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Calculated Increases

In another, and perhaps more accurate, measure of return on certification investment, both the percent increase in salaries and the increase in wages in terms of dollars was calculated for readers in each of the measured certification programs.

As stated previously, the average certification directly contributed to a 12 percent increase in salary-equivalent to a $5,821 return on certification investment.

Taking the industry leader, in terms of certification holders, Microsoft certifications resulted in a return of 10.9 percent or $5,778 return on investment.

Cisco shows its professionals the money more than any program measured in the CertMag study. Cisco certificants enjoyed a 17.8 percent salary increase, equivalent to $10,606. The same group had salary increases that were 84 percent higher than average. From analysis of the information provided by certified professionals, it appears that Cisco's CCNA certification puts bacon with the beans on the table.

Novell certification contributed to a 13 percent salary increase-equivalent to a $7,080 increase and return on certification investment. With its CNA and CNE certifications, Novell provided its certification holders with a salary increase that was 23 percent higher than the average certification program.

Oracle certificants didn't receive as large of a percentage increase as Novell professionals, but the Oracle certification-related salary increases were larger in terms of dollars. Oracle certificants received a 12.1 percent salary increase that, due to higher base salaries, generated more dollars ($7,471) in return. The average Oracle certification holder's salary was $62,000, compared to the average Novell certification holder's salary of $54,500. Regardless of the percentages, Oracle's predominant OCP certification showed 28 percent more money than the average certification program measured.

Lotus certified professionals realized an average 10.1 percent increase in annual salary. While below the average percentage increase, Lotus certification-predominantly the Lotus CLP and CLS certifications-resulted in an above-par dollar return. The average Lotus certificant saw a salary increase of $6,168 after certification.

Hewlett-Packard certification contributed to an 11.1 percent salary increase-equivalent to a $6,098 salary increase and return on certification investment. Hewlett-Packard's Technical Support and Repair certification, along with its IT Professional Systems Administrator certification, provided professionals with a modest 5 percent higher salary increase than the average certification.

While increasing their pay nicely, CompTIA certification holders saw the least return on certification investment. Its A+ certification was one of the most-often-held certifications, and both it and Network+ provided a 10.9 percent increase in wages, netting professionals a $5,058 salary increase-13 percent below the average certification measured.

Figure 9 shows the average salary increase by certification program.

Figure 9

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