Are you thinking about earning a Microsoft Certification, but aren’t sure if it’s worth the effort? We spoke with two of our expert Microsoft Certification trainers, Mark Long and John Savill, and found out what they consider to be the top 3 benefits of earning a Microsoft Certification.
1. It objectively shows employers your level of knowledge.
The first benefit to earning a Microsoft Certification is that it shows potential employers/hiring managers that you have the necessary requirements and skills to be the perfect candidate for the job. “A certification solves perhaps the biggest challenge in getting hired: the risk that the person hiring you takes by hiring you,” said Long. Having a certification represents a third party validation that you are, in fact, an excellent choice for the position you’re interviewing for.
“It shows that you have reached a certain level of competence with Microsoft technologies, but also have made the commitment to learn and take the exams,” said Savill. Certifications can also be considered a pre-requisite for many jobs or employers, so the fact that you already earned the certification could put you ahead of the competition.
In fact, statistics on the Microsoft Certification website indicate that 91% of hiring managers consider certification as part of their hiring criteria, and 64% of IT hiring managers rate certifications as having extremely high value in validating the skills and expertise of job candidates.
2. You get a professional advantage with regard to new technologies.
The second benefit to earning a certification is that it provides you with an advantage in the workplace. For example, if you have a Microsoft SQL Server 2012 certification, you will have a broader, clearer understanding of the new functionalities and how they work together than many “seasoned” individuals who have been working with SQL for a long period of time. Why is that? They often don’t have the time to fully understand and implement the new technologies.
“Being the person on the team with the inside track on the newest functionalities will naturally create momentum and confidence in you,” said Long. Long also notes that this could work for those “seasoned” Microsoft vets who want to pursue a certification in order to better understand the new, improved features of a product (and to also keep them ahead in the game).
3. More skills lead to more money.
IT professionals holding Microsoft certifications are among the most well compensated for their areas of focus. According to a 2013 report by Global Knowledge and TechRepublic, workers with an MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) credential earn an average of $88,149 per year, and those with an MCSA in Windows Server 2008 bring in $82,649. Some companies even offer bonuses for certifications, Savill said.
It can depend on the organization, however. “Different companies value certification differently once you are on the payroll. Some companies can compensate you pretty well for the additional education and certification, whereas others don’t,” said Long.
Of course, the value of the certification in getting you hired in the first place cannot be overstated, which is why it made our number one reason.
So how do you go about earning a certification?
First of all, you should visit the Microsoft site and look at the skills that are tested in each exam. Next, find a good learning tool that will teach you everything you need to know, such as a training DVD or book. That’s where we come in. It is important to find an instructor that you can understand and learn from, because it will help you grasp the topics and functionalities. Once you’re able to find a suitable instructor, make sure you go through the material thoroughly.
Having access to our DVDs, digital downloads, or learning library will allow you to pause, fast-forward, or re-watch a chapter at your own convenience. Once you feel prepared, schedule an exam, then continue with each exam until you have your full certification. “The exams can be tough,” advises Long. “But that’s what gives the certification its value. Potential employers know that if a person has passed four or five exams on SQL Server 2012 they must know something about that subject.”
Who should earn a Certification?
As stated earlier, earning a Microsoft Certification can open doors that may have normally remained shut. Here’s a list of some specific jobs that a particular certification could qualify you for:
- IT Administrators
- IT Architects
- SQL Server Administrators
- Database Developers
- Database Backup Administrators
Obviously, if you have a certification in SQL Server, you’ll find doors that will open for SQL Server jobs. The same applies for Microsoft Windows Server. Visit our website to check out our selection of training courses and free videos for various Microsoft certification exams.