Over the years there have been many discussions about whether IT Certifications have any value or whether they are just a way for Vendors to make more money. A joint survey by Network World and SolarWinds of 700 IT networking professionals hoped to dis-spell the myth and the results have revealed that of the 74% that wentdown the certification route - all have led to promotions, new jobs or pay raises.Amongst these, 56% stated that their salary had increased with forty percent claiming that the increase was 10% or more, 60.5%have gaineda new job and 28.8% received a promotion.

The motivation for obtaining an IT certification

When asked what motivated the respondents to obtain a certification 51.1% said that they pursued certifications to get a promotion or to be eligible for a new job. Interestingly, just under 9% said that certifications were required by their job but 22.7% said that they simply wanted to learn about new technology. Respondents were more than happy to talk about additional motivations, passionate even, and also which they considered to be the best with one of many saying ""As far as my career is concerned, certifications are huge. I will continue to chase certs from Microsoft and Cisco throughout my career." Certification holders earning the very highest salaries unsurprisingly were discovered to have the most amount of experience and also the most expensive certifications. Amongst which included the CCIE, RHCE and CISSP. However, there was still indication that whatever level the certifications are at, or the length of experience, the salaries of certified personnel are in the main much higher than those without.

Which are the most popular Certifications?

In a survey of network professionals, it's not surprising that certifications on network technology were the most popular and deemed the most valuable. 67% of respondent had earned some form of networking certification, Cisco certifications by far being the most popular. Oddly, the Cisco CCNA certificate was viewed by some as the most valuable certificate for opening doors, whilst others regarded it as the least valuable. Nevertheless it still fell into the category of one of the most widely held networking certificates more than likely due to being one of the easiest to gain. The second most popular networking certification vendor not surprisingly is Microsoft, next is CompTIA, followed by Juniper. Other brands of certifications not mentioned above, made up approximately 20%. Linux certifications were fairly popular amongst the higher earners, with twice as many having a Linux cert or two under their belt than the non-Linux holders and lower earners (20%). The costly Red Hat Certified Engineer certification was earned by 38% of higher earners vs 13% of the lower earners. System Administration and Virtualisation Certificates were owned by almost half of the respondents (44%) of these the CompTIA A+ was the most popular making up 47.9%, followed by 32.2% for the Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP and MCTS) and in third position VMware (VCP, VCAP, VCDX). Security Certifications and Security as a wholewill remain a hot topic forsome timeto come.Over a third of respondents had some form of security certification - CompTIA Security+ being the most popular. 36% of high earners held the CCSP sometimes regarded as the "must have" security cert. You can view the full survey results here If undertaking a certification path solely for the purposes of obtaining a new job, it is useful to remember that the value of a certification can also depend on other factors. Some hiring managers want them more than others, and timing can be an issue, too. Potential employers can also be suspicious of young people or newcomers to the field with high-end certifications - indicating that for some of these, experience plays a large part. Clearly each company requirement and individual is different but ultimately if the individual is passionate about the technology of the certificate to start with it's a huge bonus. From what the survey results have revealed and from our personal experience, certifications do appear to come with higher salaries and better job roles than non- certified personnel. Not only thiscertifications also ensure that individuals have the latest technology skillsgiving them more knowledge thanon-the-job-learningand experience. If along the way you've learnt something that you love doing too it has got to be a win-win situation - right? CourseMonster's Guide to Certifications liststhe most popular Certifications on the market today, spread across 30+ brands. Clicking on the required certification brand will display a list of training courses that will help towards gaining or even taking the required certification. If you have any questions regarding any of the certification tracks or any of the training courses on our website, call us on 0800 40848 40 or email us at training@CourseMonster.com