The Why’s, How’s, and Types of IT Certifications

it certifications

IT certifications are a validation of your skill sets in a particular IT field. Information Technology is always evolving and the demand for IT professionals is constantly on the rise. With massive information to absorb and new technologies being introduced almost every day, the best way to stand apart from the crowd is with an IT certificate. Of course, having a certification does not mean that you are guaranteed a job. But the extra credential definitely puts your resume above other non-certified candidates and ensures that you get a decent salary for a premium job. And to get this certificate, you need to clear one or more exams.

Why Should You Get an IT Certification?

If you wish to start a career in the IT industry, then getting certified is the best bet. You have a competitive edge over your peers and can negotiate your salary better. As we already mentioned, certification is proof of your knowledge in a particular subject. Employers not only prefer certified candidates but also give promotions and incentives to employees with credentials. Whether you are a fresher or someone who is already employed, an IT certification enhances your career path. Moreover, independent consultants and freelancing analysts can use certifications to get more clients.

According to statistics, while 40% of certified professionals credit IT certifications for helping them land a job or get a promotion, 95% of managers strongly believe that such credentials add value to their organization. Additionally, when you start exploring the vast field of Information Technology, you are connected to a global community of like-minded people. Extra credentials also give you more options for jobs since some companies recruit only certified pros.

Companies use IT certifications to gauge who are the most promising employees in the organization. Managers can take the help of these documents to assess skill levels, thereby saving time and resources during the hiring process. Enterprises that have certified IT professionals experience report increased productivity, improved services, and better-quality customer support.

How Can You Get an IT Certification?

While it is a common belief that you need a bachelor’s degree to obtain an IT certificate, this is not entirely true. The IT sector is open to job-seekers who have informal training as well. As per research by the Bureau of Labor Statistics,  approximately 25% of IT employees in the United States do not have a bachelor’s degree. A degree is beneficial of course, but it is not an absolute necessity to enter the IT industry.  

Now, if you have decided that you want to get an IT certification, it’s time to get started. You will need to pass an exam. For that, you will require training -- which can be through traditional classrooms or online classes. Online training is a better option for working individuals since it is flexible and you can learn at your own pace. Moreover, it is comparatively cheaper than offline courses. Devote enough time to set your goals and complete the syllabus. When you are confident enough, book a time slot for the exam and take the test. Once you get the certification, do not forget to add it to your resume and update it in your LinkedIn profile. 

NOTE: To get an idea of the questions generally asked in the test, you can take the help of certification dumps. Free braindumps are topics and questions shared by actual exam-takers. Hence, it is a good tool to help you prepare since you get an idea of the exam pattern beforehand.

Things to Know Before Taking an IT Certification Exam 

Before taking an IT certification exam, you should be aware of a few facts:

Be updated about the upcoming changes in the test paper pattern. Vendors who offer certifications often introduce changes to cater to the constantly evolving IT sector. Especially, when you seek a Microsoft certification, you need to be extra careful. They have followed a trend of incorporating tweaks in their exam format almost every year.

For higher-level certifications, you might need another lower-level credential to qualify for the eligibility of sitting for the test. Certain certifications demand  classroom training or on-the-job training as well.

Avoid postponing your goals. Procrastination should not stop you from setting a date to sit for the exam. When you have an upcoming deadline, you will be more motivated to complete your study goals in time.

Check the syllabus objectives, which are easily available on the websites of the respective IT certificate vendors. You need to focus on these objectives in the course material. Almost all of the said objectives will form a part of the test paper. So make sure that they are included in your study material.

And as we already mentioned, taking practice exams and partaking in a lab environment are the best methods to start your preparation and test your knowledge. Also, communicate with your peers who are preparing for the same exam. Online forums and communities are a good place to start. You can learn from your mistakes and get your doubts resolved on such platforms.

On the day of the exam, take a deep breath, and relax. Reach the center early and check all your documents. Answer the questions at your own pace and once you are done, do not worry about the results. You have done your best!

Scheduling an IT Certification Exam and Getting the Certificate

When you schedule your exam, you should know that most tests need to be given in-person at a certified testing center. However, the World Wide Web has multiple proctored exams that you can take online. For scheduling the exam, you need to pay a fee and buy the voucher from the respective website. After that, you can choose the time, date, and location. Choose the center that’s closest to your address. 

The time to get an IT Certification depends on your pace. It can range from a few weeks to months, depending on your grasp of the respective course material and experience level. Fix a deadline for yourself and set a date at the beginning. Usually, most exams take three to six months of dedicated preparation.

The Best IT Certifications in 2020

Here are some of the IT certifications that assure you the best-paying jobs in the industry:

      Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect

      PMP® aka Project Management Professional

      Certified ScrumMaster®

      AWS Certified Solutions Architect (Associate Level)

      AWS Certified Developer (Associate Level)

      Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert aka MSCE (Server Infrastructure)

      ITIL® Foundation

      CISM aka Certified Information Security Manager

      CRISC aka Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control

      CISSP aka Certified Information Systems Security Professional

      CEH aka Certified Ethical Hacker

      Citrix Certified Associate (Virtualization)

      CompTIA Security+

      CompTIA Network+

      Cisco Certified Networking Professional (CCNP) Routing and Switching

Professionals like big data engineers, data security professionals, data scientists, network security engineers, database developers, software engineers, network security administrators, network engineers, software developers, and web designers can appear for any of the above IT certification exams.

High-level and focused certifications like a security-focused credential will help you to seek new opportunities in your field. For example, if you already have a Cisco CCENT certificate and you wish to increase your salary, you can go for a Cisco CCNA Security certificate.


Once you obtain an IT certificate, keep note of its expiry as well. If your certificate expires, you will need to recertify to keep your credential active. Only then, you will be able to prove to your employer that you are up-to-date with the current technologies. Well, that’s it. We hope we have answered all your doubts about IT certifications. If yes, it is time to get started!

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