One thing I have noticed throughout the information technology industry is that there is a minority of professionals that have a resistance to gaining certifications and undertaking recurrent training.  Unfortunately, the general consensus among professionals who feel this way is that certifications affect one’s career very little and that experience is what counts.

There are many careers, fields, and disciplines that required degreed and experienced professionals to prove they are keeping skills up to par, are keeping up with the latest technology or practices, and are continually improving.  Amongst these are Certified Public Accountants, Certified Government Financial Managers, pilots of all types (who must go through bi-annual reviews), firefighters and paramedics, medical assistants, medical doctors within certain specialties, etc.

In each of these careers, professionals are required to show their abilities beyond simply pointing to their years of experience on their résumés. It forces professionals to prove what they have learned through their experience or to learn what would not have come solely by work experience.

Certifications also give customers, employers, and peers more information on a professional’s proven abilities and skills.  Experience can be padded on a résumé; certifications can be checked with the qualifying authority.

Yes, most IT professionals are degreed and experienced; however, other professions require their members to go beyond these two requirements to show continuous improvement and success. Information technology should be no different.

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