There's an old cartoon from Gary Larson's iconic The Far Side that will probably sound familiar to many of you out there. The illustration is of a dog riding a unicycle across a tightrope, high above a legion of goggle-eyed spectators gathered beneath the soaring roof of a big top circus tent. The dog has a cat in its mouth, is keeping a hula-hoop in motion around its waist, and is using its front paws to juggle four balls while balancing an urn on its head. The caption is typical of Larson's cracked genius: "High above the hushed crowd, Rex tried to remain focused. Still, he couldn't shake one nagging thought: He was an old dog and this was a new trick."
TestOut Continuing Education has a mission to help all people get certified, but we particularly cater to working professionals. In some cases, that means workers in non-IT careers who are thinking about making a switch. In some cases, it means low-level IT personnel who'd like to move up to something more challenging, or better paying. In most cases, it probably means men and women who think about getting an IT certification and probably feel at least a little bit like our frazzled furry friend, poor Rex, crossing the tightrope while attempting to manage four or five different distractions and silently praying, from moment to moment, that everything doesn't suddenly fall apart.
Here's an encouraging statistic to ponder the next time that you find yourself wondering whether you have the stuff to make it to the other side in one piece. When Certification Magazine conducted its annual salary survey at the end of 2015, survey takers were asked to name the year that they got their first certification. Out of all respondents who got their first IT cert in 2000 or before — at least 15 years ago — an impressive 46.5 percent also earned at least one new certification in 2015. That's a lot of IT "old timers" who are busy keeping up with the pace of technology.
So don't get discouraged when you think about tackling a new certification. You may feel like Rex the tightrope-crossing dog, but there are plenty of other "old timers" out there who are succeeding at nailing a new trick. You can do it too!