In the face of a global pandemic, we discovered how much we depend on one another and the value of modern technology. The use of technology to keep us updated, educated, connected, and empowered was a silver lining to the crisis.
Pearson VUE has provided IT certification exams to millions of students around the world. By polling this pool of potential candidates, we were able to learn more about the reasons people pursue certifications and the advantages of earning them. The information provided insight into the motivations of IT certification seekers, the study habits of exam takers, and most importantly, the value of IT credentials to the individual and their career.
There is a growing demand for IT certification
The number of IT certification examinations we administered in 2020 was up 16% from the previous year, and the majority of that growth can be attributed to the ambitious nature of our exam takers. Candidates put in their own time, money, and effort to get certified, since survey results showed that companies were less inclined to fund the costs of training and certification.
IT credentialing is a lifelong process
Applicants younger than 24 years old have an average of four credentials, while candidates older than 55 years old have ten. Eighty-six percent of those who passed certification exams intend to take more exams.
The desire to upskill is a primary motivator
Seventy-three percent of applicants went after IT certification to better themselves professionally and develop in their chosen fields. Thirty percent more people sought certification in information technology after the COVID-19 epidemic sparked a greater feeling of urgency for IT abilities.
Receiving IT certification is shown to provide a high ROI for both certificate holders and their employers
Seven out of ten people who attempted to get certified ultimately succeeded and would advise others to do so if they were starting out or moving up in the IT field. In turn, many people found better employment opportunities (36%), increased incomes (28%), and better positions (21%). There was a positive and immediate effect on their workplace as a result, as seen by the employee's elevated levels of work quality, productivity, efficiency, and mentoring abilities.
Gaining IT certification provided several additional benefits
Even if gaining new credentials is an impressive feat in its own right, many survey takers saw it as a means to an end. Most of these respondents had lofty primary objectives, and they all reported enjoying a wide range of benefits as a result of their certification(s). The primary goals of certificates were typically planned, and they brought unanticipated benefits as well, such as wage hikes, promotions, and even enhanced respect from peers and job satisfaction.
IT certification delivers tangible monetary benefits
Some of the candidates' ultimate motivations were financial gains. And many of them were successful, with 28% reporting a boost in salary or compensation due to their qualification.
Additional benefits of gaining IT certification
Candidates who pursued and obtained certification saw a variety of tangible benefits, including wage increases (21%) and the possibility of moving forward in their current organization. While 23% found work in the same field, 13% went on to find work in a completely different field.
The intrinsic value of becoming IT certified
Candidates also reaped numerous intrinsic benefits from certification, including higher self-esteem, more drive, a sense of being more respected by peers, greater job satisfaction, and more independence on the job.
Our Final Thoughts
We agree with Pearson Vue that these are lasting tendencies, and that certification's importance and value will only increase over time. It's a tale of perseverance in one's personal and professional life, of hope for the future, and of dedication to learning that will last a lifetime.