Certificates work! In the least amount of time, and for the least amount of money, they provide people with the right knowledge and skills to land a job. Employers are increasingly demanding professional certification in addition to a degree from college graduates. Also, more and more certified professionals with only a high school diploma are entering the job market and successfully filling the need for skilled labor in high-income industries like IT Here’s why certifications can land you a job, and why they are so effective even when you don’t have a college degree.
IT Has a Universal Standard
Not every certification is valued the same, but neither is every college degree. The value of a degree depends on the university and its ranking on the world list of top universities. So, a degree from MIT, Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Cambridge, Oxford or ETH Zurich holds up its merit around the world, while the same is not for a lower-ranking college.
In contrast, a Microsoft Certification is always a Microsoft Certification. So, is a certification issued by CISCO, CompTIA or any other IT industry leader. The standard remains the same for everyone (students and teachers), including what you learn, how you learn it and the tests you take to pass the course. And since an international organization upholds these standards, the certificate has the same value to employers anywhere in the world.
IT is Skill-Based
The only difference between a seasoned professional and a recent graduate is the level of skill. It’s also the best way to learn, and more importantly, adopt what you learn from theory. And certification programs focus on teaching skills and their application in practice. It’s also more coveted by employers, since skill (not knowledge) is what makes money for a company, especially in the IT industry. The theory is learned quickly and along the way.
IT is Highly Specialized
Most certifications are in-depth and niche-specific. All of the attention is on one field, and so is what you learn. A Linux network security certification is about Linux security – not Windows or Unix firewalls – only Linux. But it covers it through stages, from primary through to advanced skills and development. On the other hand, a college degree in IT covers multiple fields at a basic level, which is usually not enough to reach the level of proficiency required by most employers. And graduates have to gain a Master’s degree to obtain the same skills they would from a certification course.
It Takes Less Time to Obtain It
Since the certification courses and programs are so specific, it usually takes far less time to obtain a certificate than a degree. If you want to start work as soon as possible, a certification will get you there sooner. Even the most advanced programs don’t last more than a year. And during the time it would take you to receive a Bachelor’s degree (6 years on average), you could become a leading expert in an area of your choosing.
It’s Cost Effective
Research released in 2018 shows that gaining a degree from a four-year state college costs on average $9,970 per year for state residents, and $25,620 per year for everyone else. But the amount of loan debt a student takes on during those four years is even higher and stands at $37,172. That’s a lot of money, considering how much you can earn during those four years. On the other hand, certification courses don’t come close concerning cost, with some certification courses being completely free. But for less money, you gain the skills necessary to land a job, and quickly pay off your investment, even if its several thousand dollars (a two-month salary in IT). And that makes a certification program extraordinarily sustainable and easy on your bank account.
Invest in Your Future
Are you ready to take your education to the next level? Here at MyComputerCareer, we help students make the first step into an exciting career in the IT Industry. Take our FREE career evaluation and find out what course you should take.
Based in Holly Springs, North Carolina, MyComputerCareer, Inc. is an innovative adult technical school with courses taught online and at its seven campuses in Indiana, Ohio, North Carolina and Texas. Students who complete MyComputerCareer’s rigorous Information Technology courses may earn up to 13 highly valuable IT Certifications in areas ranging from Operating Systems to Computer Networks and Cyber Security, certificates often required even for those with four-year college degrees. In addition, these courses form the foundation for students interested in obtaining an Associate’s degree from MyComputerCareer.
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