Which certifications lead to higher pay?


CIO.com just published a survey that certifications do, in fact, lead to higher pay.  But upon closer examination, they are focused entirely on network certifications.  In fact, the survey is republished from Network World.

This got me thinking about which types of certifications are valuable.  If I were a CIO, I’d absolutely give preference and probably a higher salary to candidates who had infrastructure type certifications.  It seems very logical to me that the knowledge required to pass those exams would help people be a more effective systems or network administrator.   But what about other types of certifications in the IT world?

I have to admit that when I see “PMP” (Project Management Professional) on a resume, I have mixed feelings.  I know that certification is a challenge to acquire, and anyone who has gone through that process is very dedicated to their career as a project manager.  But some of the best project managers I’ve known have not had that certification and others who have had that certification are so locked into their methodologies that they are ineffective.  Again, as a CIO, I would not necessarily give candidates preference or higher salaries for having that certification, although for the right person it is an awesome thing to do.

And then there are the developer certifications.  I’m most skeptical of these, and I used to be a card-carrying MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer).   Yes, I learned some great skills from studying for those tests, and they were pretty rigorous exams, but I don’t necessarily think that was the best use of my time to become a better developer.   I’m sure these exams and certifications have evolved drastically since my day as a developer, since the world of development is so different with all of the easy reference at your fingertips.  But I’m still skeptical that these are the best way for a developer to learn more or prove their worth.

What do you all think about certifications?   Do you agree with which are most valuable in the job market or career development world?