Lifetime IT certifications: Is It a Good Idea?
There is no need for tech experts to introduce IT certificates that will be relevant for a lifetime because technological changes happen every day. People with careers in IT have to constantly update their knowledge and skills as they progress in their career. Becoming a lifelong learner is a top qualification for any job posting related to IT. In the past twenty years, training in IT as well as certification programs from industry associations have been essential in the ongoing education of workers in the technology departments.
Due to the greater employability, increased compensation and the need for career advancement IT certifications have been having modifications over the past two decades and tech experts are predicting that the alterations are not ending soon. There have been a lot technological changes influenced by the invention of new products and processes. The innovation of two latter items has also contributed to the continuous changes in the certificates. How fast other individuals adopt the technological innovation also determines the timeline in the certificate modifications.
The alterations in technology are primarily improvements, which are beneficial to the world. Negative impacts cannot be used as reasons to hinder matching the certification level with the improvements in information technology.
The current state of long-term and short-term IT certifications
Most people who would like a career in IT are attending classes so that they can attain the CompTIA A+ certification. This is the basic certificate for any individual who considers being a computer technician. In addition, CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Security+ are courses that the credentials the employers are willing to consider in employing IT professionals.
The certificate in Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) is also provided to individuals who pass a basic eligible Microsoft examination. The instances above describe how modern students are taking the challenge to meet up the tests posed by these programs. It is more difficult for them since IT certifications are going to higher levels instead of dumbing down to levels that they can relate to.
The changes in the certifications also pose a challenge for the various developers of the curriculum since they have to keep on revising the previous syllabus that they have developed. Since most of these certificates loose value within time, the owners of these certificates have to keep on attending classes. Time and money resources are lost because there lacks a lifetime certificate in information technology. However, the value of their certificates improves, which would be the opposite compared to when there is a lifetime certificate.
What factors hinder provision of lifetime IT certifications? What problems will arise?
The problems arising in the provision of IT certificates that will be forever pertinent are evident and could cost the technology industry a lot hence there is no need for providing one. The various disciplines and specializations can be identified as one factor that contributes to the difficulty in providing not only a lifetime IT certificate but a comprehensive one as well. Besides, colleges, certificate vendors, and industry associations are not able to provide a similar variety and granularity of the subjects established in the realm of the IT credential. Another challenge in providing a lifetime IT certification is the competition between universities and colleges with professional IT certificate providers and product vendors. Each of these parties keeps on improving the quality of their certificates making those that had been obtained previously irrelevant in the job and skills market.
Particularly professional associations together with product vendors have been seen to be more agile and responsive compared to colleges in updating their curriculum and examinations with the latest particulars in evolving technologies. Since IT training is more affordable and flexible compared to a college degree, IT certifications have flooded the IT skill market thus employers require their employees to have them. These have made the vendor to ensure that their certification remain relevant in the employment market. This has discouraged the vendors from having a provision of an IT certificate that will forever remain admissible.
The monetary value of the numerous IT certifications has been continually reinforced and proven by the salary surveys in the information technology industry. Providing a lifetime certificate will limit the greater demand for IT professionals who hold more than one IT certification. Besides, they are able to solve problems in a better manner compared to when they hold a certificate that may be outdated. This would result in employers not raising their salaries since their potential does not improve. It is important to agree that those certifications have gained more value and a positive reputation compared the years of dot.com boom when individuals thought that their IT certifications were going to last a lifetime.
For instance, the demand for various IT certifications, such as Certified Information Security Management, Certified Risk and Information Systems Control, and Certified Information Systems Auditor, is outstripping supply thus higher salaries for individuals who hold these certificates. If there was only one IT credential admissible for a whole lifetime, it would be impossible to provide solutions given by these specialized certificates. The Good-for-Life IT certification would limit the performance of the various industry employers who highly depend on technology since their workforce would not be as productive.
State of recent IT lifetime certifications
Tech organizations and vendors, on the other, have not been able to come with strategies to ensure that the lifetime certification remains relevant. Experts who earned the CompTIA Security+, the CompTIA A+, or the CompTIA Network+ certifications before January 1, 2011, are considered to have a good for life certification that does not expire.
However, these individuals are required to pass a current version of the examination for them to have the GFL certification and the CE certification. This means that those who do not take the current version of the examinations will be irrelevant for the employer and they will not be hired. It can be estimated therefore that the individuals with GFL lifetime certificates who took the CE exam in 2011should acquire other certifications in the next three decades. The examinations on updating their skills involve activities that they carry out every day thus it is impossible to find logic in taking them. Similarly, for Microsoft, an individual with technical certification for Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) and Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MSCE) specialties are required to take additional elective exams or next generation examinations to demonstrate their development in the Microsoft Product knowledge. The extra examination adds no value to them hence the lifetime IT certifications become insignificant.
Relevancy of IT certificates
Both the lifetime certificates and those which have become outdated are sometimes as good as those the people who create the certification tests. The examinations are also not a proof of how well the content can be applied in a real-life context. In fact, there are individuals without the IT certificates and are better performers in working with IT systems that with those with them. Most vendors still use the traditional multiple-choice examinations to test their students, making them undependable. Those who have added performance-based questions like Microsoft have been considered to be offering complex examinations which students even consider to be indecipherable.
Most employers, especially in the 21st century are looking for someone who can be productive in the IT department and can fit in even if they do not have a certificate. This has resulted from the un-verifiable certifiers who may be providing certificates just to make some money. However, employers consider IT certified technicians since they are better in communication and project management.
Consumers of the IT products and services have no time in determining whether the provider is certified or even evaluate their skill level. They are looking for the provision of quality goods thus making the IT certification un-useful. It has also become difficult to distinguish the valuable and un-valuable certifications. If the short term IT credentials face the described limitations, how about the lifetime certificates?
What is the next phase of IT certifications?
Microsoft, Oracle, and Cisco are certification vendors who have maintained the status of their programs. These organizations will have to consider the rising impact of the improvements in IT programs being offered in colleges and universities. Such trends take not only the market share, but also the mindshare of the lifetime IT certifications that they may be offering. The workforce is also evolving fast and an IT certificate is now needed to keep up with the changes, which makes lifetime credentials inessential. Most of the workplaces are dealing with the effect of developments in personal technology, which is making the need for the certificates of the IT experts to become more sophisticated to deal with issues that may arise due to the changes.
Adoption of lifetime IT certifications will have a major impact on the world’s economy in hindering improvements. It is thus not advisable for any individual willing to become an IT expert to take a course offering such a certificate. Modifications in Information Technology are gradual and provide an opportunity for the workforce to obtain necessary knowledge to deal with problems that may arise and also make improvements.