IT Certifications provide value to employers
IT Certifications are more than just a piece of paper to frame and hang on the wall at your desk. By obtaining a certification, you validate your skills in a particular technology and demonstrate to employers that you can help them solve their technology problems or make better use of a technology in which they have invested.
IT certifications do not stand on their own, however. In order to provide true value to an employer or client you must have experience in whichever technology you are attempting to obtain a certification. I once interviewed an employment candidate who listed a Cisco certification on his resume. As part of the interview, we provided the candidate with a laptop, patch cable, and a Cisco router. Then we asked him to prove his technical prowess and log into the router and run a couple basic commands. His claim of holding a certification didn’t mean much when he had absolutely no idea now to connect the laptop to the router and log in.
Numerous IT certifications to choose from
If you have experience with a particular IT solution, there is a good chance that there is a certification for it. Almost all vendors provide training and have certifications or IT certification paths for their products. Certainly all of the “big” IT companies such as Microsoft, Cisco, Sun, and Redhat have IT certifications. The reason these companies have certifications is not for your benefit only. These companies understand that if they have a cadre of certified folks out in the field, they also have proponents for their solutions.
For example, if I hold the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) certification, it is in my best interest if my client or employer uses and therefore purchases Microsoft technologies. Some certifications also have continuing education requirements and therefore ensure software vendors a continuing training revenue stream by mandating that certified professionals return for periodic (and sometimes costly) training.
IT certifications are domain specific too
In addition to being vendor specific, there are IT certifications that are domain specific as well. By domain specific, I mean that IT certifications are available in hardware, software, technical support, networking, security, programming, infrastructure, virtual computing, project management and so on. These are more general categories or silos of computing that may include certifications from numerous vendors.
There are a number of factors that go into selecting the “right” certification for you including your experience and interests as well as industry supply and demand. Industry supply and demand helps drive another important factor that you will want to consider in your quest for IT certification: which IT certification will help you obtain the best salary. From a supply and demand perspective, this typically equates to the more difficult to obtain certifications. There is a demand for the certification, but there are fewer people in the market who have been able to achieve the certification. In order to obtain their services, employers or clients have no choice but to pay a premium.
The purpose of this website is to help you explore the numerous IT certifications that are available and to help you decide if one of them is right for you. Whether you choose a vendor certification, non-vendor certification or a more general domain certification, there are IT certifications that will help you achieve your career goals.