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”.
Career Building Certifications
ISTQB Certified Tester, Foundation Level (CTFL)
In partnership with the International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB®) this is a comprehensive software testing programme. Candidates will follow defined learning objectives as defined in the syllabus to remember, understand, apply and analyse the basic concepts of software testing.
Who is this aimed at?
Principally aimed at anyone involved in software testing, it will also be of interest to project managers, quality managers, business analysts and IT directors or management consultants.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.
PRINCE2® (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) is a process-based approach for project management providing an easily tailored and scalable method for the management of all types of projects. The method is the de-facto standard for project management in the UK and is practiced worldwide.
The continued international development of PRINCE2 examinations, training and course material is contributing significantly to the recognition of PRINCE2 as a truly international standard. More and more people are having the opportunity to benefit from the training courses and certifications that are available worldwide.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.