“What I see very often is it is those candidates with certifications that get past the first filter.” So says Marcus Fan, Service Manager for Enterprise Voice and Data with Cisco APAC. And he makes a great point; one that we have heard from recruiters as well.
In a competitive job market, breaking into the tech industry can seem pretty daunting. The rewards are high, but so are the stakes if you want to stand out from the crowd.
Getting industry certified is a great place to start if you are looking to get your foot in the door, to move on up the ladder in the tech industry, or if you are trying to transition careers.
How does having a Certification Influence Employers' Perception of You?
Now while it is true you can get a job without certification, having a CCNA or CNNP on your resume is going to make you more visible to recruiters.
Stand Out from the Crowd
Competition for jobs is intensifying and recruiters are tasked with narrowing the talent pool. As hiring managers filter applicants, chances are they will be attracted to those who have shown the determination and initiative, as well as the staying power—to complete their certification. It also demonstrates that you are passionate about the subject and are capable of sticking through to the end of a project.
Obtain the Official Stamp
Look at it from the recruiter’s perspective: you may claim on your resume that you possess certain core skills and knowledge, but an industry-standard certificate guarantees that you do. It is an official stamp from trusted industry leaders that you know what you claim to know – be it entry, intermediate, or expert level.
Show Your Relevance
Certification is a way of saying to your future boss that you know the correct information. That your skills and knowledge are up to date, that you are familiar with the technologies being used in the workplace, and that you will be further empowered to hit the deck running. Certification, in a nutshell, tells an employer that your skills set is relevant for that particular expertise.
Employers Prefer Certified Candidates
The International Data Corporation led a survey of hiring managers and reported that 75% believe that certified employees perform better than those without certification. We have also spoken to numerous recruiters and hiring managers, they say it is an excellent way to get your foot in the door and demonstrate you are passionate about the subject.
Benefits to Your Career
And the benefits of certification go on way beyond the hiring process. If you are looking to lay the bedrock of an awesome career in networking, there is a host of reasons you might want to go down the certification route too.
Solid Technical Influence
Whether it is CCENT, CCNA, CCNP or CCIE, your Cisco certification program exposes you to the technologies. It also builds the skills you will be using throughout your career in networking, whatever the role. To gain certification, you will be put through the steps for installing, configuring, operating, and troubleshooting routed and switched networks. It is real-world knowledge and experience that you will be putting to work.
Important Non-Technical Skills
Cisco certification is not just about the technical skills. To get certified you are also going to be exposed to problem-solving, innovative thinking – if your topologies do not work the tried and tested way, you are going to need to come up with something new – and to things like team work as well as communicating with your fellow students. All of these skills are higher than ever on employers’ wish lists.
Get the Bigger Picture of Technology
The chances are once you are in a job that your focus will narrow to one or two technologies in that role. Getting certified, however, exposes you to a much wider range of topics and technologies that will give you a wider perspective as well as more expertise to dip into across your career. You will also be up to speed with the latest innovation and development.
Get on the Fast Track
Certification accelerates the promotion process and can set you up for much greater salary hikes. As salaries for networking jobs increase globally, Cisco certified routing and switching professionals in countries like the U.S. can earn between $60K and more than $100K.
Keep on Learning
Cisco certification takes you as far as you want to go. From the essentials of CCENT to CCIE, the most prestigious certification in the industry, you can develop and pursue your own professional development, keep track of the constant updates and innovations in technology, and keep your learning alive.
So there you have it – certification makes sense. And the rewards you reap will repay the investment you make – both financially and of your time.