IT Certifications are Worthless
A while back, eWeek joined the on-going debate about whether IT certifications are valuable or not. When the job market worsens, the IT certifications are said to not be worth as much as actual experience. When the job market improves, as it has recently, IT certifications are again said to not be worth as much as actual experience. I guess this is how news publishers continue to find things to write about.
Anyway, the eWeek article concludes that IT certifications have become worthless as measured by the pay differences associated with having a technical certification. Not much of a shocker especially with most programs simply requiring people to answer a bunch of multiple choice questions to become certified. No application form, no minimum required experience, and no review board. It's actually these types of items that have enabled certain certifications such as the Project Management Professional (PMP) to retain their value.
The study which the article references concludes that, “Certifications are losing value because employers are looking for more in their workers than the ability to pass an exam; they want business-articulate IT pros.” That's a common theme in today's media discussions about IT especially in publications such as CIO.
Another interesting part of the article was the commentary on the current talent shortage. Namely, “the much-reported talent war and talent shortage is about companies failing to build their own bench strength. They've lost their own farm system, and now they don't have the bench strength to get this stuff done.”
And of course what IT survey would be complete without throwing in a bit about IT salaries? The article notes that salaries are often tied to titles, but goes on to say that titles for many IT professionals don't accurately reflect the work they actually do. This results in, “most IT pros making well under what they should be for their titles.” Not good for morale and , “when IT professionals are underpaid, there is tension and resentment, and they're ripe for picking by executive recruiters.” The solution to this issue is going to be a challenge for most companies that can't get past the standard practice of paying people by their title.
“Everyone with this title in this company are not equal. You have to find some justification to pay them more, to bring them up to market pay so a recruiter can't come in and lure them elsewhere.” Right on! Anything that supports a pay raise gets a thumbs up from me.