Can IT Certifications Impact Your Career?

This is a contributed post to JMLalonde.com. For more information on contributing a post, please see our contributing policies.

IT certifications have come a long way over the last few decades. You can thank rapidly-changing advancements in technology for that. Because of those changes, though, IT training has become more important than ever. In fact, it’s a competitive industry where certification can mean the difference between you getting hired or falling short to another candidate. 

So, how can an IT tech keep up with such fast-paced technology? Training. Training that is continuous, practical, and ahead of the curve will not only help you to stay afloat in the tech world, but it can put you on the leaderboard when it comes to your place of business. 

What is the Value of IT Certifications? 

If training is important, getting certified in certain areas is even more of a necessity. What’s the value of IT certifications? Not only do they help to quickly improve your skillset, but they can provide job security (or pay raises). 

Think about hiring someone as a babysitter for the night to watch your children. If you’re interviewing two candidates for the job and one is CPR-certified, while the other isn’t, who are you more likely to choose? The one who isn’t CPR-certified might be great at what they do. But, more often than not, having the security of certification in place is far more attractive and lets you know that person can perform a specific, important task. 

It’s no different in the world of IT. If you take the time to continue your training, you’re more likely to be pulled into leadership positions over those who haven’t. If you’re self-employed as an IT expert, having various certifications on your resume will help you to get hired over your competition. 

Certification can also help you to become more confident in your skills, which can turn you into a more confident leader when you’re a part of an IT department. 

Where Does IT Certification Matter? 

One of the challenges you might face if you’re looking for additional training is trying to determine what you need to learn. Technology seems to be growing and changing so fast, keeping up can feel like a full-time job. 

But, there are certain areas that are experiencing rapid growth and importance. Knowing as much as you can about them can give you an edge. Most IT jobs are starting to lean toward cloud computing, AI, big data, and analytics. If you’re not familiar with those areas, training and certification may be necessary for your skills to remain relevant. 

Certification isn’t the only thing that matters. They should be used to supplement the experience and knowledge you already have. If you attend training courses and classes with the intention of just collecting “ribbon after ribbon,” you’re missing the point of what you should really be learning to better yourself and your career. So, choose your programs wisely and think about how they’re going to impact you as you climb up the ladder. 

Choosing the Right IT Certification Programs

IT certification programs are becoming more popular due to growing demand. With that being said, there are plenty of certification programs out there that are little more than scams. Look for the following attributes of a training program to help you feel confident in the new skills you’re learning: 

  • A program that understands the importance of emerging technologies
  • A program that aligns with your business’ IT plans
  • A school or program that is reputable and accredited

Talk to your place of business about what they expect from you and what they want to see in the future for their IT department. It can help you to get a clearer picture of what you should be getting out of a certification program, and how you can use it to your advantage. 

Most IT training programs also offer several different types of certification. Again, don’t worry about racking them all up at once. Take a look at the different offerings and determine which one is most important, right now, to improve your overall skill set and take your new knowledge back to your place of business. Remember, training needs to be consistent. If a program didn’t seem as necessary to you this year, you might think it’s more important next year when you continue to learn and grow. Yes, that means you should be attending some type of training course every year, even if it’s just a refresher. 

Whether you’re self-employed as an IT professional or you work for a business as a tech, certifications can have a hugely positive impact on your career. So, take advantage of classes as often as possible, and stay on top of the ever-changing trends in technology. When you’re able to do that, your hard work will pay off in a variety of ways. 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.