Being qualified means you have practised, experienced and proven that you are capable of performing or handling tasks or situations. On the other hand, being certified means to confirm formally as true, accurate, or genuine.
Fresh graduates are usually the main "targets" for certifications because they are usually informed even before leaving school that XYZ certifications are important, and this even goes on to the service year. A lot of "crash" programmes are conducted, and usually, most corps members have a target of leaving service with at least four certificates: NYSC discharge certificate, probably a Local Government certificate of commendation, and at least two other certificates (e.g IFCP, NINT, OFR, OON, e.t.c)
However, it is very crucial to understand that although professional courses and certifications are important, the more important issue is becoming who the employers want; becoming an employer's dream. Although being qualified would most likely require some sort of certification (which makes both of them intertwined), one must be able to understand specifically who one wants to be as regards choosing a career path, so it makes it easier to decide which certification(s) to get, rather than piling up different certifications, some of which may not necessarily be relevant to the career path one is towing.
Conclusively, it is highly important for everyone (especially job seekers, as well as undergraduates) to take time out to decide what they want to do before going on to get certified. This is because in the true sense, certification does not necessarily equal qualification.