Leadership

Poll: Have training and certifications increased your salary?

If you've completed an IT training program or earned an IT certification, did your salary benefit? Take the following quick poll and let us know if your salary increased after completing an IT training program or obtaining a certification.

In late 2008, Global Knowledge and TechRepublic partnered to create and distribute a comprehensive IT salary survey. As part of the survey, IT professionals answered questions about their overall job satisfaction, base salary, benefits, bonuses, certifications and more.

In an IT Dojo video and blog post, I examine the survey's results and discuss several factors that can increase your base salary, including the five most lucrative technical certifications. The results highlighted two points. First, IT professionals believe training and certifications can positively affect their salaries. Second, hiring managers believe that certifications affect the salaries of potential employees.

If you've completed an IT training program or earned an IT certification, did your salary benefit?

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

21 comments
pcook@techrepublic.com
pcook@techrepublic.com

I would have to say no. It will look good on a resume and maybe help you get your foot in the door. But it can't replace experience.

jermaine.stokes
jermaine.stokes

Certs give you the chance to earn more in your career of choice if not at your current job. It gives you the ability to go somewhere else and demand more. It should be about what you know not a piece of paper but it is not. Play the game. The first rule of this game is to have proof of your skills from some other industry approved organization. Put it this way -- If you really do know your stuff the getting the cert should not be hard .... right ??

cbader
cbader

I worked for a company that offered a $2 raise for any certifications acheived while employed there, I wasnt there long enough to benefit from it but at least the offer was there. Also, moving from helpdesk to my first admin position after I got my MCSE I went from 35k/yr to 55k/yr at a new company. Thats a 63% increase. Woot Woot.

Osiyo53
Osiyo53

I received a salary increase once due "primarily" to an additional certification. However, on more than one occasion the possession of additional training or a certification has helped me avoid the axe when layoff time came around. For instance, where I work now. Twice we've experienced a downturn in business. Back in 2003 and now once again. And upper management had to review their needs and requirements and decide to use the axe. Where I work, decisions as to whom to layoff are contractually based not only on longevity but also on "usability" of the employee. (Poor performers are "fired" as versus laid off.) Net result is that when considering two men, for instance, in the same department or work group with a view towards needing to layoff one. Longevity does count. But if the newer man ALSO has a needed cert or specialized training in some needed area where we need to continue business, while the other fellow does not. The fellow the the most longevity might well be the one getting laid off. For instance, I maintain a couple special factory certifications on some specialized equipment. The company NEEDS to have a "certified" man on staff in order to sell and install said equipment. It's a factory requirement. They won't honor long term warranties without it. So in a previous instance, a more tenured fellow than myself was sent home. Also, as part of the work we do, while we do programming in a number of programming languages, some of the things we do, and need to do for the kind of business we're in, specifically requires Java programming skills. While I'm no Java guru, I'm adequate for our needs, AND certified in that language. In another instance where layoffs were necessary. It came down to being a decision between myself and another guy. Who was my equal, and perhaps better, in some other programming languages. BUT the company needed to maintain a Java programmer on staff who could adequately handle the occasional but regular Java needs as well as work with the other programming languages we use. So I was kept, and the other guy sent home. My point is that additional training and certs might not always gain yah the higher salary. But they MIGHT keep yah employed when cutting time comes around.

LarryD4
LarryD4

No not really. back in the 90s, I was working in mainframe and the "certified" operators being turned out of Chubb were disasterous, they learned mostly on the job. During the Microsoft Cert parade, there were brain drains, brain crams, and cheatt sites for teh MS certs and you could pass a test just be studying the night before. Adaptive testing definately helped, but those same sites are still around and just because your a good test taker doesn't mean your good in the real world. I have my A+, N+, MCSE and a few certs from Cisco but they were earned while on the job out of necessity to stay current. In other words I took the course that ended with the cert test so I was prepared for the next role out. But it seems their is not a resume out their anymore that doesn't have cert on it.

bradrathbun
bradrathbun

I view certs and degrees as minimum requirements these days. I am very near adding a Bachelor's degree to my resume, but I doubt it'll make a huge salary difference. What I think it will do for me is to open more doors and get me into the final round of interviews where my experience will work to my advantage. If I choose my employer well, the wages always increase once they find out what I really know. So, don't think of them as guarantees of more money, think of them as tools to position you properly to get the better jobs and bigger bucks. Employers view IT staff as a commodity item and you need to differentiate yourself to get ahead.

Bizzo
Bizzo

It is real hard for anyone in a seemingly dog-eat-dog IT atmosphere to get ahead and receive the proper compensation. We stil do not get the promotions either. My certifications made no difference.

dj318
dj318

It is real hard for a woman in a seemingly man-based IT atmosphere to get ahead and receive the proper compensation. We stil do not get the promotions either. My certifications made no difference.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

IT people ALWAYS get left out of the promotion loop.

rni302
rni302

Some men might get ahead, but there are lots of other men who are not getting ahead along with you. In fact, I've seen the very opposite.

ChrissyNghiem
ChrissyNghiem

I am in Houston also. I have more certs than the guys above me along with knowledge. Every certification I have acquired has only made it worse for me overall in the I.T. environment.

christopher.ramey
christopher.ramey

I clicked on 0 because training has not helped my salary whatsoever! But your poll took it as that I've never taken training or gotten a certification. Wrong, it just didn't help me.

LT Dan
LT Dan

What about those of us that received a small increase after completing a cert. program, but later were effected by a company-wide salary cut? For example, I received my PMP cert. in March of 2008, was awarded a 4% increase in base salary in July, and now find myself facing a 5% cut in base salary starting in March of this year. Without accomodating the degradation in the market due to the weak economy, I believe your results will not accurately reflect today's reality.

Datacommguy
Datacommguy

My first thought when I saw the title of the poll was "Are you kidding me? What color is the sky in your world?" We've all become used to the old and tired excuse that there's only so much in the budget for raises - and it's even worse this year. Yes, one could either switch jobs - or find some way to quit and then come back and the resulting change in pay grade might well make up for the cost of the training and certification. But who wants to give up that extra week's vacation, the increased 401K match or other perks that go with seniority?

cbader
cbader

But the cut you got in salary was related strictly to economics, not your certification or lack thereof. Id say your adding a variable that wasnt originally intended and shouldnt be considered.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

Indeed, I put "0" on the answer list to cover situations like yours. Just to make sure I understand you're issue. You selected the "0" radio button, clicked the Vote button, and the poll tool displayed the results. Right? Why do you believe it counted your selection as the last answer "I've never completed..."? The answer you selected should appear in bold text after you vote. Did an answer other than the one you picked appear in bold?

christopher.ramey
christopher.ramey

Yes, "0" is in bold. However, the description that it shows for "0" is "I've never completed a training course or earned a certification.", which is not true.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

Getting the right skills and certifications can help you win a new job or earn a promotion. In this IT Dojo video, I discuss several factors that can increase your base salary, including the five most lucrative technical certifications as indicated by our 2009 IT Skills and Salary Report. Original post: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/itdojo/?p=311

rkendsley
rkendsley

The descriptions need to be displayed along with the numeric results. If I try to now go back, because I didn't realize I would need to memorize the various options, I cannot see the original poll.

GSG
GSG

The job position that I wanted to move to was a lateral move, the certification, paid for by my employer, allowed me to make that move. So, no pay increase, but I have increased job satisfaction, and while, in this economy no one is safe from being laid off, it would be more difficult to justify laying me off (crossing my fingers) than it would be in my old position as there are only 2 of us that have this cert and can do this very specific job. Being a hospital, you can't leave any system without someone available 24 x 7, so if one of us left, the other would never be able to be unavailable.