Perhaps the most important reason to get an IT certification is because of the knowledge and skills that you can acquire while doing so. Learning is always good and there is always more learning that you can do. Even Albert Einstein famously observed that, "The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know." Certification would be a worthwhile and praiseworthy endeavor even if you got nothing more out of it than to expand your understanding of IT and keep your learning skills sharp.
On the other hand, there are numerous studies and surveys out there that bear out the oft-discussed correlation between getting an IT certification and increasing the level of your employment compensation. Certification Magazine surveys thousands of working IT professionals every year to gather and analyze data about the workplace impact of certification. The magazine team publishes its initial findings every year in January, and continues to release new information over the next 12 months.
Here's a noteworthy tidbit from the Salary Survey section of the just-released Winter Edition: At the end of 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics calculated that the average weekly income for a "computer occupations" worker in the United States is $1,627. The CertMag team found that the average weekly income among U.S. Salary Survey respondents who hold at least one IT certification is $1,906. Over the course of a year, that's $14,508 more for the guy with just one IT certification.
That's a pretty intriguing comparison, and just one of the many reasons that's it's fun to flip through Certification Magazine (which is available both in print and online) each year in January. Another enjoyable item is the Salary Survey 75 list that ranks various IT certifications based on the average annual salary of working IT professionals. There are many, many more than 75 IT certifications out there, but it's still enjoyable to see which certs pop through each year, and where they stand.
Of course, the fact that there's a number in a magazine doesn't mean you're guaranteed to earn that same salary the second you exit the testing center with a certification in hand. It does give you something to aim for, on the other hand, as well as a reason to keep pushing through. There will be lonely nights when you've been butting your head against a simulation or quiz for hours and can't make it work. Just remember that rewards both intangible and monetary await. Keep calm, and get certified.
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