The Industry Facts
Individuals, organizations and training providers alike have sound reasons why they should all choose to receive (individuals) or endorse (organizations) or teach (training providers) the ECDL.
In the competitive job market, IT and computing skills are increasingly required by all organizations independent of size and focus. Individuals applying for their first job; existing employees looking into enhancing their knowledge and skills to become more competitive or to plan a shift into their career do require the proof and certification of their competencies and skills. The question is "how do i certify my IT skills? Who certifies my skills?". The upcoming entry of Cyprus into the European Union will allow individuals to seek employment in the countries of Europe. So, still another question: "How do individuals prove their competencies in those countries? Will their "local certificate" be accepted or recognized by european organizations"?
Similarly, Organizations spend thousands on training their employees into new technologies and computer applications to increase their efficiency and effectiveness; still their employees do not perform upto the required level. Or, at the time of hiring new employees they are puzzled from the variation of "certificates of attendance in a computing application course" they receive from candidates. The question is how to evaluate these "certificates"?
On the other hand; training providers struggle to keep pace with technology and its developments and provide training on computing applications that reflect the needs of the organizations and the needs of individuals. The question is "how to minimize these costs and at the same time address the variety of needs of the clients?"
The Question for the ECDL
So the question for ECDL is "Does the ECDL address the issues discussed above? And effectively, what are the benefits of the ECDL?
BENEFITS...for the individual
The ECDL is designed to help people at work and at home. It will confirm to potential employers that the person has a professionally recognized, relevant and up-to-date qualification and it will assist in raising productivity and familiarity with the technology and its uses.
A candidate for a job will always be faced with the requirement to prove its IT and Computing skills, knowledge and competencies. Having the ECDL Certificate, the job-candidate has the sound and recognized proof that he/she has the level of competencies and skills required; thus increasing and enhancing the possibilities of employment.
As the only paneuropean certificate, the ECDL operates and is recognized in all countries of the European Union (and in many other countries). Holding the ECDL Certificate individuals are assured that their skills and competencies are recognized all over Europe. And still...even take the ECDL Test in any country of Europe!
The fact that the ECDL is a certificate designed by professionals and the fact that ECDL testing is carried out by the IT/Computing Professional Bodies gives to the certificate value and independence; characteristics that any IT Certificate must have.
BENEFITS...for the employer?
Modern Organizations face the real and practical problem of measuring the competency in IT and Computing Skills of potential employees. The ECDL Certificate provides the proof and criterion of competency in computer skills of potential employees.
Similarly, a company looking to train up its workforce will want to ensure that the money they spend on training courses is going to be well spent. Usually at the end of a training course in computing applications there is no sound and independent proof that the trainee has actually learned. This can only be certified through the process of testing by an independent body (and not through an internal test which is developed, run and evaluated by the training provider!). This can only be achieved if organizations seek independent Testing such as the ECDL. ECDL Certificate holders have the skills and knowledge required to perform efficiently and effectively within the workplace using computer applications and tools that are required by modern organizations.
Organizations all over the world use the ECDL as part of their system of "employee career development". For employees, the ECDL is something to plan for and achieve to fulfill their organizations' requirements for IT skills expertise.
The tangible benefit for the organization hiring ECDL Certificate holders :
- Hiring ECDL Certrificate holders, saves the organization money that would otherwise be spent for training (and may be testing) these candidates. It is expected that the effectiveness and productivity of the organization will also increase as a result of hiring qualified people holders of the ECDL Certificate.
BENEFITS...for the training provider?
Colleges and other training providers are well aware of the importance of Information Technology to the world of work and businesses - and increasingly, to the individual in their day-to-day life. Indeed, many courses already incorporate significant elements of the teaching of basic and advanced computer skills - but there is no widely accepted qualification. Now, a Europe-wide recognised qualification - the European Computer Driving Licence - is set to meet these needs.
The tangible major benefits for the IT Training Provider that offers training based on the ECDL Syllabus are :
- The process of researching the market to develop, maintain and regularly update a syllabus to reflect the needs of the industy in end-user IT Skills is lengthy, cumbersome and costly. Time and money is saved and all syllabus development costs are eliminated since the training provider uses an open and generic syllabus that is developed by professionals.
- Provision of training based on the ECDL Syllabus adds value to the content of training as the ECDL is an international standard and gives trainees the flexibility and opportunity to test their skills and receive the ECDL Certification.
- The ECDL Syllabus is generic and vendor independent thus ensuring that all possible clients (independent of the actual computing tools they use) can be addressed.
- Training material (both paper-based and computer-based) that is based on the ECDL Syllabus, published by international companies is available for use by the training provider.