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Why You Need an IT Certification

Information Technology IT certifications educate and validate a professional's specialized competency. There are hundreds of certifications available through independent organizations and vendors.

Information Technology IT certifications are designed to educate and objectively validate an IT professional's specialized competency in targeted areas of information technology. IT certifications can be obtained through education, hands-on experience, and an assessment of a specific set of knowledge skills, and they are typically vendor-specific in the IT field.

Why You Need an IT Certification Checklist

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What are Information Technology IT Certifications?

Today there are hundreds of IT certifications available through a combination of independent organizations and IT vendors, including Adobe, Amazon, Cisco, Citrix, CompTIA, Dell EMC, HPE, Microsoft, Oracle, Red Hat, VMware and more.

The requirements and fees associated with IT certifications vary widely, as IT certification exams can range anywhere from $100 to $1,000 or more, and preparing for the exams can span from limited self-studying in advance of taking the exam to much more extensive (and in some cases, expensive) pre-exam training.

Webopedia has compiled a list of 65 computer and IT-related certifications that can be pursued by those looking to pursue a new job in the IT field and/or augment their skill sets in their current position.

IT Certification Definition

Why You Need an IT Certification

Information Technology IT Certifications serve to provide credibility for those seeking a career in an IT field. By being accredited by a reputable organization, those that have attained one or more IT Certifications tend to stand out from the crowd and be considered more likely to be successful in their positions.

Combined with specific work experience, IT certifications communicate to hiring managers, firms, and enterprises that a candidate possesses the skills and competence to handle the expectations and demands of specific information technology jobs.

IT Certifications also help those in the IT field stay current on developing trends in information technology while improving their skillsets. Information technology certifications can also be valuable in helping employees who are seeking a promotion or put themselves in consideration for other higher-level positions in similar IT fields.

Attaining an IT certification can also result in a boost to an employee’s current salary. According to a recent survey from Global Knowledge, annual salaries for IT professionals are on average $8,400 higher for those who hold one or more IT certifications.

What Are the Best IT Certifications to Start My Career?

If you're just starting out in information technology, there are numerous IT Certifications you can pursue to get you started and jumpstart your IT career. Rasmussen University recently compiled a list of several of the best Information Technology IT certifications for those looking for an entry-level IT position.

Those seeking to start their IT career in the networking field will want to consider Cisco’s $295 Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification to help in securing a network engineer, network administrator or systems admin position.

Another in-demand entry-level IT certification for network admins, systems administrators, and systems engineers is the $150 Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) certification.

And those looking to begin their career in an IT support or technology specialist role will want to consider the $200 CompTIA A+ Technician certification or the $285 Network+ certification.

Which IT Certifications Matter the Most Today?

In terms of which Information Technology IT Certifications are the most important to pursue, it's important to keep abreast of where information technology is headed and which specializations are projected to have the most growth in the forthcoming years.

Certifications that focus in these areas of growth tend to be considered higher in-demand IT certifications by enterprises and may help prospective employees land a position in a high-growth IT field.

As a result, the top "in-demand IT certifications" span the range of certifications that cover the traditional basics of networking and operating system management to those that focus more on emerging trends like governance, risk, and compliance, cloud, data centers, containerization, and IT security.

Some of the most in-demand information technology IT certifications right now include:

  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)
  • CompTIA Network+
  • CompTIA A+ Technician
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)
  • ITIL v3 Foundation
  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
  • Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
  • VMware Certified Professional 6 – Data Center Virtualization (VCP6-DCV)
  • Citrix Certified Professional – Virtualization (CCP-V)

How Do I Earn an IT Certification?

Each IT certification involves different steps and requirements to successfully achieve the certification, but in general, the process for earning an IT certification involves:

  1. Researching and pursuing the information technology IT certification(s) that are most likely to help you earn a position or promotion in your desired IT field.
  2. Purchase and/or download textbooks, manuals, and other self-study resources to help you learn and train for the requirements of the exam. Enrolling in instructor-led training may be required or encouraged as well.
  3. Register, practice for, and complete the certification exam. This may require multiple attempts in some cases.
  4. Earn your certification and add it to your professional title on business cards, your resume, and professional networking sites like LinkedIn.
  5. Pursue that promotion or new career track with confidence and ensure your salary reflects your increased market value!

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