When selecting your next certification, be sure to follow the correct steps and ask the right questions
You’ve made the decision to get certified. Congrats! This is a huge step.
Now, it’s time to do your homework.
Each certification requires a commitment of time, effort, and resources. It is an honor to have one. The question is:
How do I choose the right certification?
It is not enough to choose between advanced or entry-level certificates. It is important to know that not all certificates are the same, so it is important to do thorough vetting.
There are steps you can take to ensure that your certification decision is in line with your career goals and interests.
Learn the value of certifications
It is important to understand the value of certifications before making a decision.
Global Knowledge 2021 IT Skills and Salary Report found that 92% of IT professionals have at least one certification. This is a lot of competition in the sector. The general consensus is that certifications are better.
Why is IT professionals and decision-makers so focused on certifications? Why is there so much investment in training?
It’s easy to see that the added value is substantial.
Two types of benefits can be derived from certification: value to individuals or value to organizations.
Individuals have value
Professional credibility is a way to show your co-workers or supervisors that you have the skills and are willing to work hard to obtain certifications.
Personal satisfaction–have ever felt like an expert in a subject? You will be able to confidently enter your workplace as a subject matter expert and feel at ease.
Salary–according our IT Skills and Salary Report an individual with six or more IT certificates makes more than someone with only one. Each additional certification results in a slight salary bump, with few exceptions.
Job search–certifications give you an advantage during the hiring process and help you stand out in a competitive market. Employers won’t consider candidates without a certain level certification.
Professional growth and career advancement often require you to learn new technologies, or improve the skills you already have.
Organizations can add value
Essential job skills – Technology is constantly changing, so it’s important for all organizations that they have subject matter experts who can advise on new topics.
IT decision-makers agree that skill gaps can cause strain in many departments. The best way to fill them is through training. A certified workforce can increase productivity and improve the morale of the workforce, as well as share their knowledge across departments.
Employee retention–job satisfaction leads to greater staff retention. Employees who feel fulfilled are less likely than others to seek other employment.
Partner relationships–certain vendors incentivize their partners to maintain competencies on their products. IBM, for example, benchmarks these competencies through certification and badge programs.
Choose your certification path
Now that you have an understanding of the importance of certification, it is time to choose one.
Although it may seem easy, hurrying your decision could lead to wasted time and money. When making your selection, there are four things to consider.
1. Answer this question: What are you looking to accomplish?
Is your ultimate goal in certification to make more money? Is it to improve your profession? Perhaps you simply want to learn a new skill. It is important to not start evaluating your options until you have a clear answer.
If your primary goal in life is to increase your salary, read our article on the 15 highest-paying certifications in 2021.
Get certified in the most recent technology if you want to establish your expertise as a subject matter expert. It’s a great way for you to show your value.