The tech field is booming but getting your foot in the door can be a challenge. Employers want people with experience, and when you’re just starting out, your experience can be quite limited. Certifications are a great way to overcome lack of experience, as they prove to employers you have demonstrated expertise of critical skills. Here are five certifications that will help you launch and advance your tech career.
Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
CCNA certification is extremely popular among network engineers, network administrators and systems administrators. This beginner’s certification demonstrates the ability to install, operate and configure enterprise-level switches and routers, and the ability to troubleshoot common network problems. CCNA specialization is available in security, voice or wireless networking specializations. To achieve this cert, you must sit for a 90-minute written exam, which costs around $300.
CompTIA A+ Technician
Certified A+ technicians are responsible for maintenance of PCs, printers, operating systems, mobile devices, laptops and more. This certification is for entry-level tech pros interested in pursuing jobs as support specialists or technicians. The exam costs around $200 and consists of both multiple choice questions and performance-based scenarios.
Network+ is another great certification for people who are interested in pursuing helpdesk, support and technician roles. This program demonstrates your ability to design, manage and troubleshoot both wired and wireless networks. The exam consists of 90 questions and costs a little under $300.
Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
CISSP is for people pursuing careers as security analysts and demonstrates competence in protecting systems from an attack. The certification process can be a bit grueling – the exam takes around six hours to complete, costs $600 and consists of eight topics: security and risk management, asset security, security engineering, communications and network security, identity and access management, security assessment and testing, security operations and software development security.
Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)
MCSE certifications are well recognized in the industry and demonstrates your ability to build innovative solutions across multiple technologies. You can earn specialized certification in areas like server infrastructure, desktop infrastructure, private cloud, enterprise devices and apps, data platform, business intelligence, messaging, communication and SharePoint. The certification process varies based on your specialization but all exams cost around $150.
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