Have you ever thought about a career in IT or the tech industry? IT professionals get an average annual pay of about $48,851, which pans out to about $3,476 per month. Top earners can make up to $86,034 every year, which is more than enough to sustain you and your family.
Of course, you can’t just waltz into a tech firm and demand to be a data security analyst. You’ll need the right credentials to land an IT career, especially with the industry leaders. The million-dollar question thus becomes, what are these certifications I need for a tech industry career?
An excellent question, and we have all the answers you need.
Cisco Certified Technician (CCT)
This certification premises on the cisco system and other networking devices. It’s a comprehensive certification that highlights your ability to diagnose, repair and restore a Cisco system and other network systems. With CCT, you can choose to either specialize in data center or routing and switching.
The routing and switching certification is essential for on-site data center solutions and is ideal for technical support staff. Key areas of focus include switches, operating environments, and support of Cisco routers. Before sitting for the certification exam, you must sit a course called Supporting Cisco Routing and Network Switching Devices
CCT data center, on the other hand, is more geared towards field support engineers specializing in Cisco data center devices and system software. It’s a comprehensive program that covers Cisco Unified Compounding Systems and teaches its support and maintenance.
To get the certification, you’ll have to complete a Supporting Cisco Data Center System Devices course. This course covers aspects of IT and Cisco, including:
- Replacement of equipment
- Component models and cabling
- Data center networking basics
- Recognizing Cisco UCS interfaces
CCT Data Center has more content than CCCT Routing and Switching and is more marketable. However, acquiring one of the two is enough to get you a decent career in the IT industry.
CompTIA IT Fundamentals+
CompTIA Fundamentals + or simply ITF+ is a great beginner certification that proves you have the basics of IT down pat. If you plan to switch careers to IT or are only starting your IT journey, ITF+ should get you up to speed with the basics.
ITF+ gives you a glimpse of what it’s like to work in the field and sharpens your knowledge and understanding of IT basics. Before receiving your ITF+ certification, you must sit an exam that tests computer terminology, software development, network, among others topics.
Microsoft Technology Associate
Microsoft technology associate or MTA is an entry-level certification for those looking to kick start their IT careers. It covers most of the IT basics including:
- Software development
- Infrastructure and HTML programming
Unlike other certifications, MTA needs no prerequisites and is instead a foundation block for other certifications. Pursuing this certification will have you ready for jobs like:
- Junior auditor IT
- Systems administrator
- Network administrator
- Security administrator
You can think of MTA as an aggregation of two different courses, namely, HTML5 App Development Fundamentals and Software Development Fundamentals. Candidates are required to pass both before they receive the certification.
Certified Ethical Hacker
Certified Ethical Hacker or CEH is another novice computer certification that could be worth your time. The program only takes forty hours and a total of five weeks to complete. It’s a great program to take up in your free time and a building block for further studies in IT.
The purpose of CEH is to show potential employers that you’re well versed in identifying loopholes and vulnerabilities in computer systems. The program teaches individuals to think like hackers so they can seal all data and network vulnerabilities in a business’s IT setup.
CEH is in high demand, given the proliferation of data breaches in the country. In fact, the average company spends around $8.19 million on data breaches. It might be a good idea to get on the company’s payroll.
IT4IT is another entry-level IT course that teaches participants how to handle and manage IT infrastructure in enterprises. The course only takes two days but gives a comprehensive explanation on how to:
- Select and implement tools for enterprise architecture
- Adopt the service broker model
- Become agile and efficient in IT
IT4IT is among the most beneficial enterprise architect certifications for anyone looking to venture into enterprise IT. If this describes you, give IT4IT a whirl.
Comp TIA Security+
Computer security is a huge concern for businesses large and small. Comp TIA Security+ is an excellent entry-level certification etched in security. After completion of the program, you may be qualified to do the following jobs:
- Junior IT Auditor
- Security consultant
- Security engineer
- Security administrator
- System administrator
- Network administrator
This certification shows that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to configure devices, networks and applications with robust security. The certification exam contains topics like cryptography, risk management, access management, design and risk management.
Apple Certified Associate
Apple Certified Associate or ACA is an online certification that you can take from the comfort of your study. As the name suggests, ACA focuses on Mac devices, specifically Macs or MacBooks. It helps Mac users integrate into the traditional IT environment where Windows dominate.
This is one of the easiest certifications you could opt for to jump-start your tech career. The coursebook is a 50-page pdf that you can get free from Apple’s training website. Plus, the entire thing only costs $65.
Linux Essentials Professional Development Certification
If you want to stand out from the pack, you should consider taking a Linux Essentials Professional Development Certification or PDC. This certification will give you everything you need to know about the Linux operating system. Linux is an open-source operating system in the same category as Windows and Macintosh.
PDC builds up from the basics of Linux down to the intricate areas like the componential Linux tools. The certification costs about $85, but you’ll need basic computer knowledge to enroll.
The Tech Industry Awaits
The above certifications should get you well on your way to a thriving career in information technology or the tech industry. However, remember, only a proper institution can give you a certification worth its value in the real world.
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