Top 7 Certifications for Freelancers and Consultants

IT, Graphics, Programming, Communications, Marketing, and Project Management

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If you have decided to strike out on your own and go freelance or become an independent consultant, you can impress your clients with your skills and dedication by getting certified. The following certifications would be excellent additions to your resume.

If you have a certification, you can further your knowledge base, entice more clients, exude more authority, and might be able to get a higher pay rate or negotiate a better contract.

In most cases, your clients may not require these certifications, but you may get hiring preference. At the very least, certification can help you appear more qualified, skilled, as well as diligent, and willing to go the extra mile. 

Take a look a variety of certifications that are available in the information technology, graphics design, programming, general consulting, communications, marketing, and project management.

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Information Security in IT

In today's world of the electronic information age, the top of mind concern for most businesses and individuals is information security. Anyone can say they know how to protect data, but a certification might go a little further proving it. 

CompTIA certifications are vendor-neutral and seem to make a good choice for freelancers. Holding one of these certifications shows knowledge that can be applied in multiple environments that is not just tied to a specific vendor like Microsoft or Cisco. 

Other information security certification you might want to review:

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
  • SANS GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC)

If you are an artist or want to pursue monetizing your artistic abilities, the role of a graphic artist is an excellent path for freelance work. In most cases, you will need to become certified on the software or tool that you use most often. These might include working in Adobe, with apps like Photoshop, Flash, and Illustrator. You can look at an ​Adobe certification or take classes at a local community college to prepare for this career path. More »

Although they are few certifications for consulting, there are some certifications out there for the more generalized topic of consulting. Most of them involve e-business solutions. For example, you can become a certified management consultant (CMC). More »

If you are a great project manager, then you are worth your weight in gold. Get certified and add a credential to show your clients how valuable you are. There are several great project management certifications and they range in difficulty, allowing you to build your credentials. For a PMP credential, as a project management professional, you must have a bachelor's degree and at least five years of experience to qualify. This seems to be a credential that clients are looking for and willing to pay extra for. More »

You can advance your career as a professional programmer or developer by getting a certification from one of the big names in the business, like Microsoft, Oracle, Apple, IBM, which verifies your skills to current and future employers. More »

In the communications industry, you might choose to pursue writing or editing. Each of these areas of concentration has a relevant certification program.

Media Bistro, a respected educator for writers and editors, offers a copyediting certification course that can help your prospects while on a job hunt with magazine, newspapers, TV, or online publishers.

Or, if you choose to pursue business communications, you can consider two certifications offered by the International Association of Business Communicators: communications management and strategic communications. More »

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Marketing Certification

If you prefer the marketing world, you can pursue a certification through the American Marketing Association as a professional certified marketer (PCM). You are required to have a bachelor's degree and at least four years of experience in the marketing industry.

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Reuscher, Dori. "Top 7 Certifications for Freelancers and Consultants." ThoughtCo, Apr. 16, 2018, thoughtco.com/top-certifications-for-freelancers-and-consultants-4082452. Reuscher, Dori. (2018, April 16). Top 7 Certifications for Freelancers and Consultants. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/top-certifications-for-freelancers-and-consultants-4082452 Reuscher, Dori. "Top 7 Certifications for Freelancers and Consultants." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/top-certifications-for-freelancers-and-consultants-4082452 (accessed April 25, 2018).