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Are certifications really worth it?


Timothy Jessen New Concord, OH

With my background, I find it hard to justify going through the process of getting my certifications. I know that my degree from ITT isn’t going to get me far. I’m working out of New Orleans, LA and I commute about 45 minutes every day. I have submitted two resumes and am currently working in the first job and have upcoming interviews for the second one. Should I go for those certifications?

30 October 2017 10 replies Career Advancement



Teresa Greenwood Hartford, CT

Hi Tim,
Thank you for your service. Go for the certifications! The best people will have them and it puts you ahead of pack. Depending on the field, you will be required to have them so its better to just start them and plan on keeping them up to date.
All the best,


Maya Tolj West Chicago, IL

Depends on the job's description and requirement. What company would you be working for: Fortune 500, Inc. 5000, small company, etc. It also depends on which Industry the job is in.


Andrea Hannah Nashville, TN


IT is the one field that probably holds a higher premium on certifications (if you have some experience behind your belt) over the traditional 2 or 4 year college degree. Use this to your advantage to increase your salary or future offers. Go for the certifications.


Merry Vickers Richardson, TX

Thank you for your service. There are several suggestions that most services and internet sites recommend, and they are right.

Give your resume a format change and lead with a summary that outlines your skills and qualifications. Share generalities from past positions to translate how it will be beneficial in new roles, like skills, duties, projects or management. Use clear civilian language to describe your career objectives, but highlight key wording from job descriptions and any accomplishments you have achieved. Keep the verbiage in present tense and have others read through it for feedback. If you can pursue any IT: volunteer opportunities, contract jobs, certifications or even CEU (Continuing Education Units) courses will show how interested you are and make recruiters take notice. Take advantage of in-house professional development and training programs available, which always shows you are willing to do and learn more.

I hope this helps you on this new journey and I wish you all the best.

Kindest regards,
Merry Vickers


Ian Forinash Rockwall, TX

Tim, the advice from John Green regarding cyber security is important. Cyber security has a rapidly growing need for qualified people and right now, there just aren't that many. Additionally, a lot of that work will be associated with industries like aerospace and defense, which means that a veteran like yourself will be uniquely qualified because of your military experience. Are all certifications worth the effort and the cost? Probably not. Are certifications and training that will qualify you to work as a subject matter expert in Cyber Security worth it? ABSOLUTELY.


Eric Arellano Carrollton, TX

Good morning Timothy,
I would suggest that for your upcoming interview be honest about not having them, and offer to get them if they are required. I have found that confidence when saying "I can do this", or "I can learn this quickly" while relating it to your experience can help you get your foot in the door.
Feel free to message me through here if you would like me to elaborate on my own recent experience with this.
Best of luck,


Donald Noble Tampa, FL

Timothy, this is a terrific question.

For hiring, certifications are a gatekeeper for the employer. For example, even though I have a B.S. and an M.S. in Finance, employers will exclude non-CMA and CPA candidates. So, I am going back and getting my certifications.

My suggestion, start the certifications and list it on your resume and cover letter. Hopefully, you will find an employer that will help with time or money and you can complete.

Certifications also require that you keep up with the latest industry knowledge through CPE. Start small, get the MSC (which is easy) and then work yourself into more and more levels.

Email me if you need anything else.



Susan Chandler Fort Walton Beach, FL

In most areas of IT, certifications translate to higher pay. They also often mean the difference between getting an interview or getting a job over a more experienced candidate. While you may find companies willing to hire you without certifications, you're not likely to get a chance at the best jobs.

You might look for professional associations or conferences that offer certification exams as part of the registration or at a reduced rate. I studied on my own and then took the exam for free at a conference.


William Ryan New York, NY

If you have the knowledge try to find certs that allow you to test out and not take classes. if the cert is from a place that makes money training, they wont help, but look for industry orgs that more about the segment you are in and less about selling training classes


John Green Cary, NC

Depends on the certifications and what the market-demanded skills are.

Check Robert Half salary guides, then suggest which job area you are looking at.

If you want to earn the highest salary, for IT, you could pursue Cyber-security.

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