The Hidden Benefits Of
Professional Computer Certifications
IT Certifications are important to almost every IT department in the world. They want to know you and their staff are qualified. The web is covered with stories regarding the benefits of professional computer certification, and most of them are backed up with salary surveys and the like. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with making more money, and having better job prospects, there’s one benefit of certification that many candidates forget about.
You can’t pay your rent with confidence you can’t pay for gas with confidence you can’t pay for ANYTHING with confidence, right? So, who cares, right?
Wrong. The confidence you build from truly earning a certification, whether it’s an MCSE, CCNA, or CCIE, cannot be purchased, borrowed, or stolen. It must be earned.
What do I mean by “truly earned”? First, I’m discussing to those little documents out there generally referred to as “brain dumps”. If you buy one of these things and happen to pass the certification exam:
- Did you learn anything? No.
- Are you going to be effective on the job? No.
As I tell my students, when you’re standing in front of a server or router that isn’t working, and all eyes are on you to troubleshoot the problem, the correct answer is not “B”. There is no multiple choice. Secondly, I’m referring to the hope that the certification you earn was earned by taking a demanding exam
There’s nothing more impractical than earning a certification that’s easy to get, that anyone can get it without learning to much. There’s no feeling of pride, of achievement furthermore, if everyone else has that certification, what value does it have? This just keeps you in line with them not in front.
Those of you relatively new to the field may never have used NT 4.0, but the MCSE NT 4.0 was the certification that ended up causing a lot of damage to the value of professional certifications. EVERYBODY had one. The tests were repetitive and far too simple, there were no simulation questions, and the exams required no real hands-on experience.
As a result, the MCSE NT 4.0 had little value, which meant that there was no sense of pride in achieving it.
Thankfully, exam vendors and authors seem to have learned their lesson. Cisco exams are not easy to pass, and the initial Cisco certification, the CCNA, demands hands-on knowledge and experience. Microsoft is (finally) adding simulator questions to their certification exams as well, and the MCSE exams have gotten tougher as well.
Some of the most common certifications and generally the most known, in the IT world, are listed below:
- Microsoft (Microsoft Certified IT Professional, Microsoft Technology Associate, MCSA/MCSE, Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist, etc.)
- CompTIA (CompTIA A+, CTP+, CDIA+, Network+, etc.)
- Cisco (CCNA, CCDA, CCNA Security)
So, if you should happen to fail an exam along the way to the top – and almost all of us do – just keep in mind that if the exams were not demanding, they would have no value. While failing an exam is not what we are all expecting, it is life, and we as students learn from our mistakes and when we retake the exam we are more prepared for it.
After all, if it were easy, everyone would be doing it!
But you don’t need to spend loads of money on training or study materials. You can find books, YouTube videos and step by step tutorials all over the internet, on just about every subject you can think off. Below I have added some links to the main providers of the above listed certs. Have a look you may find something that you like.
If you are thinking of stepping in to the IT world I would advise people to start thinking about the below certs as a first step. This is because it gives the most basic understanding and knowledge for a career in IT:
CompTIA A+ – for basic hardware understanding
Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) – The MTA gives a choice of the route you want to take. Which is either IT Infrastructure, Databases, or Development.
Start to get the ‘Benefits Of Computer Certifications’ in your career and you will not regret it, as IT is a world of continuous learning and self development, good luck.