For every IT applications and job function, there is a certification you have to pursue. While some professionals assume all certifications are valuable to forwarding their career, that is not the case. Certain certifications are in high demand and require a lot of energy to earn, while others resemble a pay-to-play model where almost anyone can pass. Before making an investment into a certification, it is important to identify which will actually be worth the time and expense associated with their acquisition. To help you determine which may be right for you, here are some tips about IT certifications and employability.
While formal education asserts that you were introduced to specific skills and concepts, certifications require you to put that knowledge to work. It is the difference between theoretical and practical applications of what you have learned.
If a position heavily relies on being able to complete tasks associated with a certification, obtaining the certification shows you have the capacity to meet the needs of the job. Many certifications focus on technology from individual vendors, such as Microsoft and Cisco certifications. Those offered by CompTIA often affirm you have key abilities in regards to working with technology regardless of vendor preferences.
Rarely will a person pursue a certification without having a level of commitment to the field. The associated classes and examinations often require a financial and time investment. Since these investments are personal, few decide to get involved unless they have serious plans to continue a career in that area.
Additionally, higher-level certifications can be challenging to obtain, and you may need to be recertified at specific intervals. It isn’t uncommon for those seeking certification to have to make multiple attempts to become certified in the first place, and continuing education efforts or recertification exams can be just as challenging as becoming certified initially.
It is important to realize not all certifications are treated as equals. Some can be obtained with a short class and some studying, while others require years of experience to get the knowledge needed to pass and you may have to pay to join a professional organization before you are given the opportunity to pay for the exam.
Just because you have a certification does not necessarily make you more employable if you happen to choose the wrong one. To determine which certifications are worth the time and money, it is important to understand which are considered qualifications for the jobs you would like to have.
Review job postings for positions you hope to have in the future and see what they require. Some postings will specifically state which certifications are necessary, while others simply list experience areas that are critical. When you see the same certifications listed as required across multiple openings, you can begin to determine the value of that certification to your career. Similarly, when certain knowledge areas are repeatedly requested, a certification in those subjects may be helpful.
The key is not to assume that getting just any certification will help your career. See which ones are commonly requested, and find out what it takes to achieve them. That will help you create a plan based on the certifications that provide the most value overall.
If you are looking for a new position and are wondering which certifications can help you get the job you want, contact Validity Solutions. Our expertise in the IT industry can guide you in the right direction!