Certification in an IT Discipline Can Advance Your Career

The IT world is an ever-evolving landscape. What is hot today, is passé tomorrow. The skills required in 2017 and beyond are a world apart from what they were several years ago. A Bachelor’s degree is often an entry level requirement for a job in IT. Five years after you’ve earned it much of what you learned is no longer cutting edge. Certifications help to keep your skills fresh and documented.

Demonstrate Your Skills

Certification in a needed skill area is a great way to show current and prospective employers that you are dedicated to continuous improvement. It demonstrates that you are keeping aware of current trends and future trends. Certification indicates that you have proven yourself knowledgeable to a trade association, user group, or vendor and have the skills and techniques to approach and execute the projects and tasks that employers need.

Vendor Certificates

Most major IT vendors provide their own certification tracks. CiscoMicrosoftIBMApple and AWS all offer certification tracks around their hardware and software programs and equipment. These certifications are all valuable to the IT professional looking to make a career of their products.

Other Certificates

Non-vendor/product certificates can also be advantageous. ITILPMP and CISSP, in conjunction with the previously mentioned certifications, display a well-rounded approach to IT integration to other disciplines. The application of the knowledge gained in acquiring these certifications to the technical knowledge gained through the other certifications improves the specialized knowledge of the specific help to prepare you for management-level positions.

COMMON Certificates

If you use IBM Power Systems and IBM i, you should investigate COMMON’s certification options. There are six different options, some for new professionals, some for those more experienced. Topics range from Business Computing to RPG, IBM i and AIX. Certification exams can be taken at locations throughout the United States or at COMMON events.

The Benefits of Certification

There’s still a lot of competition in today’s job market. Even skilled IT professionals will tend to struggle to get jobs today. Getting specialized certifications can make all the difference for people who are looking for a job or trying to succeed in a career.

Career Advancement

Having IT certification can mean the difference between getting the job and staying in the job market for even longer. Some employers will actually narrow down the applicant pool based on who has certification and who doesn’t. Certified individuals will also find it easier to network with people who have similar certifications, which can enhance their career opportunities.

Rising in a company and getting a higher salary often requires people to familiarize themselves with new technologies and acquire new skills. People will usually need to provide some documented evidence that they have such skills and knowledge, and earning new certifications can make that happen.

Career Stability

Employers are more likely to keep certified employees on staff during difficult times. People with high-level certifications have documented skills that other employees won’t have. People who earn new certifications will make themselves more valuable employees.

New certifications allow IT professionals to stay relevant. The technological world changes very quickly. Skills can become obsolete just as rapidly. The people who are progressing further with certifications immediately send the message that they’re able to adapt to this transitory environment. These are the people who will keep their jobs or get new jobs more easily. Certified people know their field and they can network within the field more effectively.

Learn more about COMMON Certification.

Certification is Worth the Money

Today’s workforce is increasingly populated by contractors. This impacts the way employees search for jobs and the way companies hire new workers. Fewer and fewer workers are coming out of colleges and other training programs to find a job they will stay at for many years. So how is your next employer supposed to know that you are the right person for the job?

Certification is a powerful voice on your behalf, especially in the IT world or other industries where things change quickly. How can accruing more certificates help you?

  • Confirmation of skills: Let’s face it, people often conflate or even lie about their level of experience when looking for work. If you can show a verifiable certificate that you learned a particular skill, your potential employer will take your résumé more seriously.
  • Specialization: Many companies need temporary workers with special skills for short-term projects. They may have permanent workers who can maintain the status quo, but those workers don’t have the time and skill to quickly set up new systems and new programs. If you can show that you are certified to do specialized work, you will have a good shot at landing that contract.
  • Networking: When you take a class or go to a seminar to earn a certification, you are bound to meet people in your industry. While a lot has changed in the employment landscape over the past twenty years, one thing hasn’t. Becoming  friendly with people can help you make connections to get your current job done well or to meet new customers.

Don’t underestimate the power of adding another certificate to your portfolio. It is not just a piece of paper, it’s a tool to get the most out of your career.