Organizations depend on effective IT systems to succeed. From ecommerce websites like Amazon to government agencies, the path to an organization’s success starts by aligning IT services with business strategy. Today’s IT departments aren’t just about maintaining internet and computing capabilities—now they must prove themselves capable of generating ROI. As corporate IT’s importance skyrockets, so does the need to manage it.

Adopting IT Service Management (ITSM) is one way companies are both controlling and capitalizing on the incredible transformation that “Third Platform” cloud computing, big data, mobile and social technologies bring to the digital business landscape.

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With its focus on aligning IT services with business goals, ITIL® (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) is the most widely used ITSM framework in the world. Major companies like Microsoft, IBM, Boeing, Target, Pfizer and Citibank have already benefited from the successful implementation of ITIL.

When it comes to finding employees, however, a skills gap poses a major challenge to recruitment efforts. According to the National Federation of Independent Business, in the first-quarter 2017, nearly half of small businesses reported that they were unable to find qualified IT applicants to fill job openings.

Online education aimed at certification (for candidates or current employees) is a practical and effective way to meet the growing demand for IT service and support managers, project managers and directors.

Closing the Skills Gap with Online Training

By the year 2020, the U.S. IT market is estimated to grow to over $350 billion dollars (up from $300 billion in 2016). As the market grows for IT, so does the demand for skilled IT professionals. Employment of computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow faster than other occupations at about 12 percent from 2014 to 2024, from about 3.9 million jobs to 4.4 million jobs.

As numerous as these jobs are, however, they require IT professionals with the right knowledge to fill them. In a survey of executives by Forbes, skills shortages are the greatest challenge to effectively aligning IT to match business needs. Employers that offer ITIL certification training courses simultaneously address the skills gap and strengthen recruitment efforts in a competitive market.

Career Benefits of ITIL Certification

Certifications help IT professionals keep up with current trends in technology and stay competitive in the job market. Coming prepared to a job interview with an ITIL certification is an excellent way to gain an edge over candidates armed only with experience. The profession pays well, too. IT professionals in the U.S. who pass the ITIL exam earn an average starting salary of $103,408, and according to ITSMWatch, the average likely salary offer for ITIL certified candidates about 10 to 12 percent higher than for uncertified candidates.

As integral as ITSM is to IT initiatives like cloud computing and big data, training programs that prepare working professionals for certification are experiencing higher enrollment. Using a blend of virtual lectures led by industry experts and self-paced learning content, online education provides an effective approach to upskilling IT workers.

Learning providers such as Simplilearn offer an interactive and practical way for students to learn from real-world case studies, quizzes, and virtual lectures. Since ITIL certification focuses on the intersection of IT and business, these courses prepare modern IT professionals to effectively deliver relevant IT services to end-users.

The Demand for ITSM Continues to Grow

As more companies realize the effectiveness of IT system management, the need for IT professionals versed in the ITIL framework will only increase. In a 2017 survey by Forbes, more than half of surveyed executives indicated that ITSM is either “extremely important” or close to extremely important to their organization’s efforts in cloud and mobile computing.5

Adoption of these third platform technologies will continue to grow at an exponential rate. For example, in 2018 half of all worldwide spending on software, server and storage will go toward public cloud services.

As organizations struggle to keep their IT departments staffed with employees who understand ITSM, upskilling current employees is an effective option. For individuals, becoming certified in ITIL increases personal marketability and the chances of landing a well-paid job in a growth industry.

Refer to our ‘Pocket Guide to the ITIL 2011 Foundation Certification’ ebook to learn more about the ITIL Certification.

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