While IT professionals and salary surveys alike may seek to stress the increase in earnings potential that comes from acquiring IT (and other) certifications, their real value lies in what they teach you. It's really about skills and knowledge they add to your portfolio, not about a bigger paycheck (though that's not too bad, either...).
As I wrote an IT Career JumpStart blog post this morning (see "IT Earnings Down, Cert Values (Slightly) Up") I found myself thinking that in the vast majority of cases, IT certification really isn't about money.
Sure, those people who earn coveted pinnacle credentials like the CCIE, CCDE, SAP R3 Consultant, and so forth can more or less count on solid six figure incomes for the rest of their working lives. But for those of us who stop somewhere short of such lofty summits, there are lots of other good reasons why earning IT (and other professional) certifications make great career sense, leaving aside the modest salary gains that might occasionally result from adding another bit of alphabet soup to your business card.
Here are some of my favorites, among those other benefits:
What are your favorite benefits to certification, leaving cash out of the equation? If you've got others to offer, post some comments here and let's chew on them together. I'm all ears.
PS: If you want to check out the skills and salary survey cited in the image, visit its download page on the Global Knowledge Website (registration is required).