Overall, it is good news that IT professionals have an ever-expanding skillset requirement to stay on top of. In this case, it signifies a vital job market. There is a continual flow of new technological developments, security needs and changes in infrastructure. Businesses of every size have ongoing information technology needs that offer work in a wide range of flexibility, pay and commitment to those with qualifying skills. Pursuing and maintaining a career in IT part time, full time or as a secondary career will not stop being a viable option anytime soon.
There continues to be a high and versatile need for IT professionals of all career stages and personalities. Anyone with a genuine interest can eventually find a niche for the degree of creativity, social involvement and leadership suited to their own strengths and style. Points of security, service desk, project management and development are some of the areas where IT professionals can find an outlet for their capabilities and training.
The most daunting aspects of such a fertile job market is an excess of options, as well as daily inventions and developments calling for ongoing retailoring of your skillset. IT is booming as a whole, yet positions shrink, grow, appear and disappear year to year.
Titles are fluid. Adaptability to the shifting needs of the marketplace form the nucleus of career sustainability in the IT world.
Keeping track of the latest certifications will help you reach the next promotion or pay raise. There are certifications available in every range of cost, completion criteria and prerequisites. The more extensive your experience, the more competitive requirements you’ll fulfill to qualify for the more sought after certifications. Keeping current in your knowledge and updates of the latest can save time, detour and expense for a smoother and faster career track.
The following are a few current credible certifications for different levels of experience:
Experienced Professional Certifications
- Recognition: Advanced technical skills and experience in designing distributed applications and systems on the AWS platform.
- Prerequisite: Two years designing and deploying cloud architecture on AWS; AWS Solutions Architect Associate.
- Recognition: Offered by the non-profit group ISACA. Covers the entire lifecycle through design, implementation and maintenance.
- Prerequisites: Three years of experience in two of the four areas covered by the certification. Additional continuing professional education (CPE) credits are required annually to maintain certification. Ongoing effort and planning, but holds industry staying power and demand, especially with the rise of cloud computing. Globalknowledge.com offers a prep course.
- Completion Criteria: As of 2017 the exam is offered during three eight-week windows out of the year. Registration is via the ISACA web site; exam locations are available here.
Early Career and Entry-Level Certifications
- Recognition: The entry-level ITIL certification for widely used and accepted best practices for understanding the overall IT lifecycle. One of few certifications that focuses on the intersection of IT services with the particular needs of an organization.
- Prerequisites: None
- Completion Criteria: Exam completion
- Recognition: Developers who can design and build custom applications and analytics with the Force.com platform.
- Prerequisites: None but Salesforce.com recommends taking Building applications with Force.com and Visualforce to prepare.
- Completion Criteria: 60-question, multiple-choice exam to be completed within 90 minutes with a minimum passing score of 68 percent. Cost of exam is $200.
- Recognition: Proficiency in creating Puppet labs IT automation software extensions in the Ruby scripting language.
- Prerequisites: None but Puppet recommendations include courses Extending Puppet Using Ruby and Puppet Fundamentals for System Administrators.
- Completion Criteria: A $200, 60-question, multiple-choice exam to be completed in 90 minutes.
Scholarships and Free Certifications
Many employers will sponsor IT staff certification. There are also alternative ways to offset the necessary investment costs of time and fees for IT professionals at every level. Be sure to check individual certification listings for scholarship availability. You can also seek out a number of free courses such as this one from Built In NYC.