When it comes to IT certifications, trust but verify

New research shows that organizations need to do a better job at verifying certification credentials if they want to benefit their value.

By Sharon Florentine
Sept. 20, 2016


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Pony up for certifications

How can organizations avoid this issue? One way is by offering to foot the bill for their current workforce to take continuing education classes or certification courses, Hayman says.

"Organizations should be vocal in emphasizing that they'll pay for certifications or that they have programs and processes in place to help upskill their current workforce. Businesses can benefit by cultivating talent and in-demand skills internally; that's also a great way to make sure your workforce is actually certified," he says.

The majority of both IT leaders (65 percent) and professionals (74 percent) surveyed believe their organizations should pay for certifications, but that professionals taking advantage of this as a benefit or perk shouldn't be able to also receive an associated salary bump -- what's referred to as "double dipping," according to the research.

And while 50 percent of IT professionals believe that the number of certifications they hold should be taken into account in overall salary, less than one-third (31 percent) of leaders factor certifications into salary compensation -- that's a big disconnect, says Hayman.

"This is a problem not just around the issue of certifications, but between IT and business in general. First, organizations, need to be more diligent in actually verifying certifications in order to avoid getting trapped in a certification shell game. And while IT professionals have indicated a willingness to trade compensation for certification, they should also be aware that organizations increasingly consider paying for the certifications of their employees as a cost of doing business and that this is much less of a zero sum scenario than it used to be," Hayman says.

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