Benefits of M.C.P Certification
Important decisions such as using or adopting certification within your organization often involve weighing the benefits against the costs. To help organizations evaluate an investment in professional IT certification, Microsoft has cosponsored research that identifies some of the benefits certification brings to an organization.
A research project developed to quantify the financial benefits of companies investing in employee certification was completed by International Data Corporation in August 1995. The IDC study found that companies supporting employee certification operate more sophisticated client/server IT environments with a more productive IT staff, experience reduced downtime, and realize a payback on investments in professional certification in just nine months.
In a 1994 Dataquest survey, companies indicated that certified employees are more valuable than noncertified employees because certified employees have greater self-esteem, provide higher levels of service, provide leadership to other employees, and are more productive. A majority of corporate managers also stated that certification is an important factor to the overall success of their companies because it increases customer satisfaction, improves productivity, lowers operating costs, ensures qualified staff, and maximizes their training investment.
This range of identified benefits of certification reflects both tangible and intangible benefits to an organization and individuals. Some key benefits to consider are described below.
Lower operating costs
To ascertain the costs and payback of certification incurred by a company, IDC broke respondents into two polarized subgroups: advocates, identified as companies requiring certification when hiring IT employees; and nonbelievers, recognized as companies that do not require certification when hiring IT employees.
The study found that nonbelievers experience longer unscheduled downtime and greater costs associated with downtime. Unscheduled downtime lasted an average of 3.5 hours for advocates and 5.3 hours for nonbelievers. This resulted in a per-incident cost per server of $669 for advocates and $1,102 for nonbelievers. On a monthly basis, the overall downtime costs per server came out to a difference of $866 less for advocates.
In addition, when employees are appropriately placed, employee turnover is reduced and a company will operate more efficiently and, therefore, more economically. Certification testing also lowers costs to the company by ensuring that qualified people are available to provide leadership to the other technical staff and that the appropriate pool of talent is available for the next project.
Employee productivity increases when the right person with the right skills is doing the right job. The IDC research indicated that the IS staff of companies supporting certification is more productive, but no larger, than the staff of companies not supporting certification. On average, companies that support certification support a similar number of PCs, but these are distributed across almost twice as many sites than in companies that do not support certification. Whats more, companies that favor certification are supporting these PCs across more distributed environments with roughly the same number of employees (144 employees for companies that support certification, and 146 employees for companies that do not).
Increased customer satisfaction
In todays changing market, customers want more value for less, and their demand for high-quality products and services has become standard. To assure their success, these customers need to identify vendors who have industry expertise and understand the advanced computing systems.
If your company or department develops, implements, or supports solutions with Microsoft products, professional certification is a measure of your organizations commitment to excellence. When you have Microsoft Certified Professionals on staff, you prove to your customers that your employees have usedand masteredMicrosoft products. This can give your employees greater confidence and ability to service customers needs, which can result in improved customer satisfaction.
Increased job satisfaction
Certification is an excellent way to determine new career paths and achieve long-term employee satisfaction. If you are a manager, encouraging your employees to become Microsoft Certified Professionals can give them an opportunity to grow professionally and develop skills they may need in their current position.
Having Microsoft Certified Professionals on staff can also be a practical way to establish professional goals for your employees and ensure they remain qualified on the products they use or support. Employees who have achieved Microsoft Certified Professional status have worked to achieve a significant level of competence and can act as effective technical resources in your organization.
Maximize your training investment
The Microsoft Certified Professional program can be used to determine employee skill levels and maximize your companys return on its training investment by ensuring that you have qualified staff:
The Microsoft Certified Professional program is the recognized way to assure that the employees you hire have the knowledge and skills required to build customer solutions with Microsoft products. With their established expertise, Microsoft Certified Professionals can help you and your company gain new business opportunities in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
Return on certification investment
According to the IDC research, when comparing employee costs between advocates and nonbelievers, a certified employee costs about $9,500 more than an uncertified employee per annum, based on an average cost of $3,728 to certify (including training, testing, and indirect or lost time), added to a pay difference of 11.7 percent. When weighing this against a monthly support cost difference for advocates of $285 less per month, and the reduced monthly server downtime costs of $866 less per monthreturning a total annual saving of $13,812 for the advocatesIDC conservatively estimates a payback time at less than nine months.
Benefits at a glance
...for the Organization
Provides a way to measure the technical skills of employees and contractors
Allows existing employees to be retrained to work effectively in other areas of the company as organization requirements change
Increases customer satisfaction with more consistent quality
Improves productivity and lowers operating costs
Enhances credibility with customers and within the organization
Recognizes and rewards productive employees by validating their expertise
Identifies employees who are qualified to provide leadership to other staff
Offers career path choices within the company
Encourages employees to pursue continuing education and training
Presents employees new challenges
...for the Hiring Manager
Provides reliable benchmarks for hiring and promotions by accurately assessing technical skills
Maximizes your training investment by allowing you to determine training needs and measure results
Offers career paths and growth for company employees
Helps ensure that your organization is built upon top-quality technical talent
Gives you the confidence that outsource vendors are qualified to do the job
...for the Human Resources Manager
Provides a tool to screen new hires
Helps place new hires in the right position at the appropriate skill level
Makes it easier to link compensation to competency
Helps to determine individual and companywide training needs
...for the Individual
Provides recognition for technical skills
Offers an objective method to assess current skills
Pinpoints specific areas where knowledge gaps exist to make training more effective
Identifies individual strengths
Provides greater self-esteem and self-confidence
Enhances marketability with current or potential employers and customers