Nearly three-quarters of the 700 network professionals surveyed by Network World and SolarWinds have certifications, and most said they led to promotions, new jobs, or pay raises. Some 40 percent said that certs increased their pay by more than 10 percent.
Half of respondents said that they pursued certifications to get a promotion or to be eligible for a new job, according to the Network World survey. Only 8 percent said that certifications were required by their job, and only 11 percent said that earning a certification led to a salary boost in the job they already had. More than one-quarter invested in a certification to learn the technology.
More than one-third of respondents indicated they had a security-related certificate, with the CompTIA Security+ named the most popular security certificate. Cisco-related certifications remain the most popular and valuable overall, with the challenging CCIE held by 44 percent of those making more than $110,000. Microsoft certs were held by 39 percent overall and the CompTIA Network+ by almost one-quarter. In addition, some 16 percent had additional networking certifications, from a wide variety of vendors such as HP, Brocade and Avaya.
Almost half (44 percent) of respondents had SysAdmin and/or virtualization certifications, with about one-third earning them on Microsoft server technologies and 20 percent having VMware-specific certs too. Among those making less than $110,000, the entry-level CompTIA A+ is by far the most popular. Among those making $110,000 or more, Microsoft and VMware are the top choices. Certs involving open source virtualization technologies, Citrix and Red Hat were the least popular of them all, a scant 2 percent.
Three-quarters of respondents were from the private sector. Their workplaces ranged from SMBs to global enterprises. Most IT professionals agreed that a good reason to get a certification is to prove a baseline of knowledge when the resume runs short.