Is ITIL certification really a salary booster?

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Is ITIL certification really a salary booster?

Despite the economic woes facing most of the developed world, IT professionals have been doing rather well over the last few years.  Last year, which was rough for most to say the least, IT professionals seem to have done rather well in spite of shrinking markets and employment.  The fact is that the entire IT field appears to be rather well-insulated from many of the issues facing other professional fields.  The question is, how is it possible for an individual to foster upward career mobility in an industry that is already performing well?

There are many within the field of IT who are not only looking to “climb the ladder” so to speak, but to also increase their earning potential; and rightly so, if you are skilled and worth it, you should be correctly compensated.  This is of course where technical certifications come into play.  While the average IT employee might earn around $70,000 to $90,000 per year, those with additional certifications, like ITIL, are able to routinely add around $20,000-$30,000 per year or more to their salaries.   Additionally, the costs associated with even the most comprehensive and involved multi-volume certification course in ITIL (designed for IT managers) will only cost you somewhere in the neighborhood of around $500 – $2,000 (at most).  In other words, any funds that you put toward ITIL certification will boost your salary and continue to do so, year after year.  The initial costs associated with ITIL certification are paltry compared with the long-term financial benefits gained; however, one must be dedicated to their profession to truly reap the benefits.

Let’s examine why ITIL is such an IT salary booster.  If you’re not familiar with ITIL, it can be briefly described as a collection of the best methodologies for establishing, maintaining, modifying and managing IT infrastructure.  The ITIL itself is essentially a compilation of the research and findings from various IT experts down throughout the years and across the globe.   In the same way that scientists in any particular field are apt to study the theories laid out by their predecessors, IT professionals should also be eager to digest the information contained in the ITIL (any version).

Likewise, big business has caught on to the inherent value of ITIL as well; with its ability to help them run operations more smoothly (internally as well as externally) and make more informed decisions regarding long term goals, structuring along with other budgetary considerations.  The point is, ITIL certification tells prospective employers that you not only are in touch with brilliant ideas in your own field, but also are prepared and equipped to help them achieve their objectives as well.

What types of ITIL certification are available?
ITIL certification can essentially be broken down into three principal areas:

  1. Foundation
  2. Intermediate
  3. Expert

Each of these levels of study more or less corresponds with a specific type of IT employee.  For example, those studying foundation will likely be current or future IT employees who are new to ITIL (and / or are perhaps updating their knowledge base from a previous version).   Foundation programs are often a favorite choice for managers looking to introduce an entire team or IT department to ITIL; some organizations even offer discounted pricing for those looking to purchase multiple courses in bulk.

Intermediate programs in ITIL are understandably more intricate and detailed than that of foundation.  ITIL intermediate programs tend to focus toward specific volumes of ITIL which relate to the management of the IT lifecycle itself.  This is to say that your basic intermediate program for ITIL might center on service operation, or perhaps service transition and those solutions / methodologies inherent to that branch of the lifecycle.

Last, but certainly not least, you have the expert level ITIL courses.  As the name implies, expert level ITIL courses are not designed for initiates; in fact, they are mostly angled toward managers, IT specialists and those with lots of experience.  Undertaking an expert level certification course in ITIL is certainly no light undertaking, however it is undoubtedly the most rewarding and potentially profitable form of ITIL certification one can receive.

Even if you’re not interested in the direct influence that the study of ITIL will have on your annual salary, it’s still an area worth studying.  There is a great deal of understanding that one will gain through the study of ITIL that will help in making more informed career decisions as well as empowering you in your duties on a daily basis.   ITIL isn’t just about improving your financial standing or career objectives; it’s about gaining intimate knowledge of IT infrastructure in a way that allows you to better serve the interests of all involved parties.  In this way, ITIL is as much a career and critical thinking-booster as it is a salary booster.

Get your ITIL certification(s) here.

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