For years now, ITIL (formerly known as the IT Infrastructure Library) has remained the cornerstone and industry-standard best practice framework for supporting, managing and aligning IT Service Management with the needs of the business. Trademarked by AXELOS, ITIL acts as a governing agent for IT, and uses the ITIL Service Lifecycle to map the entire journey from customer needs and requirements all the way through continual improvement of services.
We’ve already discussed why ITIL is critical in today’s IT environment, and why it’s still widely adopted among many IT organizations of all sizes. For these reasons, it’s important that employees within these organizations have a deep understanding of ITIL’s foundations in order to achieve maximum benefits from its implementation. Knowledge and mastery of ITIL is so important in fact, that many organizations are even investing in certification sponsorship programs to help employees get ITIL certified.
Here are 10 reasons why you should consider getting an ITIL certification:
1. Higher Paying Opportunities
Bottom-line is everything right? If on-site sponsorship opportunities aren’t available to you, it’s still well worth the investment to pursue an ITIL v3 certification on your own time. Not only will you be boosting your resume and providing more value to the business, but you’ll potentially receive more lucrative job opportunities as well. ITIL is listed as one of Techopedia’s highest paying IT certifications, and it’s not uncommon for certified ITIL program managers and IT architects to make well over six figures in their respective salaries. Now that’s a lot of moolah!
2. A Sharper Skillset
ITIL v3 certifications are broken up into five key levels that demonstrate varying degrees of mastery of the material:
- Level 1: ITIL Foundation – This is the entry level certification course that familiarizes professionals with the general concepts, elements and terminology used in the ITIL Service Lifecycle and its associated lifecycle stages.
- Level 2: ITIL Practitioner – The newest certification created just as recent as 2016, the ITIL Practitioner level focuses on how to start adapting and adopting the ITIL framework during everyday situations and scenarios.
- Level 3: ITIL Intermediate – This level is broken up into various modules that take a fresh approach to ITSM by going more in-depth than the previous certification levels. This certification is considered a general industry-wide qualification for many prospective IT roles.
- Level 4: ITIL Expert – This level takes a macro approach to the ITIL Scheme in full. This level is generally considered to be a highly esteemed certification for ITIL knowledge and best practices.
- Level 5: ITIL Master – This fifth and final certification level demonstrates a complete and comprehensive knowledge of the principles, methods and advanced techniques of ITIL and its supporting management processes. Achieving this level of certification will put you among the best and most valuable in your field of expertise.
Achieving a certification in any or all of these levels will increase your skillset and help you to gain a better grasp of how ITIL is managed and implemented across most IT infrastructures. Your newfound knowledge of ITIL best practices will make you a much-needed asset among your peers and allow you to take more confidence in your role within the organization.
3. You’ll Stand Out Among the Rest
Not only will you be more confident in your abilities and expertise, but your employers will be impressed as well. Achieving an ITIL certification at any of the more advanced levels will give you a demonstrable advantage over other candidates in a job hiring scenario. Not only does it prove to employers that you are highly skilled and educated in industry best practices, but it will also make their investment in you more lucrative as you’ll be able to breeze through the training process and provide value from the day you’re brought on board. Although becoming ITIL certified may cost you a pretty penny up front, the long-term advantages for job growth may be worth the costs.
4. Prepared for the Future
ITIL has been deeply entrenched into the fabric of enterprise IT for some time now, and despite the nascent contrarian opinion every now and then, it’s safe to assume that the framework’s popularity isn’t going to diminish any time soon. In fact, AXELOS is constantly changing and updating their certification courses in order to keep up with the times and shape ITIL’s commonly established principles to govern today’s modern technology and development trends. That said, becoming ITIL certified is a safe bet to stay prepared for the future, and the demand for educated ITIL experts in the fields of incident management, service management, change management and other ITSM related areas are still very high in 2017.
5. Jump Into the Job Role You Want
Just like achieving an ITIL certification provides higher paying job opportunities and bolsters a resume, the expertise gained will also often give you more options in terms of job roles within the organization. Candidates with proficiencies in any of the upper-level ITIL courses will have their pick of the litter right away when it comes to where they want to go and what they want to do. So often in IT, employees must “pay their dues” so to speak, and settle on low-level roles or contractor positions until they prove themselves and showcase the knowledge and skillset required for more lucrative opportunities. With an ITIL certification, employees can often skip this process, and recruiters may decide to take input from the certified professional on where he or she wants to go right away at a competitive starting salary.
6. It’s Used Virtually Everywhere
A big advantage that ITIL has is that it’s used globally, and implemented in just about every industry that relies on highly controlled IT services, which is just about everywhere these days. With over 10,000 organizations that have adopted ITIL worldwide, it’s reach is undeniable. This means for the certified ITIL professional, there is plenty of room for job growth within the market. The demand for qualified professionals that understand the ITIL framework only continues to increase, and the most sought-after candidates will have many options in terms of industry, location, and negotiable pay plus benefits.
7. Tons of Flexibility
The great thing about being knowledgeable in such a broad, complex framework like ITIL is that your understanding of the inner-workings of the entire IT infrastructure increases and you gain more flexibility in your ability to wear many hats, making you more valuable to the organization. The higher your certification level is, the more roles you will be qualified to take on. Not satisfied working in IT service operations? Try your hand as a service strategy manager. The possibilities are wide and there are many different job roles to choose from.
What’s remarkable about ITIL is that there is a lot of flexibility in terms of clearly defined job roles throughout the organization, and each could benefit from the expertise of a certified professional at the helm.
8. Gain Knowledge and Credibility
You ever hear of the expression “fake it until you make it”? It’s a common confidence-building mantra that helps people take on new challenges that they may not have the most experience in. This mentality is critical for new job roles, however, for the certified ITIL professional, there’s no need to “fake” anything. Your hard work in learning the ropes of ITIL and mastering its certification courses will pay off as you can immediately jump into a new job role with a comfortable understanding of the framework’s implementation, management strategies, and guiding principles.
Not only will you be able to confidently take on your new IT role, but your ITIL expertise will give you credibility among your peers and managing supervisors. They will most likely come to you regarding technical questions and pick your brain from the moment you’re hired. Knowing that you’re the expert in your department can be a great feeling.
9. Provide a Better ROI
As I’ve mentioned before, ITIL certified professionals are an easy choice for hiring employers that want to make the best investment for their organization. The ROI is much higher for someone that already has the knowledge and ITIL training needed to start providing value right away, and may also be able to bring new ideas and strategies learned from taking the certification classes to make operations more efficient. And with more efficiency, the more that businesses save on cost. After all, IT is not generally not considered a revenue-generating department, so cost-savings are always top of mind.
10. Low-Risk Effort
Many times in your career, it can be a good thing to take a step back and re-evaluate some of your goals and current efforts to see if you need to make any moves or decisions that will affect you in the long-term. Investments like going for a Master’s degree or getting a certification can be scary, because you often just don’t know if you risk wasting time and effort on something that may not be all the beneficial to you in long-run of your professional career.
However, when it comes to the IT field, getting your ITIL certification is considered to be a very low-risk effort, and many will tell you that you’d be doing yourself a huge disservice to write it off. Certified ITIL professionals are a highly sought-after commodity, and the job market is stable enough where an ITIL v3 certification in any of the higher levels will be in demand for quite a long time.
ITIL isn’t going anywhere and there are many advantages to completing your certification in any of ITIL’s five mastery courses. While there is plenty to learn on-the-job, getting a head-start on the foundations, terminology, strategies and lifecycle stages will be a big help to you getting hired for the job role you want and will help you succeed within the organization. To learn more about ITIL v3 certification courses, visit the AXELOS website.