More Employers Want You to Show Your Stripes First

Like global warming, certification is coming, and information technology professionals had better get with the program. 

More Employers Want You to Show Your Stripes FirstCertification of IT professionals already is heating up, as evidenced by the hundreds of VMware followers who attended the certification breakout sessions at the VMworld show in San Francisco. They wanted to learn more about how they can achieve the vendor’s coveted mid-level and expert ranks, and thereby command better salaries at their current employer, or become more attractive to a future one. 

Adding fuel to the certification fire: a statewide California study of more than 600 companies that found more employers are asking for a set of professional IT standards and related certification programs. 

"The problem is that a lot of technology skills are not standardized so that employers know what they’re getting when they hire people," explains Josh Williams, president of BW Research Partnership, which jointly conducted the study with the California Community Colleges Economic and Workforce Development Centers of Excellence and the Mid-Pacific ICT Center. "Among employers, we are seeing a desire for uniform industry training and certification of people."   

Williams says that roughly half of all firms responding to the survey indicated that they would value a structure aligning ICT job requirements and educational credentials, as well as for a credential certifying ICT user, or digital literacy, competency. 

Also, more information and communications technologies (ICT) professionals are hired from outside companies than developed and promoted from within. Although technical skills are viewed as the most important during the hiring process, other capabilities – including interpersonal communications skills, creative problem-solving skills, and an ability to work with different groups or departments – were valued, as well. In other words, it’s not enough to just have technical knowledge and skills to make it into the ICT workforce at most companies. 

— Doug Bartholomew

6 Responses to “More Employers Want You to Show Your Stripes First”

  1. And its about time. Certifications bring value to employers and employees alike.

    For employers, industry certifications vastly simplify the initial screening phase of the hiring phase, as well as adding some objectivity to the salary calculation phase.

    And certification programs help IT professionals measure their competency in different fields as well as bringing some objective recognition for that.

    If employers really want to see widespread adoption of industry certifications throughout industry, I think they should encourage this by paying the exam fees when their employees take tests.

  2. American Citizen

    I have been in the IT Industry for 15 years now.
    I thought that having a masters degree from a very good university and Certifications would at least help keep my job from being outsourced or prevent a lesser skilled H1-B visa holder from marching into my office with my manager and being told to train my replacement.
    Well, no such luck.
    Since 2002 I have been laid off (a nice term for being fired) 5 times due to cheap lesser skilled foreign labor.
    I have 16 certs from A+ to CISSP to Oracle to top MS certs, even my PMP. I have been unemployed now for six months. I get interviews, but the jobs pay less or just a bit more than I can draw on unemployment.
    I’m in the TAA program and combined with PELL grants I am getting my RN degree.
    No more IT for me.

  3. Sam Bulmer

    The only problem with certification is the buzzards that it attracts. Companies, in it for profit, certifying who ever them can. My experience at both GE and
    AT&T, was that certification did nothing but screen out people we may have wanted to talk to, rather than shorten the list. Rapidly, everyone working, but concerned that they maybe fired because of their performance will be certified. Where really good people, unemployed or new to the market will not be able to afford certification. Make the standards for certification high and the process FREE.

  4. I think it SUCKS that they (the client) can change the rules w/o any kind of heads up. First they want 10+ years of experience. Then they want the 10 years of experience w/a degree in IT and let’s throw a few certs in there. Really??? Who’s paying for all of this? Did I mention there is no increase in pay. Again, REALLY?? When do these people have the time to study? I can only speak for the clients I deal with and that would be the Federal Government, and Dept. of Defense. And why is it that the same rules don’t apply to the government employee(s)? A Consultant needs to be compliant in a matter of months but the government employees has a couple of years? Of course the federal government is sending the employee to boot camps, classes and paying for them to either pass or fail the examines – wanna guess who is paying for that. You work? You pay taxes? You are!!!

  5. emmanuelmaclar

    i want it to advance in the Africa and for that matter Ghana because the syllabus is not well structured and lack of able tutors to handle the subject and have lead to the poor growth of it.