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How to Choose the Right Certification to Accelerate your Career
By Patrick Walsh
April 19, 2021
woman working on getting her it certification

How to choose the right certification to accelerate your career.

Information technology is an evolving field and careers in the IT industry are in high demand. Object-Oriented Programming, Java, Pega and AWS are some of the technologies that have seen increased demand. As the industry expands and certifications become a requirement for many new positions, it is important to stay up to date with new technologies. A certification is an investment in your professional skills and can expand your career in various ways.

Information Technology (IT) is the fastest growing industry in the market.

One of the best ways to promote your career in technology is to obtain an IT certification. In fact, 91% of employers believe that IT certifications play a key role in the hiring process and the success of employees.

With diverse certifications within the IT field, the sky is the limit. So how do you choose the right certification to accelerate your career? The first step is to ask yourself a few questions. In doing so, you can successfully begin your journey to starting your career as an IT professional.

1. What is your desired outcome and current skill status?

The first step is for you to determine what professional skills you want from your IT certification. What are your professional goals? What is the best career step for me?

Everyone has a different goal when expanding their current skills; some professionals are trying to get a promotion within their company or move upward within their department. Others are trying to stay relevant in their specialty and get a master’s degree in their current skillset. Some professionals even use IT certifications as a way of changing their role or making a career transition to pursue a different industry.

Another important factor to take into consideration is your current skill status. If you are completely unfamiliar with the technology or skillset in which want to get certified, you will have to start with entry-level certifications. A significant consideration is certified professionals earn around 13.7% more than their peers.

If you are trying to build on your current experience or get credentials in skills you already have knowledge in, a higher-level certification would be the best fit for you. Regardless of what type you choose; they are always a valuable addition to your resume. In highly competitive industries where you might share similar experience, education and skills with other candidates, a certification may be the qualification that lands you the job. If you have additional credentials, employers consider you more highly experienced and makes you a valuable addition to any company.

2. What is your career path?

The IT industry has a vast number of disciplines, from cloud computing to web development. Before choosing a discipline, you should make a long-term career plan and evaluate what type of certification will help you achieve your professional goals. It is important to choose a career path that aligns with your interests because you do not want to complete a certification in a field that you are not passionate about.

Keep in mind, if you are excited and interested in a specific skillset, mastering and obtaining your credentials will be a much easier and enjoyable process. However, it is always a good idea to master various technologies and skills, to have a wide range of professional abilities and versatility to market yourself in your career.

Technology is always changing, so you must be open to learning new things and constantly updating your knowledge, certifications and skills.

military clearance for confidential information

3. What kinds of information technology certifications are in demand?

The technology industry has in-demand certifications and careers that have expected growth currently and within the next decade. To simplify, there are two types of certifications of skills that are important in the field.

The first type of certifications you can obtain are broader and all encompassing. They provide knowledge in skills that can align with various types of technologies and industries. The second type of certifications are types that are vendor specific. Large companies have their own technology platforms they use.

Before learning a new platform or skill, it is important to research the job market to see which certifications are most in demand and will provide you the best growth opportunities. Avoid getting a certification in a technology that will not be relevant within the next five or ten years.

A reliable source that provides independent information about a given technology and its provider are mainstream analysts such asGartnerand Forrester. To determine the most in demand careers and companies from these sources, look at the rankings of each firm and software to evaluate if they are highly ranked in their competitive technology categories.

4. How much time and resources do you have available?

Do you have time to complete a certification that takes weeks or months?  Do you have previous experience in the IT industry? Are you looking at a program that can be completed in 36 months? Are you a transitioning military member?

All these questions are important to ask yourself before starting down the path to your career in tech. In doing so, you’ll set yourself up to pick the right program and in turn, successfully gain certification.

At SkillStorm, we have options that are available to fit the flexibility you need in building your career. Keep in mind, all areas of technology are expanding rapidly. Whether you are starting a career in the IT industry or furthering your skillset within the field, obtaining a certification leads to your professional development. If you want to accelerate your career, email itcert@skillstorm.com and an advisor will get in contact with you to get started. We’re ready and waiting!

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