To potential clients, certifications can inspire confidence that contractors are qualified to contribute, manage or lead various projects.
According to the latest IT
jobs report from online recruiting and job posting service Dice, one aspect of
marketing that tech consultants appear to value is certifications. Forty
percent of tech consultants surveyed said obtaining a certification helped them
land a new gig, which is about 10 percentage points higher than their
colleagues working in traditional roles. The report indicates that to potential
clients, certifications can inspire confidence that contractors are qualified
to contribute, manage or lead various projects.
Professional (PMP) made the top 10 and it's the most frequently desired
certification on Dice, with nearly 2,200 requests in job postings on any given
day, up 9 percent year-over-year. Project management is a lucrative role, with
an average annual salary of about $104,000, add PMP and average salaries jump
to nearly $120,000. Other top certifications include three Microsoft-based
specifications: Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), Microsoft Certified
Professional (MCP) and Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP).
There are very few
certainties in tech contracting. It isn't just another way of approaching a
technology career. It's more akin to starting a small business and that means
taking risks, marketing, financial management and more, noted Alice Hill,
managing director of Dice. It's important to remember that not all
certifications create the opportunity for a new job or a fatter paycheck, so
tech professionals have to be certain that the investment is worth it.
Hill said a company's
network is its lifebloodCisco Certified Network Associates demonstrate their
ability to administer medium-sized routed and switched networks (1,200 job
postings, up 21 percent year-over-year), while entry-level network technicians
have found CompTIA's Network+ certification helpful in job hunting. In
addition, ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) experience and
expertise is becoming more vital. Service deliverability is essential, and
those with ITIL credentials can command a six-figure salarynearly $110,000in
addition to expanding their job options.
In addition, the report
pointed out that seasoned information security professionals are eligible for
the Certified Information Systems Security Professionals (CISSP) certification,
which is recognized, along with Security+ by the Department of Defense, which
requires contractors with privileged access to federal computer networks to
obtain specific certifications. This is one factor driving the high level of
tech professionals (53 percent) who have at least one certification and are
based in Washington D.C., according to Dice research.
The monthly report also
tracks the top tech metro areas based on the number of jobs posed by zip code
on Dice as of Feb. 1. The New York/New Jersey region led the list with 8,862
postings, followed by Washington D.C./Baltimore with 8,226 postings and Silicon
Valley with 5,366 postings. Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Dallas,
Seattle and Philadelphia filled out the top 10. Total available tech jobs
reported by Dice stood at 83,272 as of Feb. 1, with 50,730 full-time positions,
36,103 contract positions and 1,655 part-time positions.
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.