By: Maureen LoBue, Service Strategies
“My manager sent me to this certification class and I’m sure it will be good, but I’m really busy and I’d like to know if it’s actually worth my time and effort to get this certification. Does anybody recognize it? Does it really matter?”
The above quote came from a participant at the beginning of a certification class I recently taught in soft skills for technical support professionals. It’s a valid question coming from a very busy technical support professional with little time to spare.
So, how did I answer this question? I answered it with information about a study that connects certification to a subject we can all relate to, money.
An IT workforce research company, Foote Partners, L.L.C., produces a quarterly report assessing the skills and pay of IT professionals. A new development has been discovered recently; bonus pay last year increased for employees who obtained certifications but decreased for skills that had not been certified. Where does this development come from?
According to David Foote, president and chief research officer of Foote Partners, in today’s job market candidates need certification in addition to experience and references. Companies need to justify every dollar they spend and certification helps obtain approval from CFO’s for compensation packages. Companies are looking for proof that employees know what they’re doing. Certification bonus pay rose 4% from the 4th quarter of 2000 to the 4th quarter of 2001. Skills bonus pay for the same period fell 13%.
So the answer to the question, “Does anybody recognize it? Does it really matter?” is a bottom-line yes. If you are looking for recognition in the form of bonus pay, it matters very much.
Soft skills certification is among the fastest growing certification being recognized by companies. Service Strategies Corporation offers soft skills courses and certification as part of the Service Capability & Performance (SCP) Standards, Career Certification program. SCP Career Certification includes testing for four levels of technical support professional, from call coordinator to support manager.