With conference season in full swing, IT pros will be happy to know that sitting through educational conference sessions can actually have a positive impact on their salary, according to new data from ITPro and Data Center Knowledge.

The IT Professionals 2017 Salary Report finds that IT pros that avail themselves of training opportunities – including attending education conference sessions – are seeing salary increases, but that roadblocks exist in helping them finance these opportunities.

Attending education conference sessions, leadership and management skills training, and training for certification/recertification all have a positive impact on salary for IT pros. Seventeen percent of respondents said technical skills-related training has had the most significant positive impact on their salary.

Interestingly, despite the fact that new skill development and new certifications were drivers behind 2017 salary increases, 72 percent of respondents said they had not renewed nor completed certifications in the past 12 months.

According to the survey, certifications can have a significant impact on opportunity for advancement outside of an organization (27 percent); improve effectiveness in a current role (26 percent); and can provide opportunity for advancement within an organization (23 percent).

The biggest roadblocks to getting training are demanding workloads (39 percent), lack of training budget (36 percent), and lack of management support (18 percent). Because of these challenges, more than one-third of respondents said they pay for their training out of pocket.

While there are challenges to finding the budget and time for training and certifications, it is an investment that gets results when it comes to salary increases. As new technologies require new skills, being the IT pro with a specialized skillset in an organization could pay off not just in 2018, but in the years to come.

Want to know what skills are paying off for your IT pro peers? Download the report today.