Certification: Requirement or Option?
As more and more companies contemplate whether they should require their current and future IT professionals to hold certifications, the likely question to ask is what the professionals themselves think.
According to an interview with Kent Anderson, managing director of Network Risk Management LLC, making certification a required qualification for IT professionals is similar to lawyers’ bar exams or doctors’ medical school. Validating his point is the fact that most people seek certifications to distinguish themselves, to obtain jobs and salary increases, or to highlight the IT skills they possess. It is common for employers to use certifications as a way to benchmark current and future employees’ IT skills because employers tend to look for standard skill sets to fulfill their company’s needs, and because there is a tremendous range of skills in today’s job market.
So maybe it simply makes sense for IT skills to be defined, tested and ultimately required, even though certifications do not always outweigh actual on-the-job experience. However, some important issues remain, like who should be responsible for paying for certifications if required, and as more companies require certification, will the value of these credentials change?
-Cari McLean, Associate Editor