The Dollars and Sense of Certification
The Dollars and Sense of Certification
Why so many people are spending time and money chasing certification
As IS environments become more complex, companies are demanding more professionals who implement and support their technology solutions. Firms must find, hire, and retain qualified professionals. As a result, many companies regard professional certification as a benchmark of employee skill, and many employees are arming themselves with professional certifications.
Easier Hiring Decisions
Whether candidates for an IS position have professional certification can influence their interactions with a prospective employer from the moment the employer receives the candidates' r�sum�. Evaluating candidates is an equivocal process, and firms often have difficulty determining who is most qualified for a job. Some organizations look at professional certification as a quantifiable, objective measure of skills. Consequently, certification is becoming an important part of some firms' screening process.
"Certification guarantees a minimum level of knowledge about a product," Herb Martin
"More than anything, certification shows dedication," Carol Spear,
"Certification is a benchmark, It is a way for a candidate to establish instant credibility."
Certification benefits businesses not only by making hiring decisions more clear-cut, but also by increasing employee efficiency. "Companies with certified people on staff handle bigger systems, deploy bigger systems, and do both with fewer people," Martin said.
Better Consulting Jobs
Certification is particularly important to firms providing contract and consulting services to other companies. "For contractors and those selling services, it's much easier to place certified people than noncertified people," Martin said. Certification is a metric that a contractor can show its customers.
"Any company that lacks certification doesn't have the credibility to do large-scale deployments," Erwin said. If you do not have certification in your engineering workforce, you cannot credibly go after and capture large-scale business."
Of course, certification benefits both employers and their employees. Some companies include certification in their training programs because they have found that earning professional certification helps keep employees satisfied with their work. Employee satisfaction, in turn, reduces costs associated with a high rate of employee turnover.
"Education and training on new products and new technologies is everything," Mockler said. "Training is the number one thing that keeps technology employees happy.
Certification is an extension of training. Generally, people like to put on their business cards or r�sum�s that they are certified on Microsoft products or other technology."
Many engineers and technicians appreciate companies that are willing to invest in them. Additionally, companies that invest in employee certification usually deploy more complex and interesting systems, so their engineers are more challenged and more satisfied.
"We spend a tremendous amount of money on training. It's a corporate philosophy that we invest highly in engineers," Erwin said. "Certifications are tangible goals and training targets for individual engineers to measure their personal growth. That aids in our retention."
Not only do certified employees tend to be happier with their jobs, but they tend to make more money. How much can administrators who become certified expect their salaries to increase? "I tell people $5000 to $12,000 per year," Martin said. "You're not going to suddenly make $75,000 if you were making $25,000, but if you make $35,000, you'll probably make $40,000. These numbers may even be low."
Many firms take certification seriously and offer financial incentives for certification. "We give bonuses to reward engineers who get certified," Erwin said. Some types of certification may even move employees to a new position or salary, particularly if the certification is related to the company's business goals and objectives
Martin observed, "Certification says something about a person. It says this person has initiative, focus, and intensity. It either says the person has intelligence and certification was easy, or certification was hard and the person worked for it." Apparently, employers agree.
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