What’s Another Certification Worth?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Global Knowledge


A common question we hear in the IT training business is “what’s a certification worth?”.

The answer is, “it depends,” but with a bit of planning and a willingness to look outside your comfort zone, you can increase your earning potential.

Data from our 2010 IT Salary and Skills Survey shows at least a 5% increase in salary for IT pros that have a Microsoft certification and a certification from another discipline.

And in some cases, that increase is much higher.

  • A business process (Six Sigma, CBAP, etc.) or project management certification (PMP, CAPM, etc.) along with a Microsoft certification saw an average salary increase of nearly $27,000 (or 36%) over those with a Microsoft certification alone
  • Java certification delivered a 40% increase — the highest boost to salaries in our data* — with telecommunications certification — a 37% increase — close behind


Looking only at the Microsoft certifications you still find a well-defined salary progression:

  • Entry-level certifications, such as the MCDST (Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician), earn an average of $70,197
  • Mid-tier certifications, such as the MCITP – Enterprise Support Technician, typically earn $10,000 or more compared to entry-level technicians
  • Advanced certification holders, MCITP — Enterprise Administrator for example, earn in excess of $95,000

Of course many other factors go into determining salary: your region’s cost of living, education, tenure, etc. However, this data clearly shows that it is in your wallet’s best interest to expand your skill set when you have the opportunity to do so.

*The number of respondents possessing a certification in a Microsoft area and Java or Telecom is less than 100 so there is room for variability. However, the differences were large enough to be statistically significant.

Cross-posted from Global Knowledge

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