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Do Computer Science Certifications Matter in 2018?

Posted By Staff Writer on April 26, 2018

Our parents always told us that getting an education was important, but with breakout successes like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, we have reason to doubt their advice. Especially in fields like programming, IT, or cyber security, where your coding chops can sometimes mean more than a degree, it can be tempting to assume you don't need to invest in any formal training to get the job you want. While it's possible to get jobs—even high paying ones—sans degree or certifications, there's still value in those little scraps of paper. To prove it, below we discuss four reasons computer-related certifications still matter, even when you can sometimes do without. They Show Commitment Perhaps more than anything else, earning a certification (not unlike earning a degree) is proof that a) you can accomplish difficult things, and b) the difficult things you choose to accomplish are in technology-related fields. Getting certifications, even basic ones like the A+ cert, can be really, really hard. Some require more than a dozen exams, none of which are easy. And don't even mention the costs. Getting a certification is essentially putting your money where your mouth is; it's physical evidence that you care enough about the subject to obtain proof you know what you're talking about. Someone who's spending that much energy, that much time, and that much cash on their professional development isn't likely to have a mid-life crisis and go pursue underwater basket weaving. They Expand Technical Knowledge The primary purposes of certifications are the expansion and verifying of an individual's expertise in a particular field. Detractions and issues with the system aside, it's still the easiest way to learn a new skill set, and then prove to an employer that you're versed in the topic. That's part of the reason why those who have certifications are likely to pursue additional certs. Those who have them know how valuable they can be, and pursue more when they want to move up or move laterally. They Stand Out on Resumes We all hate to admit it, but official credentials score extra points on resumes and job applications. Having your skills backed by credible organizations can provide a huge boost to your chances at getting a job. That said, there's still plenty of employers who are willing to hire on experience or talent. Which is why we add the following piece of information: sometimes certifications are used as a method of pre-screening candidates. It's becoming more and more frequent these days that employers—especially of larger organizations—are using computers to filter out candidates from available options. All they have to do is search for keywords or phrases linked to the certifications they want, and if it's not on your resume, you won't come up in the search. No amount of work experience will save you in a situation like that. They Keep You Up to Date Just as some other professionals—like doctors and dentists—have to occasionally renew their certifications to keep them abreast of new methods and practices in their field, seeking new certifications in computer-related fields every so often ensures you're up to speed with cutting-edge technology and methodology. Learning from industry leaders and pioneers is one of the best ways to keep your finger on the pulse of the field you're in, and the certification you earn as a result is a way to prove you were paying attention while they taught. There are a host of other reasons to pursue certifications; these are just our top four. Bottom line, you've got nothing to lose by earning a certification, and everything to gain. So when you're ready to learn more about how you can pursue the career of your dreams, contact the team at Stevens-Henager College, and find out what certifications will put you on the path to success.