One of the frequent questions that I receive from students is why should they spend the time, effort, and money to become certified in information technology when there are a limited number of jobs in our sluggish economy? The quick and simple answer is, “because you NEED to.”
When the economy is slow, a businessman should not be trimming the budget by cutting back on advertising. Similarly, your certifications are the key to promoting yourself to prospective employers, and your promotion efforts need to include all of the marketing depth that you can muster.
In spite of the fact that we cannot alter the major forces that control our economic climate, as individuals, we can change our value to employers. It is that value that you bring to the job interview that will make you stand out among the dozens or even hundreds of applicants for a given position.
What does certification bring?
- It tells your employer that you are committed to your chosen field. It takes effort to study for and go through the certification experience, and your current and prospective employers know this. You show your dedication to growth in your field by becoming industry certified.
- It tells you employer that you have a base or advanced skill level that places you above your competition for the position.
- Having an industry certification can, in many cases, lead you to potential interviews that would exclude those candidates who do not have an industry certification. Many large employers use arbitrary methods or even software that will scan through the large numbers of resumes that they receive in order to cull out the candidates that they wish to interview in person or by telephone. Having recognized your certification in your resume is a plus and helps you make the cut.
In every IT class I teach, I stress the importance of obtaining industry certifications. I have begun to stress the importance of maintaining these certifications as well. Learning is a lifelong challenge and an opportunity to measure ourselves and improve our knowledge base. In the IT field, changes and improvements are as certain and the pages on a calendar.
John Miriello is an MCT, MCSE, A+ and Netework+ certified instructor at the Boise campus of Stevens-Henager College. He has held numerous positions throughout his career in banking and financial services and owned his own consulting company for 10 years. Presently he is instructing students in Microsoft servers, workstations, networking and security.