Global Knowledge surveyed 14,000 IT and business professionals worldwide, and confirmed that individuals and organizations benefit from IT certification. Participants identified increased productivity and earning potential, fewer skills gaps and faster troubleshooting as benefits of certification.
The majority of IT decision-makers indicated that the cost of certification is recouped through increased productivity, faster troubleshooting and fewer skills gaps. Survey participants also indicated a correlation between certification and job security and satisfaction.
Certified IT professionals worldwide earned significantly more than their non-certified peers. Certified IT decision makers in North America earn an average of 8.9% more than their non-certified peers; in Latin America and EMEA the difference is 10% and 13% respectively.
Skills gaps are a concern
More than two-thirds of IT decision-makers reported a gap between skill levels and knowledge needed to meet goals, and they identified an insufficient investment in skills development and training as a primary reason for gaps. These gaps can result in increased employee stress, lower likelihood of meeting quality objectives, delays in product and service development and in hardware and software deployment, and lost revenue.
Cloud computing and cybersecurity skills are in high demand
Cloud, cybersecurity and virtualization are key concerns for all companies despite their size. The importance of other topics varies with a company’s number of employees. Expanding networking and wireless capabilities ranks higher for smaller organizations and lower for larger firms, that is, those with 5,000 or more employees. Software as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service rank in the top ten for all companies in association with a move toward cloud-based operations.
At the same time, IT decision-makers are challenged to find qualified professionals in those areas. The growing demand for professionals in these areas can mean higher salaries.
Individuals working in cybersecurity report the highest overall salaries; the average global salary is $87,580. Those working in cloud computing round out the top five, with an average global salary of $75,365.
“The typical IT product lifecycle continues to shrink and the skills gap continues to widen. Organizations can’t buy their way out of this problem; they have to look inward to start training and retraining their people,” said Global Knowledge President and CEO Sean Dolan.