Branding and career expert Dan Schawbel shares a unique and interesting perspective on professional certification in a recent blog post. That post's title "Certification -- Is It Worth It?" gives its perspective away in the second sentence, when the author proclaims that "Over the next 20-30 years, I believe we will see a shift from getting advanced college degrees to getting certifications." But it all really depends on figuring out the value of credentials vis-a-vis their costs in time, effort, and money to decide if earning one or more of them is advantageous or otherwise.
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Schawbel's blog post "Certification -- Is It Worth It?" raises lots of interesting questions and does some useful explaining in leading readers toward some rubrics they can employ to assess their own situations. He distinguishes between and among government, industry, and vendor certifications (this discussion alone warrants reading the original), and then goes onto raise (and reply to) the following very interesting questions:
1. Do I have to have this certification?
Short answer: sometimes yes, sometimes no.
2. What benefit will I get from having this certification?
Short answer: that depends on many different factors, including its demand in your local market.
3. What is the cost to get and stay certified, and is it worth?
Short answer: if it pays back more than it costs, then yes for sure; if not, maybe no. Again: it depends.
He also provides some great advice on how to put a value on a specific certification, and how to go through the process of "valuation" involved in making such a determination. All in all, this is a great blog post, and one well worth reading through -- and thinking about -- to help you figure out your personal IT certification value proposition. Be sure to check it out!