Behind The Charts

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While vendor-Specific certifications dominate the list of the 15 most important certifications in this year’s study, vendor-neutral certifications head up the list of the 14 fastest-rising certifications, indicating change may be on the way.

How did the CRN Certification Study determine these lists? The study, now in its fourth year, is a two-part survey designed to first ascertain the most prominent certifications in the channel and then to dig deeper into their characteristics.

In the first part, or pretest, the study polled 200 solution providers, randomly selected from CRN’s subscriber base, asking them to rate the importance of 81 certifications to their business operations--both currently and over the next six to 12 months. The certifications included 65 vendor-specific certifications and 16 vendor-neutral certifications.

The 15 most important certifications were those receiving the highest rating for their importance over the next six to 12 months. The 14 fastest-rising certifications were those that showed the greatest percentage change between their rating for current importance and their importance over the coming year.

In the second part, conducted from March through June, the study polled a much larger group of solution providers on a detailed set of questions about the 15 most important certifications, covering return on investment, whether ROI has been increasing or decreasing, amount of new business being generated by employees with each certification and the level of pay solution providers were willing to give them, among other questions.

The questions were directed to either managers or technicians--and in some cases both--depending on the question involved. Each of the 15 certifications was surveyed individually, and the respondent was required to hold the certification being polled.

In addition to the 15 most important certifications, the same series of questions was directed to a separate set of eight vendors to broaden the coverage of the study. The vendors included Check Point Software Technologies, Citrix Systems, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Nortel Networks, Novell, Sun Microsystems and Symantec.

CRN received 1,606 responses for the 15 most important certifications and 2,461 responses for all certifications.

 Published for the Week Of August 30, 2004

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