News headlines are filled with data breaches, phishing schemes, ransomware, and other cyberthreats. So it should come as no surprise that channel pros are increasingly seeking out certifications and training to enhance their skill levels to meet today’s security challenges, and employers are, by and large, footing the bill.
That’s according to the results of a March 2017 survey report of 6,605 IT professionals who took a certification exam in the United States in the past 12 months, given by computer-based testing company Pearson VUE, with headquarters for the Americas region in Bloomington, Minn. The report, The 2016 Value of IT Certification Survey, finds that there has been a 48 percent increase in the number of channel pros taking security training, and a 60 percent increase in IT pros taking security exams, as compared with Pearson VUE’s previous annual survey.
Such training was funded by employers for 53 percent of survey respondents, while only 26 percent of channel pros taking the survey paid for it themselves. “Our research shows IT employers in the USA are taking security seriously, with an upward trend in them paying for security training and assessment,” says Bob Whelan, managing director of Pearson VUE. “Employers’ investment in staff training and certification indicates that they see this as a way to benefit both their staff and their business.”
But what, if any, immediate benefits are channel pros deriving from the training and certifications? The numbers tell the story: 61 percent of surveyed channel pros say that acquiring a certification has had a “positive impact on their professional image” and 30 percent say the certification has “impacted their lives immediately.”
When respondents were asked to select the exams they planned to take in the following year, security certifications, at 40 percent, were the most popular choice, followed by networking at 31 percent, and servers at 22 percent.