be no question as to the value of your work certifications. The emergency manager of tomorrow will not only have the collegiate education, but a number of quality certifications focusing on the specific areas where they work.