You may be surprised how many companies cover the cost of higher education for their employees. It’s in a company’s best interest to have a staff with extensive education in their field. The employees benefit from a more impressive resume but it might be the companies that benefits most—and they know it.
A study by the Association for Talent Development shows that U.S. organizations spent over $18 billion in tuition reimbursement in 2012. Often, though, the luxury of company-covered education is only for those in the business sector. What happens if you’re one of the millions who aren’t employed there? What if you’re in a field that depends more on real-world experience and skill?
What IT Pros Need
Just as having an M.B.A. illustrates an employee’s advanced training in business, an IT certification demonstrates professional excellence through performance, reliability and, most importantly, confidence. It’s proof of the more practical application of the formal training that usually precedes it. And for those with ambitions in the IT industry, certifications can be more coveted than any post-graduate degree.
Though they are far less time-consuming than two years of graduate school, IT certifications are still not cheap – especially if you’re supporting a family. But to be at the top of your game you’ll need to supplement your professional background sooner than later. So how do you pay for this extra training? The answer is simple: Ask your company.
Making the Argument
Waltzing into your boss’s office and asking him or her to pay for your certification exam might make you cringe with anxiety, but don’t worry. We’ve got all the research to show the benefits of your certification far outweighing the cost. Typically, any information that can demonstrate long-term, sustained improvement will be most attractive to corporate decision makers. Fortunately, a CompTIA certification is the long-term foundation that proves to be worth the investment.
In our technologically dependent world, IT talent is essential for successful business operations—and not just in IT organizations. But time and budget constraints might lead to the hiring of individuals who don’t meet all of the ideal requirements. In the long run, hiring sub-par employees and bypassing training will negatively affect the company, wasting valuable time and money constantly catching up to changing standards.
However, the latest research shows that IT professionals who seek out industry-relevant certifications like CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Security+ are more knowledgeable and perform better than those lacking certification. This advantage leads certified employees to faster professional development and instills them with a far higher domain knowledge percentage than their non-certified counterparts.
Need some statistics to woo over your boss? Here are the facts:
- For IT security tasks, such as policy compliance and investigation of security incidents, IT professionals who have achieved certification are 85 percent more likely to believe they have the knowledge and skills needed for their jobs.
- For IT support, CompTIA A+ certified staff have 37 percent more core domain knowledge than those who are not certified.
- Without ongoing training, performance can degrade up to 25 percent over four years.
Ultimately, your professional growth doesn’t end once you accept a job offer. So in the spirit of proper preparation, we’ve included this handy form letter below you can send your boss informing him or her about the benefits of a CompTIA certification. Just fill in the [bracketed] blank spaces. We look forward to making you and your coworkers the next round of certificate holders.
Throughout my employment at [company name], I’ve continually sought to make myself more valuable to the company. I’ve been working here for [amount of time] and want to make sure I’m up-to-date on everything [company name] needs from my position. Fortunately, CompTIA offers affordable certifications so IT professionals like me can handle whatever the industry brings over the next several years. All I would need is for [company name] to sponsor me in acquiring one of these certifications.
It’s an investment, but you will see it pay off from day one. By the time I’m finished with the certification, I will have broadened my knowledge base to fit all the latest technology you’re considering introducing now and gained the confidence and hands-on training to work with that technology right away. You will basically have the employee you need in 2018 in 2015.
If you want to know more about CompTIA’s certifications just swing by and ask or go to www.certification.comptia.org. Thanks for your consideration in my career investment. I can’t wait to get started!
Download this letter as a Word file here.