It can be a double-edged sword: Fast-moving technology developments mean constant opportunities for IT career progression and new positions, but also require up-to-date training and skills. Spiceworks completed a recent survey on the topic of plans for training and certification and attitudes toward their value among 850 IT pros in the U.S. and EMEA. In “Making the Tech Grade,” the results showed that quite a chunk of the training courses that respondents plan to complete in 2014 will paid for by the employees themselves.
Respondents planning to complete training in 2014 said they are footing the bill about half the time. Only 56 percent said their employer would pay. Fifty-four percent said they’d pay for it themselves. And 21 percent will be taking free courses. While they didn’t list how much they plan to spend on training, a quarter said their employers would cover up to $500 per course, and 23 percent said their employers would pay for courses over $500.
Since 47 percent said they went to some sort of training in 2013 and 80 percent say they will do it in 2014, the disparity may lie in planning to get a course done and actually getting it done. Respondents who did get it done in 2013 focused on some core skills, with operating systems, networking, virtualization and IT security leading the list.
Those who reported no plans to take training classes or courses in 2014 may be planning an alternate strategy. Sixty-seven percent will train themselves with websites and books.
On the topic of certifications, market leaders Microsoft, Cisco and VMWare’s certs were deemed most valuable, not surprisingly. Forty-nine percent of the IT pros said certifications in general are very valuable or extremely valuable. The top three reasons: They increase job opportunities, increase industry credibility, and increase salaries or rates. Over 40 percent of respondents have received or plan to receive a certification during this year.
If you’re doing any cost-benefit analysis of whether to shell out for a certification, you may find it helpful to read up on The 15 Top-Paying Certifications for 2014, 20 IT Certifications Projected to Make Pay Gains in 2014, and 10 Certifications That Actually Mean Something.