Nowadays when it seems that Specialty Coffee is popular more than ever and trend is growing more and more every day somehow I could read a lot of posts and stories from people claiming how certificates are not important so let me try explain you why that is only partially correct and what is the point of having certificates, specialty coffee certificates.
First and most important I would like to say it is very true that you don’t need certificates in order to work in any coffee shop or Roastery. All you need is to have a passion for doing coffee and willingness to learn, and with time and good mentoring definitely you will master any skill in the coffee industry.
Now, very important thing to discuss here is importance of certificates. If you are working in Specialty Coffee industry and want to know all official and precise standards, you definitely need some certified SCA trainings. Not everything is available on the YouTube or Instagram or Internet in generally, and if you are learning from the trainer/mentor who is also not professionally educated and not certified most probably you will learn only partial informations which will be enough to do the job at some good level but not enough for high end professional performance.
What is very important here also is that not all the certified trainers will deliver you proper knowledge, for the course you have applied and money you have paid, and still you will get certificate. Because of that there are people with certificates with very poor knowledge about the course matter itself.
What matters here is their ethics in how professional trainers are and how much they care about their students performance after the course is finished. If trainings are delivered properly, professionally by trainer than you will get enough informations and knowledge for high end professional performance in the coffee field and then that certificate has a some strong meaning. Because in that case you have done some things and learned the things which are not available anywhere rather than on certified training.
I know a lot of people who are spreading that fake opinions about how certificates are not important, and all of that comes from their insecurities and as excuse for their not professional performance which they want to transfer to as much as possible people and on that way feel more safe in their own skin.
My strong advice is that if you love your job, want to improve your skills, want to become more professional and to become the trainer yourself one day, then go for certified trainings and you will not regret. Just don’t let "nah" sayers to brain wash you with that. I know that courses are not so cheap and are quite costly but if you make the goal about your career, put yourself in some saving mode, make one step at the time and training by training, step by step your skills will elevate rapidly and in the blink of the eye you will see yourself as a coffee expert. Journey is not easy, but can be rewarding.
One more thing I would like to suggest is to choose your trainer wisely. Don’t run for some fake unreal promises such us they will find you a job, they will help you to upgrade your CV, those are all tricks to take your money out of the pocket and to not see you again in their life. (I've met couple of them and it’s quite disappointing)
Choose the trainer that you like to have professional conversation with, the one who is willing to advice you even without paying the course, with who you feel comfortable because of his professional attitude, personality, for one which students you know already and they can give you positive feedback... There are a lot of factors that can help you to decide with who to finish your trainings but one thing is for sure, doing professional trainings with proper trainer must be your goal if you want professionally to grow in the coffee industry and that certificate has a huge value in your job hunt if the course is delivered properly.
I am professional certified trainer as well, I'm not perfect I had as well some Professional faults in the beginning of my career, but one thing I have always cherished and that is connection with each of my students before and especially after finishing classes with me. To be at their service through their Professional journey and to help on any way I can in their growth. And money was never priority.
Hopefully by reading this article you will be even more encouraged to get some professional trainings and be certified because IT IS IMPORTANT.
I can definitely recommend trainers from a couple of different countries if you need any advice where and with who to finish your trainings.
And keep on mind one more thing: EVERY EXPERT STARTED AS A BEGINNER!