Pearson VUE’s latest“Value of IT Certification”study highlights benefits of IT certification in challenging times.
As the world starts to slowly recover from the COVID-19 crisis, the information technology industry is well-positioned to help businessesadapt to the “new normal.” 2020 saw faster adoption of technology byenterprises and consumers than ever before, with behaviors and processes shifting as the pandemic’s impact was felt across all industries.
Pearson VUE is releasing its latest “Value of IT Certification” report today. The report explores why candidates pursueIT certificationand provides detailed insight into how certification benefits both individualsand employers.
The most recentfindings are polled from 29,000 candidates who completed IT certification exams between November 2019 and October 2020 – a period of seismic change all around the world. Respondents were from 160 countries* and ranged from those who had pursued a certification for the very first time, to seasonedIT professionals who hold multiple IT credentials.
Global pandemic did not hamperthepursuit of certification
Pearson VUE, the global leader in computer-based certification and licensure testing, reveals that the validation of skills through certification continues to have significance forprofessionals wherever they are on their career pathway. The global pandemic widely disrupted employers’ budgets for staff training, and while certificationprograms were inevitably impacted,IT specialistsremained committed toupgrading skills to enhance their employability and pay.
In 2020IT certification grew 16% over the previous year.With global lockdowns in play,candidates turned to Pearson VUE’s online proctored solution,OnVUE, in order to continue their pursuit of certification. Online test delivery increased by more than300%.Of the respondents who said that the impact of COVID-19 was a motivating factor in earning a new certification (30%), these individuals were more likely to pursue credentials in cloud computingover other IT certifications.
Growth in cloud certifications aligned withcompanies moving to remote working models
As COVID-19accelerated the adoption of digital tools by organizations, the survey revealedthat demand for skills in cloud computing increasedsignificantly.With nearly all businesses shifting to some form of remote working, many enterprises needed to scale cloud-based platforms (anduse developers with understanding of such technologies),
So their workers could access the resources they needed to work effectively from home during the pandemic. According to the respondents,28% of all the certifications they earned in 2020 were in cloud computing (IaaS, PaaS,andSaaS) – representing a 164%increase(compared to Pearson VUE’sprevious ‘‘Value of IT Certification’’survey).
Certification leads to advancement
61% of the candidates who hoped to advance or be promoted as result of taking their IT certification exams received a promotion by the time theycompletedPearson VUE’s survey.
As technologies continue to evolve and IT professionals strive todiscover even more efficient solutions to drive businesses forward, the need to upskill is a toppriority. 73% of respondents sought IT certification in order to obtain specific knowledge and competencies that would help them to upskill and keep pace with changingtechnology trends. When asked whether they had obtained their goal for certification, candidates most concerned with upskilling(82%) had the highest rate of success.
Certification improves self-esteem and is a lifelongactivity
Candidates experienced many intrinsic benefits from certification such as increased confidence in their abilities (91%), greater determination to succeed (84%), feeling more respected by colleagues (76%), greater job satisfaction (76%), and greater autonomy at work (74%).
Certification is clearly valued more when transferable to real-life work situations, and the emotional benefits of gaining certifications are a driving force forprofessionals to continue to upskill throughout their careers. The average number of certifications held by the candidates surveyed under 24 years old is four, while those over 55 years old have 10certifications. 86% of candidates who earned certifications in 2020 plan to pursue additional certifications over the next 12 months.
Employers who supportIT credentialing seea more productive, efficient,and loyal workforce
Employers who support employee credentialing programs seesignificant improvements in their workforce, with employeesbeing more productive, moreefficient, more fulfilled, and more loyal. When employers covered the costs for certification, employees were less likely to be interested in seeking new opportunities outside of the company (74% compared to 87%), ultimately reducing employee turn-over.
“2020 was undoubtedly a challenging year but the global IT industry proved to beresilient. Our research shows the trustorganizations have incertification to addressspecific business challenges,in addition to providing opportunities for personal growth,’’ explained Bob Whelan, President of Pearson Assessments. ‘’We are veryencouraged bythese insights from global IT professionals; people who despite difficult circumstances, embraced new certifications with vigor and are set to continue the rapid pace of digital transformation accelerated by the pandemic.’’