Why Get IT Certification?

In today’s ever-evolving digital world, being up to date on the latest trends and technologies is essential for staying ahead of the competition. For many, IT certifications are a great way to prove your worth in the tech industry. By earning an IT certification, you can demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in a specific area, as well as show potential employers or clients that you have been formally trained. In addition to individuals, IT certifications are also important for MSPs (Managed Service Providers) who want to stand out in a crowded market. This article will explore the reasons why certified IT is so important for both individuals and MSPs.

Legitimate IT Certification

Before discussing the benefits of following a certification path, it’s important to state that this article is not about memorizing questions from brain dumps and practice exams. It’s about legitimately preparing for the exam by purchasing a study guide and setting up a practice lab using tools like VMWare, VirtualBox, GNS3, or similar tools. It’s about doing hands-on projects to understand the technology. It’s not about memorizing questions and answers; it’s about gaining real knowledge to combine with your professional experience. 

For individuals, having an IT certification can put you ahead of the competition by proving that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in your field. By earning certs, you can showcase your experience and training to potential employers or clients, giving them confidence that you are a competent professional. In addition, IT certifications can also open up opportunities for career advancement or even job promotion. It’s important to note that while some certifications are more general in nature, others focus on specific areas such as software development, networking, security, and cloud computing.

It’s similar to having an unlicensed tradesperson do wiring or plumbing on your house. They may do a good job, but are you sure? Do they really know what they’re doing, or do they just talk a good game? In electrical and plumbing work, for example, the licensing process, combined with inspection, is your assurance that the work was done correctly to code and is safe. It’s similar with professional IT certifications. It’s an assurance that your work is done correctly and follows best practices. It’s also a business advantage over your uncertified competitors.

The process of preparing for the certification exam forces you to fill in the gaps in your knowledge. Modern certification exams require you to successfully complete virtual lab simulations, thus requiring hands-on experience. Whether you’re pursuing entry-level certification, operating systems certification, Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services, cybersecurity certification, or any other credential, being certified helps you gain a deeper understanding of the technologies you support. Certification recognizes your technical skills, whether you are a help desk technician, a security engineer, a systems administrator, or in another IT position.

MSPs (Managed Service Providers) are also increasingly turning to certified IT professionals to help them stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in their field. By having certified IT personnel on board, MSPs can benefit from quality assurance and increased customer satisfaction. Certified IT staff are also more likely to have a better understanding of the security measures they need to take to ensure their systems and networks are safe. Furthermore, certified IT professionals can provide valuable advice and insights on how best to use the latest technologies for maximum efficiency and cost savings. 

Employing certified engineers and technicians also increases your MSP’s perceived value among clients and potential clients. When your staff has popular IT certifications, your clients know they’re dealing with people who have deep knowledge and powerful on-demand skills. Encourage your staff to pursue a wide range of certifications, including foundational certifications, advanced certifications, and specialty certifications.

In conclusion, certified IT is important for both individuals and MSPs in today’s digital world. By having certified personnel on board, MSPs can benefit from increased customer satisfaction, improved security measures, and more efficient use of new technologies. For individuals, IT certifications can open up opportunities for career advancement or job promotion by showcasing their knowledge and skills. Certifications can also help individuals stay ahead of the competition by demonstrating that they have been formally trained in specific areas of IT.

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2 thoughts on “Why Get IT Certification?”

  1. Hi Don,
    This is a great article and you really make the case for engineers to go after certs and I agree with you. The tricky part for us is that we have gone back and forth between “requiring” and “encouraging” folks to get certified over the years. Like in the case where we have a valuable employee/engineer that does their job very well but has tried unsuccessfully to get their CCNA multiple times. Do we let that person go because they can’t pass the test? I think the answer is No. Also, we have some very senior(experienced) engineers that are so involved with projects that they are working more hours per week than most others. Can we require that these folks get certified which involves extra study hours? Again, I think the answer is no.
    The flip side of this is that I think that the employees that do get certified should get rewarded for that certification/achievement. Too often, we require certification for folks and then they don’t really get much more than a pat on the back after months of studying off hours and passing the test. In my opinion, we should do something extra as business owners whether it be monetary or recognition based reward so that the engineers can be inspired to go get the next one.
    Thanks for all the great tips over the years. We are definitely a Compassionate Geek shop.
    Take care. – Jim

    1. Hi Jim,

      Your comment underscores how much of business operates in murky areas where there aren’t absolutes. You make excellent points about both the talented engineer who might not be a good test-taker, as well as the senior engineers who don’t need more added to their plate. As you showed in your comment, the key is to be thoughtful and to recognzie that one size doesn’t fit all. Thanks for your comment.

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