Information Technology (IT) is the backbone of modern business systems. Not only does it have to perform well, but it also has to perform correctly and securely with as little interruption as possible. A lot of responsibility is entrusted to IT professionals that can affect the people and productivity of an entire organization, so potential employers need to know these professionals have the skills and determination to do their job right in a real-world workplace setting. As a result, IT certifications have been developed to provide an objective means to measure competency in practical applications as opposed to simply book knowledge.
In addition to establishing some general practice standards to facilitate employment, certification programs often include a lot of hands-on training with equipment in scenarios likely to be seen in the workplace. This can be a very valuable supplement to formal education that is attractive to employers, and in some cases, a career path can be started with certification alone if one doesn’t have a degree. Even in cases where it might not be required for employment, having a relevant certification provides an edge over other candidates who don’t.
There are many different options for certification. Some programs are provided by technology vendors such as Microsoft, Cisco or VMware in order to develop specialized competency with particular applications and hardware. Other programs are administered by vendor-neutral organizations such as CompTIA or the Project Management Institute. Although the latter programs often include familiarity with specific contemporary products that are likely to be encountered, the knowledge and practical skills conveyed will be more versatile and generally applicable to the technology field as a whole. Additionally, there are also programs that deal with the unique needs of certain industries such as healthcare or network security.
As with any specialized professional skill set, IT certification courses can be demanding in terms of time, focus and money to complete, so it is wise to be strategic in your choices. The importance of researching all the options available to you goes without saying, but a good general strategy is to start with a desirable vendor-neutral program that will be appealing to a diversity of employers. If you know you want to work within a specific sector of industry, then you can also look at applicable programs that will benefit your resume there, but don’t limit yourself too much.
Things can evolve very quickly in the technology field, so the best investments are usually the ones that enable you to confidently adapt and grow with it. Once you have established a skill set that will be of broad appeal to many employers, you can then consider more focused offerings that may make you more valuable in your particular area if you feel it would be beneficial to do so. However, the pursuit of IT certifications should be approached as more than just a hurdle to overcome to please employers and taken seriously as meaningful investment you can make that will give you more capability and satisfaction in your career.
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.