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Are IT certifications worth it?

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CISSP, Prince 2, AWS certified. Just examples of some of most popular certifications on the market. They are all expensive to obtain and time consuming to study for and complete. Lending to time and money being sunk into completing the certification. Is the cost benefit worth it? What is the value of verifying skills you already have?

When it comes to the value of certifications in the technology industry there are mixed feelings. While some see them as validation of their skills and evidence of their ability, there are some in the industry who hold the opposite point of view and believe that an IT worker’s true value and ability is demonstrated through their experience and the projects they have worked on. Both hold good merit.

Have to ask yourself if the certification will help you? What do want out of your career and potentially where you want to work. Lots of companies are increasingly looking for certifications from job seekers, many list certifications as essential, many simply as desirable and some don’t list it at all in their advertisements. If a company, you want to work for requires a certification then maybe exploring your options to obtain one is the best way to secure your dream job. If you are unsure if a certification is a key requirement, reach out to the recruiter looking after to the role, they will know.

If you are a job seeker now, like many people in the current market and you are not having much luck in your job search maybe obtaining a certification may help. But if you are out of work can you afford an expensive certification that in no means guarantees you a job.

As a job seeker certifications show employers your skillset verified by a 3rd party. For example, all hiring managers within the security space know the standard of a CISSP certification, most will most likely hold one themselves, as such they know the level of your skillset as you hold that certification.

If you are new into the IT sector a certification can show your skills in lieu of experience, as such the certification can bring you some value in form of an interview or a job offer. If you have been in the industry for a while, maybe you’ve been stuck doing the same thing for a few years and you are looking for a reason to break out into a new role or work with a different type of technology, as certification can show those skills you know you have but aren’t shown in your experience.

Where the value of a certification is most in question is for those experienced with the IT industry. You have the skills, you have worked on the projects, you have been there and done that. Why utilize your precise time and money on a certification? A certification can prove you are an expert in your field , leading you being assigned onto the best projects and potential increase in salary. But in the current market is your boss really going to give you a raise because you got a certification proving you can do the job you are currently doing.

Is a certificate worth it? Unfortunately, too many variables to make a definitive statement. The cost of a certificate can make it unobtainable for some, especially during COVID-19, luckily there are many free courses available in the current market to upskill yourself. But those that have the time and money to obtain one, it is definitely worth doing your own research into if it valuable to you