Anyone else pay for their own certification exams/materials?

ecuisonecuison CISSP, CCSP, TOGAF v9 Certified, Security+, Network+Posts: 126Member ■■■□□□□□□□
Just wondering who else pays for their own certifications (bootcamps, training, materials). Nothing new to me as I have done this to confirm what I know, but at the same time, shows me how the organization values (or not) those employees who are willing to step up and improve, better themselves, and bring those area's of the organization to a point where they can consider themselves "certified" in those area's.

I give my respect to those who do this even though the organziation doesn't care. Good luck to you out there in the same situation as I am.
Accomplishments: B.S. - Business (Information Management) | CISSP | CCSP | TOGAF v9.2 Certified | Security + | Network +
In the 2019 Pipline: CRISC, AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate, Masters in Cybersecurity


  • PCTechLincPCTechLinc CISSP, CHFI, CEH, MCSA Server 2008, Project+, Security+ce, Server+, Network+, A+ King City, CAPosts: 623Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    I pay for my own certs unless I find out otherwise that my company pays or reimburses. If my finances don't allow me to get a cert, then I just save until I can. For example, I paid for the CISSP voucher, but didn't know my company reimbursed until I happened to ask my supervisor. I would have done it anyway.
    Master of Business Administration in Information Technology Management - Western Governors University
    Master of Science in Information Security and Assurance - Western Governors University
    Bachelor of Science in Network Administration - Western Governors University
    Associate of Applied Science x4 - Heald College
  • gespensterngespenstern Posts: 1,243Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    I paid for all my certs out of my pocket except 1 MS cert (out of more than a dozen) and GIAC GREM (GIAC is cost prohibitive otherwise).

    But again, exams and self-prep materials are usually cheap and I never used official training except for SANS/GIAC.

    I did a lot of contracting earlier in my career though, so it was in my own interest. If I was full-time working for a company with training budgets I'd obviously have used every opportunity to offload all the costs to employer, which I do now.
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Posts: 1,773Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I have always paid for my own training. While it helps my company it's not necessarily anything they care about.

    A+ in 2002.
    CCNA in 2015
    Associates Degree in 2016
    Working on MCSA and 2018
    Goal for 2019 renew CCNA

    As long as I am working I consider the cost of training as something I do for personal development.
  • malachi1612malachi1612 Senior Member SwitzerlandPosts: 424Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I paid for all of my MS certs and study materials as its something I take interest in. I was lacking networking skills which my organisation wouldn't help me with.
    MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2016, ITIL Foundation, MCSA: Windows 10, MCP

  • EANxEANx Posts: 1,077Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I'll gladly take organization-provided training when it makes sense but there have been times where if I wanted it, I had to pay for it. And I did. Sometimes I've been able to convince my boss to give me work-time to take a class I paid for. He saw the value but knew paying for the class would be a tough sell.
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Posts: 2,801Mod Mod
    Aside from the GSEC and GCIA (work paid for Work Study both times), I've paid for everything else myself.
    Currently Working On: Python, OSCP Prep
    Next Up:​ OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (Python), Bash Scripting, Virtual Hacking Lab Coursework
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead CSM, ITIL x3, Teradata Assc, MS SQL Server, Project +, Server +, A+, N+, MS Project, CAPM, RMP Posts: 2,475Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    I just did for a Teradata exam..... I finally broke down, seriously working on some new skills and branding techniques (AKA Certs) to score a remote position.....
  • NavyMooseCCNANavyMooseCCNA CCNA R&S, ITIL, Security+ ZZ9ZZAPosts: 543Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I haven't worked for a company that will pay for certification costs...

    'My dear you are ugly, but tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be ugly' Winston Churchil

  • ThePawofRizzoThePawofRizzo SSCP, A+, N+, Sec+, CySA+, Cloud+, CWTS Posts: 389Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I've paid for many of my own certs and study materials. A couple of my past employers would pay for the exam provided you passed. Right now my employer will pay for the exam, and we can choose training for a particular cert as part of our annual training.
  • tedjamestedjames Scruffy-looking nerfherdr Posts: 1,054Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    My last agency wouldn't fork over a dime. However, my current agency actually budgets for training and certification. They'll buy the materials and pay for training. Then they'll reimburse for exam costs after we pass. No pass = no reimbursement. That's only fair.
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Posts: 6,842Mod Mod
    I've paid for every single cert except those bundled with SANS Work Study. Out of 6 Work Study I've paid 2 out of pocket, employers the rest. Current employer does reimburse maintenance fees/renewals.
  • stryder144stryder144 Posts: 1,592Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I pay for most of my training and certifications, plus study materials. Occasionally I have received vouchers or training materials/instruction. I also try to capitalize on free or reduced certifications, when possible. For instance, when Cisco advertised their CCNA Cyber Ops certification scholarship, I jumped at the chance.

    When it comes to company reimbursement, I try to be careful because one never knows when an opportunity will pop up for a different position elsewhere and I wouldn't want to miss out on any opportunities.
    The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position. ~ Leo Buscaglia

    Connect With Me || My Blog Site || Follow Me
  • november24november24 Posts: 66Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I have always paid for my own training. and what disappointed me, that we have an abandoned server, there is a layer of dust over it, it's been disconnected for a while, sitting in the corner, I asked my boss whether I could use it for practicing new technologies, and he replayed that we shouldn't use the office equipment for our private benefits. at the same time, I have a friend of mine who get paid for CBT Nuggets subscription + his company used to send him to Cisco live each year.
    That's why I've been an IT Support for more than 18 yearsicon_sad.gif
  • mzx380mzx380 ITIL, ACA, CCNA, Linux+, VCP-DCV, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM New YorkPosts: 453Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Add me to the "Pay for your own certs" club
    Certifications: ITIL, ACA, CCNA, Linux+, VCP-DCV, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM
    Currently Working On: Microsoft 70-761 (SQL Server)
  • nisti2nisti2 Posts: 485Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I always pay for my certs unless the company pays for the training and the cert exam.
    2019 Year goals:
    AWS Cloud Practitioner
    Willing to take: ITIL Foundation, 70-410
    "Certs... is all about IT certs!"
  • MagmadragoonMagmadragoon Posts: 172Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I never had a company pay for my certifications.
  • fitzlopezfitzlopez PCIP,CCNA CyberOps,CySA+,Pentest+,Linux+, CSSLP,CISSP-ISSMP,CISM,CEH,ITIL F,Cobit F,ISO27K F Posts: 80Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I've paid for my beta exams Cysa+ and Pentest+, paid for some books (CCNA SECFND and SECOPS, ISC2) and some AMFs. I'm also paying for my masters, my ACM membership and ITProTV. The safari books online is so good I'm thinking of axing ITproTV, don't have the time to use both. The rest of the certification exams have been payed by my employer, well I pay them and get reimbursed. One way I make it cheap for my employer is to try to do self study for all, no expensive bootcamps.

    I'm actually doing Comptia stuff because the AMF's are real cheap.

    I'd probably pay out of pocket for 1 new certification every 2 or 3 years at most, but the AMFs is what would kill me if I had to pay them all.
  • Dakinggamer87Dakinggamer87 Gaming Tech Expert Silicon Valley, CAPosts: 4,012Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Outside of my VMware certs I have paid for all of mine out of pocket. However, I have gotten a great ROI over the years alongside the knowledge. :)
    *Associate's of Applied Sciences degree in Information Technology-Network Systems Administration
    *Bachelor's of Science: Information Technology - Security, Master's of Science: Information Technology - Management
    Matthew 6:33 - "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need."

    Certs/Business Licenses In Progress: AWS Solutions Architect, Series 6, Series 63, GCP Architect
  • DZA_DZA_ Untitled. Posts: 393Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Unless my employer agrees and accepts to pays for my certifications, it comes out of my own pocket. If there is any dispute between my employer and I, I can always walk without being tied to a chain.
  • krucial85krucial85 CISSP, CISA, CEH, GCIA, GCIH, GCWN, GSEC, GSNA, CCNA CyberOPS, SSCP, SEC+, ITILV3 Austin, TexasPosts: 83Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    A few years ago I paid for 4 certifications back to back because I thought I was getting ready to transition from serving in the military. I did this because I was in a position that the military would not pay for my certifications and I knew that the only way that I could have a chance at getting back into IT was with certifications because my military job would only make me suitable for a job that valued my managerial and planning skills. Getting those first certs opened the door for me to move into a cybersecurity position within the military and continue serving. So for those who are serious about being in information security, I say, if you have to pay for your certifications, look at it as investment in yourself and you may even open a door like I did.
    "The way to succeed is never quit. That's it. But be really humble about it."
  • MitMMitM Posts: 592Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I have always paid for my own training materials. My employer does reimburse the cost of certification exams, when passed. A few exceptions, when I was a server engineer, they would not reimburse for my CCNA R&S and Data Center, since it wasn't "job related", at the time.
  • jwdk19jwdk19 Member Posts: 59Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Currently pay for my own. Company will only reimburse for degrees.

    In the past, a couple of my employers paid or reimbursed and a couple did not. So for me 50% were paid for by the employer and 50% were paid for by me.
  • geo8geo8 Posts: 5Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I have paid for certs on my own and never told my jealous colleagues about it.
  • backtrackerbacktracker MCSE CP&I, MCSA Server 2016, MCSA Windows 10, MCSA Server 2003, Security +, Network + Posts: 91Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    geo8 wrote: »
    I have paid for certs on my own and never told my jealous colleagues about it.


    I pay my own way and keep mum about it among peers in the workplace.
    MSM-ISS (Information System Security)-'07 Colorado Tech.
    MCSE | MCSA X3 | Security + | Network +
  • paul78paul78 Posts: 3,016Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    I pay my own way and keep mum about it among peers in the workplace.
    Ditto - to be honest, I've always been very private about my certifications. I've always paid for my own training and certifications. I do it mostly for my own self-gratification.
  • Info_Sec_WannabeInfo_Sec_Wannabe Senior Member Posts: 385Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    So far, I've been lucky enough that my employer pays for my certifications and AMFs although during the employment negotiation process, I was told that my employer will not shoulder these costs..
    Three year plan: (2018) CISSP [X] and eJPT [ ]; (2019) eCPPT [ ]; (2020) OSCP [ ]
  • Chris.Mackenzie01Chris.Mackenzie01 Posts: 36Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Everytime a employer has offered to pay for a course for me, there has been a min of a 12 month tie in. One employer wanted me to tie in for 5 years for the VCP course! If I left during these periods the course would be required to be paid back.

    Which doesn't work for me. I would rather fund it myself, then jump to another employer for a better wage/higher position with the newly established skill.
  • LordQarlynLordQarlyn Posts: 535Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Yep, I've always paid for my own training materials and exam preparation materials, especially during the time I was out of work. I paid for all my exams out of my pocket with the exception of two that were reimbursed by my employer. I keep hearing here about companies that are waiting checkbook in hand to train their employees, but in line with my usual run of bad luck, I never worked for one.
    Since continuing education and keeping up with the latest technological developments is key to being employable, I will continue to pay for my own training and certifications if my employer doesn't cover that.
  • Danielm7Danielm7 Posts: 2,268Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I've paid for most of my own, I recently got SANS work study covered because I told them I'm saving them so much money by doing the extra work.
  • malachi1612malachi1612 Senior Member SwitzerlandPosts: 424Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Everytime a employer has offered to pay for a course for me, there has been a min of a 12 month tie in. One employer wanted me to tie in for 5 years for the VCP course! If I left during these periods the course would be required to be paid back.

    Which doesn't work for me. I would rather fund it myself, then jump to another employer for a better wage/higher position with the newly established skill.

    This is the reason why I would rather pay for my own certs. ITIL was offered to me by my current work place so I did it as there wasn't any tie in. A+ was offered to me by previous employer which I was booked onto without asking me first (they did it while I was on holiday!). I did the course, not the exam but I left within the year and was asked to pay the fee. I told them no because they put me on a course I didn't want to go on. Never heard from them since.

    An ex work colleague told me, he always pays for his own certs as it shows the next employer he was willing to learn because he wanted to not because it was forced by the job. Obviously there are some cert which are expensive because you need the hardware you cant get at home but that's a different story.
    MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2016, ITIL Foundation, MCSA: Windows 10, MCP

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