IT careers: Do certifications really help?

Earning an IT certification won’t automatically land you a job or a pay raise, but it can be valuable in the right circumstances

IT careers: Do certifications really help?

An IT veteran with more than 40 years of experience, George Craft got his start in the technical trenches and eventually crossed over to management, earning choice certifications along the way to advance his career. His first credential -- a Certified Data Processor designation in the late 1970s -- gave him credibility as a "computer guy" at a time when IT was a fledgling field, he says.

His subsequent certs, including a CNE (Certified Network Engineer), an MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert) and a CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate), also came in handy, giving him the footing to pursue new opportunities as particular technologies got hot.

Now director of IT for Motorola's Smart Public Safety Solutions (SPSS) (SPSS) unit, Craft acknowledges that none of those top-drawer certifications was the linchpin in landing a new job or scoring a big pay raise. "It's not necessarily a ticket in the door," he says. Nevertheless, he views certifications as assets in the right context. "[Each] time I went to change jobs, having that certification was a qualifier," he adds.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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