At the IT Certification Council, we believe in professional certifications, and we’re glad to have the chance to work with industry leaders on the issue.
We think the value of certification to an IT professional is obvious. There is no better way to advertise your skills than to get them certified. Certification benefits employers, too. Obviously, certifications help in the hiring process, but we wanted to mention four benefits that don’t often get much play in discussions of certification.
- Certified staff increase customer/client trust. This is most true with IT consulting organizations, when some of your employees will be working to manage or implement customers’ applications or data. The customers want to know the staff handling their data are competent and professional, and they can be reassured by certifications. But in today’s world, even if you’re not doing IT consulting, you are probably handling customer data, and customers are increasingly wary (with good reason) about who they entrust with their data. In fact, if IT certifications aren’t very common in your industry, increasing employee certifications can give you a competitive advantage, even in marketing.
- Certified staff are easier to manage. If you are managing an IT operation, one of your major responsibilities is assigning people to projects and problems. If you’re a good manager, you know your staff’s skills pretty well, but if you are new to the team, staff certifications can help you get a jump on that knowledge. Certified staff are also easier to hire because certifications can reduce or eliminate the need for screening tests among job applicants, and they certainly help in sorting them by skills.
- Certified staff are more effective in their jobs. There is a reason that certified staff earn, on average, about five percent more than their non-certified counterparts. A recent survey on certification found that 70% of people who took certification training reported gains in their on-the-job effectiveness.
- Certified staff are more satisfied in their jobs. This is probably the most interesting and powerful benefit of certification. The same survey mentioned above found that 86% of certified staff were satisfied in their jobs. Note that the Conference Board’s annual job satisfaction report for 2016 found job satisfaction among US workers is at 49.6%. That means more than half of US workers are dissatisfied with their jobs. This is a perilous situation in an era of insider threats. Encouraging certification training among IT staff may be one of the best steps you can take for cyber security.
What are your next steps if you are an employer? Managers within any organizations should compile a list of the certifications that validate key skills needed in each job function. For the employees in those roles who don’t have those certifications, managers should work on a learning and development plan that allows those employees to validate those skill-sets and demonstrate to the business they have the knowledge needed to perform their job.
The member organizations of the ITCC are a great place to look for understanding what certification are on the market today and should be adopted by your organization!