As information technology continues its rapid advancements, with new products being brought to market requiring new skill sets from IT professionals, one way to gain knowledge of and acknowledgement for knowing a new program is to become certified with that program. With hundreds of IT certifications available, however, which ones are worth pursuing and which are an unnecessary investment in time and money for a student?
IT Certification Fact Versus Myth
It's a fact that certain IT certifications will not only improve your resume but will also likely boost your potential income level. It is a myth, however, that an IT certification can take the place of a traditional college degree in Computer Science. Most certifications are add-ons to the needed college credential.
It's a fact that employers looking to hire an IT technician or engineer will give weight to certain certifications held by a candidate but it's a myth that just any old certification will do. The right certification is a personal matter; it depends on a candidate’s unique interests, area of expertise, work environment and career goals.
According to experts in the industry, the most coveted certifications currently include:
- Those from Microsoft, including Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), Certified TechnologySpecialist (MCTS) and Certified IT Professional (MCITP)
- CompTIACertifications, including: A+, Network+, Security+ and Linux+
- Cisco Certifications, including CCNA (Certified Network Associate) and CCNP (Certified Network Professional)
Offices where the tech equipment comes primarily from one single vendor may be best off with an IT professional certified within that single brand, such as Microsoft. It is a myth, however, that most offices fall in this category, which means the most desirable IT candidate will be one who is well-rounded. It's also important to remember that a certification plus real world, hands-on job experience provide the best of both worlds for future employers looking at hiring new IT professionals.