Can IT certifications provide job security?
When it comes to today’s job market, the concept of job security is rare. It is no longer unusual to hear that “we’re eliminating your department” or “we’re getting rid of your position.” That being said, there is something you could be doing right now to increase your desirability as a candidate and employee.
We’re talking about obtaining IT certifications.
As you may already know, IT certifications are non-degree awards aimed at providing you with the knowledge needed to gain experience and validate your skills with future employers. It’s one of the best things a candidate can do for themselves, especially if they’re making a career change to information technology.
Can IT certifications provide you with job security?
As the saying goes, the only things certain in life are death and taxes. That being said, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and information technology jobs are projected to grow 13% from 2016 to 2026. This would equate to over roughly 550,000 new jobs over that decade span. To put that in context, those numbers are both faster and better than the averages for all other occupations.
From a macro level, this is great. But what happens when we dig a bit deeper and look at specific jobs? Fortunately for IT folks, the good news continues. Note: the following occupation titles are from the BLS, not Carolina Career College.
- Network and Computer Systems Administrator: 6% projected job growth
- Computer Support Specialists: 11% projected job growth
- Information Security Analysts: 28% projected job growth
While not exact matches to our program titles, they provide a snapshot into the future of information technology careers. Every IT occupation is growing, which is something that cannot be said for many industries. In a world where job security is a thing of the past, statistics like these paint a promising picture.
But, do IT Certifications really help?
Projections are great, but how much do IT certifications really help? Can they truly make that much of a difference? According to the Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report, 89% of IT professionals have at least one certification. One of the biggest reasons for this is the value that an IT certificate provides. An IT professional can become more skilled while making a higher salary for a fraction of the cost of traditional schooling.
Over 90% of employers report that IT certification holders are more likely to be hired, promoted, and retained than those without IT certifications. In fact, employers believe IT certifications are a reliable predictor of a successful employee. A certification not only provides you with the knowledge and foundation to be successful, but it also lets you stand out to recruiters and HR professionals looking to fill roles. Certifications are essentially building blocks to creating a better career.
The significance of IT certifications for someone entering the field
While IT certifications such as CompTIA’s A+ and Network+ are important for any IT professional, they’re absolutely crucial for someone making a career change into computers and technology.
Why is that? Well, for starters, 72% of employers require IT certifications for certain job openings. That right there is as strong as a reason as any, but what’s arguably more important is how employers perceive those with certifications. According to CompTIA, 67% of employers use certifications to measure a candidate’s willingness to work hard and meet a goal. It’s not just that you have the certification, it’s that you were willing to invest your time, money, and effort into obtaining it.
By choosing to forgo getting certified, you immediately put yourself at a huge disadvantage. Consider this: all else being equal if one candidate has an industry-standard certification and the other does not, who do you think will get the job? When more than three-quarters of the entire industry have certifications, the importance of obtaining one becomes quite obvious. IT professionals who invest in certifications are not only becoming more productive, they’re getting paid more too.
Show me the money
From an individual’s perspective, IT certifications are one of the best things you can do for your career. As noted above, one can become more desirable while making a higher salary for a fraction of the cost of traditional schooling. According to CompTIA’s survey, it was found that
North America, . What’s more, Global Knowledge found that individuals who developed new skills, including being awarded certifications, received raises ranging from 9 to 16%. For comparison, the average raise for an IT professional in the United States was 4%. , someone who earns a salary of $60,000 per year, certifications could net them an additional $5,400 and $9,600 a year in raises!
What about a degree? Do I need one?
Times are different. Having a degree doesn’t quite mean as much as it did 10, 15, and 20 years ago. That being said, in an ideal world, employers still would prefer both. However, it’s now common to see people enter the field with no formal education.
Unfortunately, many people subscribe to the outdated notion that college is absolutely necessary, when in fact, it’s not. In the last 11 years, student loan debt has grown over 150%. Currently, there’s over $1.5 trillion in student loans just in the US alone. These numbers are astronomical and won’t be trending down any time soon. IT certifications provide a faster and less expensive alternative to traditional schooling.
Organizations demand a mix of skills and expertise that a college degree doesn’t necessarily provide. In today’s technology-driven world, HR values skills, not necessarily the school a candidate went to. CompTIA’s HR Perceptions of IT Training and Certification states that 98% of HR and hiring managers are willing to consider qualifications outside of college on an applicant’s resume.
Carolina Career College can help you become an IT professional
At Carolina Career College we know what it takes to become an IT professional. We understand that for many, this is one of the biggest decisions they’ll ever make. Changing careers can be scary, but with the right guidance, you can do anything. We are prepared to help you achieve your dream and navigate all of the certifications that you will to secure your desired career. Start your new life today. Give us a call today to learn more about our many programs that can help you achieve your goal of becoming an IT professional.