Do your employers pay for your certifications?

Horse434Horse434 Member Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
I've been at my current job for just about five years now (systems administrator). My employer will not provide any money for certifications, which means I have none at this point in time. Are the certifications valuable enough that I should pay for them out of pocket? I only make $16.50/hour so paying for the exam fees and books is possible, but hard to do financially.

Thanks
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Comments

  • msteinhilbermsteinhilber Member Posts: 1,480 ■■■■■■■■□□
    My employer will cover the exam costs upon a successful pass, I am responsible for any and all materials used for training (in most cases, there have been some exceptions). I feel fortunate enough to have the exam costs covered, I know a lot of people who do not get any of their expenses covered. By all means invest the money if you can, it's certainly worthwhile but just don't get discourage if a handful of certifications doesn't provide you with instant results as far as better job opportunities is concerned - they are only a small part of getting your foot in the door for a new job.
  • tpatt100tpatt100 Member Posts: 2,989 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Horse434 wrote: »
    I've been at my current job for just about five years now (systems administrator). My employer will not provide any money for certifications, which means I have none at this point in time. Are the certifications valuable enough that I should pay for them out of pocket? I only make $16.50/hour so paying for the exam fees and books is possible, but hard to do financially.

    Thanks

    I worked in a home improvement store making 6.50 an hour before I got into IT. You better believe it that I studied my a$$ off for my A+ and MCP NT Workstation exam. Of course my employer did not pay for my tests because IT does not cross over into selling tools very well.

    If you do take tests and your employer does not cover them make sure you save your receipts for everything like books, practice tests, the exam itself. You can deduct them from your taxes at the end of the year.

    My first employer did cover my tests, they sent me to bootcamps every few weeks for a year or so and paid for my MCSE, MCSA, CCNA,CCA but this was due to new government regulations requiring certs so they went nuts sending me to training.

    My next job paid for a few training classes and a couple of certs.

    My third job paid crap, they even required the Security+ and did not even pay me back, I was like "meh" what ever I will make it back anyways at my next job.

    I paid for my CISSP twice and books out of my own pocket.

    My new job pays for my books but they become part of the lab "library" plus they pay for training and tests. I was asked what training I would like this Spring but I cannot make up my mind. I kind of want to figure out what makes up the bulk of my job first.
  • vColevCole Member Posts: 1,574
    My employer pays for my certifications - as long as I take a class for it.

    They also reimburse for my degree:

    100% - A's
    75% - B's
    50% - C's

    100% books/supplies reimbursement :)
  • kalebkspkalebksp Member Posts: 1,033 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I could probably convince my employer to pay for classes, but I dislike classes so I don't take advantage of that. They don't care about certifications, so I doubt they'd want to pay for them. I get 100% of my college tuition reimbursed, that's plenty as far as I'm concerned.
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    We get a training budget that can be used for training, exam fees, etc. I usually exceed it and pay for whatever else out-of-pocket because I don't want to wait for the next year.
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,090
    Will work pay for anything? College Tuition or Tuition reimbursement? Do you get "paid time off" to attend "industry events" (if you're in/near a major city)?

    Take what you can get from your current employer -- and if it isn't much (um, I made more than you in my first IT job over 20 years ago) then it may be time to start planning to move on to a better job.

    If you don't get spiffy benefits like paid training, access to books, cbts, paid certifications, etc -- then you need to invest in yourself. Get a degree if you don't have one. Get certifications that reflect your current experience. Get certifications that will make you gain the knowledge and skills you'll need/want for your next (dream) job. Get a job that pays more and has better benefits.
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • Horse434Horse434 Member Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Wow sounds like you all work for some nice employers! I'm finishing my bachelors degree now and my employer wont reimburse for any part of it.
  • Horse434Horse434 Member Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    mikej412 wrote: »
    Will work pay for anything? College Tuition or Tuition reimbursement? Do you get "paid time off" to attend "industry events" (if you're in/near a major city)?

    Take what you can get from your current employer -- and if it isn't much (um, I made more than you in my first IT job over 20 years ago) then it may be time to start planning to move on to a better job.

    If you don't get spiffy benefits like paid training, access to books, cbts, paid certifications, etc -- then you need to invest in yourself. Get a degree if you don't have one. Get certifications that reflect your current experience. Get certifications that will make you gain the knowledge and skills you'll need/want for your next (dream) job. Get a job that pays more and has better benefits.

    Thanks for the response. I'm finishing my bachelors degree now and I am paying for it out of pocket, so that's where the majority of my money goes each month. Most IT jobs around where I live pay $12-$18 per hour and you need 10+ years of experience to get the $50,000k+ jobs.
  • Paul BozPaul Boz Member Posts: 2,621 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Dynamik and I get $4k per year for training. Sup SANS courses icon_cool.gif
    CCNP | CCIP | CCDP | CCNA, CCDA
    CCNA Security | GSEC |GCFW | GCIH | GCIA
    [email protected]
    http://twitter.com/paul_bosworth
    Blog: http://www.infosiege.net/
  • t3ch_gurut3ch_guru Member Posts: 166
    My employers pays for any certification as long as I pass the exams. They do not cover books which is no biggy. I am going to try to get them to pay for my MBA.
    Knowledge is Power.
  • 120nm4n120nm4n Member Posts: 116
    My company pays for as many books / certs as we want. They will only pay for a test once though, so I really miss those second shots. icon_sad.gif
    WIP: MCITP: EA
    70-620 - Done
    70-647 - In Progress
    70-649 - Soon.
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,171 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I get paid training when we're implementing something new (such as vSphere), or if I am needed to take over someone else's job (such as SAN administration). If I pass a cert on my own, they'll pay for the test, but any materials/training that I am allowed are not centered around passing any certification.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • down77down77 Member Posts: 1,009
    No paid training and no reimbursement. They recently cut the educational reimbursement citing economic reasons, even though we are on the way to a record breaking year for profit.

    Previous position paid up to $5000 for approved courses and certification. Additionally they paid 90% of the state rate for college courses where an A or B was obtained and 75% for a C. Unfortunately they faced a high number of layoffs due to cuts in the budget or most of us would have stayed there.
    CCIE Sec: Starting Nov 11
  • bwcartybwcarty Member Posts: 422 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I've had one class covered by my employer in 9 years, and that's my VMware I&C class. I paid out of pocket to take the VCP exam, and when management found out, they told me to submit a reimbursement request.

    I have paid out of pocket for all of my other exams and study materials - CBT Nuggets, Transcender, books, etc. It's expensive, but I end up claiming them as deductions on my taxes.

    If you haven't finished your bachelor's degree, look into Western Governors University. Tuition is about $3000/semester, and the IT program covers many industry certs. You can apply for federal financial aid, student loans, etc., so it doesn't have to come out of pocket.

    The pace is generally up to you, and you get decent study materials and exam vouchers included with your tuition. I enrolled in August so that I can finally wrap up my BS, and I've completed CIW Foundations, CIW JavaScript, and both A+ exams so far. I'm about to take my MS 70-293 exam, and by the end of the semester, I should have Network+ and 1-2 other certs covered.
    Help eradicate blood cancers with a donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
  • unsupportedunsupported Member Posts: 192
    My employer pays for my certifications pass or fail.. even retakes. I also get reimbursed for any books I want to purchase that are not all ready available via our subscription to Books24x7. I get college tuition as long as I get the grades. We technically get a week of training a year, but not the money to support it. A lot of horse trading and pooling of money goes on to get people real training. We also are a Cisco Gold partner and get free Cisco materials and test fees as long as we pinky swear to get higher level certs... uhm, I also think we just got a deal for certain Microsoft training, but if we have all ready used our training time we have to use vacation time to complete it. There are also really weak courses available through a CBT training provider, it is something and I've used it when I started my Network and Security + just to see what I am getting into. Also, travel and lodging is paid for if the training is not in our current location. I'm going to SANS training in December. Woo...

    But then again, I work for a really really large company.
    -un

    “We build our computer (systems) the way we build our cities: over time, without a plan, on top of ruins” - Ellen Ullman
  • Tin_ManTin_Man Member Posts: 77 ■■□□□□□□□□
    My current employer reimburses me only if I pass. They cover the cost of the exam itself, none of the training material.
    WIP: 70-647 (5%)
  • phoeneousphoeneous Go ping yourself... Member Posts: 2,333 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Horse434 wrote: »
    I've been at my current job for just about five years now (systems administrator). My employer will not provide any money for certifications, which means I have none at this point in time. Are the certifications valuable enough that I should pay for them out of pocket? I only make $16.50/hour so paying for the exam fees and books is possible, but hard to do financially.

    Thanks

    You've been a sysadmin for 5 years and you're only making $16.50/hr? Yikes!
  • tpatt100tpatt100 Member Posts: 2,989 ■■■■■■■■□□
    phoeneous wrote: »
    You've been a sysadmin for 5 years and you're only making $16.50/hr? Yikes!

    Might be a small network? But yeah I was making that on the helpdesk when I started out.
  • mav2005mav2005 Member Posts: 8 ■□□□□□□□□□
    phoeneous wrote: »
    You've been a sysadmin for 5 years and you're only making $16.50/hr? Yikes!

    IT in my area just doesn't pay much. A systems administrator for the county government only makes about $20 to $24 per hour.
  • rsuttonrsutton Member Posts: 1,029 ■■■■■□□□□□
    My employer bought me a 10 year subscription to a company that provides me books & practice tests for as many tests as I want. I have been paying for the tests out of my own pocket however.
  • Bl8ckr0uterBl8ckr0uter Inactive Imported Users Posts: 5,031 ■■■■■■■■□□
    They pay for certain certs. Cisco, juniper, bluecoat, Avaya, Checkpoint, Red Hat, CISSP, and Microsoft are payed for (as far as you get money back when you pass). IT quality certs (ITIL, Six Sigma) are paid for. Comptia, LPIC, CWNA/SP and others are not paid for at all.

    At first this made me want to change my cert plans but then I came to the conclusion (with the help of my wife) that I gotta do me. So I still am going to CCNA and CCNA:S (and get 1000 dollars for it) and I am going to do Security+ and Linux+ (and get nothing).
  • Hyper-MeHyper-Me Banned Posts: 2,059
    My employer sent me to an official MS course "upgrading your 2003 active directory skills to 2008" which was ok, but courses for actual certs would have been better.

    Employers not covering the cost of certs is NO excuse not to get them. I've achieved about 6 certs in the past few months, all on my own dime. Although I do dig around to find discounts/vouchers when I can.
  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Member Posts: 2,008
    About a year and a half ago we got a new IT director who was big on everyone getting certified. He gave everyone a 2-year time line to get certified based on your job title. It wasn't said explicitly, but it definitely was implied that people who didn't get certified weren't going to have jobs when the 2 years were up. The dept paid for an all-access subscription to CBT Nuggets. One year in, the money for the training was pulled. Of course you still have to be certified, they just won't pay for the training now...
    Currently reading:
    IPSec VPN Design 44%
    Mastering VMWare vSphere 5​ 42.8%
  • Hyper-MeHyper-Me Banned Posts: 2,059
    I'll be going into the network design degree at WGU with an AAS in Networking, the MCITP: EA, and likely Project+.

    If it takes me more than 2 semesters (1 year) at MOST, ill be upset.
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,171 ■■■■■■■■■□
    mav2005 wrote: »
    IT in my area just doesn't pay much. A systems administrator for the county government only makes about $20 to $24 per hour.

    Around here, county government doesn't pay squat regardless of what is going on in the private sector. Not sure if it's like that everywhere.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • GAngelGAngel Member Posts: 708
    "As long as it's related to my job duties"

    Which means yes I can pretty well take whatever I want...And it helps to set the budget.
  • skrpuneskrpune Member Posts: 1,409
    up until recently, it was a flat out no...now they're considering sponsoring training and development, and certs are falling under that category. Waiting to hear if I get two free certs next year...
    Currently Studying For: Nothing (cert-wise, anyway)
    Next Up: Security+, 291?

    Enrolled in Masters program: CS 2011 expected completion
  • tenroutenrou Member Posts: 108
    My previous employer paid for 3 of my exams. It was reasonably generous of them but they only really paid because they wanted partnership status which they failed to get.

    I've paid for another 10 or so this year out of my own pocket. It does get mighty expensive but it's made me pretty mercenary about my roles at the momment. Having the certs, plus a Masters Degree and now a few years good experience under my belt has meant I get a pretty good response rate to jobs. I'm trying to pick ones that will benefit me most in the long run. I plan on hitting SQL and prince 2 next, I recon it'll start to become a task just to maintain them after that.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,101 Mod
    If we pass the exam, they reimburse exam's cost.

    We have big library at work, so we usually use it for exams. If we insist on requesting a new studying material, they buy it.

    We get free trainings because we're business partners with most vendors...


    I doubt they sponsor expensive certifications like CCIE or RHCE though...let's see :)
    Goal: MBA, Jan 2021
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