For those of you who don't already know, we've re-created my print book entitled "IT Certification Success" (which appeared in 5 paper editions between 1999 and 2005) as an e-book right here at PITC. It's available through "Ed Tittel's IT Certification Success" any time you'd care to check it out. One of its most popular features is called "Ranking Certifications" wherein we apply a series of metrics to compare over 100 IT certifications by level of difficulty, time required for completion, number of exams involved, out of pocket cost, background and experience required, and average pay for certifications holders. We've just finished updating this massive research effort and for today's blog, I want to report on what changed since this ranking was last updated in 2014.
For the 2014 set of rankings, we included 89 credentials from 34 sponsors; for the 2016 replacement, we included 101 credentials from a similar number of sponsors. Along the way, we eliminated 10 old, obsolete (or suspect) credentials, and added 22 new ones. But that doesn't tell the whole story: we initially added all of the items we identified in the "Top 5 Certs" stories we also update annually for Tom's IT Pro that weren't already on this list. This got our total of items up over 160 to begin with, after which I had to whittle away at that list to remove enough items to bring the total down to as close to 100 -- our target level of coverage -- as I could get. This took some time, soul-searching, and effort, and I wanted to share with you some of the criteria that I applied to chop, chop, chop away at that 160-plus figure:
Hopefully, these decisions and choices will make sense to the readers in the same way they made sense to us (that is, to me, and my research and project management team which include Mary Kyle, herself a certiified PMP and practiced cert researcher, and Kim Lindros, a full-time writer, editor, and PM extraordinaire). If not, we're happy to chew things over with our readers and with certification sponsors to further explain ourselves, and to ponder counterarguments or alternative lines of reasoning and/or selection criteria. Keep your eyes peeled for the 2016 update to the rankings, which should hit the PITC pages sometime early that year, and let us know if you'd like to question some of our current selections, or suggest alternate items for inclusion in the next go-round. We're all ears!