Admittedly, it has been quite some time since I focused on adding more letters after my name. I am A+ certified. I am a Microsoft MCSE, MCSA, and MCP. I am a CISSP-ISSAP. I am a Microsoft MVP. I even have a couple vendor-specific niche certifications that I don’t even recall. I used to voraciously pursue certifications more or less for the sake of the certification, and eventually it got old.
My drive for certifications plummeted when I went from being a security consultant in the field to being primarily a writer. I work for myself. I don’t have to impress anyone with an endless string of letters after my name. Last I checked, I wasn’t willing to give myself a promotion or pay myself more money based on certifications.
But, in the “real world” certifications still matter…at least some of them. Certifications aren’t a silver bullet guaranteeing you a promotion or raise, or even a job at all, but they can’t hurt. For employers, the certifications often serve as a baseline common denominator for even being considered, so whether or not you have a given certification might determine whether or not your resume even gets looked at.
Don’t just go chasing after the first certification you see, though. Check out the Global Knowledge survey of the 15 Top Paying IT Certifications and find one that has a reasonable chance of helping you get ahead.