Almost every industry utilizes some type of certification or licensing program in order to verify competency, and the IT world is no different. Although many employers don’t choose to require their IT professionals to become certified, it’s actually in your best interests to make sure that this happens. After all, IT certifications provide a good metric for each employee’s knowledge and skill level, and you can also make your clients feel more comfortable by informing them that your entire IT staff is certified.
What Type of IT Certifications Are Available?
There are many certifications available for various stages of an IT professional’s career. For example, the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) offers several accredited certifications, including A+ Essentials, Network+, Security+ and Healthcare IT Technician. Additionally, it’s common for people in the IT industry to obtain a Cisco Certified Network Associate certification (CCNA) and a Certified Information Systems Security Professional certification (CISSP).
Which Competencies Do These Certifications Verify?
- A+ Essentials – This certification has been available since 1993, and it was most recently updated in 2012. The purpose of the A+ Essentials certification is to verify basic vendor neutral IT competency. In other words, people who go through the certification program should be able to serve as a computer technician for a variety of operating systems and technologies.
- Network+ – IT professionals have been able to gain this certification since 1999, and people who complete this course will be deemed competent as a network technician. This means that they’ll have a firm understanding of how to work with network hardware, including troubleshooting and installation.
- Security+ – This critical certification process will ensure that your IT team is well-versed in dealing with a variety of computer security issues, including access control, disaster recovery, cryptography and risk management.
- Healthcare IT Technician – As the name of this certification suggests, any IT team that will be working with the healthcare field will gain the necessary skills and knowledge to support, deploy and implement vital healthcare IT systems. The exam for this certification covers everything from medical business operations to regulatory requirements.
- CCNA – This certification from Cisco is at an associate level, and it verifies that individuals who’ve successfully completed the exam are competent at working with medium-size switched and routed networks, including being able to operate, install, troubleshoot and configure them.
- CISSP – The CISSP certification ensures competency in 10 different IT categories, including operation security, cryptography, legal compliance and software development security. CISSP is a requirement for certain IT professionals who work for the U.S. Department of Defense, and it’s also utilized by the U.S. National Security Agency.
Each of these IT certifications will be beneficial for your employees to earn, but it’s important to make sure that you set them up for success by enabling them to enroll in preparatory courses before they take any exams. Fortunately, companies in Virginia can take advantage of certification courses at the Tidewater Community College Center for Workforce Solutions.