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While a lot of factors go into one's decision to get and stay certified, like job advancement and career satisfaction, certification is largely about money. IT professionals spend billions on getting certified and should, hence, expect a return on their investments in themselves and their companies. There is no doubt that certification does serve to increase the annual salary of IT professionals-with the average certification providing a 12 percent increase in salary, equivalent to $5,821.

When one considers all economic measurements of certification benefits, Cisco certifications set the gold standard. And while Microsoft and CompTIA certifications provide a smaller economic gain, they each do provide their certification holders a solid return in terms of salary increases-between $5,058 and $5,778. That, folks, isn't chicken feed.

Certification does show you the money!

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