There's something to be said for persistence. Not everyone has the willpower and commitment to start something and then see it through to the end. One thing that's been said for persistence is the thing that was said by the late Shel Silverstein, who probably should have been America's poet laureate at some point, but somehow never was. (Also towering up to the clouds in that particular hypothetical category: the late Theodore S. Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss.)
At any rate, Silverstein wrote the poem about the little girl, Melinda Mae, who "ate a monstrous whale." As the poem explains, "She thought she could / She said she would / So she started right in at the tail." It's a pretty intimidating task, right? How does one person, especially a little girl, eat an entire whale? Melinda Mae did it one bite at a time, of course, with the sobering punchline to this instructive anecdote being that it took her 89 years to finish the job. Yikes!
It won't take you 89 years to get an IT certification — more like 89 days for a lot of people, and probably not much longer than five or six months for most. Certification does, however, take willpower and commitment. Some people exercise that commitment more naturalistically, by learning and demonstrating the retired skills in a workplace or volunteer setting. For those people, taking (and passing) the exam affirms their hands-on learning and experience.
For many if not most others, however, the commitment is exercised by acquiring skills through quick learning followed by drilling and repetition. Those people are essentially condensing the timeline, usually with the help of a designed course of study such as the ones that we offer here at TestOut Continuing Education. We'll teach you what you need to know, and then help you practice and perfect your skills with realistic simulations of actual workplace scenarios.
In either case, however, you have to be willing to start at the tail and finish the entire whale. And that takes determination and self-motivation of the sort that employers like to pay money for. So in addition to learning skills that you can use to perform an IT job, certification shows that you have the gumption to start something difficult and see it through to the end. Knowing what to do next isn't the same as actually doing it. Certification helps you learn how to finish what you start.