IT certification is a designation that demonstrates a specific skill in a certain area of technology. Some are very general and perfect for beginners (like CompTIA Network+ and Security+) and some require years of real work experience before you can sit them down, like the ITIL® Master.
To obtain an IT certification, you will normally take a training course and pass a test or exam which will prove that you meet the rigorous standards of the governing body. Some certifications require case studies and even panel presentations…but there are plenty of great resources to help you succeed.
IT certifications can provide beginner, intermediate, or advanced level training and credentials.
Professionals can pursue certifications to enter the IT field, change roles, or advance their careers.
Credentials can showcase a professional’s expertise with a specific vendor’s technology, which can be extremely valuable to employers using these systems.
They also show determination and a desire for personal and professional improvement. Today, skilled IT professionals are in high demand and benefit from remote work opportunities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 13% growth for all computer occupations between 2020 and 2030. The computer and information technology sector pays a median annual salary of $91 250 going up to $ 210 000
Throughout this page, you explore the value of IT certifications and examine some of the top credentials for entry-level and experienced IT professionals, as well as the certifications with the highest earning potential.
What is the difference between degrees and certifications and in information technology?
Although they may have similar results, IT certifications and degrees have significant differences.
Unlike highly targeted and accelerated certifications, degrees combine general education and basic training over periods of 2 to 4 years. Many information technology degrees offer specialization options and courses such as fundamentals of information systems, business network design, and cybersecurity.
IT Certification Cost
The cost of an IT certification varies. Some platforms offer monthly fees, like Coursera, which charges between $29 and $99. New participants can benefit from a free trial period.
Most certifications have exam fees between $99 and $999. These credentials often allow candidates to study on their own for free, although paid study materials or instructor-led courses are usually available.
Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate
This certification prepares professionals to manage an organization’s cloud infrastructure and resources. it demonstrates skills in implementing and managing Microsoft Azure environments. Applicants should have at least six months of experience using Microsoft Azure and related systems.
IBM Cybersecurity Analyst Professional Certificate
Designed for cybersecurity analysts, this certification prepares professionals to protect data and endpoints, collect security data, and leverage open source tools. Certificate holders learn to identify database vulnerabilities, prevent malware attacks, and detect and manage cyber threats. No prior experience is required.
Google IT Support
Designed to prepare graduates for entry-level IT support positions, this certificate equips participants with skills in troubleshooting, debugging, and installing programs. The training covers Linux, domain name systems and cloud computing. No prior experience is required.
Google IT Automation with Python
This certificate teaches aspiring IT support specialists how to write a Python script that automates IT solutions and administrative tasks. The training also covers Git, GitHub, IT asset management, troubleshooting and debugging. No prior experience is required.
Cisco Certified Network Associate
Developed for future IT and networking professionals, this certification provides participants with knowledge of Cisco networking components, IP services, and security. Candidates often have experience with Cisco solutions and knowledge of networking fundamentals and IP addressing.
Cisco Certified Network Professional (Enterprise)
This certification prepares professionals to take on roles dedicated to enterprise networking technologies. The core training and exam equip learners to handle dual-stack architecture, network assurance, and security.
Concentrations are available in advanced routing, wireless networks, and automation. There are no prerequisites, but many candidates possess between 3-5 years of experience with enterprise networking solutions.
Google Certified Professional Data Engineer
Created to recognize data engineering expertise, this certification acknowledges professionals who can design, build, and manage data processing systems. The credential focuses on machine learning models, compliance, and security. Google recommends that test-takers possess at least three years of professional experience and one year of experience with Google Cloud.
AWS Certified Solution Architect (Associate)
This certification confirms the skills of professionals in AWS cloud systems and solutions. Recommends that candidates have at least one year of experience using AWS technologies.
CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional)
Awarded to IT professionals who can design and manage effective cybersecurity programs, this certification covers risk management, architecture and engineering, assessment and testing, and software development. Certification requirements include a minimum of five years of experience in at least two CISSP areas.
Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect
This certification recognizes professionals who provide business solutions using Google Cloud technologies. The exam covers cloud solution design and planning, security, reliability, and management. Google recommends that professionals have at least three years of industry experience and one year of Google Cloud experience before testing.
VCP-DCV (VMware Certified Professional – Data Center Virtualization)
This certification demonstrates an understanding of vSphere infrastructure best practices, implementation, and management skills. Accredited professionals can install, configure, troubleshoot and secure the virtualization platform.
PMP (Project Management Professional)
Designed for experienced project managers, this certification recognizes professionals with skills using predictive, agile and hybrid management methodologies. Certified professionals demonstrate expertise in planning, controlling and closing projects. To be eligible, professionals need a four-year degree and three years of management experience or 60 months of management experience.
What are the best IT certificates to get?
The best IT certifications depend on the candidate’s career goals. Many employers rank certain certifications above others based on their usefulness to the organization, such as those that provide relevant vendor- and system-specific training.
Can you get an IT job with just certifications?
Yes. Professionals with an IT certification as their only relevant education can access some entry-level IT careers.
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