infoTECH Feature

February 07, 2011

IT Certifications Grow in Importance in Hiring Process: CompTIA Study

Employers are inclined to rely heavily on professional certifications when hiring information technology workers. However, they are challenged by credential evaluation and validation issues, according  to research from CompTIA.

Hiring managers consider professional certifications as a high-value validation of IT skills. Certifications will gain importance as organizations seek to fill tech jobs, according to CompTIA (News - Alert), a non-profit trade association for the information technology industry. Among IT hiring managers nearly 64 percent rate IT certifications as having extremely high or high value in validating skills and expertise. Eight in ten human resources professionals surveyed say IT certifications will grow in usefulness over the next two years.

However, employers expressed concerns about some aspects of using IT certifications in hiring process. There is a perception among some hiring IT managers that the HR department does not have understanding of IT certifications. Some firms said verifying a job candidate’s credentials can be a challenge due to the time involved.

“The value of certifications can be enhanced in a numbers of ways,” said Tim Herbert, vice president of research at CompTIA, in a statement. “Stronger links with education; easier methods of verification; greater understanding of what IT certifications can and cannot do; and more organizational support for certifications as part of a professional development program all would be positive steps in this direction.”

The survey was conducted among nearly 1,700 business, HR and IT executives. The survey was aimed at gaining insight into how they evaluate job candidates; the role of IT certifications in the hiring process; and how organizations support professionals’ development. Experience, track record and accomplishments rank as the most important factors when evaluating job candidates, according to the study. About 86 percent of hiring managers indicate IT certifications are a high or medium priority during the candidate evaluation process.

The latest CompTIA IT Industry Business Confidence Index released points to renewed optimism and a strengthening economy. The index, which is an average of sentiment about the economy, IT industry and individual companies, jumped seven points in December, according to CompTIA. At 60 on a 100-point scale, the index is now at its highest point since its inception.

Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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