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The Importance and Benefits of IT Certification

The Importance and Benefits of IT Certification

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The Importance and Benefits of IT Certification

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  1. NETWORK PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION The Importance and Benefits of IT Certification Presented by Steve Delahunty Board Member Emeritus Network Professional Association October 14th 2008

  2. Agenda • Network Professional Association Overview • Real World Benefits of IT Certification • Combining Experience & Study • Support for the Certified • Ongoing Education • Funding Options • What Next after Certification

  3. NETWORK PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION The mission of the Network Professional Association is to advance the Networking Industry towards a profession. The decade-old NPA is the non-profit association for professionals in Network Computing. The NPA sets itself apart by adherence to a Code Of Ethics, self-regulation, and vendor neutrality. The NPA focus is to promote professionalism by supporting and building the individual and our profession. Visit for more info.

  4. Real World Benefits of IT Certification • Credibility • Certifications are more easily verifiable than statements about abilities and accomplishments on a resume • Job Opportunities • Just to get considered for some positions requires certain IT certifications • Certification can be a differentiator in a competitive hiring market • Compensation • Numerous surveys confirm that certified IT staff are paid higher than peers • Career • Certification can be a catalyst for other events linked in your IT professional progression

  5. Combining Experience & Study • Experience • Coupling of actual experience plus training increases chances of certification success • Formal Training • Attending formal training to build upon hands-on is a strong approach to add to just experience only • Products • Working with the actual products or technical domains is important versus just training and test preparation • Bootcamps • Training and practice resources multiply the candidate’s chances to achieve certification, bootcamp programs can be useful to prepare just prior to testing • Industry • User groups can be helpful as well as resources from vendors that maintain their own programs

  6. Support for The Certified • Post Certification • The newly recognized individual will find ongoing support from most certification programs • Vendor Support • Typical resources include periodicals, online support forum, events, email newsletter, ongoing training • Expanded Benefits • These can include special offers, discounts, and value-added services exclusive to certified members • Organization Support • Falls into the area of vendor neutral certifications such as those from CompTIA, NPA, ISACA, PMI

  7. Ongoing Education • Continuing Education • Certain programs require re-qualification and some also have the provision of required continuing education • Continued Professional Education • Individuals may have to prove a certain number of Continued Professional Education (CPE) credits per year • CPE Worthy • Typically credit for attending professional events, seminars, conferences, some self study, and distinct continued education such as from a collegiate source • What Next • Not unusual to see certified individuals having more than one certification, seeing the benefits the IT professional often seeks the next certification to add • Individuals often use an IT cert as a stepping stone prior to formal college education as a working adult

  8. Funding Options • Employer • Many firms offer technical education benefits like tuition benefits for use of employees • Ask for the cost of your training and certification to be paid when you negotiate your next annual assessment • Loans • Credit union loads for education are quite competitive and an investment in your future • Training programs and vendors also offer loans • Out of Pocket • Again, you are investing in your future • Take your time, don’t rush, use funds over time • Scholarships • Some training centers and other organizations offer grants and scholarships worth researching

  9. What Next • Career • Certification can be the road to promotion, inroads into a new career, or ability to gain employment • Jobs • Certifications open doors for an interview • Explain how your certifications have been a benefit to your employer or increased your skills • Not an End • Working harder is what keeps you in the industry • Make use of magazines, webcasts, training, and reading to keep pace with your industry • Pride • Be proud of your new certification, get a frame to display it either at home or at work • Notify friends, co-workers, peers, you were not merely given the certification -- you earned it

  10. About the Presenter Steve Delahunty, board member emeritus of the Network Professional Association Senior Associate with Booz Allen Hamilton, a global strategy and technology consulting firm Previous IT leadership positions in industry, independent consulting, and defense consulting Invited member of the Network Computing Magazine editorial advisory board, contributing editor for CMP Media, adjunct computer science faculty at George Washington University Speaker at various IT industry events, moderator for IT topic webcasts, frequent IT panel member IT Certifications: MCP, CISM, CNA, EAI BA in Engineering & MBA in Technology Management