With the advent of fast-evolving digital technology, among the top concerns for most employers is a growing skills gap. The IT space has not been left out of this. While attention may sometimes go to the technical aspects, the service management element is equally important. This is why there is a shift in skills acquisition, and professionals are now taking up the ITIL Foundation Certification to bridge the skills gap.
This scenario is well-illustrated by three critical observations.
- The International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity, in its 2016 report, revealed that at least 40% of employers are finding it hard to spot the skills they need in potential employees due to a growing skills gap.
- The advancing technology is disrupting all aspects of businesses, and the human resource element has not been left out. The rise of AI, IoT, and robotics, among other technologies, has brought about automation and in effect, a paradigm shift in the industry. New opportunities are now emerging for different skill sets.
- Learning comes top of the 2019 Global Human Capital Trends as a way of tackling the skills gap. In considering employment options, an opportunity to learn is among the top factors considered by individuals seeking employment. Work and learning are now inseparable aspects of the workplace.
Why is upskilling important for professionals?
Today, 46% of employers look at upskilling as the solution to the skills-gap crisis, which worries at least 79% of them. Upskilling is where an employer facilitates the employees to learn new skills and extend their capabilities to fit into the changing demands of the job market. This helps an organization to retain its workforce rather than take the restructuring and recruiting option, which is often costly in many aspects. Integrating learning into an organization’s development goals needs to be seen as a strategy in the future.
To professionals, upskilling:
- It is a way of preparing for the future. To effectively implement an upskilling strategy for its workforce, an organization needs first to anticipate skills that will be important in the future, identifying the employees to learn the skills, and empowering them to acquire these skills. An employee who grasps an opportunity to upskill will have positioned themselves to fit into future skills demand.
- Upskilling opens up an individual for employment opportunities. Organizations are on the lookout for talent. Upskilling is an indication that a professional is keen on development and not oblivious to the changing times. Secondly, acquiring a range of skills, particularly those that are on-demand like machine learning, robotics, digital marketing, and more, makes one versatile and more marketable.
- Upskilling lets one off the redundancy hook. It is clear that in no time, skills that were once highly valued will become obsolete as newer ones emerge. Keeping skills updated is a way of keeping up with the demand for new skills and staying relevant in the job market.
- Boosted morale and increased fulfillment. Upskilling is a way of breaking the monotony of always doing one thing. It makes one versatile, safer in terms of job security, relevant in the industry, and ultimately the fulfillment that comes with having a chance to shape a career path.
Information Technology Infrastructure Library
Referred to in brief as ITIL, Information Technology Infrastructure Library is a set of IT practices and guidelines that inform the delivery of services in the sector across the globe. These practices have been outlined in 5 volumes, each with several modules that touch on various aspects of service management, including:
- Service strategy
- Service design
- Service transition
- Service operation
- Continual service improvement
ITIL aims to help businesses operate on standard service management processes while delivering consistent and predictable services to end-users. This offers the advantages of:
- Reduced cost of and shorter service development and deployment time
- Anticipatable IT costs
- ITIL has been adopted by large and small organizations and businesses across the world
- Better and more productive linking of service management and customer satisfaction
- Improved overall service management
- Consistent service delivery and a better approach to risk preparedness and mitigation
The ITIL Certification
The ITIL certification exam is intended for individuals. There are 5 ITIL certifications in order from the:
- ITIL Foundation certification
- ITIL Practitioner certification
- ITIL Intermediate certification
- ITIL Expert certification
- ITIL Master certification
It is important to point out that the master level has no certification exam. Individuals are, instead, examined through written assignments and oral interviews throughout the modules.
While ITIL is owned by AXELOS, examinations and accreditations are administered and certifications issued by accredited examination institutes (EIs). On the other hand, training is offered by accredited training organizations (ATOs) spread out across the globe.
ITIL exams are evaluated using the credit system. From the foundation level to the expert level, one is required to have earned a total of 22 credits to pass the ITIL expert certification examination.
10 Reasons Why You Should Consider an ITIL Certification
As we have seen from the introduction, ITIL is more of a set of best practices and a service management framework rather than `expertise. Unlike other certifications, acquiring an ITIL certification means that one is conversant with its framework for effective adoption and compliance purposes.
Here are 10 benefits of an ITIL certification
- It shows that you are not only keen on the best practices in services management but are also equipped with the knowledge and understanding needed to transform and bring value to IT services.
- Certification makes you a valuable resource that an organization would count on when shifting to and implementing ITIL practices.
- ITIL practices are customer-focused. While you may not gain any core IT skills, you will still gain customer relations, process management, planning, and collaboration skills, among others.
- ITIL is recognized globally. It has been adopted by both small and large organizations. A certification opens you up to the job, networking, and career development opportunities in the IT service management field.
- There is a level of confidence that can only be achieved by gaining a working knowledge. Acquiring a certification means that you have a grasp on the service management framework. Having a good understanding does not only give you the confidence of delivering quality but also expands your skillset to service support, which is good for the final consumer and ultimately for business.
- ITIL is the basis for growth, establishment, and standardization of service management processes and procedures. This is because it focuses on the value of service through factors like productivity, quality, resource management, and efficiency.
- ITIL is compatible with other business frameworks to which gives way for the growth of the business as a whole.
- As an ITIL certified professional, you will be an agent of quality service, customer satisfaction, as well as building a proactive culture in the business. This is because you will be in a position to anticipate failures and loopholes in service processes.
- With an ITIL certification, you will be looked upon to raise the profile of the business to international standards and give it a competitive edge.
- Adopting ITIL in your capacity has an implication on cost. Anticipating, planning, budgeting, and evaluating the cost of service management becomes less complicated and transparent exercise.
ITIL certification is not only good for the individual but also for the organization he will be working for and the IT world at large. However, a journey into this exciting career path starts with a decision to enroll for a course in a credible training organization and the motivation to grow from the foundation to the masters level.