June 10, 2014

Information technology is a highly dynamic and ever- changing field and as the industry evolves and becomes increasingly more competitive, new types of certifications are continuously popping up. IT certification has long been a proven means of differentiation and qualification among employers for hiring new employees. As an IT professional, it is useful to view certification as an investment in your future, as there are numerous benefits including higher salaries, enhanced skill set, and community support from like- minded peers.

Research from Prometric recently found that IT professionals with certifications in their chosen areas of expertise were more satisfied in their jobs and had greater confidence in their abilities to do their jobs than did their peers without certification1. While the actual knowledge you’ll gain in your career is the true reward, certification is a great indicator to your company or a prospective employer that you take your job seriously and are knowledgeable in that respective technology.

While job placement or advancement is a key reason cited by IT professionals for obtaining certifications, below are several reasons why IT certification is still important and very advantageous to both employees and their organizations.

For IT professionals:

  • Increased earning power: While the desire to gain new knowledge and enhance your skillset is a powerful motivator for becoming certified, many professionals want to know if certification correlates to higher pay. The answer is yes, IT certifications can increase your earning potential. According to the Certification Magazine 2013 Salary Survey, more than 90 percent of those surveyed held at least one certification, and almost 50 percent of individuals surveyed made more than $70,000 per year (18 percent between $70,000 and $100,000; 28 percent between $100,000 and $200,000)2.                                    
  • Career trajectory: Whether you’re seeking an entry-level position, making a mid-career transition, or working towards a promotion, certifications are excellent tools for career progression. They send a clear message to your directors that you’ve mastered the knowledge and concepts needed to fill an open position and have the credentials required to perform the essential functions of the job. Twenty-two percent of those responding to the Certification Magazine 2013 Salary Survey attributed recent promotions to obtaining new certifications3.
  • Professional network: IT certification often provides entry into a community of professionals who possess a certain set of skills. This network can be very useful in staying abreast on current trends and developments and allows you the opportunity to collaborate with these individuals.

For the organization:

  • Standard of quality: Many certifications must be renewed every two to three years, either by taking and passing the most current exam or through continuing education credits to keep skills up to date. Employers rely on certifications because they ensure that the credit holder possesses the knowledge and skill needed to perform his or her job properly. In today’s highly competitive IT industry, certifications benefit an organization by building credibility and trustworthiness among IT clients. 
  • Reducing costs: IT certification is a proven method for leveraging expenses. By ensuring that their employees have obtained certain categorical skills through certification and training, organizations can reduce expenses, identify and eliminate knowledge gaps, and increase employee productivity.

Take the time to research various credentials related to your areas of IT expertise and determine which ones are right for you. Read the latest salary surveys from publications such as Certification Magazine or other online sources to learn about high-paying IT certifications, certification market trends, and what kinds of ROI you can expect from your certification investments. Remember that certifications can improve your career and brighten your future. Though they may be time-consuming and difficult to earn, you’ll find the end results well worth the time, effort, and money involved.

How have IT certifications been important in your career? Share with us in the comment box below!

Posted By: Ariana Hampton- Marcell

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