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Which IT Certs are the Best?
In today’s changing economy it is no surprise that anything related to computer technology is widely popular.
Over the last few years with the downturn in the economy there has been a spike in people who are changing their careers to focus on computers.
It is possible to change careers and succeed in the computer industry, but only if you are willing to put in the extra effort to learn the various skills needed. Companies have started to offer certification programs that cover a wide range of computer skills.
Some of the more popular computer certifications are CompTIA A+, CompTIA N+ (Network+), CCENT (Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician), MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist and Security+.
Below we will go into brief detail about each of the certifications:
A CompTIA A+ certification is the most basic of computer certifications. This is a perfect certifications for entry level computer users, because it allows you to interact with computers like you never have before. The A+ certifications focuses a great deal on hardware and software configuration. This includes physically breaking down a computer piece by piece and rebuilding it as well. If you are able to complete your CompTIA A+ certification, then you are well on your way to becoming a computer expert.
CompTIA N+ (Network+)
The CompTIA N+ or Network+ certification is a bit more advanced than the A+ certification. This certification focuses on everything that has to do with a Microsoft Windows network. This can include how to setup a LAN, WAN, or MAN network. Some of the principles in the CompTIA N+ certification can become quite complicated, so it is key to have a firm computer foundation before attempting to complete the Network+ certification.
CCENT (Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician)
The CCENT or Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician is the first stage in Cisco’s mammoth certification program. This certification covers the basic skills needed to support a small corporate network. The CCENT certification program briefly gets into network security, but does not dig deep into this complicated topic. The CCENT is the foundation for all of the Cisco Certifications and may seem basic, but is quite important if you are looking to eventually get your CCNA, CCNP or CCIE certifications.
MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist)
A MCTS or Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist provides you with skills to master a particular Microsoft product such as Microsoft SQL Server, Sharepoint, Exchange Server, Visual Studio and many other Microsoft products. Many IT professionals complete MCTS certifications to increase their knowledge in the products that they use on a daily basis.
A Security+ certification is one of the more complicated computer certifications on the market today that is not offered by Cisco. The Security+ certification focuses on gaining the knowledge in network security to be able to effectively support and manage a large corporate network. A Security+ certification is crucial to managing a large corporate network that spans across various cities, states or even countries. Network administrators must always be on the look out for potential security threats, and much of this knowledge can be gained through obtaining a Security+ certification.
My Final Thoughts on IT Certifications
If you are serious about a career in the computer industry, it is essential that you look at obtaining the CompTIA A+, CompTIA N+, CCENT, MCTS, and Security+ certifications. Having these certifications puts you head and shoulders above other applicants for jobs in the market place. Beware of companies that guarantee high paying jobs by charging you astronomical fees to take these courses. If you shop around, you can find great training courses for these certification programs at reasonable rates.
What Others Are Saying About IT Certifications in 2013
Matt Vandenbeld – Top 5 Most-Valuable IT Certifications in 2013
“2013 is looking to be a great year for IT professionals; cloud and converged infrastructure are reshaping the landscape, which creates many great opportunities for people who can demonstrate expertise in these areas.”
Ben Taylor – The Top 5 IT Certification Predictions for 2013
“The stalwarts will remain. Entry level IT certification options such as CompTIA A+ and Microsoft MCTS qualifications will continue to enjoy their traditional level of popularity amongst junior professionals and those working with SMEs.”
Daniel Greenspan – Top 10 IT Skills In Demand for 2013
“2013 heralds an exciting time in IT employment, as technical skill sets in the greatest demand focus on the development, integration and management of new technologies and innovations to grow the business and spur a competitive advantage.”
Read More About IT Certifications
CCNA – Cisco Certified Network Associate
MCTS – Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist
CompTIA Network+ Certification
I wanted to diversify my resume by adding IT certifications. I have primarily worked in govt. intelligence and anti-terrorism and see IT certifications as a positive step towards aiding against e-Threats. I was looking at either starting with Microsoft Technical Associate (MTA) and progressing towards the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) Windows 8 since MS is what the US govt uses for everything – or – going the CCENT – due to the wide acceptance of Cisco in worldwide platforms. Which should a novice of working home networks, rebuilding desktops, troubleshooting software and virus/malware – and a pretty good standard of understanding of computers go? I really don’t want to go the route of A+ to Net+…
JH, I think that they are almost always the place to start. One reason is that they are easy to obtain if you are technical and have spent any time tinkering with your home network. Also, they are extremely recognizable in the IT world.
However, since you have a background in intelligence and anti-terrorism, you may also want to consider both the CompTIA Security+ and CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) certifications.
You can find out more about the Security+ at https://johnzpchut.com/wordpress/become-pc-certified/security-certification/.
More about the CISSP can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Certified_Information_Systems_Security_Professional
Good Luck and sorry for the late response.