Are You Certified The impact of technology in our lives has grown exponentially over recent years. The demand for better, faster, more productive software and hardware equipment has increased the need for more experienced and better qualified IT (Information Technology) specialists. These IT professionals must possess a degree of knowledge and expertise that sets them apart from others in their field. One way industry has set the standard in recruiting such specialized individuals is certification. Certifications are offered in a variety of specialty areas. Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer is one of many certifications offered by Microsoft (MCSD).
The MCSD is in the area of coding, analysis, debugging and testing of applications. Another is A+ Certification sponsored by CompTIA that certifies the competency of entry-level service technicians in the computer industry. A more prestigious certification is the Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert, which yields one of the highest salary compensations but is also more difficult to obtain. These aforementioned certifications are only three of the several offered by Microsoft, Cisco, Novell, and Oracle. So what if these certifications are well known to the industry; so what if the companies that are known and respected worldwide back them.
Are they the big deal that everyone claims they are? The answer to that is yes, and for several reasons. Becoming certified can enhance job opportunities, assert proof of professional achievement, and increase salary probability. Certification is a practical means of assessing skills and experience. According to KB Learning Centers, Inc., Many employers give preference in hiring applicants with certification. They view this as proof that a new hire knows the procedures and technologies required.
For people new to the industry, certification can be used to measure their standing and provide a starting point for building their professional careers. It is also true that many employers and human resource officers will view certifications as a deciding factor between several applicants. For those who are already in the industry certification can help career advancement and compensation. These professionals are recognized for specialized knowledge in their choice of specialty areas. Certification may be a plus to seasoned veterans when an employer awards job advancements and promotions.
Employers are looking for ways to assure they hire qualified people to administer computer networks and design custom applications. Becoming certified is also recognized proof of professional achievement. Membership in a distinctive peer group made up of fellow professionals. These individuals have dedicated huge amounts of time and effort in preparation for the certification exams. Often, when being considered for additional in house or vendor training, certification may be required as a prerequisite, so employers will offer advanced training to those employees who are already certified. As the general public learns about certification, customeivity, plus minimize network downtime.
Information Week’s Emily Kay notes that Companies that don’t support certification spend nearly $14,000 more dealing with network downtime and PC support costs. according to IDC. According to a recent survey by Deloitte & Touche Consulting Group of 1,442 CIOs, seven out of ten companies worldwide are having difficulty in finding the skilled IS staffers they require. And, more than 80% of those surveyed said they expect their client/server expenditures to increase in the following year. So, companies that support employee certification can operate their networks more effectively, plus take advantage of the cost savings that come with improved efficiency.
Now more than ever, professionals need certification and corporations need individuals with certification. Statistics say you’ll make more money MCP Magazine has produced salary surveys for three years, tracking the average salaries of Microsoft Certified Professionals. The verdict – MCP’s make more than their non-certified counterparts (of comparable age and experience). The average salary of MCP’s increased over 10% from 1996 to 1997. But network administration isn’t the only reason to become certified. Because NT has been gaining steam in the corporate world, so have the Back Office suite of products – SMS, Exchange, SQL Server, as well as Web-enabled products like Internet Information Server and Merchant Server.
These products offer enterprises a turnkey solution to many IT needs, and these enterprises need people who know them inside and out. Having certification on your resume greatly increases your marketability to your current, or to a potential, employer. Why Become Certified? Statistics say you’ll make more money. MCP Magazine has produced salary surveys for two years, tracking the average salaries of Microsoft Certified Professionals. The verdict – MCP’s make more than their non-certified counterparts (of comparable age and experience).
The average salary of MCP’s increased over 10% from 1996 to 1997. Those who have attained Certification say it is worth it. According to a white paper by Southern Illinois University, ninety percent of MCSEs rated the Microsoft Certification as Useful or Very Useful. Seventy percent rated Certification as Useful or Very Useful for professional credibility. So how can a reseller differentiate by certification? From a salary perspective, Cisco is the way to go. With so many Microsoft gurus and Certified Novell (formerly NetWare) Engineers, these certificates are becoming commodities. Cisco’s top certification, the CCIE, is worth a starting salary of $100,000.
High-end CCIEs make $200k without breaking into a sweat. Reseller profits are similarly high, assuming you can keep your CCIEs from bolting to become independent consultants. The other Cisco accreditations–the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)–are also profitable for their holders and employers. Janet Ruhl’s Computer Consultant’s Resource Page, a well-regarded Web salary survey site, pegs these incomes in the mid-$80,000 range for certificate-holders with substantial experience. As for MCSEs, starters earn around $40,000 a year. With experience, system administrators and consultants jump to the high $50,000-range. High-level positions such as a senior consultant command between $70k and $90k. More lofty salaries are possible, but they’re uncommon for reseller MCSEs.
The oldest certification, Novell’s CNE, is worth the least. The salary figures range from $35,000 to $80,000 annually, with the bulk of middle-range employees at $50K or below. By and large, more Novell folks are in the $35K to $45K range than MCSEs. Indeed, these Windows NT resellers seem to be pulling in at least $5,000 more per year than their NetWare counterparts.