Posted by : Unknown Wednesday, 18 March 2015

In today's competitive IT job market having the right certification can help push your resume to the top of the stack or push you ahead of your colleagues when the opportunity for a promotion arises.

Certifications play an important part of any IT professional's career, although there will always be some debate on how important. Certifications are, like most things in life: The more you put into them, the more you will get out. While the actual knowledge you gain on the journey is the true reward, certifications also indicate to employers that you take your job seriously and that you are knowledgeable on the respective technology.
With more than 1,700 professional IT certifications running the gamut of IT technologies, knowing which certifications are the most important for your specialty can seem an insurmountable task.

In a competitive market, you've got to do everything you can to distinguish yourself from your peers. Certification is an important part of that process. A recent poll asked users why they choose certification. The number one answer --at 51 percent--was that certification was a way to position themselves for a promotion or potential job.

Knowing Which IT Certification Is Right        

Before you jump into a specific certification, there are some important questions that you need to ask yourself about your career goals and objectives:

What demographic of IT do you fall into? (Security, Server, Network, Web Development, Programmer and so on)
What are your career objectives?
What IT career are you most interested in?
What type of resources are needed (i.e. money and time)?
Will this certification have a significant impact on my career?

If your area of expertise is related to a listed certification's focus and you don't have that certification, you will definitely want to delve into it further. Now without further ado, here are our Top  IT Certifications.

Project Management Professional (PMP)
Completing the Project Management Professional certification shows employers that you have the necessary skills and resources to get the project done from start to finish, on time and on budget. It's never been more relevant than in today's IT industry where we all have multiple responsibilities.

Certified Information Systems Security Professionals (CISSP)
CISSP is a vendor neutral security certification. People who hold this certification have the skills and knowledge to complete high-level tasks involving architecture, design, management and/or controls that assure the security of business environments.
Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE)
RHCE is a Linux Red Hat Enterprise Linux certification and demonstrates that the holder has the skills and knowledge to perform the duties of senior system administrator, responsible for Red Hat systems. Deployments and migrations are second nature to an RHCE.

Linux continues to be adopted by more and more companies in an effort to decrease operating costs. Demand is outpacing supply making this one of the hottest Linux certifications.
VMware Certified Professional (VCP)

VCP VMware's first level of certification that focuses squarely on the vSphere virtualization platform. Recipients should have the skills to install, deploy, scale and manage vSphere environments, as well as general virtualization skills.
CompTIA A+
A+ from the trade group CompTIA, is another vendor-neutral certification and is considered entry level. It encompasses a number of different foundation level IT skills.
Information Technology Infrastructure Library
The ITIL certification is the basis of the worldwide standard for quality IT Service Management and is considered to have laid the groundwork for effective IT departments. It outlines non-organizational specific "best practices" that are used by companies to establish a level of competency. There are four flavors for this certification: Foundation, Intermediate, Expert and Master.
Cisco Certifications                                                                                      
Cisco Certifications, like Microsoft and others, have been IT industry standards for years and are used to validate knowledge of Cisco products and technologies. So much business passes through Cisco systems that these always seem to be in demand.
Cisco Certified Internet work Expert (CCIE)
CCIE demonstrates that the recipient has all the expert-level skills required to plan, prepare, operate, monitor, and troubleshoot complex data center networks. CCIE is a common goal for network professionals who want to be recognized as experts in their field. Cisco touts this certification as "the most prestigious networking certification in the industry" .

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

CCNA certification is a second-level Cisco Career certification. It lets employers know that you have demonstrated the ability "to install, configure, operate and troubleshoot medium-size routed and switched networks, including implementation and verification of connections to remote sites in a WAN". Anyone who wants to work in the networking field or if you happen to work on Cisco hardware on a regular basis should consider adding this certification to their skillset.
Microsoft Certifications   

Microsoft software and systems are a staple in most IT departments making these and other Microsoft certifications in demand skills. The Microsoft certifications listed below as top needed skills in today's job market.

Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP)

MCITP certifications, one of Microsoft's newer certifications, tests technical proficiency in the Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certifications. There are many different areas of certification.

Windows Client                                           
Ø MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
Ø MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7
Ø MCITP: Consumer Support Technician on Windows Vista
Ø MCITP: Enterprise Support Technician on Windows Vista

Windows Server       
Ø MCITP: Enterprise Administrator on Windows Server 2008
Ø MCITP: Server Administrator on Windows Server 2008
Ø MCITP: Virtualization Administrator on Windows Server 2008 R2

Microsoft SQL Server
Ø MCITP: Database Administrator 2008
Ø MCITP: Database Developer 2008
Ø MCITP: Business Intelligence Developer 2008

Ø MCITP: Enterprise Project Management with Microsoft Office Project Server 2007

Microsoft Exchange Server
Ø MCITP: Enterprise Messaging Administrator on Exchange 2010
Ø MCITP: Enterprise Messaging Administrator on Exchange 2007

Microsoft SharePoint Server                                
Ø MCITP: SharePoint Administrator 2010

Microsoft Lync Server
Ø MCITP: Lync Server Administrator 2010

Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS)
MCTS certification validates skills on a particular Microsoft technology. As with MCITP, there are many technologies that you can certify for, for example, Exchange server, Lync Server and Office Communications Server, virtualization and more.

Microsoft's Certified Systems Engineers (MCSE)                          
An MCSE certification demonstrates that the recipient can design, implement and administer technology infrastructures using Microsoft 2000 Windows Server and other Windows server platforms. This certification is common to systems engineers, tech support engineers, system analysts, network analysts and technical consultants.

Certifications are a great way to break into a new technology, cover gaps in your resume or advance your current position. The best people in the IT business are the ones who are passionate about learning and that is a key to being successful. Technology is evolving at a pace that is difficult to keep up with. As the environment moves forward and changes so must you.

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