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Competitiveness for the Future

"Looking back, certification was the logical answer to a profound problem facing the IT industry in the late 1980s, a time when many suppliers were turning their attention to distribution channels as the most cost-effective means to get products and services to market," the IDC report says.

Now, just 10 years later, the entire distribution channel has changed. The proliferation of the Internet has turned everything upside down, and companies are looking to harness the strength of the Internet while still focusing on their business at hand.

The future of successful IT certifications will depend on many factors. First, IT certifications have to adopt an open platform approach with greater focus on industry standards. This is the only way for certifications to survive for the long term in this fast-changing Internet world. Second, an IT certification has to be connected to a successful brand. Candidates and resellers will use the certification program they choose to add significant value to their business and careers through status and credibility within the industry. Finally, keeping skills up-to-date will be an absolute necessity as technology literally can change from day to day.

As the e-business example discussed in this article illustrates, with the competitive tempo in the Internet economy increasing, certifications must possess all three of the above requirements to continue to be a valuable asset for both companies and individuals.

Mark S. Wilson is worldwide marketing manager for Intel Education. He has been involved in the IT industry for more than 20 years.

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