If you happen to be a professional working in the Information Technology (IT) industry, you would be aware of the intensely competitive nature of the industry and the constant need it imposes on an IT professional to upgrade skill sets as technology evolves. You may have felt the need to conquer a new technology or upgrade your existing skill set or just to see where you stand among your peers. If this is the case, it is time to explore the advantages that acquiring an IT certification can provide.
Many vendors and third party bodies offer IT certification. Choosing the right IT certification would depend on what your current line of work is. Whether you plan to build on your existing skills or strike out a radically different course professionally, you have to make a decision on the type of certifications. You may opt for a certification provided by vendors like Microsoft, Oracle or Cisco or go in for certification by professional bodies like CompTIA.
Here are seven most sought-after IT certifications in no particular order:
– CompTIA Security+ – This is a certification for IT professionals with at least two-years of industry experience. It is not vendor-specific and is a test of the professional’s knowledge of the fundamentals of security.
-Cisco CCIE/CCNA – This is a certification provided by Cisco Systems for networking professionals. The CCIE is a comprehensive certification for experts, and the CCNA is meant to improve the skills of those with some experience.
-CompTIA A+ – This is tailored for validating the expertise in hardware and can be a valuable certification for computer-related maintenance and support professionals.
-Microsoft MCITP – MCITP stands for Microsoft Certified IT Professional and is a prestigious one meant for professionals in database, enterprise and server administration. This new certification offered by Microsoft assesses an individual’s capability in meeting the demands of common job roles in the IT industry.
-Microsoft MCSE/MCSA – MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) and MCSA (Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator) are two of the earliest certifications offered by Microsoft that still command respect in the industry. Both certifications demand a certain level of experience and involve a number of grueling examinations.
-Microsoft MCA – MCA (Microsoft Certified Architect) is a certification open to professionals who have a minimum of three years of experience on advanced IT architecture. This is a peer-evaluated certification and is awarded to very few of the aspirants. Obtaining this is considered an achievement in itself and is rated highly in the industry.
-RHCE/RHCA – With the proliferation of Linux based systems, there is a great demand for certified Linux professionals and RHCE (Red Hat Certified Engineer) and RHCA (Red Hat Certified Administrator) are two certifications awarded by Red Hat Inc.; one of the prominent distributors of Linux Operating Systems.