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Professional development remains one of the best ways for businesses to boost employee engagement and retention. It's well worth looking into, but first find out who's footing the bill

Businesses looking to improve employee engagement and retention are focusing on continuing education and professional development, including certifications, both to help cultivate the tech skills needed for competitive advantage and to reduce turnover. For that reason, many companies are willing to pick up the tab.

Career Development Fuels Retention

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"In my opinion, career development is regarded as the number-1 retention tool in IT," says Diane Berry, research vice president for Gartner's CIO and Executive Leadership group practice. "Companies are very willing to foot the bill for training, education and certification because the technical expertise is an investment in furthering their business strategy," she says.

Recent research from CompTIA backs up Berry's assertion, says James Stanger, formerly the president and chief certification architect for Certification Partners LLC, and who currently develops certification exams for CompTIA.

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