There are two kinds of people in this world — those who like standardized tests, and those who hate them. It’s safe to say that those who perform well on standardized tests are those who like them — those who perform poorly on these tests are usually embarrassed by their scores, and therefore hate the tests.
Common standardized tests in the United States are the ACT and the SAT. Your score on one or both of these tests will determine your likelihood of getting into a college or university of your choice. One mistake that many high schoolers make, however, is letting one of these tests determine destiny.
Whether you loved or hated your ACT score, one thing you can be sure of is that it won’t affect your ability to obtain a professional certification. And a professional certification, according to many, is the new college degree.
College tuition prices are as high as they have ever been, forcing students (good test scores or not) to seek alternative methods of gaining an education. Professional certifications are less time consuming and much cheaper than enrolling in college courses to get a degree. Even those who already have a degree often seek out certifications to give themselves a leg up on the competition or change their career entirely.
You can become a certified professional in a wide variety of fields, but IT certification is one of the most lucrative. According to the latest Salary Survey 75 compiled by Certification Magazine, which touts the top 75 salaries associated with individual IT certifications, there are several dozen certifications that, over time, can help you boost your annual salary into the six-figure range.
Entry level certifications may not land you a job that pays six figures, but the more certifications you earn, the more likely that six-figure number becomes. Again, certifications are comparatively cheap to earn, and won’t take you nearly as much time to nail down as a college degree.
If you are one of the many standardized test haters who didn’t get the score you wanted, then don’t despair. Certification isn’t just the right option for you, it’s the right option for everyone. Start down the path to your new career today.
About the Author — Jake Slater is the social media manager for GoCertify and a graduate of Brigham Young University. It's not for nothing that they called Jake the ACT King back in high school.