When it comes to getting into IT, you generally have one of two paths, and neither one is wrong. Your first option is studying a formal IT degree. This opens up your career options to some extent afterward, as certain jobs require degrees in computer science or software engineering. Others choose to learn as they go, getting smaller jobs and working on their own to hone their knowledge, whether this leads to them opening their own business or working commercially for other businesses. The benefits here are more autonomy and no student loans to deal with—always nice. The thing about these is that whichever path you choose, you’re likely not alone. One of the best ways to stand apart is with certifications. Whether you want to work in managed IT service in Miami or plan on integrating tech knowledge into another field, certifications are a good way to increase potential job interest. There are more tangible benefits as well. Compare the salaries of IT professionals with those with certifications, and you’ll see having certain certifications correlates with more earning power.
The Benefit of Certifications
For many, a certification fills the same void as a computer science degree would. Basically, for any IT position, you need knowledge of certain things, and having the necessary credentials is a base guarantee to an employer that you have that necessary knowledge. In addition, going through the study and certification process may serve as a solid way to help you bone up on base concepts that you will need going into the future. On the other side of the coin, if you want to specialize more, these can help you in that area as well. There is no such thing as a bad certification—what you want is one that will be worth your time and help your career goals in a meaningful way.
What Certifications Are Useful Now
So, what certifications should you be looking at? There are many out there, but here are some of the most common that people undertake every year to improve their resumes and themselves.
CompTIA A+ Technician: This of this as a sort of starter-level certification, a beginning point for your IT career. A certified A+ technician is qualified to handle PCs, printers, laptops, mobile devices, and operating systems. Chances are that if you work in an office somewhere, your IT person has this certification or something similar. To qualify, you need to pass a multiple-choice and performance-based exam.
Network +: This is designed specifically for managing wireless networks. Many help desk technicians or IT specialists have this certification. One has to pass an exam on wired/wireless devices and technology.
Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP): This particular certification is recognized worldwide as showcasing the competence to handle security for an organization. You need to showcase the technical and managerial skills to handle security programs.
This is only scratching the surface. Look at the websites of industry professionals and organizations to see what current certifications are out there. As tech and trend changes, some become obsolete, so you want to make sure you are investing your time wisely.