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This week, the staffing team at Tech Needs turned to some of the hiring managers in our professional network to ask them an important question: “During the candidate selection process, how much value do you assign to IT certifications? Do candidates require formal certifications to make it past your gatekeepers? Do you consider these certifications to be an unrequired bonus? Or do you pay no attention to them at all?”

The IT certification process can be time consuming and often expensive, since many of these credentials require course fees, course materials, study time, and exam fees. But since some employers swear by them and use them as a crucial cut-off (or so we’ve heard), we decided to go straight to the source and find out the truth. Here are some of the responses we received.

  • “When we hire candidates for junior or entry level IT positions, we certainly don’t require certifications. Relevant two or four year degree credentials are another story; most of our positions require a bachelor’s degree at a minimum. But certifications are not what we look for at this level. And since we like to hire and promote from within, this level is the one that matters most to our external applicants.”
  • “Certifications for Microsoft network management, SQL server management, and cloud computing are important to us. We can’t afford to make them a requirement (since they’re not at all universal in our applicant pool), but when we see them on a resume, they give the candidate a strong advantage.”
  • “By no means do IT certifications replace college degrees. Don’t let your readers make this mistake, as I understand some young people are doing these days.”
  • “We’re very interested in mobile application development right now, and candidates who walk in the door with a proven track record in this area will rise quickly to the top of our list. But as it happens, certification opportunities in this field are proliferating wildly, and some of them require a long term investment that may not pay off. I honestly don’t know what kinds of skills we’ll need three, five, and ten years from now. When it comes to making a gamble on the future, candidates are on their own.”

For more on how to make the most of your IT credentials and hard earned skill sets, turn to the staffing and job search pros at Tech Needs.

 

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