IT certifications are a great way for an IT professional to begin their career and enhance their earning power. IT certifications are even valuable for existing IT professionals to hone their skills and get a raise. There are many different types of certifications available to professionals, and all of them come with their own unique benefits. Certifications can be difficult to get but they are ultimately worth it, and the more challenging certifications are worth more. If you’re now a student many certifications offer discounts, and if you are already employed many employers will cover the cost of certifications if they are related to your field. The main types of certifications are Microsoft, Cisco, and Comptia.
These certifications are issued by Microsoft and range from entry-level to expert-level. Certifications can be found for almost all of Microsoft’s products, and generally focus on a specific certification path such as desktop support or server administration. The most basic, entry-level Microsoft certifications can be obtained with only one test. These tests are usually not too challenging and usually present a good scope of the candidate’s current knowledge. For those who have worked closely with Microsoft products, these certifications usually will not present much difficulty.
Microsoft certifications are often sought by hiring managers for specific positions. They are usually requirements for these positions, especially for those who do not have experience or a formal education. Microsoft certifications are also sometimes seen as bonuses rather than as deciding factors. How seriously they are taken does depend on the hiring manager themselves. Because many people have become Microsoft certified without experience by studying online, some hiring managers are suspicious of these certifications today.
These certifications focus primarily on networking and routing with Cisco systems. There are multiple paths of certification to cover different focuses, such as telecommunications or security. Cisco certifications are highly valuable because they test working knowledge that cannot easily be duplicated by simply studying alone. Many networking positions require at least basic Cisco certification to even be considered for the position. Study courses for Cisco certifications are considered to adequately prepare many IT professionals for a future in networking and routing.
Cisco certifications get quite advanced and the highest levels of certification command a very high salary. Because of this, the Cisco exams are very rigorous. The entry-level Cisco exam can either be taken in parts or all at once, depending on the candidate’s preferred style of study. Since the Cisco exams focus on working knowledge many employers consider it quite highly.
Unlike Microsoft and Cisco certifications, Comptia certifications are not backed by any particular vendor. Comptia certifications instead focus on general skills and concepts. These certifications are especially useful for entry-level candidates that want to prove that they have the conceptual knowledge of specific skills such as networking and administration. Comptia certifications are seen in many job posts as alternatives to entry-level Microsoft and Cisco certifications.
Since Comptia is mostly conceptual and not vendor-based it can give professionals a better overview of these procedures. However, Comptia is only for entry-level candidates and they do not have professional level certification paths. This limits their usefulness in application. Since Comptia tests are entry-level, employers may not consider them as seriously as others.
The Value Of IT Certifications
Regardless of which certifications a professional decides to pursue, they will always be a net benefit to them while looking for a job and negotiating salary. Not only do certifications prove the professional has knowledge, but they can also be tie-breakers when facing other applicants of similar skill and education.
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.