Technical Certifications – should I or shouldn’t I?

Some companies want them, and for others it does not impact their operations….. but what you have to ask yourself is what benefit can they bring YOU!

Technical CertificationsBottom line: Technical & Professional certifications are valuable to obtain if they are considered valuable in your field.

I predominantly work in the Technical Infrastructure Support space and in the current competitive market I’m seeing a surge in their demand.

So what does having technical certifications mean to you? You want to ask what benefit they can bring you now and also in the future:Question Mark

  • What added value could they bring to your current position?
  • Could a course and cert help advance you into an area of interest?
  • Make you more valuable and competitive among your peers?
  • Help you become a subject matter expert in a particular area, and
  • Would they help differentiate you from the crowd?

The below are some examples of situations where certifications can be advantageous:

Job Applications:

  • Envisage the volume of CV’s a company is going to receive and your competition. You need to think about what is going to differentiate you from your peers so you can take the next step on your career ladder.
  • Having technical certifications, shows the company your initiative and interest in personal development and interest in your area of expertise.
  • All things being equal, if you were a company and received one CV with a technical cert and one without – who would you choose?

Money & Promotion

  • Again, consider the employers view point. With certifications you are validating your knowledge and expertise. Have you become an expert within the company? Have you differentiated yourself amongst your colleagues?
  • If your professional skillset and knowledge are in line with the company’s business, and you are expanding upon this by getting certified, you are giving yourself a strong business case for salary negotiation and advancement at promotional reviews, this can also encourage the company to invest and develop your skillset with you.
  • Some companies align salaries with certifications, I’m sure that’s motivation enough.

Subject Matter Expert (SME)

  • In such a competitive market, certainly within the Infrastructure/Support space, Engineers are being shortlisted, not just on their years of experience and expertise with specific technologies but top level certifications are being demanded with high-end specialist roles.
  • Ensuring you are up to date with latest technologies and having the certifications to prove it, assists employers in validating skills and experience.

What to do?

It is important that you do your research and find certifications that compliment your current skillset and work environment (keeping you competitive in your current position) as well as develop upon these for future growth and progression. Yes, there is a financial outlay, but consider it an investment in yourself and your future.Technical Certifications

In my opinion, it is very simple…. Technical Certifications validate your skills and experience, therefore start with the ones that support what you are currently doing and build from there.

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