IT certifications have become an essential aspect of career advancement in the tech industry. However, investing in one can be a complex decision that requires careful evaluation of the costs and benefits.
This blog will dive into the reasons for obtaining an IT certification.
When can IT certifications be worth it for you?
To weigh the pros and cons of obtaining an IT certification, consider these 6 factors: career goals, skills enhancement, relevance to the field, market demand, time and financial investment, and the impact on job performance. Earning an IT certification can offer benefits such as improved experience and skills, relevant credentials, and a competitive edge in the job market. Still, it's important to consider these factors carefully before deciding.
1. If you want to start your IT career
Getting an IT certification can be highly beneficial for those starting in the IT field with limited work experience. IT certifications demonstrate industry recognition to employers and offer a chance to improve technical skills and deepen knowledge by studying for the exam. The certification material can also act as a guide for related job roles. With a strong understanding of IT fundamentals like security and data storage, eligibility for certain positions may be expanded. An entry-level IT certification that covers a broad range of IT fundamentals can provide the necessary foundational Knowledge.
2. If you want to gain more skills
IT certifications are a valuable tool for career advancement. If you're a system administrator wanting to sharpen your cybersecurity skills but need more practical experience, obtaining a cybersecurity certification can provide the essential training you need to make a career switch or broaden your existing role. Even if you have a basic grasp of a new area, a certification confirms your in-depth Knowledge of the subject and demonstrates to employers that you are at the same level as other experts in the field. While on-the-job performance is the ultimate measure of success, certifications can serve as a stepping stone, bridging the gap between your current experience and your future career goals.
3. If you want to increase your salary potential
As per Global Knowledge, investing in IT certifications and skill development can increase salary. In 2020, IT professionals saw an average raise of $5,000, but those who acquired new skills or certifications saw an even more significant salary increase. For instance, IT professionals who received raises due to new skills received an average of $12,000, and those who received raises due to certifications received an average of $13,000. It's important to remember that while a certification can increase your chances of a raise, it's not a guarantee of a substantial salary increase.
4. If you want to showcase your expertise
It is often a requirement to hold a specific IT certification in certain industries. For example, if you want to work in information assurance for the Department of Defense, you must have an approved certification. Similarly, IT consultancies may prefer their employees to have relevant certifications to showcase their staff's expertise and training to clients.
5. If you don't have any relevant degree
Lacking a degree in computer science or a related field shouldn't hold you back from pursuing an IT career. Even entry-level IT job postings often require a bachelor's degree. Still, an IT certification can demonstrate your dedication to the industry and show employers your capability to learn, study, and achieve a specific goal.
The final words
The IT industry offers numerous growth and career advancement opportunities. Earning information technology (IT) certifications can increase your chances of securing your ideal job or advancing to a higher position with increased pay. It's never too soon or too late to take control of your career path. Begin today by exploring the certification options available and taking the exam that aligns with your career goals.