Whether you are considering a career transition, looking to upgrade your current position or hoping to boost your salary, earning IT certifications is an easy way to improve your prospects. Depending on your goals, you can choose to earn certifications in rapidly growing areas such as software development tools or cloud platforms, or stay within the industry and become subject matter experts on new technologies.
Entry-level IT certifications such as the CompTIA A+ or the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) are popular options for those just entering the field. These certifications offer a solid foundation in IT support, networking or security and may be prerequisites for more advanced IT certifications in the future.
Vendor-specific IT certifications also are available. For example, Amazon Web Services offers a number of IT certification paths including solutions architect, applications engineer, systems engineer, data scientist, software developer and DevOps engineers. Oracle Autonomous Database Specialist Certification, which verifies expertise in this cutting-edge platform, is another vendor-specific option.
Regardless of which path you choose, the top IT certifications are a great way to validate your skills and experience and help set yourself apart from other candidates during the job search. Many professionals find that once they earn a specific certification, the momentum they gain can propel them into the next phase of their careers. However, it’s important for professionals to assess their current skill sets and determine which certifications make the most sense for them. Then, they should take the time to prepare properly for the exams by enrolling in training courses and ensuring that their equipment is compatible with the required test environment. Finally, they should keep in mind that most IT certifications are valid for three years and require re-certification to remain active.