Two studies provide some useful statistics that you can present to management on the value of your certification.

Measuring Your Worth

Two studies provide some useful statistics that you can present to management on the value of your certification.

If you’re looking for ways to convince your employer to pay for the costs of certification, you may be interested in two new studies from Microsoft that point up the value of becoming a Microsoft Certified Professional. (To read both studies, go to www.microsoft.com/mcp, then click on the link entitled “Microsoft Certification a Home Run for Individuals and Employers.”)

The two studies—one conducted by Massachusetts-based research firm IDC, one by Southern Illinois University—measured how IT managers and individuals perceive the benefits of certification. While both were sponsored by the interested vendor—Microsoft—they do offer some useful statistics that you can present to management the next time you’re arguing for paid time off to attend class, funds for training materials, or extra compensation based on your MCP title.

For example, in the IDC survey, 84 percent of managers said they found MCPs more productive than their non-certified counterparts. (The study looked at 150 companies who deploy Windows NT Server and employ at least 100 employees.) The survey also found that MCPs handle 30 percent more support requests overall than non-MCPs. The IDC study also found that certified individuals, on average, administered 13 servers; non-certified individuals administered 10. Either you’re extraordinarily high achievers, or you’re just plain more educated and efficient. Probably, it’s a combination.

And if management is afraid you’ll leave for greener pastures after certification, there’s this: Contrary to conventional wisdom, it seems that certified employees are more likely, not less, to stick around. Twenty-three percent of managers said certified employees were less likely to leave, while only 9 percent said they were more likely to move on. (Most—68 percent—said there was no effect.)

One final set of interesting facts, and then I’ll leave you to read the rest of the information yourself at www.microsoft.com/mcp. A full 80 percent of those surveyed in the Southern Illinois University study said that certification increased their credibility. Sixty-six percent in the IDC study said certification was a factor in promotions, 30 percent said their company pays bonuses to MCPs, and on average, companies surveyed paid MCPs 20 percent more than non-MCPs. All of that is good news in the face of the huge numbers of new MCPs (360,000-plus at last count), and concerns about the value of the title.

Measuring Your Company’s Value

We’re also looking for ways to help you convince management that certification is a worthy investment. And we’d like your help. Does your company support your certification efforts? Does it reimburse you for training and include certification in promotion criteria? If your employer promotes the value of MCPs, you can nominate your company for inclusion in our upcoming report, “Best Companies to Work for as an MCP.” To nominate your firm, fill out the survey at [Sorry, the 1998 survey is over.—Ed.]. If your organization is selected, we’ll contact you for additional research. We’ll publish results—and accolades— in an upcoming issue.

Microsoft Certified Professionals throughout the U.S., has become a highly visible compensation survey in the industry. For the past three years, survey data has appeared in the first issue of each year. But each year, we receive comments from readers telling us that the information in the survey reaches them just after the budget and salary negotiation process is complete. This year, we’re moving the salary survey to midyear—the July issue—to make it more valuable in your budget planning and compensation negotiations. In the July issue, we’ll look at compensation for MCPs for both 1998 and 1999; we’ll also include additional information from hiring managers on what they’re paying MCPs.

About the Author

Linda Briggs is the founding editor of MCP Magazine and the former senior editorial director of 101communications. In between world travels, she's a freelance technology writer based in San Diego, Calif.

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