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How microcertifications work for IT job seekers and employers

Sharon Florentine | March 7, 2017
Microcertifications are gaining popularity as a way for IT job seekers to quickly and affordably prove their skills, and organizations are coming around to the idea.

Microcertifications cost less than traditional certification paths, too, which makes learning and credentialing much more accessible to a larger pool of talent, says Ryan Corey, co-founder, Cybrary.

"In cybersecurity, proving your skills often requires taking a $3,000 to $5,000 course. Then, you study for months, pay something like $600 bucks to take the test, take off work to go sit for the exam. And what if you fail? Then you must go back another time, pay the exam fee again -- the whole process just stinks, from start to finish. Microcertifications are exponentially more affordable and accessible to a greater number of people, and that means the skilled talent pool is that much larger, that much faster. It's an iTunes model -- you don't need to buy the entire album if you're only looking for one or two songs," Corey says.

Affordable training

Microcertifications allow individuals to keep up with changing technologies and learn at their own pace, according to the research, and 82 percent of respondents indicated it's a much more affordable way to learn than traditional IT training and certification. The survey revealed that 50 percent of respondents' companies spend an average of up to $25,000 annually on IT skills training for employees; a combined 50 percent spent either nothing or slightly more than $100 on a microcertification.

In addition, 58 percent of respondents say microcertifications convey the same level of technical proficiency as traditional training, according to the survey. While microcertifications are just beginning to enter the mainstream of IT education, expect to see much more attention paid over the next six to 12 months, says Corey. "This is a no-brainer for companies and for job seekers. Low-cost, high-efficiency, easily accessible -- there's so much value here. Not to mention that companies investing in their employees' training and professional growth can help with engagement and retention; that helps them maintain their greatest asset -- their human capital," he says.


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