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I dropped out of high-school to join college.

While not the end of the world, I would like to supplement my CV with some certificates to try and compensate for the lack of papers, and I'm a bit on the fence as to what kind would be more valuable.

I work in IT as a web developer, and would easily be able to get a certificate for the framework I usually work with.

I also live in the Netherlands, making English a second language. While most people in this country speak basic English, I have been doing so day-in-day-out for years now. My accent is all but impeccable, and I've been told if someone were to guess they'd say I'm from near the Wirral peninsula. My written English is good as well, though nothing to brag about to native speakers. This is the second subject I'm considering a certification for.

I can't get both, at least not for a while. Neither are cheap and I'll have to pay for all expenses myself.

I'm hoping to have a job abroad for a year or two at some point, for which a decent grasp of the English language is an obvious must.

So here's my dilemma:

  • Do I get job-related proof of skill to supplement my not-too-long experience? or...
  • Do I get a certificate to proof something that would more than likely prove itself in a single conversation, hoping to get my CV some more attention and get a chance to have said conversation?
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  • English certificate? Depends on which kind of job you want to get abroad. I've never been asked for such on IT interviews, nor in my current position (where it's a must as well). Skills certificate? Can't say. I think a portfolio is more valuable; but if you decided to get one, I'd go for this. – Kiddo May 20 '17 at 10:43
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    I don't really see why you'd need a certificate for English. Presumably you'd apply with a cover letter and resume written in English, the latter (or both) of which would also include mention of your fluency level and (depending on your work experience) examples of where you used the language "day in day out". – Llewellyn May 20 '17 at 10:49
  • Usually you can just put your spoken languages on your resume. – Jonas Praem May 20 '17 at 11:59
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    What does this mean exactly: "I dropped out of high-school to join college" ? - you skipped a year? – Jonas Praem May 20 '17 at 12:01
  • @JonasPraem, take a look at this. I went from HAVO to MBO instead of finishing it and going to HBO. Our school system seems to differ greatly from most. – Berry M. May 20 '17 at 19:38
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If you really want to get a certification, get the certification for the framework. A potential employer can gauge a candidate's command of English and general communication skills from the candidate's cover letter, resume, and interviews.

However, if you are still undecided about whether you should get any certification, it's best to first check job vacancy advertisements in your chosen destination country. See which certifications, if any, are actually in demand for web developer positions. It may be that there's no actual demand for any of the certifications you're considering. In this case, it's better to save the money and try to boost your resume some other way, for example, by creating online portfolio of personal projects that can be viewed by potential employers.

By checking job vacancy advertisements, you can also identify the kind of skills that you need to develop / emphasize to get the "better" kind of jobs abroad.

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For the work related certificates- the value of them varies greatly depending on who's hiring, and what they're in. If you're a programmer, their value is frequently seen as near 0. If you're a sysadmin, they're respected a bit more. For a web designer, web developer, or even programmer I'd say a good portfolio of websites/programs is far more valuable than a certificate. Rather than trust some third party, show them your work directly.

As for English- they'll read your resume and emails and talk to you in the interview. That will be enough. For written English your post here was perfectly fine, assuming its representative you'll have no issues there.

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