Based on standardized testing, an IT certification is a recognized benchmark correlated to a particular skill set. By obtaining a certification, you demonstrate your commitment, motivation, and technical skills.
Having a continuous hunger for knowledge is crucial to building a successful, growing company. Even though continuing education and certification programs require time and resources, they can serve to recognize your specialized knowledge or skill set, which can help you land certain clients and projects.
Why Do You Need IT Certifications?
One must consider the direction they intend to go when pursuing education in information technology. Several paths are available and in order to stay on track, you might need to obtain certain certifications.
IT certifications are not exactly required to pursue a career in IT, but they certainly are helpful. Certifications offer many benefits including higher starting salaries, improving skills, and enhancing resumes, which is why so many IT professionals pursue certifications.
What Is an IT Certification?
IT certifications confirm an individual’s competence or even expertise in a particular field of technology. You can earn more than one certification, and they can only be obtained after a series of reviews, training, and tests.
Information technology certifications are not easy to obtain and require a thorough understanding of the curriculum presented, which is why employers value them when they see them on a resume.
It has been argued for decades whether certifications or experience are more important; however, even though experience can certainly add value, it takes time to accumulate, which many people lack, especially at the start of their careers in IT.
It is for this reason that certifications are often a beneficial way for budding professionals to prove their competence. In addition to getting certified, there are several other benefits. We will discuss them in detail below.
What Are Some of the Most Common IT Certifications?
There are a number of IT-related certifications available, but there are some that are more extensively discussed throughout the industry and have become well-recognized standards.
1. Microsoft Office Certifications
These certifications aren’t directly IT-related, but they are useful for a variety of applications, including information technology.
Three Microsoft Office certifications exist: Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS), MOS Expert, and MOS Master. Each test is designed to demonstrate proficiency in the use of at least one of the five main Office tools: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and Outlook.
2. Cisco Certifications
The official certifications offered by Cisco, a well-known American tech company, can boost a professional’s career in many ways. There are five different paths available through Cisco certifications, making them a popular way of proving skills in the IT industry.
Cisco offers certification paths that include:
- Cisco Entry
- Cisco Associate
- Cisco Professional
- Cisco Expert
- Cisco Architect
3. CompTIA Certifications
CompTIA is a Chicago-based trade organization. Besides being highly reputable in the IT industry, the organization is a non-profit, which means it is not biased. They aim to primarily train specialists and professionals within the IT industry, and part of the way they do this is through certifications.
CompTIA offers a variety of certifications, including:
- CompTIA Security+
- IT Fundamentals+
- CompTIA A+
- CompTIA Network+
- Cybersecurity Specific Certifications
- Infrastructure Specific Certifications
Top Benefits of IT Certifications
In case you’re considering getting an IT certification, here are 11 benefits you should keep in mind.
1. Certification Develop a Competitive Advantage
When you have training that doesn’t exist among your competitors, you have an edge. With a certification, you can stand out from other professionals in your field, demonstrating your commitment to understanding and excelling in what you do.
You can gain an advantage, which is especially important in today’s market. Keep up with the latest trends and learn how to use the latest software or social media platform before it becomes a household name.
2. Certification Can Boost Efficiency
Certifications in IT can also help you to build a solid business foundation for your independent business. Through advanced training, information, and knowledge gained from specialized coursework, you can gain access to up-to-date tools and technical strategies that will help guide and direct your execution of projects, allowing you to manage all aspects of your work more effectively.
3. Certification Increases Your Earning Potential
An IT certification often leads to an increase in income after the time and effort are invested. The vast majority of clients are willing to pay more for consultants with industry certifications because they understand the higher costs associated with specialized training.
4. Certification Enhances Your Knowledge and Skills
By acquiring new industry information and techniques, you can improve your work habits and become more efficient while increasing your proficiency. By doing so, you can gain the skills and confidence to try out new things, for example, implementing a more sophisticated working environment for your consultancy.
5. Certification Builds Professional Credibility
Increasingly, companies, nonprofits, and government agencies prefer (or even require) to work with independent consultants who have earned certain certifications from recognized programs. It demonstrates your commitment to superior professionalism, maintaining industry standards, and continuing education.
You can use these merits to build your professional credibility and reputation within your own network, with existing clients, or when seeking out new business opportunities or bidding on projects.
6. Professional Certifications Help Candidates Stand Out to Hiring Managers
We all know how tough it is to find a job in information technology. The competition can be intense.
When hiring managers review your resume, having an IT certification that aligns with the job you’re seeking gives you an advantage.
Certifications can actually qualify you for the job. Some organizations in both the public and private sectors require professionals to be certified and to maintain their certifications. Candidates who do not meet the baseline requirements would have a much more difficult time getting hired.
At the very least, your resume may get a second look if you have a certification. Sometimes, that’s all you need.
7. Management Will Respect You More If You Have Certifications
You will gain more respect within your organization if your managers know you have certifications rather than just experience with a particular technology. You will be recognized for your knowledge, and you will be respected more for your ideas.
Several certifications, including Microsoft certifications, have different levels that can show management you have progressed in your field. Those who are new to technology should take the MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate) certification. It proves your familiarity with basic technology concepts.
MCSA (Microsoft Solutions Associate) certifications demonstrate you have the core technical skills needed for an IT career. Also, MCSE (Microsoft Solutions Expert – for IT professionals) and MCSD (Microsoft Solutions Developer – for developers) are more advanced certifications that demonstrate your proficiency in building solutions with multiple technologies.
8. Stakeholders Are Often Interested in Whether an Organization Has Developed a Certification
Certifications from Microsoft, for example, can demonstrate to your clients that you understand their proprietary systems. Such certifications establish standards for competence for Microsoft products. Products that are not proprietary, such as those that are open source, often lack certification. It creates an impression that the product is continually being developed, making certifications very beneficial for companies with nonproprietary products that wish to demonstrate they have reached a certain level.
9. Certifications Show Your Willingness To Engage in Lifelong Learning
Even though you may have received your computing degree or diploma years ago, you need to take continuing education courses and receive certifications in order to show your manager and potential employers you are still learning. To keep knowledge and skills current, many certifications need to be renewed every two to three years. By holding a current certification credential, you demonstrate that you possess up-to-date knowledge and skills.
10. Certifications Ensure Thorough Learning
Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to write final exams in school? Would you have gone over everything you were taught to make sure you understood everything? Possibly, but maybe not as thoroughly as if you had a final exam. Certification exams do exactly that: they make you go back and make sure that you’ve mastered everything, and they prove to others that you’ve done this as well
11. Certifications Do Assist You Get Ahead
Certifications can help you advance your career, whether it’s a mid-career switch to a new company or a promotion with your current employer. This not only increases your chances of being hired and earning more, but also demonstrates your willingness to engage in lifelong learning.
Many certifications can provide you with many advantages during your career, which makes them a worthwhile investment. Keeping your certifications up-to-date will enable you to continue to reap these benefits as your business evolves. Additionally, make sure that your certifications are publicized on your website, marketplace profile, and LinkedIn profile.
The article points out that further developing your IT skills and knowledge has many benefits, but in the end, you have to decide what is best for you and what will best advance your career.
What is your opinion on achieving an IT certification? Don’t worry if you are still undecided. You can earn an IT certification at any point during your career in information technology.
ExamPirate is a website where you can prepare for IT certification exams by practicing questions and answers. You will learn what type of questions you will encounter in the real exam. So what are you waiting for? Become IT Certified today and boost your career and earnings. Practice different IT Certification sample questions and answers in order to pass the exam in a single attempt.