Information technology (IT) may be the most certification laden field a person can enter. With so many IT certifications available, how does an aspiring IT professional choose the best ones for career advancement? It depends on the both where the candidate is and where he/she wants to go. |
For the entry level IT professional, CompTIA provides several basic certifications that provide a good foundation for a career or for more advanced certifications. CompTIA offers twenty vendor neutral certifications, but there are three that build a solid foundation for the aspiring IT professional. They are:
A+: The A+ certification covers installing and maintaining PC desktops, laptops and peripherals. Passing the A+ exams demonstrates knowledge of hardware, operating systems and how to configure them for general use - including basic networking.
Network+: Today most businesses - and many homes - have computer networks. Network plus certification shows proficiency in the skills needed to install and maintain networks, including knowledge of the OSI networking model, virtual networks, and basic network security. CompTIA A+ certification is recommended, but not required, as a prerequisite.
Security+: This certification covers all aspects of IT security, from applications security to cryptography. To pass this test requires computer and network vulnerabilities, regulatory and standards compliance and access control. CompTIA Network+ certification and two years experience is recommended, but not required.
Cisco is the premier provider of network hardware at the enterprise level. They offer several networking certifications that qualify the candidate to manage Cisco networking equipment. Here are two:
CCNA: Cisco Certified Network Associate is an entry level certification - for people already working in the network engineering field. It certifies the ability to install and maintain routed and switched networks. One to three years in the field are required to earn this certification.
CCIE: The Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert is an elite certification with worldwide recognition. There are no prerequisites, but three to five years of experience in the network engineering field. To earn the certificate candidates first take a two hour written exam. If they pass the written exam candidates may schedule the lab exam.
Microsoft certifications come in families, like the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) and Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional (MCITP) certifications. Both are umbrella designations with at least six sub-categories. The more certifications you get in a group, the more options you have when talking to potential employers. For the MCSE, here are some of the sub-categories:
Private Cloud Computing
Data Platform and more.
For the MCITP:
Microsoft SQL Server
Microsoft Exchange Server, and others.
Microsoft is still the most common computer in almost any business, so it is hard to go wrong with either the MCSE or the MCITP.
Another Desirable Certification
Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification is a high level network/business security certification. The test covers ten domains, and five years experience in at least two of them are a prerequisite for taking the test. CISSP's may hold jobs as consultants, Chief Information Security Officer, or Security Auditor, to name a few.
For persons interested in a career in IT, certifications are proof of competence. IT certifications expand job options and give potential employers a reason to take a second look. Knowledge Center Inc is a leading provider of information technology training courses.Computer training programs offered include CompTIA, Cisco,ITIL, CISSP, ISO20000 & Microsoft certification courses.Computer certification classes are held at KCI computer training center located at Ashburn, VA.
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