How to Pick an Information Technology Certification Path

Information Technology (IT) has multiple career paths. Picking a certification path will help with creditability and keep your skill set up to date. Whether it be system administration, network security, system analysis or one of many other opportunities in the IT field, certifications can help and hinder you.

Steps

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    Choose the IT field you want to specialize in.
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    Research the available certification paths available for the field. This could be something as simple as the basic IT certifications such as A+ or as advanced as the CISSP.
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    Talk to people working in the industry to help with your research.
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    Choose the certification path best suited for you.
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    Search your local area for resources to help you prepare for the certification test(s). Check learning facilities for available classes. Check bookstores for reading material. Hit the web to help prepare. Many sites offer free prep tests and flashcards as well as forums for discussions.
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    Determine what level you need to start your certification path at. More experienced professionals won't need to take entry level certification test. Entry level professionals won't start with advanced level certifications.
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    Choose the certifications you want and place them in the order you will obtain them.
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    Sign up for the first test.
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    Study! Study! Study!
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    Take the test and be on your way.

Tips

  • It will take time and experience to obtain higher level certifications such as CISSP.
  • Use the method best suited for you to study.
  • It is okay to change your specialty.
  • If you are already in the IT industry, your employer may help you get advanced certifications. Check with your supervisor or educational representative.
  • Keep your skill set up to date. As you gain experience, your certifications may become out of date.

Warnings

  • Getting certified does not mean you are an expert. Real world experience is necessary. Certifications are a great way to get into the industry and show employers you are constantly improving your skills.
  • Research the certifications. Some certifications may not be necessary for your chosen specialty and you will be wasting money.


Article Info

Categories: Information Technology Careers