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Why The Value of a Certification Matters

Mark O'Loughlin

Mark O'Loughlin


Due to the constant change driven by IT and the knowledge-based economy, it has become crucial for organizations to develop and attract individuals capable of exploiting the new wave of Digital Technologies. The findings from an IDC study from 2015 on the business value of IT certifications remain as relevant today: organizations are being pressured to optimize IT & staff spending, increase the focus of IT professionals on innovation, accelerate time to value, and increase system resilience. What then, exactly, is the value of an IT certification?

Gain In-depth Understanding and Improve Productivity

Professional industry-recognized certifications is a commonly used approach when looking to acquire a new set of skills. Certifications provide structure, learning, guidance, and training aimed at addressing current workplace challenges and gaps in the market. 

By applying what is learned, and using the knowledge obtained, professionals can create and deliver appropriate solutions to problems. The supplementary effect from this sees professionals becoming more self-assured of their value. According to a survey carried out by Pearson VUE, “36.9% of IT professionals claimed certification helped them perform complex tasks more confidently”. 

In many situations, it is no longer enough to have a diploma, degree, masters or any form of certification which focuses on an individual area or domain. The CCC’s Global Digital Skills Survey Report found that having the ability to learn and acquire new skills is extremely important in today’s work environment. Many organizations are requiring their staff and new-hires to be capable of learning new skills as they progress through their careers. We are in the age of life-long and continual learning.

Be Recognized by the Industry

Digital badges and electronic certificates allow professionals to share and manage their achievements publically. They also provide a means to recognize a level of knowledge obtained. Practical application of what is learned through certification schemes always helps to reinforce the learnings and develop deeper knowledge and understanding of the topic. As always, it should be kept in mind, that ultimately, it is how certification and the learnings are applied to real-world scenarios and challenges that opens the door of opportunity.

Boost Hiring and Salary Increase Chances

Education, training, and certification all have their part to play in helping professionals and employees to upskill. The focus should be placed on upskilling in areas sought after by employers. Simple online searches will quickly reveal the top job skills required in any domain, be it IT, HR, Sales, Marketing, etc. More recently having a blend of digital, IT and business skills is becoming a requirement for many organizations and employers. 

A staggering number of 91% of hiring managers consider employee certification as a criterion for hiring, according to a Microsoft Certified Professional survey. This consideration is reflected in salary ranges offered for certain skills and certifications obtained. 

On the Global Knowledge 2019 IT Skills and Salary Report, for instance, respondents reported that Cloud Credential Council-certified professionals earned an average of $118,631 per year. The report also states that: 

  • Beyond salary, IT professionals overwhelmingly report better job effectiveness after achieving a new certification
  • 52% say their expertise is more sought after within their organization 
  • 45% have implemented efficiencies 
  • 43% are faster at performing their job 
  • 23% say product/service deployments have gone smoother 

The value of certification extends beyond individual benefits. Specifically, certified professionals are better at closing skills gaps, meeting client requirements, being more productive, taking less time to troubleshoot issues and completing projects more quickly.

Join a Network of Peers

Although this isn’t the case for all IT certifications available out there, some offer the possibility to join a network of fellow professionals who have gained the same certification. This is the case, for example, with the Cloud Credential Council. The CCC is growing our network of certified professionals year on year. Join our LinkedIn group, and join in the discussions with your peers. 

The CCC continues to expand our CCC Global Expert Panel who provides ongoing contributions to many of our initiatives. Get in touch if you are interested in these networking opportunities.

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Mark O'Loughlin

About the Author

Mark O'Loughlin is the Managing Director of the CCC. Mark is internationally recognized as a global thought leader and published author in digital IT, cloud computing, DevOps, cloud service management, and IT Service Management.

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