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What is an ITIL Certification Really Worth?

Author: Michael Scarborough 22 March 2013 4,113 views One Comment

leaderlaptopIn order to assess the value of ITIL certifications to individuals and organizations, a survey was created and targeted to individuals who have earned various ITIL certifications. The purpose of the survey was to assess both the tangible and intangible value of these certifications, and it focused on various ITIL Intermediate certifications and ITIL Expert. The value of ITIL Foundation was not assessed because that is a basic, common, entry-level certification.

The value of ITIL Master was not assessed because it is a new certification that is relatively unknown in the market at the time of this survey. The survey consisted of five questions. The survey was sent to 117 people known to have earned at least one ITIL intermediate certification. Many of the respondents have earned multiple ITIL certifications, including ITIL Expert.

Overall, the survey was designed to be simple, easily completed within a few minutes, and aimed towards identifying whether or not there was some benefit of ITIL certifications to individuals and organizations.

Survey Responses

Question 1

The first question provided a list of the nine ITIL Intermediate certifications and ITIL Expert and asked respondents to pick the certifications that they have earned. Respondents could select multiple responses to this question:

  • ITIL Expert: 75%
  • Release, Control, and Validation: 75%
  • Service Offerings and Agreements: 68%
  • Operational Support and Analysis: 68%
  • Planning, Protection, and Optimization: 55%
  • Service Operation: 51%
  • Service Transition: 51%
  • Service Design: 51%
  • Service Strategy: 48%
  • Continual Service Improvement: 48%

ITIL Expert

This showed that many of the respondents had earned multiple ITIL intermediate certifications. A surprising finding is that more respondents had earned the capability certifications. That was a surprise because the classes for the capability certifications cover five days, requiring a longer time commitment from the individual to earn the credential.

Question 2

How has the knowledge and experience you gained in pursuit of intermediate and advanced ITIL certifications impacted your career?

Possible responses to the second question are listed below. Respondents could select multiple responses to this question.

  • Improved my marketability with respect to others in the job market: 76%
  • Improved my ability to compete with others in the job market: 58%
  • Qualified me for a specific role in an organization: 53%
  • Developed specific beneficial knowledge and expertise: 71%
  • Resulted in direct application to work activities and projects: 76%
  • No impact: 0%

The responses to question two showed that ITIL certifications have had a dramatic impact on individuals. The specific value statements will be discussed in The Value of ITIL Certifications to Individuals section.

Question 3

How has the knowledge and experience you gained in pursuit of intermediate and advanced ITIL certifications impacted your employers?

Possible responses to the third question included the following, and respondents could select multiple responses to this question.

  • Resulted in improved efficiency (cost and time savings): 47%
  • Resulted in improved effectiveness (focus on correct activities): 59%
  • Improved overall organizational quality: 41%
  • Improved alignment with the business: 53%
  • Improved the perception of IT within the business: 35%
  • Allowed the organization to pursue additional work or contracts: 35%
  • Provided a form of overall risk management: 24%
  • Directly addressed one or more specific issues, projects, or activities: 47%
  • No impact: 0%

The responses to question three showed that ITIL certification has a strong impact on organizations and overall value from a standpoint of contribution to various organizational goals and objectives. The responses to this question will be further discussed in The Value of ITIL Certifications to Organizations section.

Question 4

Were the costs (time and money) associated with intermediate and advanced ITIL certification worth it?

The fourth survey question asked a “yes” or “no” question; respondents were allowed to select only one answer to this question. Responses to the fourth question, regarding the value in time and money spent earning certifications were unanimously ‘yes.”

Question 5

What specific organization improvements have occurred due to your pursuit of intermediate and advanced ITIL certifications?

The response to question five was free-form, allowing respondents to enter specific information relevant to their experience with ITIL certifications. Responses to the fifth question were diverse and varied. Selected responses from this question will be discussed in The Specific Organizational Improvements section in a later post.

Reproduced from Global Knowledge White Paper: The Value of ITIL® Certification

Related Courses
ITIL Foundation Courses
ITIL Intermediate Courses
ITIL Expert Program

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One Comment »

  • CMHStudies said:

    Hi Michael, great insight into the benefit of the intermediate and expert level certifications.

    You noted the preference for the Capability path. I also find that interesting and would like to see additional research in this trend. Any plans for that?

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