It should no longer be a surprise that certifications hold weight, and can be the deciding factor in selecting the best candidate for the job or promotion. IT certifications continue to be key indicators of knowledge and skills sets required by the IT staff of successful organizations. Among the certifying IT entities, is CompTIA who strives to be the voice of the world’s information technology (IT) industry. CompTIA is the world’s largest provider of technology-neutral and vendor-neutral certifications, and the education and certification programs prepare individuals for a successful career in the IT field. These neutral certifications create a solid foundation for higher-level, and vendor –specific, and multi-vendor environments they will encounter on the job.
There are four different CompTIA IT certification series that test different knowledge standards, from entry-level to expert. Here, we will focus on four specific certifications within the Professional & Specialty series that are quite popular within the job market at this time:
This is the perfect certification for those who are looking to start a career in the IT field, and will help land you an entry level IT position. The A+ certification demonstrates your knowledge of the fundamentals of hardware, software and operating systems; system troubleshooting and repair; networking; security and operational procedures including communication skills that a helpdesk or remote support employee should have. Good candidates for this certification are:
- Network Support Technicians
- Field Service Technicians
- PC or Support technicians
- IT Administrators
CompTIA A+ is supported by top technology companies and organizations. In fact, CompTIA A+ is part of the certification track for corporations such as Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, and Cisco. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires CompTIA.
The Security+ certification demonstrates proven knowledge of security concepts, tools, and procedures to proactively guard against IT security risks and quickly react to security breaches. It helps ensure competency in:
- Network security
- Compliance and operational security
- Threats and vulnerabilities
- Application, data and host security
- Access control and identity management
Good candidates for CompTIA Security+ certification include:
- Security Architect
- Security Engineer
- Security Consultant/Specialist
- Information Assurance Technician
- Security Administrator
- Systems Administrator
- Network Administrator
CompTIA Security+ is regularly required in organizations such as Hitachi Information Systems, Trendmicro, Lockhead Martin, the U.S. State Department, and U.S. government contractors such as EDS, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman.
CompTIA Cloud Essentials
The CompTIA Cloud Essentials specialty certification demonstrates that an individual knows what cloud computingmeans from a business and technical perspective, as well as, at a high level, what is involved in moving to and governing the cloud .The CompTIA Cloud Essentials certiﬁcation will target candidates in IT and non-IT job roles who could beneﬁt from cloud education and testing on the high level business and technical concepts that make up the cloud computing landscape. The certiﬁcation can also credential the ‘cloud brokers’—those who sell cloud services or whose strategic business plans include cloud technologies for their organization.
Target candidates include:
- Business analysts and business process owners
- Managed Service Providers
- New data center staff
- Sales/marketing staff in cloud product or service environments
“By 2015, public cloud services will make up 46% of net new growth in overall IT spending” – eWeek 2011.
The Network+ certification proves a technicians competency in managing, maintaining, troubleshooting, operating and configuring basic network infrastructure. Certified professionals have proven knowledge of networking features and functions, including wiring standards and how to use testing tools. CompTIA
Network+ certification is the first step toward a job as a network engineer or manager, and maps to vendor-specific certifications such as Cisco’s CCNA. Candidates for CompTIA Network+ certification:
- Network Administrator
- Network Support Technician
- Wireless Network Installer/Specialist
- Help Desk Technician
- Network Solutions Architect
- Network Engineer, Managed Services
Network+ is recognized by Microsoft as part of their MS program. Other corporations, such as Novell, Cisco and HP also recognize CompTIA Network+ as part of their certification tracks. Department of Defense (DoD) approves CompTIA Network+ to fulfill certification requirements for Technical Level 1 positions. The average starting salary of network engineers can be up to $70,000.
CompTIA Linux+ is a great first certification to develop your educational and career path in Linux administration. Linux platforms are becoming a popular alternative to commercial operating systems. Government agencies, corporations and academic institutions are turning to Linux to manage their IT needs, primarily in server support and storage. CompTIA Linux+ proves you have the knowledge and skills to work at the Linux command line, perform maintenance tasks, assist users, and install and configure workstations.
Certified professionals have a proven knowledge of Linux system architecture; Linux installation and package management; GNU and Unix commands; Linux file systems, and the Filesystems Hierarchy Standard. Candidates for CompTIA Linux+:
- Junior Network Administrator
- Systems Administrator
- IT Helpdesk Support
- Linux Database Administrator
- Web Administrator
The U.S. Navy recognizes CompTIA Linux+ as an option to fulfill the DoD Operating System certification requirement.
CompTIA Certifications will prepare you for any IT career path
Any of these vendor-neutral certifications will prepare you for a successful career in IT, regardless of which path, technology, vendor, or organization you chose to work for or specialize in. These certifications provide a solid foundation in which you can build upon, and can serve as a stepping stone to more advanced and vendor-specific certifications such as Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, and VMware. To begin your path to the IT career of your choice, get the competitive edge businesses are looking for. Get certified today. TechSherpas is a CompTIA Authorized Partner. Follow the links to view the courses, dates available, and register to prepare for the certification exams: