10 Certifications to Improve Your IT Career
By Sam Grier
one-step-at-a-time IT is constantly changing as new technologies are implemented. Certifications are one way IT professionals can keep up with current trends in IT technology, build their IT resume and open new doors of opportunity.
Which certifications are right for you depends on your career path. A certification in your current line of work will certify your skills and increase your value in your present position. If you are looking to move into other areas of IT a certification can give you the skills and knowledge you need to make the jump.
Certifications should be looked at for what they can do for you now and in the future. If you look at your career plan as a road map a certification is just one stop on the way to your next destination. If you do not already have a career plan read “How To Develop Your IT Career Plan and Why You Should Do It”.
10 Career Building Certifications
Below in no particular order are 10 certifications that can certify and improve your present skills and add valuable stops on your IT career path.
ITIL V3 Foundation Certificate in IT Service Management
ITIL v3 is a best practice framework for IT Service Management that is being adopted by IT departments around the world. There are four levels of ITIL V3 certification. The Foundation certificate is the entry-level certification that shows general knowledge of the key parts of ITIL V3. ITIL V3 certifications are most useful to managers and leadership.
For more information on ITIL V3 certifications visit the ITIL website.
CCA – Cisco Certified Architect
Cisco offers a range of certifications from entry-level to master. The Cisco Certified Architect is the highest accreditation achievable within the Cisco Career Certification program. This certification is intended for experienced Cisco network professionals and puts a large gold star on your resume.
For more information about CCA visit the Cisco Certified Architect website.
MCTS – Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist
MCTS offers a variety of certifications you can specialize in. MCTS certifications prove your ability to successfully implement, build on, troubleshoot, and debug a particular Microsoft technology, such as a Windows operating system, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SQL Server, and Microsoft Visual Studio.
For more information about MCTS certifications visit the Microsoft MCTS website.
Network security will always be an important part of IT. The CompTIA Security+ certification is an international, vendor-neutral certification that proves competency in system security, network infrastructure, access control and organizational security.
Although not required, it is recommended that you have at least two years of technical networking experience, with an emphasis on security.
For more information visit the CompTIA Security+ website.
VCP – VMware Certified Professional
Virtualization is a hot topic in IT and will continue to grow in the future. The VMware Certified Professional Program is designed for people who want to show their ability in virtual infrastructure and increase the potential for career advancement.
For more information visit the VMware Certified Professional on vSphere 4 website.
PMP – Project Management Professional
Since so much of what IT does today is project related a Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institute is a valuable certification for project managers. The PMP certification shows you have demonstrated the knowledge and skills in leading and directing project teams and in delivering project results within the constraints of schedule, budget and resources.
For more information on PMP certification visit the PMI PMP website.
CompTIA Strata Green IT
CompTIA’s Strata Green IT certificate is designed to improve an IT professional’s experience, knowledge, and existing IT credentials to incorporate emerging technologies shaping the global green IT industry today.
This is one of CompTIA’s newest certification programs. It is designed to show that a candidate is schooled in power management as well as virtualization techniques. The certification also includes training on developing and calculating ROI for green IT initiatives and knowledge of environmentally sound waste disposal techniques.
For more information visit the CompTIA Strata Green IT website.
CCNA – Cisco Certified Network Associate
CCNA has become the standard for network and IT professionals who work in network related areas. Cisco Certified Network Associate prove your ability to install, configure, use, and troubleshoot route and switched networks, including implementation and verification of connections to remote sites in a WAN.
For more information about CCNA certification visit the CCNA Certification website.
MCITP – Microsoft Certified IT Professional
Microsoft Certified IT Professional certifications are Microsoft’s newest lineup of specialized certifications. Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) certification enables IT professionals to show comprehensive skills in planning, deploying, supporting, maintaining, and optimizing IT infrastructures.
For more information about Microsoft Certified IT Professional certification visit the MCITP website.
MCPD – Microsoft Certified Professional Developer
For those who create and support the software solutions in IT the Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) credential certifies a comprehensive set of skills that are necessary to deploy, build, optimize, and manage applications successfully by using Microsoft Visual Studio and the Microsoft .NET Framework.