Certification demonstrates commitment

For many technical staff in the IT industry, the task of ensuring that industry certificates are up-to-date and valid is a...

For many technical staff in the IT industry, the task of ensuring that industry certificates are up-to-date and valid is a time-consuming and expensive process. Which might lead you to question the value of supplier accreditation certificates. Are they worth the effort?

The simple answer is yes. First, from a recruiter's perspective, certification differentiates you from your competitors. In a tight market with many potential candidates, qualifications on your CV help you stand out, which might make the difference between paying your mortgage and scouring the jobs pages.

They also help demonstrate a commitment to your industry - so indicating a professional app-roach and can-do, hard-working manner. Plus, you are more likely to feel confident and proud of your skills if you have something that differentiates you from your peers and says that you can do your job well.

Employers can also benefit from certification schemes as they have proof that a potential employee has formal training in a supplier's software package or development language.

In addition, employers can also offer accreditations as a perk to help motivate their IT staff. Being able to subsidise Intel or Microsoft Office certificates, for instance, is an excellent way of demonstrating a commitment to staff training.

However, a note of caution, no matter how good your accreditations, without relevant experience they are greatly devalued, or in some instances, almost worthless. For instance, if a large investment bank puts an order in for an Oracle database analyst, you may have an Oracle certified professional qualification, but with only two years' relevant work experience, you will lose out to IT professionals without the OCP but with more experience.

Caroline Edwards is a director at consultancy Harvey Nash

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