Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The top 5 certifications to start your IT career

Want to get into IT? We have compiled a list of our top five certifications that are the most efficient way of entering the IT industry and starting career. Once you have gained one of these certifications, you can gain further experience and gain higher certifications that will boost your salary up to $500,000:

1. CompTIA A+ & Network+

The A+ certification is considered a benchmark and stepping stone for people who want to enter the IT World. The Comptia A+ certification is the industry standard for computer support technicians. You’ll gain the skills and knowledge in installation, preventative maintenance, networking, security and troubleshooting. It is part of the certification track for corporations such as Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco and Novell, and has become a requirement for their engineers. There are almost a million IT professionals worldwide who have certified in A+ since the program’s beginning in 1993. CompTIA also offers its popular Network+ certification which you can gain with the A+ in just 7 days. You'll gain the skills and knowledge necessary to configure and operate a variety of networking products. Combined, the A+ and Network+ certifications are backed by major computer hardware and software vendors, distributors, resellers and publications.

2. MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate)

More than 95% of companies around the world use Microsoft products and technologies. Now's your chance to be a part of it. The MTA certification is the first stepping stone for all Microsoft certifications. The MTA is part of Microsoft’s new range of certifications which are very popular. Gaining this cert offers a stepping stone onto the more powerful and respected MCSA and MCSE certifications. This year will see many companies now looking for the updated Microsoft certs, which is why many MCITP aspirants are being directed to MCSA and MCSE. Learn more about the new Microsoft certs and the paths to take here: How to become a Microsoft Certified Professional.

3. CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI (Level 1)

In a Linux Jobs report, eight in ten recruiters said that hiring a Linux talent was a priority in 2012. The popularity for Linux has not stopped growing, and will continue to grow throughout  2013. This CompTIA course provides you with the basic hardware, software, and networking skills necessary to function in an entry-level Linux role. It also offers a stepping stone to the more powerful Linux certs such as the LPI level 2 and level 3.

4. CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate)

CCNA is a great way to enter the IT industry. But requires dedicated training and some may find it hard if they are completely new to IT. You can first take the CCENT to get more familiar with the material. Cisco certifications are world renowned and respected. Having a CCNA shows that you have the ability to setup, troubleshoot, monitor, upgrade and maintain networking hardware based on Cisco equipment. Once you gain your certification, and some experience, you can move on to more advanced certifications like CCNP.

5. CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker)

The CEH certification is offered by EC-Council. If you want to enter the IT security industry (the fastest growing sector in the IT industry), CEH is the one to go for. As an ethical hacker, you’d attempt to penetrate the networks or computers of the organisation you work for. Why would you do this? "White hat" ethical hackers are widely sought after to help find and fix the vulnerabilities that would otherwise be exploited by "black hat" criminal hackers. Demand for CEH professionals continues to grow. Due to the alarming increase in cyber attacks over the past decade, organisations are looking for ways to protect themselves and tighten their security. The CEH course and certification covers all that is needed to identify system vulnerabilities and countermeasures.

Are there other IT certifications to consider?

Yes, there are many others that offer a great entry into the IT world. Let us know your top cert in the comment section below.

It all depends on what sector of the industry you would like to enter. The further you go with your certifications, the more specific your skills will become. Good luck in starting your IT career in 2013.