IT certifications have numerous advantages, for example, they look very beneficial on a resume, they can help raise wages, and even help keep a job, confirming that the knowledge and skills of a specialist correspond to his position. However, there are many certifications. Which ones are the best? Erik Eckel, president of two privately held technology consulting firms and former executive editor of TechRepublic, has compiled a list of the certifications he believes are most valuable to IT professionals.
# 1: MCITP
Microsoft Certified IT Professional or, for short, MCITP is one of the basic, and therefore the most important, Microsoft certifications. It is available for a variety of areas, including database developer, database administrator, corporate messaging administrator, server administrator, and more.
# 2: MCTS
The next generation of Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certifications are designed to test and validate IT professionals’ knowledge and skills in installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting for specific Microsoft technologies.
# 3: Security +
Information security is still one of the most important areas of activity for IT-professionals, because one of the fastest ways to lose customer confidence and sales is to show a weak level of information security of the company. That is why the importance of information security will not change in the near future and will only grow.
The certification validates the specialist’s knowledge of security systems, network infrastructure, access control, auditing, and security organizational principles.
Although the Security + certification consists of only one exam, it can be argued that any IT staff responsible for managing data or other confidential information should have this certification.
# 4: MCPD
Someone needs to create and maintain applications and programs that help manage and operate organizations. This is where Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) professionals come into play.
MCPD certification confirms the ability of professionals to create and maintain software solutions using Visual Studio 2008 and Microsoft. NET Framework 3.5.
# 5: CCNA
Perhaps the most famous certification in networking is the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE). Even small and medium-sized corporations can reap significant benefits if they have a certified professional who can work with Cisco networks and networking equipment, as evidenced by obtaining CCNA accreditation.
# 6: A +
Nowadays, it is more and more difficult to find IT-professionals who understand both hardware and software errors. This is not surprising, because few people consider it prestigious to dig into the “insides” of a broken computer or fix Windows boot errors. Nevertheless, it is often the specialists with these skills that companies need to work effectively.
CompTIA’s A + certification validates the knowledge and skills of professionals in both software and hardware support, including diagnosing, preventing, or troubleshooting computer problems or network errors.
# 7: PMP
Some certifications are valued for their narrow focus on specific skills and knowledge. The Project Management Professional (PMP) is an excellent example of just such a certification.
The Project Management Institute (PMI), is a non-profit organization that acts as the leading association of project management practitioners and administers PMP exams.
The certification confirms the ability, experience and knowledge of a project management specialist, as well as validation of the skills and knowledge required for planning, budget execution, and technical project management. Note that candidates must have at least five years of project management experience, or three years of project management experience and 35 hours of related education.
# 8: MCSE / MCSA
Years after their introduction, the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) and Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) certifications remain valuable. Their value lies in the fact that they prove the knowledge of a specialist in the broadest field, from server administration to security issues, as well as the fact that the specialist has successfully received comprehensive education and professional training.
# 9: CISSP
As mentioned in Security +, security is becoming increasingly important for all organizations, regardless of their mission, product, service, or industry.
The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification is intended for security professionals with at least five years of experience and accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The CISSP is an internationally recognized document proving a candidate’s knowledge of network and physical security, as well as his ability in risk management, legal understanding and other security related issues.
# 10: Linux +
CompTIA’s Linux + certification is intended for professionals with Linux knowledge and who want to document their skills. The exam confirms basic knowledge and skills at the Linux client and Linux server levels.