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Technical certifications have become popular over the last 10-15 years as a means for IT professionals to validate their expertise. In certain instances, technical certifications may even serve as an alternative to a traditional four-year degree. The cost of certification can vary by industry but a typical price range for training courses and exam fees ranges from a couple hundred to several thousand dollars.
The two main types of certifications are vendor-specific and industry standard. Vendor-specific certifications will be tied to a certain technology (Microsoft, IBM, salesforce.com, etc.) and showcase a deep understanding within a specific technology stack. Industry-standard certifications are vendor agnostic and focus on industry best practices. Organizations like Comptia lead the way in providing industry certifications that are recognized on a national level but aren’t tied to a specific vendor.
Jennifer Paraskos, a senior member of the Perficient talent acquisition team, offered her perspective on technical certifications. “I’ve found that technical certifications are a great way to validate ‘on-the-job’ experience but aren’t a substitute for real-world experience. Our hiring managers are always impressed with candidates who go the extra mile and get certified in their field.”
Technical certifications are a great way to test knowledge and build on existing skills but can be a tremendous investment in resources and time. Speak with your leadership team or a senior technologist you respect before determining a course of action.