Are IT Certifications Still Relevant in 2017?
All forms of accreditation look great on your resume. It tells future employers that you have the discipline to improve your career qualifications, but more than that, it also shows that you have some form of demonstrated technical capacity. Indeed, it’s almost difficult to not see a return on investment on your IT certification. Nonetheless, newcomers to the IT industry consistently want to know ‘how much weight does an IT certification carry?’
Well Worth the Investment
As with anything else in life, you need to identify the value that a certification holds for your future. Taking even the most basic IT certification courses can set you back significantly in time and money. However, history proves these courses to be well worth the investment.
Another factor to consider is how an HR manager will look at your resume. All other things being equal, one of the first things they look at is if a candidate has any relevant IT certifications. Even if an applicant lacks substantial IT experience, a certification can help him/her stand out.
How College Education Fits into the Equation
While a four-year degree does not immediately qualify an applicant for the job, graduating from college does say something about a candidate. Namely, it says that the applicant can complete an arduous task without abandoning it.
Again, by no means is university education a deciding factor in hiring a candidate. However, it’s nice to find a well-rounded candidate who has a combination of traditional education, work experience, and specialized certifications in his/her belt.
Conversely, an applicant who possesses a large number of targeted certifications but who lacks a college degree might also attract a fair amount of interest among employers. However, an applicant in this situation may need to offset their lack of a formal education with requisite work experience.
Solid Work Experience
When I’m reviewing a resume, relevant work experience is the main thing I want to see. Unless the position specifically calls for an entry-level placement, a prospect’s previous job experience trumps all else.
This is because an IT professional can learn more in a few hours of solving real problems than he/she could in 20 hours of classroom instruction.
However, there’s another reason experienced IT applicants are more in demand than neophytes. Someone who’s worked in the field for a few years knows how to handle the pressure of fixing a make-or-break problem in the middle of the night.
This person is more of a known quantity, while an individual who is fresh out of school is unproven in similar situations. Again though, that’s not to say that someone with just Amazon Web Services Certification in their belt isn’t valuable. To the contrary, if the applicant brings other skills to the table he/she could be highly sought after.
IT as a Service
The role that IT departments play within the organizations that they serve is ever-changing. But one thing’s for sure – IT is more critical to the day-to-day running of organizations than ever before.
Company management rely on tech teams to handle complicated projects using industry best practices. In fact, one might say that the entire IT industry is undergoing a major paradigm shift.
IT groups are beginning to place increased focus on non-technical competencies. The roles of Project Manager, Service Manager, or Change Manager are becoming essential parts of the IT ecosystem.
So whether you’re an IT professional with a bent towards management or towards technical specialization, accreditations can provide a significant boost to your career. They not only teach you new skills, but can also improve your chances of getting that big promotion.