Certifications are valuable for anyone looking to build a successful career in IT. Before about 2005, when recruiting for IT talent, HR managers generally weighted four-year college degrees much heavier than IT certifications. Today the trend has changed. Although, a four-year degree can be a solid foundation to your IT career, certifications provide you an added advantage and help you leave an impression on employers that you take your job seriously and have both knowledge of, and expertise in, relevant technologies.
With more than 1,700 IT certifications available today, the importance of earning one can��t be denied. The short term during which a certification is typically valid, however, remains a major concern of many IT professionals. Since most certs have a validity period of three years or shorter, you will need to put in equal amount of efforts, time and money in order to remain current, marketable and certified. This leads to a commonly-asked question, "Do I really need to recertify?"
What is Recertification?
Recertification is the process of renewing one's authenticated IT certification. In more complex terms, we can define it as one's ability to consistently update their knowledge and skills related to a particular IT domain.
In the HR world, recertification or updated certifications are a sign of an individual's commitment to staying current in their field. Recruitment managers often prefer candidates with current certs as it shows a willingness to learn, grow, and remain marketable in the IT industry.
Why Is It Valuable to Recertify?
Recertification is an essential task for any skilled IT professional. When you recertify, you prove your commitment and competence to your supervisor or hiring manager, and make them realize that you can be the right candidate for a particular job position. After all, clients do seem to prefer credentialed professionals to work on their projects.
Below are some of the common benefits of recertifying your skills and knowledge from an authorized certification body:
Protection against Layoffs
Studies clearly show that skill level is one of the major factors affecting unemployment rates. In an era where layoffs have become increasingly common, employers are most likely to retain workers with appropriate skills and current knowledge. If given a choice between two individuals with the same level of skills and experience, a manager is just more likely to keep the one who has a valid IT certification.
Salary Maintenance and Appraisal
Salary cuts are often another measure taken by organizations fighting for their survival. With an updated IT certification, companies are more likely to offer what your skills are really worth on the open market. In the event �that you find yourself forced to take a salary cut, you'll still be making a decent amount of money so it will hurt a lot less.
In addition to this, with an updated certification, you'll be in a stronger position in your annual performance reviews. You can show your supervisor your current certifications and negotiate a decent raise in your salary.
Probably the best and the worst thing about working in IT is its dynamic nature. Something that's considered cutting edge today may be out of date next year. Regular recertification can help you advance in your career and remain marketable in the industry.
Additionally, most companies that offer IT certifications regularly update their exam content. When you recertify, you get an opportunity to tap into the most up-to-date information and techniques and remain competent in your field.
Refresh Your Knowledge
Going for recertification requires you to practice the whole process again and revise all the knowledge and techniques that you learnt in the first place. While this may sound hectic and repetitive, it actually helps you by letting you identify areas where you need more work.
Recertification Boosts Your Personal Image
Most people wouldn't go to an unlicensed doctors. We want some proof that they have earned their credentials and licensure. The same goes for other professionals such as lawyers, dentists, financial advisors, and so forth. They all market themselves by highlighting their certifications and their affiliation with a reputable professional association.
The IT industry operates in the same manner. You've got to remain current and certified in order to get a good job or more clients (if you do freelance work). An IT recertification is a worthwhile investment that can provide the career boost you need.
Achieving an IT certification demonstrates that you have mastered the knowledge and skills to be a qualified IT professional. By maintaining your IT certifications, you are required to exhibit that you are keeping up with the emerging trends and technologies in the industry. Therefore, you should recertify regularly. Doing so will enable you to remain a marketable candidate while validating your skills and knowledge to current and potential employers.