IT certifications: helping build a more confident, innovative, productive, and valuable workforce

As the need for tech skills grows, so does the value of IT certification

Every two years, the Value of IT Certification Candidate Report shares the perspectives and experiences of professionals around the world who prepared for and earned certifications with Pearson VUE.

This year’s report surveyed more than 21,000 professionals from 176 countries. Its overriding conclusion?  The value of IT certifications is understood and appreciated not only by candidates, but also, and equally as important, by their employers.

After passing the certification exam, it was a game changer and a real confidence booster!

— Tableau certification holder, Australia

Here are a few of the key findings:

  • Employees who earn credentials feel more confident in their abilities (92%), produce higher quality work (81%), feel more respected by their co-workers (79%), and are more satisfied with their jobs (78%).
  • The IT skills gap, a challenge today for many organizations, should begin to shrink as more young people—Gen Z (42%) and Millennials (15%)—consider IT certifications as students.
  • The “future workplace,” which has been anticipated for years, is here now and likely here to stay. The tech skills once considered as essential in “future-proofing” a business are now considered necessary to succeed, as 65% of candidates and 55% of their employers have increased investments in IT skilling.
The perspectives and experiences of more than 21,000 PROFESSIONALS who prepared for and earned IT certifications amidst changing and challenging working conditions.
  • Online and self-directed exam prep methods now far exceed traditional classroom methods, as 86% of respondents who enrolled in exam prep courses opted for online delivery.
Credentialed pros also enjoy more personal benefits: 92% increased confidence, 84% greater determination to succeed professionally, 79% increased respect from peers, 78% greater job satisfaction.

A certification or recertification exam benefits both me and my employer by demonstrating to customers a continued dedication to improvement and innovation.

— Cisco certification holder, Bangladesh

IT certifications benefit employers, too

And as much as test-takers value IT certifications, employers regard them just as highly:

  • So much so that 53% of employers paid the exam prep costs and 55% picked up the tab for exam fees.
  • Employers also reported that credentialed employees were better able to support and mentor co-workers (82%), produce higher quality work (81%), are more efficient and productive (72%), are better able to innovate (77%), and had increased work autonomy and independence (74%).
  • And for employers worried that certified workers are more likely to jump jobs, the data showed that employers who invested in training and certification of their IT staffs were more likely to retain them: “Candidates are significantly less likely to be interested in exploring new jobs when their employers cover their training and certification costs.”
Employers benefit from IT certification as well. After earning certifications, credentialed employees feel they: 81% produce higher quality work, 77% are better innovators, 72% are more efficient, 72% are more productive.

The dynamics of IT certification

The Value of IT Certification Candidate Report also sheds light on more general questions about IT certifications, including:

  • Why do people pursue IT certifications in the first place? What’s the primary motivation? And at what point in their educations or careers do candidates consider them?
  • What are test takers and certification pursuers really looking to achieve through their investments and hard work? (The answer may surprise you!)
  • What are the top five most popular specialty certification areas, and where do the others rank?
  • And finally, what tangible benefits did respondents achieve at their jobs or schools, or in their industries, after earning their certifications?

I received a great opportunity to work with a startup company. It’s a dream job for me. And at the same time, being certified has been key in confidently promoting the quality of my work.

— Meta certification holder, Mexico

Based on the findings of the 2023 Value of IT Certification Candidate Report, IT certification continues to demonstrate concrete value for both candidates and employers, across industries, all over the globe.