In the increasingly competitive world of Information Technology (IT), it is important to seize any advantage you can to boost your qualifications, visibility, and attractiveness to potential employers. One good and relatively easy way to do this is to obtain computer certifications from major computer companies like Microsoft, Cisco and CompTIA. Taking the time to obtain one or more of these certifications will not only show that you are serious about your career, but it will also show a potential employer just what you have learned and can bring to his or her company.
What are Computer Certifications?
Computer (or IT) certifications are offered from a variety of leading computer companies. Most offer more than one type of certification in specialties like systems engineering, computer security, and systems administration.
Microsoft offers three levels of IT certification: Microsoft Technology Associate, Microsoft Technology Solutions Associate, and Microsoft Technology Solutions Expert. Although there is no prerequisite for any of the courses, it is recommended that they be taken in order.
Cisco Systems offers 28 different certifications in five levels: Entry, Associate, Professional, Expert, and Architect. Areas of concentration include cloud storage, routing and switching, security, and collaboration.
CompTIA offers 15 different certifications in four levels: Basic, Professional, Master, and Specialty. Areas of concentration include basic IT fundamentals, networks, cloud storage, servers, and cloud essentials.
Why IT Certifications are Important to Employers.
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Certifications are important for a variety of reasons. Here are just a few things certifications do to assist employers:
- Provide a standard of knowledge. One of the chief benefits of IT certifications is that they give the employer a good idea of the candidate’s range of knowledge. This can sometimes be difficult without such certifications, since different companies offer different exposure to IT products and skills. A certification ensures the employer that the candidate has been trained on a variety of equipment and has a variety of skills.
- Help justify promotions and raises. In a larger company where managers need to carefully document and back up their human resource decisions, an IT certification can be a tangible reason for choosing one employee over another.
- Reduce in-house training costs. When employees get IT certifications from Cisco and similar companies, it reduces the need for extensive in-house training programs, thus saving the company money.
- Eliminate downtime for training. In addition to saving money on training, hiring an employee with one or more IT certifications reduces the need to have employees away from their jobs for training. This improves efficiency and lessens the need for overtime or outside labor.
- Expose employees to new technology. Graduates of IT certification programs are among the first to learn about new IT products and technology. By hiring IT-certified employees, your IT department can take advantage of all that is new and exciting in the IT arena.
- Show employee commitment. Another advantage of hiring someone with an IT certification is the knowledge that they cared enough about their professional development to spend the time, money, and effort necessary to obtain the certification. If an employer has two candidates who are otherwise equal, this factor alone may tip the scale in favor of the candidate with the certification.
If you are wondering if taking the time and money to obtain one or more IT certifications is really worth the effort, keep in mind that employers are increasingly looking for employees who have initiative and experience. Holding one or more IT certifications can assure him or her that you are serious about your career.
With computer technology continuing to show no signs of slowing down, it is more important than ever for companies to have the right IT professionals on hand to troubleshoot problems, oversee networks, manage security, and more.
If you are a strong problem solver interested in computers and you are looking to get started in a rewarding career, then getting professional career training — including industry-recognized IT certifications like CompTIA A+ — could be an excellent opportunity. For more information, contact Northeast Technical Institute at 1-800-447-1151 or request information online at ntinow.edu.