Certification Magazine Says Certification = Good for Your Career
A few weeks ago when the year was shiny and new, the January issue of Certification Magazine arrived with a report of the initial findings of the CertMag team's 2020 Salary Survey. Now those articles are trickling over to CertMag.com, the official Certification Magazine website. There are some interesting notes in what you might call the "executive summary" article, which reveals that the average annual salary among this year's survey participants is noticeably lower than it was a year ago. Despite the downturn in earnings, most survey respondents expressed some level of satisfaction with their income status. Another summary article points out that more than 40 percent of all survey respondents have been working in a role that directly utilizes one or more of their certified skills for longer than a decade, suggesting that certification can keep skills fresh and help workers stay at the top of their game over the long haul. That article also points out that, among U.S. survey respondents who hold just one active certification, the average weekly income is $1,810. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, on the other hand, reported that "computer occupations" workers have an average weekly income of just $1,759. Over a 12-month period, the guy with just one certification takes home an extra $2,652.
McDonald's Uses Tech to Help Its Workers Consider Their Career Options
Most successful corporations aren't actively assisting their employees with the task of skilling up and finding better jobs somewhere else. Fast food megalith McDonald's, on the other hand, probably has a healthier pipeline of incoming talent than most. There's no real certification news here – except in a broad, general sense – but business education facilitator Training Industry called attention this week to the launch by McDonald's of a new app, Archways to Careers, that helps employees take best advantage of corporate-sponsored education incentives. Archways to Careers builds on the success of McDonald's existing Archways to Opportunity program, which helps employees complete high school, learn English, and get college tuition assistance. The Archways to Careers app helps employees get career counseling, assess their career interests, and explore different pathways to following their dreams. Maybe there really is a certification angle. Putting information technology to work to help individuals improve their professional outlook is, after all, what IT certification is really all about.
ISACA Now Blog Interviews Upcoming CACS Conference Speaker
Information security and governance association ISACA, which manages some of the most popular and respected certs in the entire IT industry, will hold its annual North America CACS conference May 12-14 in Baltimore, Md. Mountaineer Alison Levine will be the opening keynote speaker at North America CACS, and the ISACA Now Blog posted a short interview with Levine this week. One comment in particular stands out. Levine, who led the first American Women's Everest Expedition in 2002, said that success in mountaineering requires a certain mindset: "You don't have to be the fastest or the strongest to get to the top of a mountain; you just have to be absolutely relentless about putting one foot in front of the other." Sounds like good advice both in IT and other fields of endeavor. (Incidentally: Weather conditions forced the American Women's Everest Expedition climbers to retreat just shy of the summit after spending nearly two months on Everest's lower slopes; Levine returned alone and successfully summited in 2010.)
Microsoft Learning Affirms the Value of Certification
Our final stop this week is the Microsoft Learning Blog, where a new post addresses the perennial question "Why get certified?" Post author and Microsoft Learning executive Nancy Tandy unleashes some familiar arguments in favor of IT certification in general, and Microsoft certification in particular. For example, Tandy writes that Microsoft certification – which has been redesigned in recent years to target individual job roles instead of addressing various technologies – demonstrates proficiency in specific, real-world IT skills. The new Microsoft credentials are designed to prepare candidates to fit seamlessly into particular job roles. Tandy further argues that certification demonstrates a basic grasp of problem solving and helps individuals keep pace with changes to evolving technologies and industries. If you haven't gotten certified yet and you're weighing the pros and cons, then this is a good piece to help you digest whether or not you have any interest in Microsoft and its products.
That's all for this edition of Certification Watch. Please keep your certification news and tips coming to the GoCertify News Editor.