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When you’re stuck in an unrewarding, underpaying job, getting something better can’t come fast enough. No matter what you want, it can be difficult to break into a new field on the timeline you need. That’s where IT certifications come in.

IT certifications can help you to jump into a new career fast while building a foundation for further specialization. Still not convinced? Here are just a few of the reasons IT certifications are a great way to start a career in IT.

1. They’re a Fast/Low-Cost Way to Level-Up Your Resume

For those who have the time and resources to dig deep into a topic, the traditional degree model has a lot to offer. However, when you want to bump up your skills fast, certifications are a great investment. The average tuition for a master’s degree program is $60,000 to $80,000 while living expenses, books, and more can easily cost over $100,000. Certifications are vastly less expensive, especially if you can find a third party that will cover the cost for you.

Another benefit is that you get into the meat and potatoes fast. Certifications are hyper-focused on the skills you need, so there’s no Gen Eds to knock out.

2. Certifications Validate the Skills You Need to Succeed

From an employer standpoint, every hire is a gamble. It takes time and money to get them registered in the system, trained, and enmeshed with a new team. Of course, there will always be situations where things don’t work out for one way or another, but it still important to get every assurance possible an employee will be a good fit.

That’s where certifications come in. They provide a universal measure of a certain skill set. This can be easily understood by employers and technical professionals alike. Whether you’re validating a skill that you already have or taking on a wholly new one, it shows an employer that you definitely know what you’re talking about.

In fact, sometimes getting certifications isn’t a matter of “if” but “when” because…

3. DoD Jobs Require IT Certifications

If you’ve spent any time in the Department of Defense (DoD) arena, you’ve probably heard about directive 8570/8140. It requires that all users of authorized systems have a certain level of certification. This is to ensure that people who are working with sensitive information have the knowledge to do so.

DOD8570 Baseline Certs

Whether you’re working for the DoD, or just working with a company that regularly contracts with the DoD like Raytheon, Booz Allen Hamilton, Northrop Grumman, etc., you will need certain certifications to operate at different levels. The table below shows what certifications could be required for such work.

Conversely, this provides a huge opportunity because companies who work with the DoD are always in need of certified professionals to work on their contracts. Thinking about going into DoD work, but not sure which certification is right for you? Luckily, we wrote an entire article about that.

4. Certifications Are Good For the Whole Company

When it comes to an overall company’s well-being, certifications are the gift that keeps on giving. Studies from CompTIA, Microsoft, IDC, and Novell have done studies confirming the wide-ranging benefits for a company on the whole.

Organizations that invest in certifications for their employees are rewarded with happier and more productive workers who want to stay longer. Not only do they bring a brand new skill set to the table, they’re grateful, excited, and engaged because their company showed faith in them.

Getting employees certified also boosts confidence and peace of mind. On the one hand, workers feel assured in their knowledge. Meanwhile, customers themselves know that they’re getting more bang for their buck.

5. Certifications Help You Stand Out in Interviews

Before you even set foot inside a potential employer’s office, recruiters and resume scanning software will look for those key certifications. That means that certifications can make or break even getting a seat in the room. Once you’re in, certifications can help you stand up against candidates who might have as much or more experience than you.

6. Great Certs Equal Greater Earning/Salary Potential

There’s no doubt that certifications will help you make more money and this is true for many industries. In terms of project management, this study from PMI showed that certified Project Management Professionals (PMP) earn an average of 20% more than their uncertified counterparts. Not bad at all!

In terms of IT, Georgetown University’s Center on Education found that men with certificates in computer/information services earned $72,498 per year. That was more than 72% of men who held an associate degree and more than 54% who had a bachelor’s degrees. However, if you really want to be competitive and get a degree as well, certifications can help because…

7. Certifications Could Get You a Head Start at College

Many individuals get an entry-level certification like ITIL or CompTIA A+ so that they can get a start into a ground floor IT job. Then, they can go back, finish their degree, earn a few more certifications, and put themselves in the best position possible for work in an intermediate or advanced field like networking or even cyber security.

Colleges have even started recognizing certifications as counting toward credit. >The American Council on Education gives ACE CREDIT recommendations> where they review classes and deem them eligible to receive credit at various universities and colleges. This is the case for 14 LeaderQuest courses.

Other times, there are formal agreements between certification providers and certain colleges to offer specific credit in return for classes. This is the case for CSU-Global and LeaderQuest, who have formed an agreement for LQ certification classes translating directly into college credit.

What’s the upshot of all of this? You can get started on a career while earning college credit. Classic two birds one stone scenario.

8. Learn a New Skill Set and Change Your Life

Lastly, and most importantly, the best part of certifications is the energizing thrill of picking up a new skill. IT is a growing and ever evolving field with IT tech firms among the 10 fastest growing industries in the U.S. Meanwhile, there’s still a severe lack of talent making it difficult to hire as many people as quickly as the demands arise. This is even more noted in the cyber security field.

This means that IT is a field that is desperately needed, important, and can have a great impact on the world around you. Taking on these new skills means having an opportunity to enter into a career that will help you develop personally as well as professionally.

There is a Japanese concept known as ikigai which reflects on that which is needed and loved in the world. In the novel, “The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life,” co-author Hector Garcia has this to say about finding happiness and fulfillment in life.

“Your ikigai is at the intersection of what you are good at and what you love doing,” he says.

You never know where your purpose will come from. However, when it comes to a field as exciting and fast-growing as IT, you just might find yours.

Level-Up Your Career with LeaderQuest

Start Your IT CareerIf you want a career you’ll love, IT is a quickly growing field with a number of benefits both personal and professional. IT certifications can help you land that first job or advance to a higher, better-paying position. That’s why LeaderQuest offers some of the most essential IT certifications in the business.

We offer 5 and 10-day classes online, on campus, during the day, and at night with the goal of getting you trained, certified, and hired in the IT world. Once you’ve finished classes, you’ll have the opportunity to work with your own personal Employment Development Manager (EDM) who will help revamp your resume, nail your cover letter, and work with you to practice for behavioral interviews.

If you’re stuck in a job you don’t like, why delay? Contact us today and start a career you’ll love with a salary you’ll appreciate!

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