ITIL Experts to Update Their Resumes

Mart RoversGet this! Being ITIL Foundation certified pays more than being ITIL Expert certified…!

Knowledge United published on February 11, 2014 a salary survey with the top paying certifications for 2014. An ITIL Foundation certified individual on average makes $97,682 per year. When possessing an ITIL Expert certificate however one makes on average $96,194…

Not a dramatic difference, but what is the takeaway from this? Are ITIL Experts better off updating their resumes going forward and make sure to reference their Foundation certificate?

As with every survey, one always needs to be careful regarding drawing conclusions. On the other hand, why isn’t there a significant difference between both certifications salary-wise? Wouldn’t that be the logical thing to expect? Is it because the majority who responded, are ITIL Expert certified and are therefore also ITIL Foundation certified and relatively few respondents are only ITIL Foundation certified?

This may seem a reasonable conclusion. However, about 3% of those holding an ITIL Foundation certificate progress and become an ITIL Expert. You would think that a decent number of participants of the survey belong to this 97% portion.

Something still doesn’t seem right. Let’s assume it is not a typo. And let’s assume that the participants of the survey were evenly spread between the 3% being Expert certified and the 97% being Foundation certified. What does that mean for the ITIL Experts? And what does that mean for the ITIL Expert certificate itself, or for the courses leading up to this certificate?

Not knowing all the details, but on the surface it looks like the market doesn’t really value the ITIL Expert certificate from a financial point of view. Maybe organizations still don’t know enough about the value such individual can bring to the table? Or organizations are not experiencing enough added-value to financially reward what ITIL Experts are actually contributing to the (IT) organization? Or is it because the bar has been lowered to become an Expert? Or maybe it is a combination of all this and more?

At this point, we don’t have the answers. Question is will somebody bother to find the answer? Or even better, who will bother doing something to turn this around?

When looking for value-add ITSM certification, feel free to Ask-the-Experts of the Arizona ITSM Professionals.


Mart Rovers has over 30 years of experience in IT and has been consulting and training in IT Service Management and Information Security Management since 1992. He currently serves as the President of InterProm USA, ITSM Manager and of the ISO/IEC 20000 Special Interest Group. Mart is a certified ISO/IEC 20000 and ISO/IEC 27001 Internal Auditor and ISO/IEC 20000 Executive Consultant/Manager (Master). He holds the ITIL® v3 Expert certification is a prISM Fellow. He has led dozens of organizations towards becoming ISO/IEC 20000 and ISO/IEC 27001 certified and is an accredited instructor for ISO/IEC 20000, ISO/IEC 27001, COBIT and ITIL certification training courses. Mart received his MBA degree in Information Analysis and holds BS degrees in Mathematics and in Marketing. He authored and co-authored more than a dozens of IT Service Management and IT Management books.

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