When you hear the words “data center certification,” the first thing you might think of is a data center tier certification, especially if you work at a physical enterprise location or colocation data center facility. However, tier certifications, which indicate a data center’s reliability and availability as measured against industry standards, aren’t the only certifications that can benefit you and your data center.
Completing a data center professional certification is a key way for you to advance your skills and professional development. Whether you’re new to data center management and looking to build foundational credentials or want to refresh your existing knowledge, here are five reasons why you should consider completing a data center professional certification:
1. Learn a new data center product. Many organizations offer data center certifications that indicate specialization in their own technology, approach, infrastructure, or other proprietary framework. For example, Cisco provides a range of networking certifications that validate increasingly granular levels of knowledge required to design and manage a Cisco converged network. Similarly, VMware’s Certified Professional 6 certification verifies that you know how to administer and troubleshoot infrastructures with the latest version of VMware’s vSphere client. If your organization uses these products, being certified can help you set yourself apart and increase your value. They’re also a smart way for new data center professionals to quickly get up to speed.
2. Learn a new skill. The data center skills gap is one of the biggest challenges that organizations are facing today. Only 32 percent of IT leaders believe that their organizations have the in-house skills sets to meet their needs, and 42 percent attribute the difficulties of hiring talent to a lack of preferred technical skills. Completing a certification to learn a new skill helps your organization bridge this gap while also making you more attractive to employers if you’re looking for a new data center career.
3. Substantiate your data center expertise. Data center certifications aren’t earned by just anyone. In addition to the time and financial investment, many advanced certifications require you to have foundational skills that, when built upon in a certification, translate into specialized knowledge that can help you manage and operate your data center. A data center certification validates your expertise and proves that you know the standards, concepts, technologies, and other information covered in the certification.
4. Keep up to date with data center trends. Data centers are complex ecosystems with multiple moving parts, and they evolve with changes across industries, emerging technology trends, and other factors. While networking, design, and architecture certified professionals will likely always be in demand, other skills and competencies are gaining in popularity. With the increasing focus on data center security, cybersecurity certifications and qualifications are sorely needed. More data centers also are turning to virtualization to use resources more efficiently—as evidenced by the United States government’s Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI)—so professionals with the right skills are needed to support these types of initiatives as well.
5. Get rewarded financially. Earning a data center certification doesn’t just improve your skills; it also can boost your salary. In the U.S. and Canada, certified IT professionals earn about 11.7 percent more than their noncertified peers. Globally, that difference increases to 12.8 percent in EMEA, and in the Asia Pacific, it reaches 15.3 percent. So, it pays to earn a data center certification.
Earning a data center certification requires a significant amount of time, effort, and dedication on your part. However, learning new things, keeping up with changes in the data center industry, and ultimately increasing your value both to your organization and on the market can make it all worthwhile.
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