When considering training and certification as part of a well-planned (or not) career path, we often consider a narrow scope. Training and certification is a means to an end — how we get to the next job, promotion, etc. The fact is that there are other IT certification benefits out there:
- Differentiating. This is more than just comparing actual skill sets. Certification demonstrates your overall commitment to ongoing education, which is imperative for all IT professionals.
- Networking. Training and certification opens you up to new communities giving you networking opportunities outside your general community. This is particularly important when adding to your skill set or working towards a career change.
- Confidence building. Planning, working for and achieving a set goal is a confidence builder no matter what you are working on or for. However, IT certification gives you added confidence in your career and draws you one critical step closer to that next goal.
- Skill building. Branching out into new areas through training and certification are excellent ways to build your skill set, giving you extra tools and skills to draw upon.
- Experience. Even if you haven’t had a chance to show off the new skill set, the actual training and certification opens you up to new ways of thinking and problem solving, as well as exposure to new ideas and concepts.
- Mentoring and leadership. Cumulative to the benefits above is the ability to effectively mentor and lead others by sharing, extrapolating and relating your experience to your team members. Additionally, the discipline used in training and certification places you in a better position to evaluate the skills of others. If you can honestly appraise your own skills and identify your areas of weakness, you will generally gain a broader understanding of the skills, talents, and weaknesses of others.
- Fostering change. Otherwise known as “getting your feet wet”. Training and certification is an acknowledged path to changing specialties. If you’re in networking and really want to move to cloud, the skill building and proof of competence that comes from formal training and certification is key.