Increasing Salary Through IT Certification

In the IT industry, with its high demand, and high level of competitiveness, we cannot deny the fact that the driving force towards increasing your salary here is by increasing your knowledge.

What You Do After Work, Determines Your Future

– Jack Ma, Alibaba

I am not yet supposed to write this but because I was so inspired by Alibaba’s quote that I happened to read yesterday in LinkedIn lots of thought orbited my brain and landed. It’s true to IT, if you wanted to become a network engineer, study networking. If you wanted database admin, buy some books about and learn. If you want any other IT skill, you know it, just attend a class or two and buy a book. What you study is what you would become in the future, providing that you choose and persevere with it like what I did..

Ten years ago in the year of 2007 I decided to enter the call center industry not because I don’t wanna waste time in school but because I wanted to experience working and buy things I want. It was tough season for me as I am also in the midst of finishing my thesis to be passed next year and I got no partners yet in school. Luckily while on break I was able to apply in a pioneer call center in the country as a technical support representative. There we used to troubleshoot stuff related to home network and DSL. And at that time I kind of started to like networking in general because that’s what we do everyday so I thought why not get a CCNA (Cisco Cerified Nework Associate) certification?

The thought of being certified remained only in my mind and wish list until I came to the point where I realized I am going nowhere. When I quit from my third job I thought I could only go to call center jobs, what a mess! I came to realize that I don’t like taking calls anymore, I don’t like to please people whom I don’t know, I don’t share the company’s goal of enslaving us to stresses and thus I attempted to take CCNA. I failed at first because of my mismanagement (forgot it’s exam day) but luckily I was able to land to a job where CCNA would be usually required.

I can say for certain that due to demand, I was able to be hired and I think it is not based on what certification I had. I also consider my great networking answers to be my weapon during interviews, and that was because during after work from my previous job I would pack up and bring my laptop in a coffee shop (CBTL) to learn more about CCNA via computer based training. Fruitful it is I was able to enter the league with that kind of effort.

Quitting that job from some unforeseeable reasons I kind of took a vacation from work (some business) but not taking CCNA still. So when I tried to come back, I just couldn’t. I really wanted to enter the league again but this time I have to go low on salary which is very unacceptable and improper. That is the turning point I realized how valuable that certification is. Nobody would pay you any attention if you aren’t certified. So then I resulted into becoming a systems engineer (but more like an over all IT slave). It was hard for me because all I really wanted was to configure Cisco devices, I was young and stupid but I had no choice I have to start at that point. Finally I took the guts to passed the test and get my certification before I ended up being a network engineer again, I took another test and passed it and now my salary doubled.

See, I think my enemy was my comfort zone. I was not taking any certification because I never felt I immediately need to until I become so dissatisfied with the company (due to lots of changes) but can’t get out. But reinstating the quote of Alibaba, I became a network engineer because I have invested time to study it, learn it, and finally certify with it and I did it during after work.

What if I wanted a six-digit salary?

Ah.. time to study again 🙂


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