Windward Insights

What's the Real Value of IT Certifications?

Published May. 28, 2014
Written by Sean McDermott


Ken Salchow, Jr.,of Information Week posted an interestingcommentary about the ROI of IT certificationsthat I found really interesting.

The article take away is that certifications are very important to both staff and management, even more so than a college degree. I generally agree that certifications are important, but I also believe college degrees bring a lot to the table. However, I also adamantly believe that not having a college degree does not need to impact one’s success or ultimate career path. Experience, hard work and a desire to succeed will ultimately decide your success — I tell my kids that all the time.

I digress on that point though, because thegraphcontained in the article tells another even more interesting story. This is graph shows that “Management” views certifications in Business Skills, People Management, and Communications TWO TIMES more important than “Staff.” Management also believes that Project Management is more important than staff do. What this tells me is that managers (in general) want leaders — people that know their stuff technically, but possess the ability to communicate ideas, manage teams, and see the broader business impact beyond bits and bytes. Studies will show that companies will pay more for people like that, because technology comes in waves (remember Cisco CCIE’s making $250 an hour in 2001?) while being able to lead complex IT initiatives will always be needed.

Just some food for thought…