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Certifications Are the Smart Choice for Knowledge Workers

Knowledge workers can set themselves apart with professional certifications—proof that they have achieved a recognized standard of proficiency.

The value of knowledge workers is in their skills, their experience, and their education. Knowledge workers cannot easily be replaced by computers, robots, or outsourcing—a rare assurance in today’s rapidly changing economy. Knowledge workers can outlast a business because their experience and education retain value even if the company loses its place in the market. Knowledge workers can also take their skills with them, whether changing employers or moving to another state.

The key to becoming a knowledge worker is professional certifications. A professional certification is proof that a worker has achieved a certain level of knowledge. The certification exam is accredited by professional organizations or associations that have an interest in maintaining their professions’ standards. It is a valuation from an unbiased party, so employers can trust the results.

Certifications Are the Smart Choice for Knowledge Workers

Certifications are used to mark levels of achievement in education, accounting, administration, communications, information technology, healthcare, and many other fields. Often, not having a certification is a barrier to even being considered for a job. Common certifications include:

  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • Certified Internal Auditor
  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  • Certified Project Manager
  • Certified Actuary

Certifications also reflect the changing demands of the market. As new jobs crop up, certifications are often the first answer in training people for the new fields. Even in arenas where a certification is not required, it is an asset. Certifications stand out on a résumé, setting an applicant apart. They show not only the applicant’s knowledge, but also their initiative and willingness to work hard for a goal. At the same time, certifications build self-confidence in those who earn them and are a tangible achievement and a point of pride.

Prepare for Certification in Your Field While You Earn Your Degre

Walden University offers several master’s programs with coursework designed to help you acquire the tools you need to sit for licensure and/or certification in your given field. Some of these degree programs include the MS in Project Management, MS in Finance, and MS in Accounting. Depending on your goals, you can prepare to sit for the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification exam offered through the Project Management Institute;1 gain hands-on knowledge that can be applied to the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) exam, CFP® exam, or Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) qualification exams;2 or ready yourself for the CPA exam.3 Walden’s master’s in accounting program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, while the master’s in project management program is accredited by the Global Accreditation Center (GAC) for Project Management Education Programs of the Project Management Institute (PMI)®—the world’s leading association for project management professionals.

Continue to work full time while you further your skills and earn your degree online. With online education, there’s no need to completely rearrange your schedule or commute to campus—you can take classes at whatever time of day works best for you. Gain the credentials you need to stand out in the job market and advance your career at Walden.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering more than 30 master’s programs online, including an MS in Accounting, MS in Finance, and MS in Project Management. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.

1Eligibility for the PMP® credential requires individuals to first attain specific educational and project management experience, including 35 contact hours of project management education and a minimum of 3 years, or 36 months, of project management experience, during which at least 4,500 hours were spent leading and directing project tasks. The final step in earning the PMP credential is passing the PMP exam. For more information, visit the Project Management Institute (PMI) website at

2The MS in Finance with Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) Certification Emphasis is a specialized program with coursework that is aligned with the content covered in the competency-based CFP® exam. Walden Enrollment Specialists can provide general information relating to CFP® certification exam requirements; however, it remains the individual’s responsibility to understand, evaluate, and comply with all requirements relating to certification exams for the state in which he or she intends to practice. Walden makes no representations or guarantee, however, that completion of Walden coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain CFP® certification. For more information about the CFP® exam, students should visit

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and CFP® are certification marks owned by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (“CFP Board”). Walden University’s MS in Finance program is not a CFP Board-Registered Program and is not in any way sponsored or endorsed by, or otherwise affiliated with, CFP Board.

3Most states require individuals to complete 150 semester (225 quarter) hours in certain subject areas in order to be eligible to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam and/or obtain a CPA license. Walden’s accounting programs can help graduates progress toward meeting those requirements, however, the Walden BS in Accounting, MS in Accounting, and MBA Accounting specialization are not designed or intended to lead to CPA license eligibility without supplemental coursework. The BS in Accounting offers 120 quarter (80 semester) credit hours that include upper-level courses in topics such as financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting. The MS in Accounting offers 30 semester (45 quarter) credit hours, while the MBA Accounting specialization offers nine semester (13.5 quarter) credit hours. These programs include graduate courses in topics such as financial accounting, managerial accounting, and legal and ethical accounting practices. This will require students to complete additional coursework to meet state requirements.

In each state, there are specific policies that must be followed when an individual is seeking to become a licensed accountant. Some states will not allow individuals who complete the Walden accounting programs to sit for the CPA licensing exams due to state-specific issues such as professional accreditation or face-to-face instruction. For information on the educational requirements for your state, refer to the state’s Board of Accountancy or related agency.

Walden Enrollment Specialists can provide guidance about accountant licensure; however, it remains the responsibility of the individual enrolling in the program to read, understand, and comply with the licensure requirements in the state where he or she resides. Additionally, prospective students are advised if they choose to relocate to carefully review, evaluate and understand the requirements of the applicable licensure board in the state in which they intend to relocate.

Walden University can make no representation, warranty, guarantee, or commitment that successful completion of a Walden program, or coursework for credit within a program, will make a graduate eligible to sit for a licensure exam or to obtain state licensure.

Walden’s BS in Business Administration, Master of Business Administration (MBA), Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), and PhD in Management programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). The MS in Accounting and BS in Accounting programs are also accredited by the ACBSP and have earned the organization’s Specialized Accounting Accreditation.

Walden University’s MS in Project Management program is accredited by the Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Accreditation Center (GAC) for Project Management Education Programs. PMI GAC is the world’s leading specialized accrediting body for project management education and related degree programs, affirming that Walden’s curriculum meets rigorous quality standards established by the GAC.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,