Land Your Dream Job in IT: Certification vs. Work Experience

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Land Your Dream Job in IT: Certification vs. Work Experience

You have set your sight on a career in Information Technology (IT), and now you want to land your dream job. As with most dream jobs, you are going to have to meet certain minimum requirements to help you succeed in your search for a position.

Many jobs require a specific college education. While there are various college programs that offer IT-related degrees, a degree is not necessarily a requirement. What actually is a requirement is:

  • an IT certificationland your dream job
  • work experience


  • IT certification together with work experience

A certification or work experience: What is more important to land your dream job in IT?

One possible answer regarding what is more important could be to check the IT job offers in the various internet job portals. They will help to give you a general overview about what potential employers expect from their IT staff.

It makes sense to assume that hands-on work experience in IT gets more important with an increasing seniority of the offered position. In contrast, it is rather unlikely that a lot of such work experience is expected or even required, when an employer need to fill an entry-level position.

If you are aiming for an entry-level position and do not have any or only little related work experience to offer, then a qualifying IT certification becomes of major importance. On the other hand, for senior positions keep in mind: the more skill, responsibility and complexity a position in IT involves, the more employers will look at the qualification (i.e. up-to-date and relevant certifications) of their potential candidates.

In other words, work experience and certification can both add significant value to your application and CV.

Benefits of certification and work experience

If you are in the lucky situation and able to add a current IT certification as well as related work-experience to your qualifications – congratulations! That should get you quite a head-start above other applicants that want to land a dream job as well.

If that is not the case, an IT certification can be obtained much quicker than work experience that will actually count. Techsherpas offers a range of certification training as Boot Camp Courses. This means they provide their students with qualified hands-on training and the knowledge they need to pass a certification exam within just a few days.

That means that if you already have IT related work experience but find out during your job search that the respective official certification is one potential requirement, then you can take care of that within a relatively short time.

Gaining a certain amount of work experience naturally takes its time, but it does have benefits: If you already have work experience, it shows your potential employer that your skills have already been tried and tested in an actual work environment. It also means you have been able to put your theoretical knowledge to practical use.

Even if you already have extensive work experience, you might still want to consider rounding it off and updating it with a current IT certification to land your dream job. IT professionals work in an area that is constantly evolving, so knowledge and skills need to be up-to-date. For that reason, there may even be a chance that your employer is willing to cover the tuition costs.

If you have your certification but no work experience yet, do not worry: Everybody needs to start somewhere, and be it with an entry-level or junior position. That might not quite be your dream job, but at least you will have your certification to get your proverbial foot in the door.


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IT Certifications worth considering

If you are serious about building a successful career in the IT field, then you should definitely consider earning one or more IT certifications. Depending on the area you are interested in, there are a number of options. Certification let others know that you are knowledgeable and hold IT-Certifications-300x300specific expertise. Below are just some of the more popular and in demand IT certifications that are available.

Training classes ensure that you pass the certification exam, so be sure to look into those as well. Not only do they prepare you to pass the exam , but they also provide some real hand-on experience through course labs, and other exercises.

Networking Certifications

 Information Security Certifications

 Virtualization Certifications

  • VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Data Center Administration (VCAP5-DCA)
  • Citrix
  • RHCVA: Red Hat Certified Virtualization Administrator
  • Oracle Virtualization
  • IBM

 Programming Certifications

  •  MCSD: Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer
  • ZCE: Zend Certified Engineer
  • ACE: Adobe Certified Expert for Developers
  • Oracle (Sun) Certified Java Credentials
  • Google Apps for Business Certification

 System Admin Certifications

  •  Microsoft MCSA & MCSE
  • Linux Professional Institute Certifications
  • Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE)
  • HP Accredited Systems Engineer & Certified Systems Engineer
  • CompTIA Server+

 Web Certifications for IT Pros

  • Adobe Certified Expert
  • MTA: HTML5 Application Development Fundamentals
  • Zend Certified Engineer PHP 5.3
  • Mark Lassoff’s Bargain Certified Web Developer
  • W3Schools Web Certifications: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and More

 Cloud IT Certifications

 Telecommunications Certifications

  • Cisco CCNA Voice & CCNP Voice
  • CTNS: Certified Telecommunications Network Specialist
  • CIPTS: Certified IP Telecom Network Specialist
  • RCDD: Registered Communications Distribution Designer
  • CCNT: Certified in Convergent Network Technologies

Wireless Networking Certifications

  • CWTS: Certified Wireless Technology Specialist
  • CWNA: Certified Wireless Network Administrator
  • Cisco Wireless Certifications
  • SANS GAWN: GIAC Assessing & Auditing Wireless Networks
  • iNARTE WDCP: Wireless Device Certification Professional

 Computer Hardware Certifications

  • CompTIA A+
  • ACMT: Apple Certified Macintosh Technician
  • CompTIA Server+
  • CWTS: Certified Wireless Technology Specialist
  • BICSI ITS Technician

 Help Desk Certifications

  • HDI Customer Service Representative
  • ACSP: Apple Certified Support Professional
  • iET Service Desk Analyst & Service Desk Manager
  • MCSA: Windows 8
  • Test-Based Help Desk & Tech Support Certs

 Project Management Certifications

  • PMP: Project Management Professional
  • CAPM: Certified Associate in Project Management
  • CompTIA Project+ Certification
  • MPM: Master Project Manager
  • CPM: Certified Project Manager Certification

 Database Certifications

 Linux Certifications

  • CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI
  • Linux Professional Institute Certifications
  • Novell/SUSE CLA, CLP & CLE
  • Red Hat RHCSA, RHCE & RHCA
  • Oracle Linux OCA & OCP

 IT Governance Certifications

  • ITIL Expert Certification
  • ISACA CGEIT Certification
  • ISACA CRISC Certification
  • GRCP Certification
  • BCS IT Governance & InfoSec Foundation