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Why Should I Take An IT Certification? How It Will Be Useful?

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Be it the boom time of the late 90's or the downturn after the dot-com burst, IT Certification has been an area of constant growth. In recent times, due to the slowdown in the IT industry, more and more people have lost their jobs. The requirement for skills has gone up and to stay above water in such a competitive environment, an increasing number of people are making efforts to earn certifications. According to MCP Magazine's annual survey, following are some of the reasons why people are taking certification so seriously.

Skills and Knowledge
The most important benefit of certification is that the process of certification increases your skills and your knowledge to a great extent. Majority (65%) of the certification holders feel that acquiring a technical certification has made them more confident in their jobs and the work they perform. More than half (52%) feel that technical certification has improved their problem-solving skills on the job, and half of them feel that their technical certifications have increased their overall job productivity.
Job Security
More than three-fourths (79%) of the professionals having IT Certifications plan to pursue additional certifications in the coming year. So, despite the IT market slump, lost jobs, and cut wages, a vast majority of IT professionals will continue to seek additional certifications. And the key word is "additional" - for a typical certification holder already had nearly 4 technical certifications and had been attaining a new certification every year.
In the face of this down market, why are these certification holders seeking additional technical certifications? It is best expressed in two words: job security. In the boom times, one constantly reviews the rate of growth in salary as a key personal-success measurement. However, during the down times, job security is paramount. While the return on investment (ROI) one receives from a technical certification in terms of salary increases is always important, the role of the certification in keeping one's job becomes the crux issue during the down times.
More than half (59%) of the certification holders said that they feel more secure in their current jobs due to their certifications. And more than two-thirds (69%) feel that technical certifications play at least some role in their job security.

31% of the certification holders received a job promotion within the first year of receiving their primary technical certification. One can argue whether a technical certification plays such a major role in receiving such promotions, yet 92% of the certification holders who did receive promotions feel that their primary certification played a significant role in that promotion.
Nearly half (43%) of the certification holders surveyed, received a salary raise within the first year of receiving their primary certification. 80% of certification holders feel that their raise was significantly due to their certification. The average certification holder who did receive a raise within the first year of earning a primary certification realized a healthy 19% increase. The average certification holder realized a 7% raise within the first year of receiving a primary certification. The average certification generated a $3,487 increase in salary.
Another economic factor that certification holders consider is Return On Investment (ROI). ROI from certification is integrally tied to the cost of the certification. In 2002, the average technical certification cost $1,100 and generated a $3,487 increase in salary. That is, the average certification provides a 3.2-to-1 ROI. That is, for every dollar invested in a certification, the certification holder realizes a $3.2 return in the form of a pay raise.

Another most important non-economic aspect of certification is on-the-job respect. 58% of the certification holders surveyed, feel that they get more respect from managers and colleagues due to their technical certifications

Career Opportunities
Despite the IT downturn, and relative job scarcity, certification holders jumped companies after acquiring certifications in their desired fields. 16% (lowest till now) of the certification holders jumped companies within 6 months of receiving their primary certification.

Whether you're new to the IT industry or a seasoned professional, IT Certification makes you more marketable and gives you the credentials to land your dream job. It is extremely difficult these days to enter your chosen field without the relevant degrees and work experience. It is a catch-22 problem "you can't get the job if you don't have the experience and you can't get the experience if you don't have a job. " Certification is one of the most powerful ways to break this cycle and get an entry into the field of your choice. An ever-increasing number of people are using certification as a tool for solving the problem of getting an entry in their desired fields.

3 Responses to "Why Should I Take An IT Certification? How It Will Be Useful?"

  1. gravatar karthikeyan says:

    hi ..great work thx.
    please let me know how can i do a certification exam. i mean where to apply for it.which is best and also approx money that will be needed.i reside in chennai.....

  2. gravatar Bond says: have to train first for scjp exam and then SUN offers scjp vouchers at prometric centers like NIIT..u can apply there..hardly it will take 4 to 6 thousand....depends on time

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