Information technology (I.T.) is a highly dynamic field that provides plenty of opportunities for career advancement. In 2019, the I.T. market exceeded $2.461 billion. Very few markets, if any, are rising as fast as information technology. And as the industry continues to evolve and change, new types of certifications continue to appear on the market.
Given the many specializations, certifications, career paths, and providers out there, it’s nearly impossible for someone in the I.T. industry to find themselves without a job or, at least, a prospect. For anyone looking to start down a path or change their career, I.T. is a perfect place to do so.
That said, it can become somewhat confusing to know exactly why I.T. is a great place to become certified. It is for this reason why we’ve created this list.
Plenty of Certification Options
Regardless of where you currently find yourself, the I.T. industry provides plenty of certification opportunities. Whether you’re just starting and don’t see yourself as particularly tech-savvy or you are looking to advance, there are numerous options to choose from.
For entry-level candidates, basic certifications such as CompTIA A+, Microsoft Certified Professional, Cisco’s CCNA, or Linux Essentials, among others, will help them land jobs in fields such as Operating Systems, Computer Networks Administration, Systems Administration, Help Desk Support, and much more. For certified professionals looking to advance, EC-Council’s certifications, for example, will help them become Ethical Hackers.
Based on information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in I.T. is expected to grow by 12% from 2018 to 2028. That’s roughly 546,200 new jobs projected to be available across the country, which is much more than the average of all other occupations. This means that there’s a minimal chance you will not find a job if you choose this career path.
In terms of wages, the computer and information technology industry will more than make up for the time and resources you invested in the first place. To put things into perspective, consider that the average annual wage for all occupations in the United States is $38,640. By comparison, I.T. finds itself at a hefty $86,320. What’s more, statistics show that people who have a certificate will earn 13.7% more than their non-certified colleagues.
Flexibility and Better Time Management
Given the huge talent gap that exists in the I.T. industry, it’s entirely possible for someone to land a job in the field without a certificate and degree, granted they have the necessary skills and experience. There are plenty of self-taught I.T. professionals out there.
The problem, however, is that it often takes years to teach yourself these skills, and this is something that most people don’t have. Most self-taught professionals started learning in their early teens, whereas earning an I.T. certificate can be done in several months. With an online course, you will also have more flexibility, allowing you to plan your learning based on your existing schedule.
Easy Access to Resources
Going down the certification path will also give you access to resources that would not be available to you otherwise. Depending on the organization with which you gain your certificates, you may have access to online forums, training and learning materials, as well as networking and job placement opportunities.
Credibility and Validation
Another major benefit that I.T. certifications bring to the table is that they provide you with credibility. Your certificates will act as evidence for your skills and proficiency in your area of expertise, validating your skillset for others to see. Statistically speaking, certificates will enhance your professional credibility by 95.4% and validate specialized knowledge by 97.9%.
For hiring managers, certificates show the applicant’s drive to achieve as well as their commitment to the profession. Likewise, it validates their knowledge and skills during the interviewing process.
Certain certifications are essential in specific fields when you are on your way to your career. As such, having the right certificate can make the difference between landing your job, setting you apart from those that don’t.
Justifying Your Costs
Similarly to the point above, technical certifications will also help you justify your costs to your employers or clients. Say, for instance, you are working as a freelance I.T. professional and are about to close a deal with a client.
That person will be more inclined to work with you, even if you charge more than with someone who is self-taught. By showing them your certificates, you are helping them decide in your favor. Likewise, certificates can also help you get promoted more quickly than someone who doesn’t have them.
Personal and Professional Development
Certifications will go a long way in your personal and professional development. As we said, I.T. is a dynamic field, meaning that new technologies are being introduced regularly. Earning certificates will ensure that you are on top of these developments, keeping your skills fresh and relevant.
Certification training can help you cover new technical areas while also reinforcing the skills you already have. Also, certifications can help you better network with other professionals in your area of expertise.
This is particularly advantageous since networking is at the core of almost any successful career. As such, the people you meet during your training or during a technical conference could also be the ones who will endorse you or help you land your next job.
There’s also something to be said about the personal satisfaction and confidence boost that comes with passing the exams and earning your certificate. Personal confidence levels were shown to soar by 88.2% whenever someone takes their certification exams and knows they have something to prove their skills. And as many of us know, high confidence often results in success.